Hey Sin Thank you. Should I disable the ports I'm not using, like that Atheros port and the two Wifi connections? I realized I was using the non-Intel port, so I shut down my system, unplugged the router and modem, let them sit for a while, then plugged the Ethernet cable to the Intel port and turned on the modem and router. Only when those were active a while did I turn on the computer. Now, I don't seem to be having any issues, and I've done some large downloads.
Now, the audio always works as intended. IIRC the first time the audio glitched was when I used a USB headset. For some reason that made the audio output disappear, and when I put in headphones to the audio jack, my motherboard wouldn't recognize that. But this has been a pretty puzzling experience too. And I found out just now that TW's cable was buggy and crashing since 12:35 pm Saturday, which was when I started accessing the Internet. So there are a lot of odd little things that sum to a big mess.
I can easily RMA this board just to be on the safe side and do the initial POST outside, and after all of this, I really do want to be on the safe side. This Mobo did a successful POST this way. It was the Internet and Audio issue that was off. But I can do it again just to see if it will POST before I send it back and replace it. I know when I installed the Hydro that I used two washers so the posts would be tight. Without them the backplate was a little wobbly, but I didn't tighten the screws super hard either, so I don't think that would have caused a short, and that's the only thing I can think of that I did that might be considered *different?* But one of the OCN gods/goddesses could look at my build and in seconds tell me *Oh man. Look at this!* hehe. I'm not even near to that point of knowledge yet.
Anymore thoughts or suggestions? You and Blyss have helped me so much. I thank you very much, and I greatly appreciate all of your time and energy helping me with my issues. That so close so far feeling really is beyond exasperating lol. But I'm learning how to read a motherboard manual and now know where things are a lot better than before, such as where the Intel Ethernet port is haha. And I had to look up NIC to find it meant Network Interface Card. All good stuff! I wish there were OCN meetups in cities It'd be great to get together with other builders and tech lovers!