tiny voices said:
Is the CPU seated correctly with no bent pins?
We have a list for this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-post-boot-video-problems
Its long and thorough.
I have never loved anyone more... in my frustration and newbieness I mistakenly thought i did step 2 but actually tied it up w/ my other unused cables. I am now at the uefi bios config screen and couldn't be happier.
Ahhh, seriously if i would have just taken a moment to double check everything from square one i never would have needed to post this. anyways, if anything else happens ill let you guys know!
ahh i feel so stupid, and i know this post barely makes sense... but i'm so elated i can barely type (legitimately high on the fact that my mobo isn't just doa)