Arduino Won't Start, Shows SXS dpinst Error

A older friend of mine (and I'm old enough as it is) had been using the Arduino environment to program a Uno on his Win7-64 PC when one day the Arduino program would no longer launch. It shows the following error:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\Program Files\Arduino\drivers\dpinst-amd64.exe". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.Windows.Common-Controls,language="*",processorArchitecture="amd64",publicKeyToken="6595b64144ccf1df",type="win32",version="6.0.0.0" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.

Why the sudden change in behavior? Why is it even trying to run dpinst?!? :astonished:

He couldn't fix it, so he switched to his laptop. It worked for a a few weeks, then it quit with the same error. He borrowed his son's laptop, and within the day it stopped working with the same error message. This time it seemed to be the result of copying in a new library, IRRemote.

I'm thinking of going over tomorrow and taking a look at his computer. Any ideas what I should look for? I've been running Arduino on Mac and Windows for over a year and had no problems. I also use Eclipse and Atmel Studio, but I think those wouldn't be options for my friend as he is in his eighties and this is the first programming he's ever done.

We see this at my workplace occasionally but only with AMD64s.

Are all of the machines AMD processors?

No idea what the problem could be, but I remember a previous version had a conflict between the Arduino bot & IRrremote.

As a workaround, try removing IRremote (& restart the IDE) to see if the problem goes & then use IRLib, which is better.

He's tried a mix of computers. One is an Intel 64-bit, one is and AMD 32-bit and one is an Intel 32-bit. I tried to visit him Saturday but he wasn't home. He did email me to say that he tried downloading the IRRemote library and installing it again and was able to compile and download the example code to his Arduino. However, the keyboard doesn't work on that computer with the Arduino environment running (it's the Intel 64-bit system).

It also sounds like I haven't represented his problem very well here, or perhaps he or I conflated the problems with the three computers. One computer - the AMD 32-bit - reports the depinst-amd64 error, which is truly bizarre since that would be the wrong driver installer for that machine. The Intel 64-bit computer has the keyboard frozen but the Arduino environment apparently runs OK otherwise. I don't really know what the problem is with the Intel 32-bit laptop.

My friend came over tonight with his laptop. I got it working again within a few minutes, so he's a happy camper again and is off working on his newest robot. 8)

It had nothing to do with dpinst-amd64.exe. The problem was that the Preferences->"Use external editor" box was checked, which made it so he couldn't type in the normal edit area of his sketches. He thought his keyboard was being disabled by something. Well, it was, but it wasn't anything as nefarious as a rogue driver installer or virus. I have no idea how that box got checked, nor does he.

I apologize for the misleading symptoms I reported here. I see this a lot - people see one error and then think every subsequent error is the same thing.