Problem solved, two main issues:
Make sure you leave the "boot from UEFI" unchecked, as this leads to :
- unknown PCI simple communication controller, in the device manager
- prevents the express install CD to recognize the motherboard
- prevents the Lucid Virtu software to work
- freezes the Microsoft WEI execution
- blocks the execution of the Intel Desktop Utilities
All these problems went away just with unchecking the "boot from UEFI" in BIOS. This is a bit odd, since this is normally required to boot from 2.2+TB HDDs, so people who want to install their OS on this kind of HDDs will lose some important functions. Maybe Intel should look into it for future BIOS releases.
CMOS Checksum error message was due to an corrupted flashing of the board (0057 to 0070), this is strange as well since most of the functions of the board were working, except the fans were running full power and the message at boot. I never saw a BIOS that worked after a corrupted flashing (no idea how that could happen), it either works or not, but at least the message was for some reason. I reflashed the board with the same bios and everything recovered.
Thus I can give an excellent rating to the board despite a few minor issues. Excellent work Intel, a bit more work on the BIOS will make it near perfect product, finally able to compete with the best Taiwanese boards.
Excellent stability, very nice layout, superb fan settings in bios, nice uefi interface, excellent features for the money, simple and classy product.
One more SATA port on board would be useful (the eSATA is shared with the chipset's controller, that leaves only 5 Intel SATA on board).
Voltage setting in the BIOS is not very friendly and a bit odd to use.