As for your personal message:
I've had crackling problems in the past as well. The cause was that my sound chip shared an IRQ with another device, a USB hub. The hub entered a sleeping state after a while,which made the sound go all weird.
So either you could try to correct possible IRQ sharing issues,or at least turn off any power saving options if the devices can't have a seperate IRQ.
Since you are on XP, have you installed the Windows hotfix for Universal Audio Architecture? ( UAA driver/hotfix)
As for the layout of the Vdeck,i don't know how it looks on XP... It could help if you post some screenshots. I'm on win7 myself.
By the way, here is the latest HD Audio driver : http://www.station-drivers.com/telec...ivers.com).exe