I've used nomodeset in the past when a CD/DVD refused to boot and brought up a blank screen, my DVD boots just fine but decided to give it a try anyway. Unfortunately it made no difference. I know it is not faulty hardware. I used the same system to install Mint 13 today with no problems.
Just for clarity it freezes after partitioning the hard drive and during the file copy stage. The progress bar reaches just a fraction past the third full stop of the "Copying files..." prompt.
The keyboard and mouse are locked up so I can't get to a command prompt although the NUM lock still works.
ALT+SysRq R,S,E,I,U,B does nothing either.