it's unlikely chrome would cause you any grief on this. As you said you did already try the (command option shift) preference file reset (Preferences in Photoshop - One thing that might be helpful is to have a look in the console and see if anything appears repeatedly out of kilter.
The console app shows you the logs generated by your system (there will be quite a few) but the information displayed is quite technical, but you can filter the list by a term so this *might* shed some light as to what is causing issues (the lig below was generated by me starting my Photoshop CC but obviously your mileage may vary a little).
Thanks for the reply jharsem! I'll give it a shot and see if anything shows up. Unfortunately, I had to restart my computer so that I could get the programs to work, so now I'll have to wait until the problem happens again to test that (I'm sure it'll happen soon...) I don't know anything about system logs but it might give me something more to go off of. I'll update once I've tried it out, thanks!
Any progress on this issue? Happens to me consistently. Now as additional information, it happens if I've actually used other applications since my mac starts. if I restart my mac and once the finder comes up start PS 17, it works great as long as I don't close it. If I open multiple other apps first, it hangs at the "reading preferences" part of startup...