Cubase 10.5 - When going into midi drum editor, Cubase crashing

When I try to edit a midi drum track with the midi drum editor, it crashes Cubase.
Never had this issue before and was working fine 2 DAYS ago…wtf??
I tried updating to 10.5.3 just to see if it would solve anything, but it doesn’t.
Also, there have been no windows updates in the last 2 days…
I can go into all of the other midi editors just fine…only opening drum editor causes the crash.
Attached are a screenshot of the error (nice that Cubase is bringing back the old school windows crash pop up…at one point, there were probably 50 that popped open before it crashed) and one of the crash logs…
Please advise.

Cubase 64bit 2021.8.23 (824.1 KB)

Just to add something I tried.
My default is to open the drum editor in a separate window.
If i change it to open in the lower section of cubase, it does open it without crashing, but, as you can see below, there is no midi info that I can edit.


Cloud you try in Cubase Safe Start Mode [Disable Preferences], please?

I disabled preferences and it didn’t crash the next time I went in and used the drum editor.
I played around and if i load my preference file, i can open and close projects and it seems to work OK. But once I exit and reopen Cubase and try to open a midi drum file, it’s crashing again.
So obviously it’s something in the preferences.
I’m hoping I don’t get the lazy answer of delete the preference file and start over using the process of elimination to figure it out…
I uploaded the crash file with the hopes it’ll tell someone exactly what the issue is.
And I’ll restate, NOTHING has changed in my preference since I upgraded to 10.5 a year a half ago…why would it just suddenly start crashing using the drum editor??