VMUNIX gave me the idea that a solution to a different problem might be applicable here. Since the problem only seems to occur on RH9 installations (->2.4.20 kernels), this sounds reasonable.
Try installing 4496 again, but use the -n switch (=do not use the precompiled kernel interface). This solved a similar problem (see the other thread
Just a guess. Thank VMUNIX if it works.