(rant) Argh moments dealing with ASUS P8Z77-M
The BIOS version that was on there (1206 I think, 12xx definitely), apparently has a bug in where if one presses the Delete key to enter the BIOS nothing happens and the machine continues to boot.
The only definite exception is the first boot immediately after a CMOS reset where it says "New CPU detected, press F1 to enter BIOS", though I did manage once to enter the BIOS otherwise.
I then tried to get into the BIOS flashing program through the BIOS immediately after a CMOS reset, but then it just hung on a blank screen.
I then tried to use the Windows ASUS update program but it wouldn't install from either the download or the CD directly (the Windows Installer progress bar would momentarily appear, disappear, then nothing as if the program had ended).
I then installed ASUS AI Suite II with just the update program and it finally installed. Then the 'download BIOS file from Internet' option just sat there "connecting to server", so I updated from the BIOS file I had already downloaded.
Nothing quite like a good half hour to an hour wasted doing something that really ought to have been noticed by ASUS's QA before the product was shipped.
After the update, I can now get into the BIOS when I want to.