I’ve had the same problem both when running zypper update commands to fix the OOo 3 bug in beta4, and when installing beta4 clean with a kde4 liveCD. I’m using x86-64 architecture.
The machine starts booting, but crashes before reaching kdm (graphical login screen). In particular I get messages on screen like:
BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 0000[many zeros]
Something about alc_mic_automute.
Unfortunately, I can’t find a log file in /var/log (or /var/ generally) that captures the boot messages. In my wisdom I deleted a bunch of .log files, boot.msg, etc, figuring they would all be regenerated during the failed reboot. No such luck.
Anyway from my memory it happens when sound hardware is being detected. Apparently something with the mic. I have an emachines athlon64 system, the sound is whatever is builtin, from intel I think.
I’m glad to do what I can to capture error msgs and pass them along.