After waiting for nearly 36 hours for someone to suggest a next course of action, I decided to try something. I was referring to the dz77gal-70k_TechProdSpec02.pdf document, and thinking that the POST code 12 indicated that the POST was stopping at/just before Starting application processor initialization. As this is much before the checks for keyboard or SATA drives in the POST sequence, I didn't think there was anything wrong with the boot sequence. The description of the Back to BIOS Button intrigued me. I started wondering if that mode will take the POST in a different direction. This morning, I put the MB in the B2B mode & booted. To my surprise, the video came on and I was able to look at the BIOS screens. I just changed the boot sequence to have the SSD first, saved & exited. After releasing the B2B switch & rebooting, everything started working.
Initially, the system refused to get into BIOS even after pressing F2. After restarting a few times without success, I removed power from the PC, waited for a minute & reapplied power. This seems to have fixed that issue & I was able to get into BIOS and verify all settings (mainly the clock, most of my settings are at default for now). So I am writing this on the fixed PC.
Do I get points for answering my own question? My new question is this:
Before I made the change to the boot sequence, the CD/DVD drive was the first drive & the SSD only second. Shouldn't the stupid BIOS have tried the drives in succession to find the SSD with the OS? Why was it getting stuck at wherever it was? Why doesn't Intel provide a LED to indicate issues that can be fixed by entering the Configuration mode? Anyway, unless I see any other issues, I will say the BIOS update was successful.
Chip, I have a system very close to yours; same processor but the 75K board. This being my first build, I decided that installing the latest BIOS would be a good idea. Unfortunately, I had the same results as you. On booting after the upgrade, I could get no further than Post Code 12. After several days, having tried everything that I and friends could think of, I was at the point of pulling the board out and replacing it. I tried your solution and it worked!!!
I just wanted to say thank you for the insight and most of all for posting it on the WEB site after getting a successful result. You saved me a lot of grief!!
Thank you much!!!
I am glad it worked for you Jay. I have not had other any issues after the successful update and it seems to work with these particular symptoms, so I am changing the status of this question to Assumed Answered.
If an Intel insider does look at these questions, I hope they post the explanation as to why it happens. If the same BIOS works for many boards, don't they testy it for all basic combinations?