Make sure any unused inputs or outputs are plugged into something (not just an unterminated cable!). Michael Brown reports,
Something may include a jack plug with a short circuit across it. Better designers would have thought of this, and made the jack socket do the work when disconnected, shorting the input to ground."
Or try using a small resistor instead of plain wire to short the jack... possibly some cards would prefer a resistive load to a short. I've seen weird behavior like, even if the mic channel is muted, plugging in a mic changes the amount of background noise.
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