Summary: a PCI 16x expansion slot took a crap - the one with my vid card in it. so i moved it to the last 16x slot (closest to the CMOS reset button). if that slot goes up, i'll send the board back. i will say that EVGA tech support was good and helped in resolving the problem. the board and EVGA vid card (nvidia gtx 570) were working fine for a solid week - then, this problem occurred.