Figured it out. I had my roms in separate subfolders by company, and toggling between subfolders is the cause of the crashes/garbled screen. Putting all the roms in one folder fixed it. Just sucks to have to page through 1,000+ random roms.
Also - the rom info/screenshot viewer option locks up the entire console when trying to start a game. The snapshots did display in the rom viewer though. But once you try to start a game it locks up.