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Problem solved. It seems the user.config file became corrupted, it had quite a few null entries on the end and the XML wasn't complete, as in <xml> </xml>
The file is located here: C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Adobe_Systems_Incorporate\DigitalEditions.exe_Url_qyaa14c 3q2yckzgdtukp5ltfvp1pdpdu\18.104.22.168
I deleted it and Adobe Editions started fine and recreated the file. I still have access to my DRM downloaded books.
Hope this helps anyone.
Thank you. I searched the web. I searched the forums. I found that several people were not able to open ADE after it had been working well, but nobody provided a solution. I finally found your post. It was relevant and it worked. My problem with ADE happened like this: The program would open, but then would hang after plugging in my Kobo reader. Then I got get a blue screen. (I think they used to call it the blue screen of death) Windows 10 restarted by itself. The next time I tried to open ADE, I got the blue screen again, and the system restarted. After uninstalling ADE the system seemed to stabilize, I don't know whether uninstalling helped the blue screen problem, but I haven't gotten the blue screen since, even after I reinstalled ADE. But now ADE would not start. After a few attempts at uninstalling and reinstalling, and trying a few suggested solutions, it still would not start. Your solution was the only one that worked. Thanks again. By the way, I don't recall getting the Windows 10 blue screen since I installed it in mid 2015. I suspect the problem was caused by trying using Apple software earlier that day.