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Question MSI Z170A GAMING M5 problem. Help! EDIT: Assuming faulty board, ordering new one.

Jul 8, 2020
I desperately need help. I have a MSI Z170A GAMING M5 motherboard that has been sitting new in its box for roughly 4 years. I decided to use it to put together a new system for my youngest son. Specs are as follows:
motherboard: MSI Z170A GAMING M5
RAM: GSKILL Ripjaw 4 16 gb kit (F4-3000C15Q-16RR) 4x 4gb sticks. (verified compatible with kabylake and skylake processors and this motherboard specifically)
video: EVGA GEFORCE 740 SC (currently not installed, using onboard video while troubleshooting)
Processor: Pentium Celeron G3900 at 2.8 GHZ (will upgrade to I5-7400@3GHZ once bios can be flashed)
BIOS: E7977IMS.130 (bios set is from 2015, need to flash to support installation of the above I5 processor)
Cooler: cooler master EVO 212
Aftermarket Fan hub (currently not connected)

I have to clear the CMOS everytime I boot the system. System POSTs to the "press F1 to enter setup or F2 to continue." I am able to enter the bios setup at that point. Once I exit the bios the system reboots to a black screen and the motherboard LED shows an error "19" (early initialization error). If I reboot without clearing the CMOS, the issue recurs. Once I clear the CMOS, we get POST and back to the F1, F2 screen. If I try to M-Flash from the bios, system reboots and error 19 loop occurs. What am I doing wrong here?

Troubleshooting done:
  1. boot with 1 stick of ram in the DIMM 1 slot, then the DIMM 2 slot, then the DIMM 3 slot, then the DIMM 4 slot.
  2. bare boot with just keyboard, processor, cooler and motherboard hooked up.
  3. boot in slow boot mode and regular boot.
  4. remove and reinstall cooler and processor.
  5. verify all connections.
  6. boot with ram in DIMM 3 and 4. Bump up DRAM voltage in BIOS by +.05 .
  7. all of the above in various combinations.
  8. inspect the motherboard for damage. none noted.
  9. Replace the CMOS battery.
  10. Scour the internet (including here) for any possible clues.
  11. Email and call MSI. (Politely told the motherboard is out of warranty and they are unable to assist)
I am at a loss here to figure out what is going on. Especially as the motherboard has been in its factory box for its entire life!!!
Please Obi Wan.....you're my only hope....

EDIT: No taker's eh? That's ok. At this point I am assuming a fragged board. Just ordered an Asus z270-P board.
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