This is to help you all out with the CPU INIT error
Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem:
1) Press and hold the CLR CMOS switch for 30 seconds, release, then leave your machine for 3 hours (this will revert all bios settings to default).
2) (After 3 Hours) Press and release your CLR CMOS switch then press the power button. If your machine doesn't boot, don't stress. Just keep doing it (press CLR CMOS, press power button) your machine will eventually post. It may take up to 60 times - I know it's a load of crap!
3) Once your computer posts, enter BIOS immediately and look for the over-voltage options for your memory. Assuming you have DDR2/3 with a good heat spreader (you should if you are using a Maximus), try setting your memory voltage to 1.9V. This should fix your problem and you shouldn't have any problems in the future. You may have to repeat this process once or twice in a year, but hey - that's life when you are playing in the high-end pool!
The notorious CPU INIT error is caused when your CPU is not receiving enough power to initiate. This is because on most high performance RAM modules, they require a slightly higher level of voltage than most motherboards are defaulted to (mobos will default to a maximum of 1.6V for memory generally) when these particular sticks of RAM require a minumum of 1.9V. When your RAM doesn't receive enough power, it will draw what is required from your CPU's power source. This is the reason your CPU will not initiate (and without a CPU you can't use your machine of course) resulting in the CPU INIT error. This is a huge design flaw in ASUS boards which is quite suprising, considering the boards are designed for enthusiasts.
I owe you a beer. After all my searching on how to fix this problem, it was your suggestion to retry the clr-cmos/power-on steps countless times that finally got my baby to POST. She's running fine now.
I will add a few notes about my experience in hope that it helps someone else:
- Waiting such a long time to clear the cmos was not a luxury I had, and so I waited only 30 seconds holding the button down before I tried booting. I had to repeat this over 20+ times but it did indeed fix my problem.
- I did not use low voltage RAM since I didnt have any, and the stick I did use was 2.1-2.3v and this still worked out for me.