Try the 4GB Patch
to increase the amount of virtual memory that the game (or any 32 bit application) can access in 64 bit versions of Windows.
Did you disable vsync, as well? One person reported that that and XP compatibility mode helped with hanging loading screens when transitioning between areas.
If you run the Developer Mode version of the game, does using the cheat window function to teleport back to Aleroth (check the level name before leaving, or teleport to a character in Aleroth) avoid the crash?Game Loads for ever