PopOS random crashes How to troubleshoot

Running Pop OS 22.04 LTS
Thinkpad E495
Ryzen 5 3500U
8 GB DDR4 2400 mhrz
Acer 512 GB NVME SSD

My laptop randomly crashes. Firefox will close randomly and then nothing will open until i hold the power button and hard reset it. I figured it was a memory issue. I couldn’t figure out how to use Memtest86+ but I did have a bunch of known good ram I cycled through this machine and they all crashed (5 sticks in dual and single channel configs). I even checked system logs but I have no idea what I’m looking for. I noticed a bunch of system shutdown errors, but nothing that looked familiar or useful to me. The issue has exacerbated when I downloaded VSCode to do Python code with my fiance and it crashed after a few minutes of writing and running my 10 line python code (Note: I did not have this issue with VIM as regularly. I could write and test for a hours without issue.)

I’m new to Linux trouble shooting so I’m willing to accept this is a skill issue, but I’ve had stability issues like this with Pop Os a lot recently. It was similarly unstable on my HP Victus with an i5 12th gen and GTX 1650. I was considering switching to Fedora to try Arch, but I do kinda like pop’s vibe.

Any idea what might be the issue? How to check and see the issues?

Is hardware acceleration enabled in Firefox? That might do it.

Otherwise, the other issues I’ve had with things crashing to desktop in Pop!_OS so far were related to igpu and dgpu getting into a slap fight about who was prettier. Doesn’t look like that would apply for the E495 though since it’s igpu only.

Did you install from the intel/amd iso or the nvidia iso?

EDIT: Appears you can disable hardware accel for VS Code as well:

It might be the Nvidia version as I only have a thumb drive with that in my possession. My problem install is on a drive I just swapped with a known good SSD

I made a stock, no Nvidia install media to try on this drive to see if I could replicate the issue.

When you say nothing will open, is it as if the screen is frozen entirely? Like, say, if music or a video was playing that’s still going but the entire desktop is frozen on whatever frame it had at the time?

Have you tried a live cd / iso of a different distro like mint?

This is what happens when I try opening firefox or anything including pop shop, files, etc

“Firefox failed to Launch” and a link to the bin file it’s stored in.

I’m running Nvidia less pop and it hasn’t crashed with the .deb install of VS code and I have videos running on Firefox. I’m gonna see if I can trigger a crash.

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Is it the most accurate stress test? No probably not but this did crash on my previous install.

It hasn’t crashed yet and it’s about a half hour into this run.

Gonna go to bed and check it in the morning. And I’m gonna start recommending cmatrix for trouble shooting if this works lol.