Weird laptop crashes/freezes (very frequent and random).

I just got a Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 laptop given to me to “Fix (reinstall) the ubuntu” and I can’t get the thing to remain stable. So far I noticed that *SUSE and windoze run perfectly on it (no crashes), but any other linux OS or *BSD crashes very frequently and randomly during boot, login and when you’re using it).
The specs of the laptop are:

Processor and Chipset
• Intel Pentium Dual-Core processor T2330 1.60GHz, 1 MB L2, 533MHz FSB 
• Mobile Intel GL960 Express Chipset 
• Configured with 1024MB PC5300 DDR2 SDRAM (both memory slots may be occupied). Maximum capacity 2048MB.
Hard Disk Drive   
• 120GB (5400 RPM); Serial ATA hard disk drive 
Fixed Optical Disk Drive     
• Generic TSSTcorp DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive supporting 11 formats Maximum speed and compatibility: CD-ROM (24x), CD-R (24x), 
CD-RW (16x), DVD-ROM (8x), DVD-R (Single Layer, (8x)), 
DVD-R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD-RW (6x), DVD+R (Single 
Layer, (8x)), DVD+R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD+RW (8x), DVDRAM (5x) 
• 15.4” diagonal widescreen TruBrite®TFT LCD display at 1280x800 
native resolution (WXGA) Native support for 720p content 
• Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 with 128MB-251MB 
dynamically allocated shared graphics memory 
• Built-in stereo speakers  
• Sound Volume Control Dial 
Input Devices 
• 86 key US keyboard 
• TouchPad™ pointing device 
• TouchPad™ Enable/Disable ) 
• Modem
• 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet 
• Integrated Wi-Fi
 compliant wireless: Realtek 802.11b/g wireless-LAN 
• 2 main memory slots.  Both slots may be occupied. 
• ExpressCard™ slot (ExpressCard/34 and ExpressCard/54) 
• RGB (monitor) output 
• Headphone output 
• USB v2.0 – 2 ports 
• RJ-45 LAN 
• RJ-11 modem 
Physical Description 
• Dimensions (WxDxH Front/H Rear): 14.3” x 10.5” x 1.32” /1.55” without 
feet Weight: Starting at 6.0 lbs   depending upon configuration
LCD Cover Color: Black
• 75W (19V 3.95A) 100-240V/50-60Hz AC Adapter. Dimensions (WxDxH): 4.25” x 1.34” x 1.85”  Weight: starting at 0.67 lbs  
• 6-cell 4000mAh Lithium Ion battery pack.

Ran memtest86+ and found no errors, ran the S.M.A.R.T tests, both short and extended and found no errors, the laptop doesn’t run hot and both thermal zones have 49°C at heavy load, so no RAM,HDD or temp issues, cleaned vents with compressed air and added thermal paste to the processor to ensure that there are no heat-related issues. Only thing that changed is that the client upgraded the BIOS around 2 or 3 months ago.
Can this be some sort of (quite odd) hardware issue. Or some sort of BIOS/hardware DRM?
BTW: Someone at LQ reported a similar oddity with an Alienware PC (and someone else showed up with a Toshiba laptop too, this time his issue was with Fedora instead of Ubuntu) just acting up with ubuntu & Fedora.

Just confirm
Are you asking about installing Ubuntu? What version?