So I have been slowing building up this nice 8 core system and have had no end of trouble getting it to boot some Linux distributions and specifically 64bit Linux of the Fedora and Mandriva varieties. Live disks would throw all kinds of errors and eventually dump to a commandline instead off X Windows.
I was sure it was the Asus blue ray drive or cheap DVD-R media. But it wasn’t.
I won’t go into just how I figured it out finally but I had unknowingly plugged the optical drives into these 2 stand along SATA ports that turned out to be GSATA. What the heck is GSATA???
Apparently GSATA != SATA.
So, I moved the optical drives onto the main group of Intel SATA controller ports and what do you know – all those “bad” DVD’s boot just fine.
I would conservatively estimate this has cost me about 6 hours over the past 2 months so this isn’t an inexpensive discovery. Hopefully this post will save someone else from wasting their time.