Thanks rverne. Right now, my system is:
East West slave with 24Gb RAM (the one that has been crashing). I just upgraded it to a 120 EVO for OS/APPS and a 240GB EVO for EW samples and set all Play instances to "stream". As well, I added liquid cooling for the processor as diagnostics said it was overheating. I also added a second fan to the front. It hasn't crashed all day but I'm only running about 10 Stormdrum tracks.
The other slave is also 24Gb RAM, running VSL; I will upgrade to EVOs when I can, hopefully mid-June. This box never gives me problems but I get the "busy" thing in VEP5 with it and Cubase crashes sometimes. If I restart everything, it goes away.
Master is an XPS 2720 with 16GB RAM, only running Cubase 6.5.5.
I keep getting messages that my network is unstable on my phone, and sometimes the master doesn't even see the VSL box. I have static IPs on everything. I tried using an old router with no internet and that worked after I upgraded the firmware...but only sporadically. I lost the internet since my providor gives you a cable modem that must be used. I tried hooking up to the internet via WiFi but using my own DLink to connect the network for VEP, but it has been very buggy.
I never have connectivity issues between Cubase and the EW box, just the VSL box. Which is strange because all of this time it has been the EW box giving me problems.
All of my issues seem now to be network related, as they have been since the beginning. The biggest problem is I had more than one issue, so fixing problems has been a challenge. However I think I only have the network issue left, as the only problem now seems to be connectivity issues, as nothing is crashing...knock on my wood head.