Warning. Much of this post is frankly a rant against a poorly written program and the so-called experts who offer up solutions here. If you are one of these experts and you have a thin-skin, don't read this post.
If you just want a solution to the problem skip to the bottom of the post.
Adobe, I want my money back! I rarely buy Adobe products and always wind up regretting it when I do. This product was no exception.
I tried the trial version. Bought the product along with Photoshop Elements as part of a promotion.
Produced a couple of videos with it, no problems. Then, inexplicably, it stopped working for me and I would get the infamous "Sorry, a serious error has occurred..." message while trying to start or open a project. This would happen almost immediately, as it was drawing its intial screen layout.
MY FIRST BIG COMPLAINT... USELESS ERROR MESSAGE
This has to be the most useless error message I've ever read. The few times I've had programs crash on me, the error message that results usually gives me enough clues to find and fix the root problem.
Uninstalled it with Revo Uninstaller, re-installed it.
Deleted all old project files.
Tried to re-start by clicking 'New Project' button.
Prompts me for a location for the project. I accepted the default.
Immediately gives me the "Sorry, a serious error has occurred..." message and shuts down when I press okay.
MY SECOND BIG COMPLAINT... INCOMPLETE UNINSTALL
I did observe that when I went to use the Organizer after the re-installs, the thumbnails of previous videos were still there. Clearly some cache wasn't removed during the uninstall.
If a cache wasn't removed, perhaps other remnants of the the program were still lying about on my machine. If they were the problem, then no amount of uninstalling/ re-installing would solve the problem.
At this point, I came to the forums for help and my worst fears were confirmed. This error message is a common problem. The suggestions to solve it were all over the place. The sheer depth and width of this faultfinding indicated to me that this is a seriously buggy piece of software.
With one or two exceptions it seems that nobody ever resolves this problem.
MY THIRD COMPLAINT... WELL-MEANING BUT UNHELPFUL 'SOLUTIONS'
These are some of the typical solutions I read on these forums:
- Your computer is probably underpowered. Give us a list of all your specs.
- Your computer doesn't have enough hard drive space. Give us a list of all your specs.
- Your computer doesn't have enough RAM. Give us a list of all your specs.
- Something on your computer has 'changed'. Give us a list of all your specs.
- Your hard drive is dying. Back it up quick!
- It's probably your anti-virus software. Turn it off.
- Some of your drivers are probably out of date. Update them all. Give us a list of all your specs.
- That's a different issue... start a new thread. (Lame...)
Most of that advice is... well, lame. It's pretty obvious that these people are just winging it, i.e. throw everything up there and hope something works. Sorta like that tech guy on the support line who always ends up telling you to 're-install the program' because he really has no clue what the problem is and just wants you off the line.
As someone who has used video editing programs for years, I'm here to tell you that the problem is rarely the computer specs. The specs listed by Adobe for this program aren't that onerous and my three-year-old Dell 1525 laptop with less than 20 megs of space on its 136 HD and 2 megs of RAM was able to produce videos with no problem.
Most computers sold within the last three or four years are pretty robust and should have no problem with consumer level video editing.
Sending people off on a quest to 'fix' their computer and research a lot of computer specs is a time-waster. That should be the LAST thing you recommend after first eliminating the program as a problem.
This is worthy of its own post, but I won't bore you here. Suffice it to say that Adobe tech support deserves some sort of industry recognition for its ineptitude.
First, let me reinterate. The problem is probably the buggy program and not your computer, assuming your computer is relatively new and mid-range or better.
In my case, the clue was in the fact that not all of the program is uninstalled when you try to do a uninstall / re-install. The program likely had some sort of corrupted cache that stopped the program and that remained after an uninstall.
I unstalled it again, but after some research I came across this tool:
Adobe Creative Suite Cleaner Tool at http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/829/cpsid_82947.html
and this reference:
The reference above applies to Photoshop, but the Organizer elements applies to Premiere unintalls as well.
After applying these two solutions and then re-installing, my Premiere Elements is working once again.
Had I followed the typical advice I would have spent days updating drivers, installing RAM, de-fragging and cleaning up my hard drive, listing specs to post here, etc. And none of it would have mattered a wit.
The program is still buggy though and my original problem may re-occur, I admit. I will certainly never buy another version of this POS program again, but, in the meantime, I hope I can save someone here some time in looking for a fix for their own message.