When I click on the button, the dialogue box does not appear and the program is locked up until I hit escape. Before I do that it "pings" when I click elsewhere.
Most probably Illustrator puts the dialogue box on a second monitor that once was attached to your computer. There are tricks to get the box back, you might do a search in the forum. This problem was discussed several times
If you have no cherished preference settings, you may reset the preferences (Ctrl+Alt+Shift/Cmd+Option+Shift during startup) and get things to look the way they did when you met Illy.
One of the ways suggested is to increase resolution to a silly value, move the box into the cluster of others, and reduce again.
Harron normally suggests a less silly way (not silly enough for me to remember straight away), but he is busy right now.
Jacob, the resolution trick worked for me. THANK YOU for suggesting it. I already had my resolutions set to the maximium amounts, so I did the reverse, and set the main monitor to the lowest value. When I then reset it to the maximum, the Preferences Box innocently enough showed up on screen.
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