System instability - possible video problem?

I have a 17" Intel iMac w/ 2GB RAM and 256MB of video ram. Lately, the system has become extremely unstable. It'll lock up completely to the point where I have to hold down the power button to force a shutdown. Sometimes, when the system isn't locked up, it still won't shutdown or reboot. It'll get to the point where the Finder shuts down and all I'm left with is the desktop wallpaper, but it'll just hang there until I force a shutdown with the power button. I have to force a shutdown and reboot 3-4 times a day. The complete lockup occurs most frequently when trying to view video files (video podcasts either downloaded through iTunes or with Democracy.) However, even if I never attempt to play a video, the system still won't shut down or restart normally (using Shutdown... or Restart... in the Apple menu.) Also, one time (only once so far), when the system froze, I got a bunch of weird squiggly lines all over the screen, completely obscuring what was on the screen.
I've tried everything I can think of. I've run all the normal scripts (daily, weekly, monthly), I've verified and repaired permissions, cleared all caches (including the system and kernel caches - using Onyx), and done complete diagnostics with Tech Tool Pro. Nothing has helped, and nothing seems to be wrong (according to Tech Tool Pro.)
Any ideas? The system has become mostly unusable...

Have you tried swapping RAM modules? I assume you have 2x1GB SODIMM installed. You could take one of them out, try it, then if it still does it, take that one out, and put the other back in. If it still does it then its not the RAM, or I'd find it hard to believe that 2 sticks of RAM went bad.
If you bought 3rd party RAM, take that RAM out first and leave the Apple RAM in. Bad RAM modules can make a Mac to funky things.

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    Gerry Hampson | Twitter:

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