recording sounds echoish

Hi Team,
Version 2.0.2., Windows 7 Home basic 32 bit SP1 with ALL current available updates. Audacity always installed from .exe.
I used (with great pleasure!) all the earlier versions on my previous XP laptop to record live worship music and sermons each Sunday, at first using a simple cordless microphone plugged into the laptop, and later through the sound system using a cable in the matrix output and into the laptop’s mic-jack. These recordings were VERY CLEAR. Then I got a new Samsung laptop with Win 7, and then the trouble started: loud background shhhh-noise both with the microphone and the matrix output, while there is NO background noise when I listen to the music or sermon on the headphones in the sound board. Version 2.0.0 recorded better, but not always. Now with version 2.0.2 I sometimes get good recordings only with the microphone (never via the matrix output or even the headphone socket of the sound board), but most of the time the recording level drops and rises unexpectedly, and/or loud hissing background noise suddenly appears. The latest problem is this: while listening to the live recording with headphones in the laptop and the same cordless mic in the mic-socket, the recording sounds perfect and looks perfect on the waves on the screen, but when I want to edit the recording afterwards, the WHOLE recording sounds echo-ish and distorted as if the recording level was way to high, and I cannot hear what is said, both through the speakers and headphones. Note that the built-in mic’s volume on the laptop is then down to zero, but it is not disabled. The same noise and distorting sounds happens when I record via the built-in mic.
NOTE: The preacher uses a separate cordless mic through the sound system, the same one used when I had my previous XP laptop!)
I am stunned! Can you please help?
Willem Pretorius

The first thing to check is that the Windows sound “enhancements” are turned off: