So this morning after starting up the computer, I couldn't open one application... then another... then another...
I would get the following "Error Code" (and perhaps the string of digits may have differed with other applications):
"The application was unable to start correctly (0xc00000005) Click OK to close the application."
I performed a "System Restore" in Safe Mode, and everything seemed back on track. After a while, I noticed my AVAST anti-virus program had disabled itself. When I tried to put it back in place, it refused. I thought I ought to reinstall it, and when I went to remove the program (in order to have a clean new installation, of course), AVAST refused to uninstall, as I got the message that there seemed to be no program to uninstall.
Then I just installed, and after the computer restarted... you guessed it. None of my applications would open again.
I then uninstalled AVAST in Safe Mode, and the applications were back to normal.
I then downloaded the AVG anti-virus product, and that killed my applications as well.
I got rid of AVG through another System Restore, because the program was disturbingly stubborn under "Add Remove Programs."
Now everything is working again, only I have no anti-virus program. I turned on Windows Defender, but of course, that is not an anti-virus substitute for Windows 7.
I did the sfc /scannow operation, and there were no issues.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, ESET Online Scanner and (while I had it installed) AVG all came up clean.
Here is my computer's SPECCY snapshot: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/IP8NGDKlC0QHcTvLZooGaEg
Of course I performed research before bothering you, and I learned my error message was not uncommon. Some (as this page) have placed the blame on anti-virus programs, which appears to be the case with me.
So I am trying to see if I can get an anti-virus program in place again, without affecting my applications.
If all else fails, I do have a backed-up version of my hard disk that I can go back to... but of course I failed to make a recent image back-up, so i will be losing all of the Windows Updates that I had installed since.
Thank you most kindly.
Edited by hamluis, 21 March 2017 - 05:27 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Am I Infected - Hamluis.