Disabling sound in Debian KDE

I’m having a problem whereby my KDE session is “locking up” periodically for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. I checked /var/log/syslog and dmesg and it *seems* as though the high-priority audio threads are staving other threads, so I figure I’ll try to disable sound and see if my system continues to lock up. To disable sound I used:

root@mercy:/home/jj5# alsa force-unload
Unloading ALSA sound driver modules: snd-ens1371 snd-ac97-codec snd-seq-midi snd-seq-midi-event snd-rawmidi snd-pcm snd-page-alloc snd-seq snd-seq-device snd-timer (failed: modules still loaded: snd-ens1371 snd-ac97-codec snd-rawmidi snd-pcm snd-page-alloc snd-seq-device snd-timer).