Are you sure you're talking about Premiere Elements and not Photoshop Elements or the Elements Organizer?
What does opening a project have to do with finding photos?
And where are these photos located?
And where are these photos located?
This is very, very important. Assuming that you are talking about Premiere Elements, the PREL (Project file) does NOT contain any media - none of any kind. It only contains links to where those media files were located, when they were Imported into the Project. Those links are absolute Paths, so that if anything changes, such as drive letter/Volume, file name, folder name, etc., the link is broken, and PrE cannot locate the file any longer.
Again, and assuming Premiere Elements, this article goes into more detail on the structure of the PREL (Project file): http://forums.adobe.com/message/3392837#3392837
This article goes into details on locating unlinked media files: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4598705#4598705
Yes, I'm sure! I want to modify a project. I did it many time. The photos are in an external disk, the same I used to produce my projects.
Is the external drive still attached to your computer?
Can you see the photos with Windows Explorer?
The disk is attached to my computer. I can edit some projects, some others no.
If I start with a new project, when I choose the files for the project, I receice a message that says "This file is not supported, or the codec is not installed".
It's the first time I see this message.
If you're getting that message, you may be mistaking your project files for your media files.
When you select File/Open, it is to open a project file (.prel file). Not photo or video files.
Once you have opened or started a project, you can then use Get Media/From Files and Folders to add photos, videos, music, etc., to your project.
BTW, if you are adding photos to your project, make sure that they are not over 1000x750 pixels in size. Photos directly from cameras can be many many times that size and the program will not import them.
"This file is not supported, or the codec is not installed".
What is the CODEC in those files?
Is this the exact same computer, where you originally created and edited the Project?
Is this the exact same installation of your OS, as when you originally created and edited the Project?
When plugged into your computer, does the OS see the external HDD as the exact same drive letter, as was assigned to it, earlier?
For more info on using external HDD's, see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4542396#4542396
A PREL file (Project file) needs to be Opened by PrE. It cannot be Imported.
A media file cannot be Opened by PrE. They must be Imported (Get Media) by PrE, into an Open Project (PREL).
This confuses some users, until they understand what the PREL file is, and how PrE works with media files.
Thank you for making that point,
I try to be more clear.
I made several projects (filename.prel). Many times I edited them, by Premiere Elements 9, to make some changes. Today, I tryed to modified a file (.prel). but I cannot because PE9 after the command File/Open/filename.prel, it did not find the components (links) and it asked me: "where is the file ....?". This question for all the components. I tryed to open some other files, some were opened, some others no.
The disk is always the same. It's more than ore year I'm using it.
Than I tryed to start with a new project (.prel). When I imported media files (photos, videos, music) from folder I had the msg :"Errore generico. Questo tipo di file non è supportato, oppure il codec richiesto non è installato." I translated it in "This file is not supported, or the codec is not installed".
During an attempt I had also the msg: ..\..\Src\Action.cpp-124
I hope I have been clear enough.
Thank you for the clarification.
Somewhere along the course of time, the files are not in the same EXACT location, as they were, when Imported.
Be sure to see that article that I linked to above, about working with external HDD's, then for the "Where is file ____ ?" message, be sure to see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4598705#4598705 It explains what one needs to do, when the absolute Path has been changed in some way.