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I have been using a licenced mathematica, provided by my research institute, for a while. Weeks ago it happened to me that at the startup of my mathematica (while initializing Kernel), mathematica froze and it couldn't proceed. Then, I found a useful post instructing how to get rid of it and solve the issue by deleting the Pacelets in this folder C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mathematica\Paclets\Configuration.

I didn't face the problem for a while and I was happy with my mathematica. However, last week the problem again popped up and I used the same method to overcome it. Since then, every day the issue comes up and every day I should delete the relevant Pacelets and restart my windows in order to be able to use my mathematica. It seems that this solution just temporarily spares mathematica. I was wondering if anyone can suggest a permanent solution since it is annoying to do a 5 minutes workaround every day to use mathematica.

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This has happened to me twice now with Mathematica 11.3, and unfortunately, the second time I could not recall the solution and went into the "uninstall-reboot-reinstall" rinse cycle for several frustrating hours.

The clue is in these error messages that flashed too-fast-to-read in the Messages window when in desperation I tried installing 11.0.1 (I managed to capture them with the venerable PrntScreen key): invalid printer page size

Note that when 11.3 stalled, it showed a completely blank messages window.

It turns out that I had recently printed some 12mm-wide labels on a Brother PT-2430PC lable printer. Windows 10 being the too-smart-for-its-own-good OS that it is, the default printer was then set to the lable printer.

It seems that both Mathematica 11.0.1 and 11.3 check the paper size of the default printer when starting, and do not fail gracefully if the printer is something other than a "normal" printer.

The solution? Change the default printer to something other than the lable printer.

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I faced a comparable problem with Mma recently. I have solved the problem partially by installing a previous version (11.2) on the computer in addition to 11.3. This stopped crashing, but there were still some boring messages, and opening of empty files with one word "Failed" in them. Today, I seems to have solved the problem by using an advise of Jon McLoon. Here is his message with the advise:

Quit Mathematica

Open the folder

$UserAddOnsDirectory // SystemOpen

Delete all contents EXCEPT /Licensine/mathpass

(AND $UserBaseDirectory)

Start Mathematica again. If this fails, unistall Mathematica, do the above and reinstall.

Of course, this removes your private settings (such as private StyleSheets or private commands in the ini.m file, if any). So I propose that if you have such private results stored, first save these directories in some different place, and only then delete what is needed. In my case it seems to work.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your response. I will consider it as an alternative solution, just in case nothing more specific comes up in the responses. $\endgroup$
    – KratosMath
    Aug 22, 2018 at 9:57
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I have been having the same problem - Mma v7 and v11.3 both freeze on startup, with Mma 7 showing this at the "Initializing kernel" stage. These events happen after reboots of my windows 11 laptop. I seem to have another workaround: attempt to run the "Mathematica.exe" as administrator. Enter the administrator logon credential as usual. This (eventually) results in Mma asking for licence details and a password. Quit Mma. And then open it as usual, with a standard user account, and everything then works fine. I don't know why it works, but it works for me. More details (version numbers etc) on request. I realise that this is not a permanent solution, but it might be faster than deleting paclets (not sure they apply to Mma 7 anyway).

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