Computer freezing in Windows 8, but not in Safe Mode

Hey everybody, this is an update of an older issue that wasn't fixed previously.
Here's my stuff:
Processor: Intel I7-3770
MB: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Ram: G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)
GPU: NVidia GTX 570 HD
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
HDDs: 128 GB Samsung SSD (OS) + 256 GB OCZ Agility 5 SSD
OS: Windows 8 Pro

I was getting complete random freezes in Windows 8, usually when the computer was just sitting idle on screensaver after around 24-48 hours of uptime, sometimes less. No BSOD, nothing in the event logs. Basically just a lockup and I'd hit reset and nothing would happen so I'd have to hold down power to shut it down.

I RMAed the MB once because I thought it was an issue with that but after Asus "repaired" it the issue persisted.

After a while I put it in Windows 8 Safe Mode and the freezing seems to have been gone completely (I've had four days of uptime with none of the random freezing, knock on wood). I have done several clean installs and the freezing still persists if not in safe mode. There is no BSOD or error report in the logs, just a total lockup, sometimes even the reset button won't register for a few seconds after pressing it.

This is more of a Windows 8 Safe Mode Question: Does Safe Mode working mean I can rule out a hardware failure? I'm assuming this means I'm having driver issues (since that's how I remember Safe Mode working but it's been a while). I ask because I'm uncertain whether I should pursue an RMA on the Motherboard (as I originally thought that was at fault) or leave it be. I'm hoping this means I can eliminate hardware failure but I'm uncertain at this point.

Any and all information on Windows 8 Safe Mode would be appreciated. Thanks for any responses in advance. This has been going on for two months and I'm ready to get it resolved.
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  1. I just realized I might have posted this in the wrong forum, and as such I apologize. If it could be moved to the correct one that would be great.
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