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You should of been able to get your sound working by loading the package
I don't believe there is anything wrong with your sound card. The problem is the linux startup is being brain dead, and loading two drivers for the sound card, you can see that by the two modules in the module list your posted,
snd_intel8x0 34952 0
snd_ac97_codec 65188 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm 98148 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_timer 25380 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 11460 2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
gameport 4704 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_mpu401_uart 7968 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_rawmidi 24704 1 snd_mpu401_uart
snd_seq_device 8200 1 snd_rawmidi
snd 54692 7 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device
i810_audio 33844 0
ac97_codec 18956 1 i810_audio
soundcore 10336 2 snd,i810_audio
the "snd_intel8x0" is the *NEW* module for ALSA sound drivers. And the "i810_audio" is the *OLD* OSS sound drivers (ARG!!) Until you load the alsa-base linux will load both drivers, so your sound wouldn't work.
Good luck with that, it worked really well for me. I was impressed that the sound on a 566mhz system sounded that good with onboard sound!
Why do you want to do that, the alsa-base is supposed to fix your sound problem ?
There are a few ways to make it not run alsa at boot. You can just purge the package (this is kinda extreme, it will delete all files with the package, but that way you will be sure it will not run at boot)
dpkg --purge alsa-base
or you could, the "quick & dirty way" edit the script in /etc/init.d/alsa, and add the exit command at the begining of the script. That will leave the script there, but every time it is run, it will just exit (as long as you put the exit before any other commands) before it does anything. That is kinda a temp/simple way to disable it.
You can also user update-rc.d, you will have to look at the man page on how that works, and have it not run on run at any run levels.
If I know why you don't want it to run, I can give a better answer.