Just brought the new system home and everything is fine. The cause of all of this angst? The Zero Insertion Force CPU mount is not totally zero insertion force. The service technician told me that the CPU was slightly off on one side and that this was the source of all of my troubles. He told me that he often applies a slight amount of pressure on each corner of the chip to ensure that it is seated properly.
Thankfully, the unit is healthy and I have begun the journey of rebuilding the machine. My original estimate of taking a day to get the machine back in service is obviously too optimistic. I should be pretty much back in play after two days.
I also have a session tomorrow and I can return to my passion of recording audio as opposed to taming the technology.
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