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total linux noob here. done a lot of reading but first attempt to use. lots of windows experience (gasp). this may be a question for a kde board.
installed slack 9.1 on a tertiary drive and was able to get x configured via xf86config, sound configured via alsaconf, and get automount of my ntfs drives working. relevant hardware is athlon xp2400, 1gb ram, gigabyte gatvt600-l (has onboard sound), g4 ti4600.
on to the problem. alsoconf was able to get sound working and i had no problems with it in windowmaker. however, in checking out the default kde, i get a static-like sound over other sounds during x start up and whenever windows open/close. mp3s sound fine using xmms as long as i'm not opening/closing other windows.
not really knowing kde, i peaked around and saw a sound config system utility in the menu tree called sound system. i perused through the sound options and was surprised full duplex option was not enabled, so i selected it, hit apply, and tried to close the window -- it wouldn't close. after many minutes i was forced to kill it and the machine hung during logout. i was eventually forced to hard boot.
funny thing is, sound now works flawlessly in kde but if i try to get back into control panel or sound system in kde panels, they don't work and the system hangs during logout. then i'm forced to hard reboot.
if someone can help me out or point me to the right board that would be great.
i must preface this with the disclaimer that i am unable to help you fix your problem. i don't use kde, and don't know how to tweak it. however, general knowledge that might help point you in the right direction is that kde uses what's called a sound daemon-- a background program that controls the sound. this is necessary if more than one program needs to access soundcard at one time--say, you get a message in gAIM while listening to something in xmms. kde uses a daemon called aRts, while gnome uses esd. (or, if you're like me, doesn't use anything, 'cause you think that sound daemons screw up more than they help ) that's why you had no problems with sound in windowmaker-- windowmaker doesn't use a sound daemon. i suspect your problem is somehow related to aRts's configuration being screwed up in one way or another. lots of apps require special plugins to play nice with aRts (xmms, for one). you might need something to make alsa and aRts get along. though i'm just shooting into the air here. i'm sure someone with kde experience might be able to give you more specific help. if not, i hope this at least gives you a few more terms to use in your googling.
actually, thinking about it for a second or two, your problem might not be sound related at all, since the lowest common denominator is control panel failing. is it failing when doing stuff unrelated to sound? also, are you sure that EVERYTHING is locking up? (does hitting numlock make the light go on and off or not? maybe just X is getting screwed up-- can you ctl-alt-backspace to kill the xserver and drop yourself back at a command line?) complete lockups in linux are rare, and usually indicative of something more serious being wrong. write back with more info, you've piqued my interest now
last post, i promise: this gigabyte motherboard wouldn't happen to be based on the nVidia nForce2 chipset, would it? i have a mobo based on that chipset, and i had horrible issues with hard lockups at seemingly random times. evidently the apic (not acpi) for that chip is flaky about assigning irqs correctly. i disabled apic in the kernel (and in bios, for that matter) and the problem went away. i know i've gotten pretty far off track from your initial post, but it might be something to keep in the back of your mind.
while still in kde, i can still use other programs with no problems, including listen to cds, mps, surf, gimp, gaim, etc. even after i've tried to reconfigure sound. only the sound system panel and the sound system panel w/i the control center fail to respond. eventually the sound system panel will just fail and close on its own. the control center just stays hung until i kill it.
the logout hangs at a black screen and i can never get back to a prompt. numlock still responds.
interesting side effect is i cannot just soft reboot at these hangs. if i try, my usb keyboard fails to respond. by hard reboot, i mean power off/unplug/wait 20 seconds/replug/power on...very sucky.
btw, i had no problems starting x and getting back to the prompt (or with my usb keyboard on restarts) before i tinkered with that kde sound system panel so i'm sure there is a kde file to be edited somewhere.
i've checked the /etc/modules.conf file and i don't see any obvious changes to the alsaconf using eyeball.mk1 and memory.mk1.