SOLUTION IN MY CASE:
TRASH YOUR CUBASE PREFERENCES! (Initialising Preferences)
*get rid of your preferences and have cubase build new ones"
this i heard on a few forums but i wasn't sure how to do it so here is how you do it in Windows 7: https://www.steinberg.net/en/support...back/2020.html
In the link above, go down to "2. Initialising Preferences" and read the instructions.
the direct path on your computer should be "C:\Users\*YOUR ACCOUNT*\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg"
*YOUR ACCOUNT* will be whatever your logon user name is so you cannot just cut and paste the above address.
start in your C: drive and make your way through these levels.
Notice this is NOT the same Steinberg folder you'll find in the Programs folders.
When you get there in the 'Steinberg" folder there will be a folder called "Cubase 5". THIS is the preferences folder.
The folder is NOT called Preferences. it's called "Cubase 5".
take this folder and copy it somewhere else, for example: your desktop, or just change the name of the folder to something like "Cubase 5 old prefs" or as suggested by steinberg "Cubase Hidden". (the name doesn't actually matter.) When you start up Cubase next it will take a while
. Cubase will create the "Cubase 5" folder again right where it was before and start loading in files. it will take a while and in my case Cubase crashed a few times during it, but i just kept re-starting cubase until it got through all the preferences. After that it started up smooth and had no problems but the whole process took some time.
*i also went to the Plugins folder and took out some of the problematic plugins (i'd collected some random crap from the internet) that got messages on this startup and that were being loaded when it crashed. This only turned out being two or three different plugins though. *It has also been suggested that once you get your preferences back how you like them
(set them in Cubase) you should COPY that folder (the "cubase 5" folder we've been talking about) somewhere so that if this problem returns, you'll have a un-corrupted copy to replace it.
*as well, i updated the eLicenser Control Center
THANK YOU everyone who helped.