This board has indeed a strange boot sequence.
The marvell chip looks for connected external drives if they are connected to the E-Sata ports.
I'm not using my computer at the moment but look in the BIOS if you can turn the marvell off if you don't have any external drives.
The "weird codes" are BIOS post codes, they help in case the board kan not boot up , so at which boot stage the problem is located.
The blinking underscore is indeed a strange way.
If it is supposed to hide bios messages, BIOS manufacturers have still no idea how to deal with this.
Cause, a modern OS does not need the BIOS to run.
So, it would be great that the user can switch off the BIOS and by doing that, enable a simple boot loader with minor error trapping.
if the board can not boot , then an automatic reboot with enable BIOS again.
Or switching between full BIOS and simple boot loader via one of the function keys.
And external drives, for those that don't use it, that it can be disabled in the BIOS, well, the marvell should be part of the simple boot loader.
Conclusion : Your board runs fine, the DX58SO is known for a slower boot due too initial load times.
Have you updated the BIOS with the latest?
Checked your drive(s) for errors?
Loaded optimized defaults for BIOS?
I really like this board, I find it boots quickly, and is easy to OC from BIOS.
(It has taken me 4-5 slow months of gradually upgrading, overclocking, setting up RAID to fully exploit all its features.)
Don't know about the codes and why/what they are there for.
When I went to build/assemble I chose what I felt were best of class quality in RAM, PSU etc and haven't been disappointed.
I have a Giga X58 I use as "test bed" and had an eVGA which I pulled.
The latest BIOS and the previous BIOS caused USB problems at boot stage in my case.
Ok, once the OS has been installed not a problem but a big problem when installing an OS that needs keyboard support for setup.
Disable the Marvell E-sata ports in the BIOS, just look for a E-sata section.
Benefit of a few seconds after the marvell chip is disabled.
How about those codes ? focus on errors that are probably pointing at why. I feel no one should be seeing more than 60 seconds.
WHY a system takes minutes is not normal, or universal, but does happen for some.
A few seconds? how about finding a few minutes? "disable Marvel." Well, I've had no problem, haven't disabled, and do have and use the two eSATA ports for backup drives.
As soon as it started to take 'too long' is the time to rollback drivers, go to prior restore point and take some action and find out why.
blaming BIOS may be scapegoat but I doubt it's related. Or caused the delays.
A clean install is likely to cure many problems but I found that doing a system cleanup of temp files including web files (which doesn't seem to speed up page loads anyway on a newer system) fixed a slowup. This can be a problem for the history etc. if you want that. On the other hand this may have happened before a hard drive failed, I can't recall.