Had a hard time booting ESX 4 on Asus M3A78-EM motherboard, system was hanging indefinitely during boot device configure process, randomly halting on USB, network, storage, etc.. until pressing any key on keyboard, and then it continued, until next hang..
Interesting note: the same behavior observed when booting OpenSolaris OS (2008.11 and 2009.06) - random hangs on boot device configure until some key press..).
It turns out that it's a BIOS parameter
C1E which has to be disabled to solve this issue,
huge thanks to Postcrash comment on Ultimate ESX Whitebox site
for uncovering this !
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