MSI A75IA-E35, Stuck in boot loop, no post

Today I installed Manjaro on a ITX build, as I have dozen dozens of times before, only it didn't work (freezing at initialising ramdisk).
I couldn't work it out, so I redownload the ISO, prepare the USB again, and re-install. Only now it is in a constant reboot loop.
Powers on for about 1.5 seconds, BIOS doesn't post, reboots, again and again.
I have reset the CMOS, and after that it gives the option to *Press F1 for SETUP, *Press F2 to continue. Taking either option just goes back to the reboot loop.
I tried removing GPU, and reseating RAM. No difference.

Is this motherboard dead? Why would installing linux mess up the CMOS?
It looks like mini ITX FM2 boards are a thing of the past too.

Remove teh mobo battery fro 2 mins

Boot from a live disc of any linux distro and use gparted to completely reformat the disc

Reinstall distro of your choice

If you are unable to do either without the boot loop - disconnect your hdd and try to boot into bios. Update your BIOS and if an update is not avaialble at least try to reinstall the current BIOS

I guess it's not the motherboard. Removing the HDD and trying to boot, straight to the BIOS with no problem. The HDD must be screwed. I'll buy a new one and see how it goes.