Hey guys, I'm really sorry I don't know which other forum to post this in, but this is really a serious problem, and I don't want anyone else to be caught off guard.
The TL;DR version of this is: IF YOU PURCHASE MOTHERBOARD FROM ANY RETAIL STORE, open it up in front of an employee, general manager, etc. Inspect the board for ANY defects. Look for bent pins, check the serial number, look for scratches, look for ANY SIGN of tampering with the hardware
Chalk this one up to experience; I should have known better. **** Micro Center and their scams. I'm only ordering from Newegg, even if a new CPU / motherboard costs an extra hundred dollars. In the long run, it'll save me money.
Below text copied from my resellerratings.com review.http://www.resellerratings.com/store/view/Micro_Center/review/676448#comment676448
Micro Center has scammed me for an Asus motherboard, the P8P67-PRO. I went to Micro Center to purchase a new Intel Sandy Bridge CPU that was just released on 1/9/11, and a new motherboard to go with it. On recommendation from a friend of mine, I went to Micro Center because they had a pretty decent discount on the new processors, as well as package deals with a motherboard. I went ahead and got the Intel Core i5-2500K from them, and the Asus P8P67-PRO motherboard, because it has the Intel Gigabit NIC on it rather than the Realtek one on the non-PRO version. I didn't go for the Deluxe Edition because it cost a lot more and I didn't really need the extra features.
So Micro Center sold me the motherboard and CPU, and I wrestled with getting it to work in my computer for a LONG time (at least 6 hours). The issue was that a red light "CPU LED" kept coming on as soon as I would try to boot the system. I wouldn't get any video signal from the system, and the only indication I had that the system was on, was that the fans came on. Since I'm a computer guy, I know my troubleshooting stuff. I disconnected everything I could from the system, except the bare essentials. I even reseated the CPU, memory (even tried individual sticks), and ATX power connectors. Nothing worked ... same result every time. I also removed the motherboard from the case and tried to run it, in case the computer case was shorting it somehow (read this suggestion via Google). Still nothing.
So finally on Monday I took back the CPU and motherboard and asked for a replacement. The sales guy didn't have any of the "PRO" motherboards in stock, so I agreed to split the cost with the store, for a Deluxe edition, even though I didn't really want to pay the extra money for the unnecessary features. I had to run home while Micro Center handled the exchange to get my wallet, because I had forgotten it at home. On the way to the store, I didn't think I'd need it either, since I originally just wanted to do a flat exchange. The manager promised me that they'd have a solution to my problem by the time I got back, and do the exchange for the Deluxe board.
So I got back to the store with my wallet, ready to exchange that board and pay for the Deluxe, but to my horror, the store manager refused to perform the exchange on the grounds that the motherboard serial number didn't match the serial number on the box! I called for the general manager and while I was waiting for him, the Westmont, IL police department also. By the time Kevin got to me, the police had arrived. I explained the situation to them and they said that they couldn't do anything - it was my word against the general manager's word.
Additionally, my Asus board did not have the CPU socket plastic cover that's supposed to be on all new motherboards. Asus explicitly states in the manual that if that cover is not present, they will NOT honor the manufacturer's warranty. On top of THAT, Micro Center claimed that my board had a bent pin - NOT SURPRISING considering that the board has obviously been tampered with! I'm out of luck with both the retailer AND the manufacturer.
They REALLY need to put seals on motherboard boxes, and if they don't, then they NEED to perform some sort of sanity check at the register, AT THE TIME OF SALE. I'm now holding a $200 paperweight, and some employee at Micro Center is most likely gloating that he got a "free" replacement.
Thanks for your time and consideration to my situation.