Beginning to hate computer recording

I had a P4 laptop with 750ish meg of ram, a 30gb hd, running Windows 2000, then XP.
I was using Cubase LE 1.1 and everything was fine. It never glitched while recording or during playback and it handled my largest project without issue, seven minutes of seventeen live audio tracks recorded to a click with programmed tempo changes.
I had fades, EQ and FX applied.
It never once complained until the laptop itself failed.

So now I’m using a one-year-old laptop, Pentium B940, 640GB HD, 4GB ram, Win 7 and Cubase Elements 6.
It will not record a single live track without the latency becoming painfully obvious before the end of the third bar, drifting ever further out of time the longer the recording.

I want to hurl all my hardware, laptop, soundcard, speakers, keyboard, mouse, into a skip and go back to using two stereo cassette decks.

Seriously, making music should not be this difficult.

Proceed; Old School

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): NASA used whale oil to lubricate the
Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager spacecrafts. There was a good
reason: Whale oil doesn’t freeze at the low temperatures found in outer
space. While I certainly don’t approve of killing whales to obtain their oil, I
want to use this story to make a point. It’s an excellent time for you, too,
to use old-school approaches for solving ultra-new-school problems.
Sometimes a tried-and-true method works better, or is cheaper, simpler,
or more aesthetically pleasing.

So.  Old-school. What accepted approach can I adopt that I am not already taking?  And to what end, to what should I apply it?

I have a feeling that Oblique Strategies may be called for.