I just finished installing Arch (my following problem exists in Fedora also). Basically any time I enable and use the Realtek 8188ce WIFI card the system freezes completely. If I load the rtl8192ce module disabling powersaving completely then it works fine (apart from the obvious power drain). Does anyone have any experience with this issue?
Try installing the card in a different slot. Use compressed air to thouroughly clean out the inner case and motherboard.
Also, make sure the card is fully seated and the screw is tight.
If that doesn't work, get another wireless card. First, see if the problem comes back with no wireless card installed.
I'd suggest replacing the power supply as well, preferably with a more powerful one.
Somehow, your voltage is unstable or there is not enough power to run everything.
May I suggest you take a look at:
The above links are general discussions relating to AUR and the Realtek linux driver for the card you have specified (specific to Arch Linux).
While not all of the information addresses your problem, there is a large amount of interesting related information that may be of interest/use in this case.
There are some specific references to power saving modes across the threads specified.
If nothing else it might give you a few more pointers to resolving your problem.
The Arch links are interesting, but I like the "TFE" method.
Try out some other distro's live media to see if the problem. One of the links said Arch was misbehaving while Ubuntu wasn't.
Mepis and Mint have strong hardware support. Usually the more user friendly distros have more and better hardware support. So do popular distros. Heck, get a top 10 list & some blank DVDs and burn away.
If you like less user friendly distros, see what slackware or debian does.
You could also try to be a little different. Try PC-BSD (friendly configuration of FreeBSD) or FreeBSD which needs no introduction, or even Net BSD and Open BSD.
In general with Linux, you can get a machine up and running much faster by distro hopping then by trouble shooting glitches in any one distro. You can easily find yourself faced with rewriting drivers or God knows what else.
There's always more fish in the sea.
Unetbootin can make the live media images work on USB flash drives.
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