may have your answer:
actually there is a note on asus's site regarding the mode of the sata controller. It must not be set to ahci mode for a vista install.
There is no AHCI option in this BIOS. I don't understand why. Here's my follow-up post from QT3 with my solution (but you're right - this sure as hell felt like an AHCI issue since I had this same problem when trying to run install AHCI on my own computer a year ago).
Hadn't been able to come back here for a bit, but I got it working and here's how it happened.
#1 - Installed Vista upgrade with no SN on old IDE drive with all extra devices disabled.
#2 - Got it set and then "upgraded" the Vista's copy of Vista.
#3 - Got all Vista updates completed.
#4 - Used Ghost to copy the image to the new 500 Gig SATA-3 disk.
#5 - Reboot failed due to weird Vista boot sector.
#6 - Booted to Vista installation DVD and then choose repair installation. It fixed the boot sector and quickly rebooted.
#7 - Re-enabled everything and all was good until adding the second piece of RAM to run as dual channel. Vista lock-up in 5 seconds.
#8 - Checked each RAM module individually, and then as non dual channel and worked great.
# 9 - Went to Newegg and found angry people fuming about BIOS issues with this v901 (latest shipping) mobo. Updated to latest beta BIOS and dual channel works great.
Last issue I have to resolve is the temps. One core is 39C and the other core is 49C under moderate load. This seems unacceptable considering it's not OC'ed and is 45nm. After all, my own computer is running a 35% OC (~3.2Gig) and it maxes out 45C. If I post some pics will you tell me if you think I applied the thermal paste evenly enough? Using Arctic Cooling MX-2 and a Zerotherm all aluminum 8 heatpipe heatsink.