I removed the quiet flag from the grub boot-loader. (found in /etc/grub/menu.lst because its debian)
No more information relating the sudden holdup occurred.
The last bit before the pause (very.very long pause
) is 'cs: IOPort probe xxxx-xxxx' (where xxxx are numbers)
Hitting Ctrl-C to end whatever is causing the problem. works and the boot then continues with: 'Setting parameters of Disk' and 'Settings System Clock'
Any more ideas?