I want the IT guy's job too! I put Win7Pro on my Asus mini (with an Atom processor) and it runs just fine with no crashes. I just got an HP Touchsmart with Win7Premium Home and it's been fine too. I'm guessing drivers or hardware issues.
Given that it's a work computer, and knowing what kind of profile crap is on our school computers, is there a chance the IT dudes set something up in the profile settings that conflicts with something else?