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well i put the system back together using the "fixed" board and it ran for while until unplugged it and then it would not come back on. It turns out that pbtn_out# failed again so i flashed the EC and now this board is doing the exact same thing. This is a revision 2 board but i used the firmware files for the original la-g881p (A00). Now I'm convinced that it's all just firmware related
One of the boards has an intel ME issue. It takes about ten seconds to post on a cold boot. I tried to clean the ME section of the dump and the hard drive doesn't detect with a cleared ME. this board has intel boot guard and i toggled with the setting but still no luck
If VCORE is enabled, there must be a communication problem between PCH, BIOS and CPU.
Any of them may be the culprit.
Just in case, check all traces, resistors and capacitors related with VCORE power supply.