Incredible pops and clicks

So, I’ve just recently reinstalled windows on my machine due to pops and clicks in cubase. The reinstall didn’t work, and I’m still experiencing pops and clicks. First, my machine:

Intel i7 950
12 gigs of RAM
windows and cubase installed on one 1TB HDD, audio files and cubase files on a separate 500GB HDD.
M-Audio Profire 2626
All drivers and firmware are up to date.

I had my buffer size set at 256, and the pops and clicks were happening very frequently. I then changed it to 512 and the pops and clicks were still just as apparent.

Now, the odd thing about this is that I was running 14 tracks of MIDI data connected to a single VST for hours with no problems whatsoever, but as soon as I tried to play a single audio file with no plugins the pops and clicks became unbearable. From a single audio file.

My computer can more than handle anything I can throw at it, I’ve used it to create huge projects in the past, so what could be causing this? My best guess is the Harddrive, since the sample library for the VST is on my main drive and the audio file is on the project drive. I’m just wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem and can give me any possible solutions, as I’d rather try some more things before having to buy new hardware (I’m poor =()

Thanks for reading.

Could it be a hard drive issue? I am thinking it may be If streaming audio causes the problem but not playing a VST straight. Make sure your HD settings are correct in Device Manager and that a disk is not on deaths door !

If you read my original post, you’ll see I already suspect it may be a harddrive issue. I was just wondering if anyone else had any of the same trouble and can confirm, but thanks for the reply anyway.

ah sorry think I missed the last paragraph. Thing to do would be to test it with a benchmarking utility or something to see if there is a problem. I can certainly confirm that a dodgy hard drive can cause those symptoms

I have tested it with some software, shows that it’s good. I unplugged all my harddrives and plugged them back in, seemed to help somewhat. I think I’ll buy that new harddrive anyway though, just in case.

I have the same problem with pops and clicks in my live tracks. I just had a solid state drive installed in my computer hoping that would help, but it didn’t. I feel like I’ve tried everything to fix this problem, and changing the buffer size doesn’t seem to change anything. I’m using a Mac with osx lion 10.5.5 and 8 Gigs of ram. Any help is greatly appreciated.

I had this problem for about a month, so I went back to my old XP computer for a while so’s I could get on with some music, after about 6 weeks went back to my new comp again and the problem had gone and has not returned since, I tried everything during the problem…and I mean everything…still dont know what or why…good luck my friend, Kevin

its not like this one is it

if it is a laptop disconnect from the internet

You did try to move a problematic project from your external drive to your internal drive before posting i hope?