Machines do age. For example those Electrolytic Capacitors are all but a 5 year design and all it takes is for one in the right spot to age a bit too much (also called a failure.)
I've seen many claim nothing has changed but change is unavoidable. It's in the design and parts that eventually it will fail.
As this is the hardware forum I'll not suggest reloading the OS and drivers.
I have had this sound card for a few years now and just recently it started acting up. Most often when I record, it has a crackling noise that is usually not audible until playback. This morning, however, the crackling was audible on the speakers but only when the computer first booted up. After trying a few test records the noise is still there in my recordings. I am looking to find out if anyone can provide any incite as to whether this is a sound card or motherboard issue. Keep in mind my motherboard is fairly old as well and I have done nothing to the computer recently to make tampering an issue. Any useful information would be much appreciated. Thanks.