Problem: Windows is crashing on startup, Windows logo loads, full animation. Then "hangs". Animation stops, keyboard still functional. (Have to restart regardless).
Safe-mode: works fine.
Safe-mode with networking: works fine.
Windows repair tools and recovery services: works fine.
So pretty much I have ruled out processor, RAM, HDDs, motherboard. You can disagree, of course.
I did some troubleshooting on my own. I am 'pretty sure' that the video drivers are the problem.
Video card: Nvidia Geforce GTX 570
Going into Device Manager and disabling or uninstalling the relevant video drivers and Nvidia audio codecs will allow me to boot successfully to regular Windows 7.
As soon as I attempt to re-install new drivers, I am back to step one.