My laptop becomes mute. I cannot use AC97 sounds anymore. Someone decided to broke this forever? The bug can be fixed before 2.6.13, 2.6.14, ...
I wrote the wrong title.
"kernel 2.6.11.x to 2.6.12-rc3 broke alsa" was the right one.
Did you attempt to use alsamixer to unmute your sound card?
I have my alsamixer well configured. I'm using linux 2.6.10 and alsa works.
Did you remember to upgrade your userspace alsa-lib also? For some reason (at least for me) the 1.0.9-rc2 ALSA that's in the 2.6.12-rc2 and -rc3 kernels doesn't play nicely with the 1.0.8 userspace libs. I'm using the via82xx driver for my onboard card, which is a "VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C686 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)" as reported by lspci.
I've got alsa-lib 1.0.8 because it's stable. When 1.0.9 is going to be released I'm going to install it. So you say that this is the problem?