Do you have an external hard drive for backups? Is so, you could install a system on that, boot from it, migrate all your files to it and run the computer from that and see if the lockups still occur. If not, then you can be pretty sure it's the hard drive. You could just have a few bad sectors on the hard drive and doing a zero-all-data erase on the hard drive could fix your problems. Not the best solution but more economical.
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