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It's hard to say.
Despite what you've seen on the forums, there really is no "bad" build of Premiere Elements, if your system is well maintained and up to date. If you can use one version with no problems, chances are you can use any. Your main decision on which version to use probably depends more on the features and if you need or want them.
I'm not sure why your miniDV camcorder is not being recognized by Premiere Elements. (It is a miniDV, right?) Sometimes other software (Nero, for instance) can interfere with that connection.
A reinstall may help. Otherwise, the free utility WinDV does excellent captures from miniDV that are perfectly compatible with Premiere Elements.
Using only the FW connection, as PE cannot work with the USB connection, if WMM can see your camera (is that what comes up, when you plug it in, and turn it on?), it does sound as though something is getting in the way with PE.
I've seen instances, where the exact order of things seem to affect the operation of a Capture operation. These seem to be camera and system specific.
Try plugging in (FW only) the camera, turning it on, letting the Windows pop-up come up and exit out of that. THEN, start PE. Does this help? If not, power-off the camera and unplug it. Cancel any pop-ups about hardware unplugged, should you get any. Start PE. Plug in the camera, and then power it up. Exit any pop-ups, and put PE into Capture Mode. Does this work?
If still no go, then try plugging in the camera, but NOT turning it on yet. Start PE, go into Capture Mode, and THEN turn on the camera. Exit out of any pop-ups. Does this work?
Note: always plug/unplug the camera with the power OFF. Though there has been discussion on this (as most camera FW ports are 4-pin and unpowered), but be safe. No power on, when you plug/unplug. I even turn off power to the computer, when doing the plug/unplug operation, but then one could not have PE going, without always having the camera plugged in, but powered off. Just be careful with the plugging of the FW into the computer. We do not want a fried FW port on either your camera, or your computer. Yes, there is a little "catch-22" involved with my above suggestions.
Steve's suggestion to use WinDV is a good one, and might save you bothering with the test. Most folk do not have a problem with a FW-attached mini DV tape camera and Capturing via PE.
I have never seen this happen, except on a 64 Bit system where PE is nto listed in the pop-up dialog