Audacity's sound problems [SOLVED]

Greetings all.

My Audacity (2.0.6-alpha-Aug 12 2014) has started developing major problems recently which makes it very frustrating and impossible to use for a long period of time.
I have music projects to complete, and when I open them (.aup files), everything seems to work as it should, but usually before the two minute mark of a continuous play-through, or after some time building on the audio, the sound will inexplicably turn into an abrasive garbled fuzz. After pressing the stop button to put an end to this hideous noise, the program crashes and I have to force close it down. It also has problems with recording audio; sound quality is fine, but again, usually before the two-minute mark, the recording will inexplicably stop, and the program becomes only partially responsive at best. Anyone know what is happening or how I can possibly fix this?

More useful information:
*I dual-boot Linux Mint 16 (Petra) with Windows 7 on a Samsung laptop, and the Windows 7 Audacity does not exhibit this problem.
*Problem first noticed this Friday evening (September 26th 2014) while trying to record from a short-wave radio (recording process halts after a while).
*No other audio programs that I run exhibit this problem; this is unique to Audacity, and everything else works fine.
*I installed my current Linux OS this January (2014), and installed Audacity through the Software Manager.
*Audacity’s playback has also become sketchy. Clicks will appear in the audio at the slightest provocation; even scrolling up and down a web page can set this off.
*Laptop is at least 4 years old; thinking of getting a new one soon and starting with the newest version of Mint.

In short, Audacity has become highly unstable. Any help is greatly appreciated so I can get back to making music again.

What sound card are you using?
What settings are you using in the device toolbar?

Audio host: ALSA.
I have several choices for Device playback, but I only use default and QSB - USB Audio (my speakers).

Not sure what my sound card is, but I have seen Realtek High Definition Audio in places on my system.

Does the problem occur when using the on-board sound card or when using the QSB - USB Audio?

Both. Doesn’t matter what the output is, it will happen.

How much free space is there on your Linux partition? If you are using more than one drive, or more than one partition, please give all relevant details.

I currently have 60.9 GB free space on my File system. The Windows is on a separate internal hard drive, currently 43.6 GB spare.
My internal systems are pretty messed up though. Trying to update Linux caused everything on one of the drives to wipe.

Doesn’t sound good.
Recording audio is quite demanding on the system and can quickly reveal existing problems. At your earliest convenience I would highly recommend backing up all of your data and sorting it out - with a clean install of your operating systems if necessary.

Does the problem occur with projects that have been saved, or only with new projects that have not yet been saved?
Are you using an external drive anywhere in your system?

I will most likely get a fresh laptop soon, which will most definitely make things easier. I thought it was a problem with the software though, as it has worked fine for ages.
I do have an external portable hard drive, but I only use that for backing up and avoid working from it.
The problem occurs regardless of whether I’m editing a new unsaved sound or opening a saved project file.

Thanks for the help so far.

Well we’ve ruled out quite a few possibilities, but not really got any further identifying what the actual problem is.

We can “reset” Audacity back to “factory settings”. That is probably worth doing:
If it’s open, close Audacity.
In your file browser (probably “Nautilus”), enable showing hidden files (probably Ctrl+H).
Then find the file:


(where “~/” means your home folder)
and delete audacity.cfg
Restart Audacity.

I found the .cfg file and deleted it. That seems to have done the trick. Just done over an hour of work on my track without any audio problems.
I guess we can consider this problem solved now. I’ll keep what you’ve said in mind in case it happens again.
Thanks for the help.