I have a Windows 7 PC with a Sound Blaster Z that's been installed in it for about 4 years. It's hooked up to my Pioneer receiver with the optical output so I can listen to 5.1 audio on my surround sound through the receiver. It worked flawlessly for games and movies for the last 4 years. Then, just about a month ago, the 5.1 audio started playing out of the wrong speakers. And it will randomly jump around the speakers. It's like the DTS signal is mixed up or something. There is sometimes also a crackling noise. I've uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers and the SoundBlaster SBX software, switched PCI slots, and I just can't get it to work properly again. Could this be a hardware problem? Can a sound card "go bad" after a few years? Or is it probably a software/driver problem? I also tried rolling back my windows restore to a time before the problems happened, but the restore didn't take, for some reason. I'm wondering if I should just go out and buy a new sound card.