I've installed Mathematica 10.4 on my laptop and it loads and runs without any trouble. On my desktop, however, it seems to install fine, but then when I first launch Mathematica.exe (or WolframKernel.exe or MathKernel.exe directly) I get the message that "Wolfram Kernel for Windows has stopped working" at the "Initializing internal preferences..." stage. More details:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH Application Name: WolframKernel.exe Fault Module Name: WolframEngine.DLL Exception Code: c000001d Exception Offset: 0000000001299213
Once I kill that, the start-up just hangs until I click on it, then it crashes too. Mathematica 9 works fine on this desktop, but I tried installing 10.3 and it has the same behavior and "WolframEngine.DLL" is always at fault.
My guess is that there is some incompatibility with something on this computer and Mathematica 10.X, but the Windows7 OS and most of the software installed on both computers is basically identical. Or maybe it's a setting. Or (and I'm really stretching it here) maybe it's because this is Japanese hardware with a U.S. OS and Mathematica is doing some check on drivers.
Anybody with some experience or insight on the problem?