Quite the extensive read
, but do thank you for the information!
Some other background history that may or may not be relevant. Two days ago, I was having issues after updating my ATI gfx drivers
/CCC, where the CCC app wasnt loading. In an attempt to rectify these issues, I had to utilize DriveSweeper to remove all the AMD vid drivers for a clean install, which of course includes involves deleting registry files. I have since fixed that issue (after 2 LOOONG days of trial and error-testing), but since I strictly used this tool, felt it was safe and that it wouldnt harm other elements of the registry.
The other possibility might stem from my use of Advanced System Care and CCleaner, which automates the process of "cleaning up one's registry" (amongst other things) as I am sure you are aware. In my ignorance, I assumed all the actions performed by programs such as these would be safe, but am now concerned I was terribly wrong in making such an assumption.
The last, and presumably irrelevant, notable action that I have taken in the past couple days was to uninstall and reinstall all of my .NET framework versions (also suggested by those assisting with the issues I was having with my ATI driver
update). That was a fairly seamless process, but thought I would mention it in the event it might shine new light on the situation at all.