I support Dell E6410 laptops for users (XP but moving to W7). Aside from external issues or a user changing a setting or not following SOP (standard operating procedures) I'd estimate more than 90% of the issues are due to hard drive failures.
Fortunately Dell (and likely any BIOS) has boot-up motherboard diagnostics (hit F12 right after the manufacturer's logo appears), and if your machine doesn't have extended diagnostics (ours have a diagnostics partition) you can likely get them from the manufacturer. They test many things including the memory.
As far as #11 to get a Mac - nah. They have the same issues, but harder to diagnose by the non-tech user. Hardware still has issues, but maybe less often. They are built well. (My son got a new MacBook Pro in August and a month or two later the HD crashed (still under the 1 year warranty). Fortunately we had a semi-recent backup, and now he uses Time-Machine regularly. (I do too, about once a week, and so does my wife. We each have our own backup machine.)) On a Mac it's just not BSOD. Some days I hit the power-on button and the thing does nothing. I have to remove the PS (power supply) and the battery, put the battery back in & reconnect the PS to get it to boot. The rest are SW issues but usually just killing a frozen app will let you continue. (You have to dig to find out what went wrong - but that's the same as Windoze.)
BTW, our laptops (200) have never had a memory (RAM) failure. [Next to the HD, keyboards have some or all keys not work, next would be cracked bezels (likely drop-impacts) followed by cracked screens (picked up by lid/screen, closed lid on pen/pencil).]
Finally, make sure you SHUT DOWN, not just reboot. The boot-up from shut down process more completely resets hardware. Reboot may just check the devices are there and do some minor re-initialization. If necessary, shut down and remove all power sources for a few minutes to let any energy in capacitors drain.
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