The kernel is a custom 220.127.116.11 with a extra version added so it will live next to my VL compiled 18.104.22.168. The kernel config has much of what is suggested at lesswatts.org to green it up. Also changed the arch and cut out support for some obscure hardware. Without modding the snd_hda_intel module the kernel builds and runs well. The same config with modded module just won't boot.
I did however notice the module "appeared" to build. The directions on the linmodem site did instruct the user to mod the module sources, then build the modules, then manually copy the snd_hda_intel module to the correct location. It didn't say anything about rebuilding and installing everything as I did. Maybe the module will build fine and be useable, but the kernel build will flop. I dunno.
So, I'm going to use my config to build the kernel without modding the module sources. If it runs. I'll then mod the module sources to build the module again and then slide it under the hood of the working kernel and see if it runs.
I'm not crazy about going back to a older kernel. This laptop is pretty new, and it seems better supported with each new kernel. And since my acpi brightness stuff needs to be scripted, I have totally rewritten my original scripts to fit the newer kernel as things have evolved and my scripts don't seem to be backwards compatible. I just don't want to have to go through that again. The winmodem is not that important to me. I want the luxury of being able to fax or dial up if needed, but it's not something I need to do often.
I'll keep you posted.