PC Hard lock - Cubase 5

Hi, I’m a computer guy trying to troubleshoot a problem on a new PC that was just built running Cubase 5.
The issue is:

During playback, sometimes audio stops and the PC locks up hard, requiring physical power off.
This has been troubleshot with different audio hardware, and narrowed down to the PC itself.

Specifically, you can see when you click on a timeline location, the disk activity for pre-roll jumps for a sec as it should. But then if I keep starting or stopping playback, or if we solo/unsolo a channel over and over, it seems to start to lag where the disk delays providing data and eventually it will lock up.

This is a new machine, Win7/64, Core i3, H64 Zotac motherboard, and a Seagate Baracudda Sata drive.
My next attempt will be to swap the hard drive and see if it still happens. But, I just thought I’d ask if anyone has ever seen this behavior before?

Aloha J,

Also try posting here in the:
Computer / Studio Hardware & Setup Forum

https://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=81

A number of users there also build their own axes.

HTH (hope this helps)
{’-’}

Is the dongle plugged in?