Audio settings are not causing the problem. It seems to be a BIOS setting issue. My best recommendation is set the BIOS as default. Go to the BIOS, press F9 then yes, press F10 then yes.
I beg to differ. I set the defaults as you suggested. It worked fine. Then I unchecked the box for "Audio". I saved the change and restarted. The BIOS hung with the initial screen "Intel Inside" and did not show the function key menu. Nothing worked, not even ctrl-alt-del. Restarting didn't help. Still hung.
Only the back-to--BIOS button allowed me to get into the BIOS. I checked the box for "Audio" and I was back to normal.
This exercise was not in vain though. While restoring my BIOS settings after setting the defaults, I noticed the box for "Startup sounds". Unchecking that cured the LOUD Intel jingle, so now I'm happy.