Cheers for the replies guys, I appreciate the help and advice.
Originally Posted by Redwoodz
Turn off, unplug, and take out cmos battery. Hold the power button down for 10 secs. Unplug all usb sticks and use only 1 stick RAM. See if it boots at default bios settings.
tried this last night, removed the battery and unplugged. it didn't really make a difference although I managed to score some new usb drives and two of them seem to at least semi-work with the USB bios flashback.
Basically, after trying the battery removal trick, the next day I formatted a new sandisk usb drive I bought, put on a bios, inserted it into the correct slot and pressed the button. This time it does actually flash on and off more than 3 times, but the 1st time I tried it, it just flashed on and off continuously for about an hour or two before staying solid blue as if it failed.
I tried afterwords with the same usb drive but it wouldnt even initiate the bios flashback. Now when I boot with any combination I get Q code - 8. I also got new ddr4 today and tried that in the board, but still getting Q -code 8.
I tried removing the power to the board completely again and that managed to get the bios flashback button to work with that same sandisk drive, but when i tried it it's just flashing continuously again, as I type this it's still flashing.
It seems to be that I might have somehow broken the board or bricked the bios chip, I suspect that means I am in for a hefty new board replacement
as i dont have a rework station to solder a new bios chip onto the board.