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Is this a Vista or XP computer?
Do you run regular maintenance and update your drivers and firmware, especially Quicktime?
It's an XP Professional with Service Pack 3. I am current with the Microsoft hot fixes and run spyware/virus check every week with no major problems. I am running Quicktime 7.5.5 which is the most recent. It almost seems like the Premier Elements program is getting full. It has been getting progressively worse to the point where I cannot edit any of the video without it locking up. For a while I could exit the program and it would start working, then I had to reboot the PC and it would start working. I am wondering if I downloaded the video from the camcorder wrong and the files are too big? The video that I am working on in the Sceneline is less than 2 hours worth. It is very frustrating to be this far and run into such a huge problem.
It sounds like you need the maintenance I recommended above to clear the temp files from your system. You should also go into Premiere Elements Edit/Preferences/Media Cache and clear the media cache.
You say you've got a 500 gig drive, so you should have plenty of space. (I'm assuming that most of that drive is empty.) But temp, scratch disk and other cache files as well as fragmentation can clog up a drive.
Also, you don't say what antivirus you're running, but Norton products can be bloated to the point of fatal.
I went through all the maintenance you suggested. I started editing and after about 10 clips it locked up again. I went through the Help files for PE and the camera. I think I might have recorded in 16:9 and imported to PE in 4:3. Could this be causing the problem? I think I will have to start from scratch all over.
That could be a reason you'd be using more resources. But, with your specs, you should still have computer resources to spare.
There's obviously something going on here that's deeper than I can help you with on the forum. sorry.
Meantime, have you installed the 3.02 patch?
BTW, you're not using 64-bit XP, are you? This program won't run in 64-bit mode without lots of problems.