Klaus you know me all too well. :-)
I've verified that the MOBO settings are on 'default'. There are no conflicts and no real audio adjustments that I can make. I always run with PNP OS = OFF so that's not an issue either.
I have no add-in cards so that can't be it.
I have determined that all soundcard and ac97 modules load fine and that the system only locks when I attempt to load i810_audio.o
By all visual cues, it should work just fine.