Error Loading Cubase 12

I Installed Cubase 12. All was fine. I accidentally ran Cubase 11 and now this is popping up. I trashed preferences and uninstalled Cubase 11. I uninstalled and reinstalled Cubase 12 too. No difference.

Forgot… Windows 10, most recent build

I have exactly the same issue with Cubase 12. Win 10 21H2, upgraded to CB12 from CB11.

First time I opened Cubase 12 Pro after installing, I got this error. I thought about clicking the button to send to Steinberg, but in the end, I said OK without changing anything. I expected to be at the desktop then, but Cubase opened and seemed to be working. I closed and restarted, Cubase and did not get the error again. I’ve been running Cubase 12 for about a week now and I have not received the error again.

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I have removed all versions of Cubase Pro (9.5 to 12.0) , the Elicenser, Steinberg Download Manager and Steinberg Activation Manager.
I reinstalled Cubase 12 Pro, Elicenser, SDM and SAM.
I have tried all the settings in Cubase Safe Mode.
I ran DISM and SFC on Win 10.

Cubase opened normally once after I reinstalled Elicenser and moved the dongle to another USB port. After the one time it was back to always starting in safe mode.
After uninstalling the older versions of Cubase, the dongle is not necessary for Cubase 12 but this does not affect the constant safe mode issue.

I still get the safe mode screen shown in Cpechet’s original post where “Freeze” is the offending file.

I installed WinDbg and had a look at the dmp files generated (I have a LOT) when Cubase closes. As best as I can tell the issue is in shlwapi.dll with
FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: BREAKPOINT_80000003_shlwapi.dll!PathFileExistsAndAttributesW.

I installed Cubase 12 pro on my laptop (with no Elicenser) and it works fine.

Can anyone shine some light on what could be causing this ?