Cubase SE 3 - Impossible to work with audio track "freeze"

After great time with Cubase SE 3 I encountered an awful problem. When I try to add 2nd audio track (stereo or mono) the program freezes for some time, and then adds the track. The problem occurs every time the new track is added, rending Cubase unusable. The same problem occurs while muting and unmuting tracks.

I`m using Windows 8.1 x64
M-Audio Audiophile 2496
i3 processor
and SSD drive for OS and software.

Things i`ve tried:
1)Re-installing Cubase
2)Uninstalling all the plugins (VST)
3)Reinstalling drivers for music card
4)clearing ALL cubase temp
5)changing power managment settings
6)defragmenting/optimizing all hard drives

Whole setup worked perfectly without any hiccup for 3 months, no new soft was installed, no changes in hardware, no updates for Windows.

Reinstalling OS is really last resort option, because of my work schedule.


No idea, but SE3 is ages old, not sure if it is even supposed to work correctly on a current Windows 8 / 64 bit system. :confused:

I´d say bite the bullet and buy the update from SE3 to Cubase 7.5 or Cubase Artist 7.5


Yeah, probably gonna do that, time to move on after all, but still, this problem started couple days ago, before that everything was fine and dandy (mixed 4 VST heavy projects with this grandpa).