Thanks for the help everyone! I will try these suggestions and report back tomorrow. I really hope its not the motherboard. Not because I'm out of my warranty period, but because I'm a total idiot and redoing everything would make me want to jump off a bridge!
Injector: Are you telling me to (a) create this disk on a different computer, then boot with the problem drive or (b) attempt to create the disk using the faulty drive on the working computer (my desktop which it always works with).