An application cannot freeze the entire system unless there's something seriously wrong. Whether it's a bad driver, bad RAM or something else, I don't know.
While it may be the CC apps exposing it's not the CC apps causing it.
Thank you all for your insights. I was in the middle of a crisis project and didn't fully have time to explore--just kept rebooting. Yes, I believe that Bob is right, that it was not caused by the Adobe products (nor Windows, nor a conflict between the two). I now believe, after further investigation, that it was a graphics card problem. I also realized that my computer was five years old and likely failing. So I've purchased a new computer and will start afresh!
As Bob says, this sounds a lot like a hardware problem, hard drive or RAM, but I've also seen cases where extremely large files cause problems for ID, particularly on a system with minimum resources. One of the main things that can cause such file bloat is pasting graphics instead of placing (linking).