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Why does MATLAB fail to start with an error "The program has requested the runtime to terminate in an unusual way"?

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I am running MATLAB R2012b and when I start it I get an error saying the following:
"Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library
Runtime Error!
Program: C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2012b\bin\win32\MATLAB.exe
This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the application's support team for more information."

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 7 Oct 2016
This error is typically the result of a conflict between the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables libraries supplied with MATLAB, and those that are supplied by some third party applications.
One particular application that we have seen cause this issue is VirtuMVP version 2.1.115.23214. If you are getting this error and have VirtuMVP installed, going back to a previous version of the C++ Redistibutable libraries should resolve the error.
Note: This error also applies to software called VIRTU, though, in most cases, this software has needed to be completely uninstalled in order for MATLAB to work.
The following should be done regardless whether or not you have the software mentioned above.
To revert to a previous version of the C++ Redistributable libraries, you should uninstall all versions of your current 2005 and 2008 C++ Redistributable libraries through your Windows Control Panel, and reboot you machine. You can then re-install them by running the MATLAB-provided installers which can be found in the following locations:
For 32-bit MATLAB:
- $MATLAB\bin\win32\vcredist_x86.exe
- $MATLAB\bin\win32\vc90\vcredist_x86.exe
For 64-bit MATLAB:
- $MATLAB\bin\win64\vcredist_x64.exe
- $MATLAB\bin\win64\vc90\vcredist_x64.exe
Note: $MATLAB should be replaced with the application path for your current MATLAB installation. In most cases, this will be "C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R20XXX" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\R20XXX", where 'R20XXX' is your MATLAB Release number.

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