If I had to take apart a laptop to fix a freezing problem, what should I mess with?
run windows repair tool on it. disassembly NOT recommended -- this is likely a software problem
With no clues what "compaq" model laptop from 2011 (possibly) and what operating system, and what was running when it freezes, not able to guess accurately.
May be,you dso not need to take it apart. Here are a few fixes that have helped other users resolve their ‘Windows 10 freezes randomly’ problem. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down the list until you find the one that works for you. Update your drivers Clear your computer’s temp files Run a memory check Adjust your virtual memory Run a disk check Run System File Checker Disable C-States in BIOS Read more.....
Open up the hard drive and flip the platters over. That is usually the first thing I do for my customers