Cubase freezes when loading (most) projects

This seems to have no rhyme or reason. It never gets stuck on the same plugin when it’s loading things. I have taken every single plugin out of the vst folders and it still freezes when loading a project. I have tried deleting the preferences folder and that only results in Cubase not loading at ALL before even trying to open a project. I would simply reinstall except for the fact that Steinberg decided to make it a living hell to deal with vsti patches and banks and years of presets would be deleted. Any ideas?

Win 7 Pro, Cubase 5.5.3 64 bit; 16g RAM.

Reinstalled Cubase. Now it won’t even open.