Audio frequently cuts out during playback?

Hey guys! I’m using Cubase LE 6 on my laptop with Windows 7(x64) (hardware specs below). I’ve been using it for at least a year with zero problems… this just started up less than a week ago. It doesn’t happen in Audacity at all and it happens very little in Ableton Live 7 (neither of which do I use frequently, I just fired them up to test the playback; I rely heavily on Cubase, which is why this is so frustrating).

The audio playback frequently “cuts out” and comes back in randomly, as in, there will be a visual representation of recorded audio in the track, but no sound plays back. If I rewind a bit, I can get the spots that cut, but then different spots will cut, so it’s not a problem with how the audio was input.

I first tried updating the program. I installed the update from steinberg, and it didn’t seem to help. Then, I tried upping my buffer size in the program, eventually maxing it out to no avail. I also set the audio to high priority within the program. This didn’t work, either. As far as I know, I’m not running much else in the background… def nothing too taxing as far as CPU usage goes. I’m even experiencing the issue with a single track with no inserts!
Also, just to be clear, I am using the 64-bit version of Cubase.

I’m not sure why it’s happening or why it started, but it’s incredibly frustrating and makes it nearly impossible to mix.
I’ve sent this to Steinberg, too, but it’s the weekend and it may be a few days until I hear back, so I was hoping someone here may have had this issue in the past and solved it or something.

Thanks guys!!

My Hardware:

  • Dell Inspiron 15R Laptop
  • Intel Core i5-2410M CPU @ 2.30GHz
  • Intel HD 3000 GPU
  • 6 GB RAM
  • Zoom R8 interface, via USB
  • Yamaha DGX-230 Portable Grand as a MIDI Controller, via USB
  • Generic Dell used as a dual monitor (I doubt these last two matter, I just figured I’d include them just in case)