You certainly shouldn't blow money on a new computer to make software work. You shouldn't pay anyone money to get supported software fixed either unless it is just an issue of time vs money. Assuming Peter's preference suggestion doesn't work for you you can use the official Adobe tool to remove the products and make reinstallation easy.
A google for Adobe Clean Script and the product you want to fix up should yield something that will completely remove the application and allow for an easy and trouble-free reinstall.
Reinstalling an operating system is also not a bad option if you are at your wick's end. If someone provided you other programs to clean or remove software I would be concerned of malware or other badware. I recently had to degunk a PC that had installed applications that were designed to make removing applications easier. The removal applications though had a decent enough interface were malware/scareware.
Thanks much for the advice. I will try another removal and reinstall. The
first attempt changed nothing. Preference scrubbing back to presets also
did nothing. I used the control-alt-shift at startup. I'll try Peter's
other suggested way to return to original preferences.
Try a new user account and see if that changes anything.