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alsaconf locks up my system

I'm running a A8N32-SLI Deluxe, with dual core amd64.  My kernel
is 2.6.16-1-amd64-k8-smp.  I also run kernel  With either
kernel, I have no audio.  I used to have audio until about a week
ago, after running apt-get upgrade.  I'm running the 64 bit dist,
unstable.  When trying to run XMMS or any other audio or video
player, I get no audio.  XMMS tells me it couldn't open audio, and
request I check soundcard configured, correct output plugin selected,
and no other program is blocking the soundcard.

In the past, I could get past this problem by re-running alsaconf.
Now however, alsaconf never completes before my X system freezes
up.  I can still access my system from another machine using ssh,
but all output to the screen is frozen, and the keyboard is unresponsive. The mouse pointer still moves across
the screen, but nothing responds.

Has anyone else had this problem, and can anyone offer hints or
suggestions as to the cause and cure?

Thanks much,

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