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You can identify objects for linking/appending using groups. In the source file, select all the objects and ctrl-G (Object | Group | Create New Group). Go to the groups panel of the object tab and give the group a name. Then save the file.
In the destination file, select link/append, the source file and navigate into the Group folder to select your desired group.
BTW, you can see all your groups by filtering for Groups in the outliner.
It may not be Blender freezing on you. More likely it is your laptop throttling down and that would look the same. The reason that happens is that laptops have a small heat dissipation rate, and when working hard will get hot, and when that happens it slows down the system to cool down. This is the big con of using a laptop as a workstation.