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What BIOS revision is the board in question? I have experience the exact same problems (random hang on reboot/cold start), which was experienced in BIOS revision 4598, and 5020. System powers on, immediately shuts off, the powers back on "hung" with CPU fan running at maximum RPM... once the board entered this state, the only resolution was to either set jumper to config state, or pull CMOS battery.
Eventually I found that flashing back to 4405 resolved the issue. Alternatively 5112 that was recently released has also proved stable in my case, but the two release in between always exhibit this behavior after a random number of reboots/starts.
Just be wary of the 4598-5112 releases, as the default BCLK and Turbo multipliers tend to be set incorrectly (at least for the i7-920).
Hopefully that will resolve your issue... but this board seems to be very finicky... others have reported similar issues and BIOS did not resolve it. Personally I tested the issue on and off for about a week... so in my case the resolution was either 4405 or 5112, but your mileage may vary.
5020 will also hang (same symptoms as described above) if you set the BCLK to 133MHz, this was explicitly fixed in 5112. 4405 is the most stable revision I have seen to date (and no BCLK/multiplier bug) but later releases reduce boot time by a fair margin, so it is a tradeoff.
If you for some reason decided to go to a earlier release, I highly suggest pulling CMOS to clear everything (or use IFLASH reset options), as I had some really strange behavior back-dating BIOS's during my testing.
Well I have spent 7 hours today and two of them with INTEL support who seem completely unaware of any problems of this nature. I back dated to the BIOS version to one I know works as I have built 3 identical systems over the past 5 months. This version was 4158. I then proceeded to test the others in between and the results are as follows:
5020 did not work
5112 did not work
Each time i did as you suggested and removed the CMOS battery for 2 mins and reinstalled it and allowed it to settle into its surroundings (advice fom INTEL too). and i decided to stick with BIOS 4598 (Nov 2009). I then telephoned the customer with a new delivery time and had some lunch. I then noticed the INTEL network Pro adapter was absent. It never was discovered automatically by Win 7.0 anyway so i wasn't surpirsed and removed it on the assumption that it needed to match BIOS date (i had updated it to teh latest version).
In fact i cannot get it to recognise it has a Pro Adpater at all now and have retired to consider my options. I have another new board, 205 serial numbers on from this one to try but i am not going to do that until i get some sleep because i have had it for today. Unless there is a simple reason/solution to this Pro adapter discovery problem i am going to install the more recent board tommorrow and start again.
Your help as always has been vey valuable. I cannot remember in my frustration whether the last BIOS change was done in a casual way and i followed exactly the remove CMOS battery procedure but hey this should not be necessary on an INTEL supplied product. I am not so sure i am prepared to deliver a system anyway based on this board because even if the newer board supposing it installs correctly has different problems in the future at least i can save face with the customer and tell him it is not the orginal problem board.
Any advice about the Pro adapter? which incidentally had no problem being discovered on previous machines i built albeit with Vista.
Sorry to hear your having so many issues... can't say for sure on the Network Adapter... unless it is disabled in the BIOS (which you've likely validated), the board could just be faulty. Other then that I can only think of trying to put the board into recovery mode, but I don't expect that to resolve your problem.
After all the issues i've had with this board, I am glad it is only in my personal system (and I am very very patient)... I can't imagine having to support a customer who decides to flash the BIOS to gain support (like Gulftown in 5020), and ends up with a door stop.