The symptoms you are describing usually happen with a remote testing server where it needs to constantly connect to a remote mySQL server.
using a local testing server instead should clear the issue.
see the learning resources page for details on configuring a local testing server.
WOOT! This seems to have solved the issue with the lock up however..
I now have a new problem caused by the test database on my windows box. Case sensitivity!
Now that i'm using a test server and test database I need to export my tables from my Linux server hosted by GoDaddy to my local test server on my win7 box. I installed the test server as per your instructions but all my tables have lower case names now where the have caps in places on the Linux server.
Question: Is there any way to tell the new test database that it needs to keep case sensitivity on table names?