First build, BIOS loads extremely slow, any suggestions?

Hello everyone. I've been working on my first build for a couple of weeks now and I need some advice because I'm at the end of my rope. I'll try to explain everything that happened to this best of my ability. Basically I initially built it with a liquid cooling system attached. The pump was bad and after a few mishaps, decided to go with air cooling. (No leaks or damage). So yesterday I recieved the CPU fan, installed it and tried booting up.

It POSTS instantaneoulsy, but the BIOS intialization is incredibly slow. I mean it crawls. One letter at a time C--P---U S--P--E---E---D 3--.--0---M--H--Z. One letter at a time. It takes about a half an hour to find all the attached devices (it finds everything) then finally it gets to the main BIOS screen. I've optimized the defaults, set the CPU fan to manual (it has a manual control). When I'm done and I hit F10 to save changes, it just doesn't even look to the CD-ROM to boot, it just starts over it's initialization again, takes another half hour, then I'm back to the main BIOS screen. Rinse, Repeat.

The really frustrating thing is that when I still had the liquid cooling installed, and I booted up, it flew through the initialization with all the same hardware attached, so I know it can do it, but now I'm lost. I also checked the CPU temp with the new fan installed and it's running at 39C, which is good so I know I'm not over heating. Has anyone had this experience? Here are the specs:

Motherboard: Nvidia 790i
Processor: Intel Quad Core Q9650
RAM: 8GB DDR3
Video Card: Nvidia GTX 280
Power Supply: 1000 watts
Sound Card: Creative SB X-treme gamer X-Fi

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
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More about first build bios loads extremely slow suggestions
  1. "C--P---U S--P--E---E---D 3--.--0---M--H--Z" would seem to imply that you are running at 3.0 MHz., not 3.0 GHz. Looks like you accidently set your FSB lower.
    What is your FSB set to?
  2. sorry I meant GHz, FSB is 1333 Mhz.
  3. Video card? You said it posts "instantaneoulsy" (implies CPU and motherboard are working efficiently), but it's putting characters on the screen at a crawl. Possible to try another video card?
  4. try reseating the cpu .

    make sure the socket is free of all the excess thermal compound you spread every where
  5. Also, what USB devices are connected?
  6. For USB just the keyboard and mouse, I don't have a PS/2 keyboard or mouse. I'm going to strip it down to just the video card and one RAM stick and then add things piece by piece to see what's hanging it up. If the video card doesn't work when it's down to nothing, then I'll try a different card. If that doesn't work I guess I might have to reseat the CPU, hoping to avoid that if possible, it was a huge pain to get that CPU fan on.
  7. That's why, contrary to Intel instructions, I recommend installing the heatsink before you install the mtherboard in the case.
  8. Well I had to take off the Liquid cooling system, so while I had everything apart, I installed the CPU fan, however there were some large heatsinks on the motherboard itself and I had to remove one in order to install the fan. Anyhow, just as an update, I stripped this machine down to the video card and one RAM stick and added each piece one by one booting up after each piece. It worked and the machine absolutely flies now. So to all the inexperienced guys like me, if you build it and you think you did it right, but it's not working. Strip it down and start over piece by piece.
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