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^ it may not help you now but in the futre try rendering an image sequence rathr then a video. Tht way if the render fails you still have all the frames it has rendered and you can just render the remaining frames. Then you can just use media composer to compress the images for distribution.
As for playback, im guessing thats your laptop mainly. Im guessing you dont have a GPU supported by the mercury playback engine. If you think you do hve a card that should work, go to the settings and ensure that the card is selected to enable mercury playback.
Also somthing thats worth doing is working with sequencial saves. That way if one of your files becomes corrupted you can always go bck and go from that save.
There are quite a few tools to automate that though. I work in 3d so everything I render is in sequences. When you have say 10 layers render for one scene with say 3 camera angles, you find ways to quickly work with renaming image sequences.
You could always render with AE if you are struggling with image sequence naming conventions from PP, AE is very strong with sequences.