After many hours of trying, I finally got my computer ready to record! There's still one software program I would like to have on here, but I can do without it for now. I am very happy this is a brand new computer, because I can actually record multiple tracks with effects enabled for playback, 24-bit resolution, 88.2 or 96 kHz, and still have plenty of CPU power left. I can finally record, and I can do it without mixing several mixdowns into one.
I also went out and bought me a new MIDI interface (Yamaha UX16) because my old one wasn't compatible with Windows XP and connected to a DB-9 serial port which my new computer doesn't even have. My new MIDI interface works great, except I'm disappointed that USB MIDI interfaces under Windows seem to have problems with timing, which I didn't know until after I bought it. This is a bummer for me because it means I'll have to live without playing with System Exclusive messages. If you're going to get a MIDI interface, get one that connects to a serial port if your computer has a serial port!