D3 updating setup files taking forever
Before getting into troubleshooting, disconnect as many devices as you can. Forget the motherboard being at fault, it almost certainly isn't.
If your motherboard has built-in graphics support, unplug your graphics card and switch your display to the motherboard's video output instead. Other OS's work fine, that tells you the hardware is ok.
Visit Stack Exchange Based on this, I would conclude the motherboard to be at fault. No matter how I set up the system, this seems to be there.
In addition, either it has stopped booting into safe mode now, or it takes upwards of 2 hours, and I haven't left it running for that long.
If your USB and network card issues on the Ubuntu live CD are intermittent in nature I'd say your motherboard is kicking the bucket.
You don't mention exactly what tests you have performed on the drive, but based on your symptoms, this could very well be caused by bad sectors on your drive.
Especially if you didn't mess around with hardware or drivers just before the problem occured.
Use any bootable-disk (such as Live CD , Hiren Boot Disk, or even Windows installation disk or Win RE) for it. Or download Driver Pack Solutions and let him do it all.What you really need to do is get into the recovery console of windows 7 again, open the command prompt, and run 'chkdsk C: /r' (the drive letter of C: may have changed as you're booting outside of windows, but it should be ok as recovery console usually uses X: as its default root directory.This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours or more to run depending on the size and speed of the hard drive (empty blocks will also be checked.) You can also try SFC /SCANNOW but I don't know how this works in the recovery console (I've only ever needed it in a desktop environment).The GIGABYTE APP Center gives you easy access to a wealth of GIGABYTE apps that help you get the most from your GIGABYTE motherboard.Using a simple, unified user interface, GIGABYTE APP Center allows you to easily launch all GIGABYTE apps installed on your system, check related updates online, and download the latest apps, drivers, and BIOS.