cubase will not start, whatever I try

My cubase 9.5 will not start anymore. It freezes at “initializing” somewhere after the vst2 plugin initalization (can’t tell exactly)
latest 9.5, win10, ur824.
I removed all plugins, settings, re-installed windows, re-installed the ur824 stuff, nothing helps. Been working on this for almost two days now.
And I’ve got an important project that needs to be finished…
Where to look? What to do?

Delete preferences
And then start Cubase again.

You don’t have to delete preferences, just run Cubase in “Cubase Safe Mode” (see my sig for details). If the problem is unchanged after doing that you can restore your old preferences and look for the root of the problem elsewhere than Preferences.

well, it’s not in the preferences, I already tried that (a few times)

I’ve been looking for a boot log, or in any case a file that shows what Cubase is doing when starting up, but I cannot find it. Is there such a log?

Have you any non-Steinberg plugins? If so, I’d try moving them to a different directory since you say it seems to be stalling somewhere around the plugin initialization phase.

did that :frowning:

No, but you can use Windows Sysinternals Process Monitor to watch it in real time.

But- how did you verify that you hid the VST2 folders from Cubase? There can be multiple folders.

Well, I deleted all contents of c:/windows/vstplugins, c:/windows/program files/vstplugins, c:/windows/program files/steinberg/vstplugins, c:users/etc…/vst2, and c:/users/etc…/steinberg/vst2, plus also a bunch of vst3 plugins. I would say that’s about it. Oh, and, just to make sure, also the folders in c:/windows/program files (x86). So, as far as I know, that’s about it.
Anyway, I am able to get Cubase to load occasionally, but it still gets stuck after about a minute.
I am currently under the impression the problem lies in the syncrosoft elicenser software. I downloaded and installed the latest software. I tested the dongle on another system, just to make sure. Dongle is ok.
But when elicencer control center loads, it gets stuck at about one third of the “updating database” section.
Could that be connected to Cubase locking up?
How can you re-initialize eLicencer?
thanks for your help!

It’s not clear how you come to that conclusion about the elc, as there is no cause and effect relationship in the details you have reported.

Deleting folders without using the uninstaller on Windows is not really good practice, since the installer/uninstaller takes care of other things, like registry edits and so forth.

It would be best if you contact support. There must be something amiss in your system.

I haven’t deleted any folders, just the content, and that’s a bunch of vst dll’s that are not installed by any installer. So they cannot be uninstalled by an uninstaller, either.
I have contacted support. But they haven’t replied yet (waiting for a week now).
As far as I know, every now and then Cubase checks if the dongle is still there. So it might not be a concidence eLicenser and Cubase both lock up, because there could be a problem in the communications protocol of the dongle, or eLicenser software. Hence the question.
Yes, there is something amiss in my system. That’s for sure. But now I need to find out what.

On the other machine into which you plugged the key, you ran elc maintenance and it went normally to the end?

That’s right.

Some more info: Cubase gets to the startscreen, you know, where you can select projects. If I select one of the presets, cubase locks.