I dig a little about this subject and I find a huge list of discussions about Visual Studio and the error Jpm mentioned. What surprising me that some of them are dated since 2010
There are different solutions to solve this : reinstall net framework 3.5 or 4.0 or 4.5 ... install new drivers especially with nvidia graphic cards ... clear windows temp folder ... clear VS installation cache ... disable antivirus ... use the web installer ... install VS executable by using an administrator command line !
And it may happen in Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 !
But none of these solutions are universal to solve this trouble, and as far as I understand Microsoft did not provide a generic solution ... this error is based or related to hardware or software installed.
My guess is that the first VS2012 installation is modifying some Windows files ... and brake the Net Framework installation that VS2013 can't solve by itself ... this may explain why a re-installation of Net Framework 3.5 (using "Windows Features") or installing VS2017 (after VS2012), solves the problem.
Is this problem is reproducible with other Windows 10 version (TH2 for example) ?
: could you please tell me which software is not working, like this I will be able to try. Thanks.