Please upload your crash report to pastebin.com and post a link here.
Please: do not paste your crash report directly here, they are too long for the forum.
questions: where is the InDesign Defaults file? and, most importantly, how can I fix this problem? It's really hard to work w/o a links panel.
If replacing prefs will work (no promises, but sudden flakiness like this is a good candidate), you'll find all you need at Replace Your Preferences
If it doesn't work, post a link to the crash report as John suggests and he can probably give you some insight into what the problem is.
Thanks for all of your help and suggestions. Well, I did have that one crash after the re-install when I tried to launch the links panel. However, since I posted my issue here, guess what? It hasn't happened again. I will bookmark the link on replacing preferences just in case.
and will post the crash report should this happen again thanks!