EQ & Channel strip fields missing

https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/t31.0-8/12140046_10153713568749936_4915447437298308084_o.jpg

I have been using Cubase 8 Pro for a couple months now with no issues. This new issue affects old projects, new projects; the problem is persistent.

Interestingly enough I noticed that at start up all the stuff on the left was gone, which I was happy about. But I have a feeling the root issue is causing this aswell:

https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/12143162_10153713568739936_4782285376363794281_n.jpg?oh=5325c20ce79cd841f5bd65890073b494&oe=568DA872

I found these two posts dealing with similar issues:
http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=226&t=70464
http://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=233&t=70930&p=413010

The first thread had a solution so I searched for the mentioned culprit .vst3 and came up with this:
https://scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xat1/t31.0-8/q85/s720x720/12094983_10153713568744936_5106395461384719458_o.jpg

Oddly the one in the main folder is 0kb??? I tried deleting the other one/installer patchcache - it had no effect. I then deleted the main Cubase Plug-in Set.vst3 - it had no effect. I restored both files.

I have windows 8.1
AMD FX8350
16 gigs of ram
various 7200rpm drive
GTX 760

I ended up reinstalling windows. Rage is too small of a word to describe my feelings toward this software.