ended up figuring out the problem myself. replaced the jumpers on the cmos reset pins and flashed the bios. that seemed to do it. i'm just posting it here coz i thought perhaps theres someone out there with a similar problem.
And we appreciate you posting your findings too!
When you say you "replaced" the "jumpers", what do you mean? Jumper don't go bad, unless physically damaged by abuse (stepped on, or hit with a hammer-type forces required). And also, there typically is only 1 jumper, not jumpers.
So did you actually put a different jumper, or jumpers in there? Or do you mean you moved the jumper back where it belonged? I have seen where jumpers were moved to the reset position, then forgotten and left there, forcing a reset every time the system booted. Very frustrating to troubleshoot - then embarrassing when the cause, and simple solution, is discovered.