I might be able to give you some ideas, but of course without the 'puter right in front of me it is tough to know exactly what is going on.
I have looked through the the Aopen web site and can see where others have had similar problems with this sound card. There are several possible causes.
Have you disabled the on-board sound first? By going into the BIOS or add/remove programs and removing drivers or sound utilites that no longer will be needed.
I can see where a BIOS update may not be a bad idea, if one is available.
If you leave the computer alone will it boot, say, after 5 or more minutes? (Oblviously that is not a normal situation, but it might lead us in the right direction)
I saw on the Aopen site where one guy with this situation was advised to place the sound card in the PCI slot that is the third one down, and that solved his problem. http://club.aopen.com.tw/forum/viewmessage...4&MessageID=755
If you have tried this in another known good computer and gotten the same results then I wonder if the there is an issue with the sound card itself, and not neccessarily related to your computer.
Getting a different result by unplugging another device (in this case a CD drive) might lead one to believe that there is an IRQ conflict. But it seems to me that installing the new sound card in a different PCI slot would solve that problem. ( but I am not sure I understand the part of your post where you speak of the cd drive cable, not too clear to me)
Try the above things and let us know how you made out.