hi all. i made a post similar to this one before in the hardware section but im starting to doubt its a hardware problem. i have a creative audigy platinum 2 ex sound card that started to crackle and pop when i played sound in winamp. it wasnt too big a deal at first but it became louder and more invasive after a while. so i figured my sound card was the problem. so i got an m-audio audiophile 24/96 card and the problem was still there. this is terrible for me as i use a lot of audio editing/multitracking software. and these programs would also stutter and crackle whether i was recording audio or just playing back. so i figured whatever ill use the onboard soundcard for a while, but even that one is doing the same thing. with winamp the crackling wasnt as often as with the creative/m-audio cards. when i use any audio editing software however it would crackle a little then the whole comuter started to slow down. i made a habit of keeping task manager open while using the software to check what was eating up the cpu and it was the audio program. but i noticed if i closed the audio program quick enough the cpu load would transfer to another program and if i closed that program it would transfer to another program for a few seconds, usually my antivirus. another problem i have is with youtube. about a minute into any video the sound stutters so it sounds almost like an echo and the video along with it. in task manager it shows iexplorer.exe using 100% cpu. ive tried everything: i updated all my drivers, made sure my hdds are in ultra dma mode, switched out various pci devices (video card, sound cards, network cards). i read all over the internet and tried almost everything. i thought it might be irq interrupts because both my sound and video cards were on 18 with my creative card but with m-audio they were on seperate irqs. plus even my onboard soundcard stutters! please, i know this is a long and boring post but the last thing i want to do is to have to reinstall windows and all my software. if anyone has any ideas id be more than grateful. thanks.