Originally Posted by setherd
well.... what did you do?
Sorry, I should have stated in case someone else runs into it.
Since the only components I had installed were CPU, RAM, 2xHDD, and an optical drive I unhooked or uninstalled everything except 1 stick of ram and the HDD I had already installed vista on. It booted up from there no prob, and did so again after a reboot without clearing the CMOS.
Upon reboot I got a prompt screen asking about AHCI... I enabled it (not realizing at the time that because I had already installed Windows in IDE mode this would cause problems). I also saw (for the first time) that the board was recognizing my ram as SINGLE CHANNEL 64bit. I added the optical, and a second stick of ram, stopping the system at the BIOS level (since the hangups had been before that point previously). I repeated the steps adding a second DIMM, and then the third and fourth in one step since the system had recognized the first two together as DUAL CHANNEL 128bit. Then I tried to boot into Windows. I got a blue screen...
Thinking it was the RAM, I pulled out 3 DIMMs and tried again... same problem. I thought about it, realized I had allowed the BIOS to enable AHCI, and manually turned it off in the BIOS. The system booted into Windows without a hitch. I reinstalled all DIMMS, and the second HDD. Now everything runs smoothly.
I'm still not exactly sure why the system hung in the first place, but I can only assume it has something to do with the ram. Is it possible that the system did not recognize the four DIMMs as two sets of dual channel ram when simultaneously installed? Even if this is the case, why would it hang before the BIOS only on a reset?