> ... What was absent for me before when it wasn't working (and appears to be absent in yours) is the two right facing carrots on the command line.
Sorry, I don't have an answer. I just want to report that I have been having the same problem lately with Matlab R2017b, running on Windows 7. I am not new to Matlab or R2017b, but the problem seems to be happening daily for the past few days. The problem is intermittent.
When the problem arises, I don't have that command prompt, and yet Matlab is not "dead". For example, I can still click on the tabs in the Editor window and view the code from the open functions. I can even edit and save those functions. I can undock and dock the Command Window (but the >> prompt is missing either way). I can type in the command window, but it dot respond.
The problem shows up when running my code. I can force Matlab to close. When I restart Matlab, I can run the same code without problem, so I don't suspect coding problems such as endless loops. Even if that was a problem, I would think the Pausing button would give back control, but it does not.
One clue: When I click the X to close Matlab, I get a message "An operation is in progress". I give it a chance to try to stop the operation, but that does not work. Then I click End Now. I just did this, re-started Matlab, and ran the same code that "got stuck". It ran normally again, completing in about 10 seconds.