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Assuming you're using XP on that computer, you should have enough power to run this program, assuming you have enough hard drive space (including at least 30-50 gigabytes free so that the program can create scratch disk files).
A number of issues can affect the program's stability. A lot depends, for instance, on what you're trying to edit. What type of video are you working with and what kind of camcorder did it come from?
Of greater issue is how well you keep your computer maintained. A computer with those specs is likely 3-5 years old and probably needs a number of updates. At the very least, you'll need to ensure you've gone to Windows Update and clicked Custom to download all the latest. You'll also need the latest RealTek drivers and the latest Quicktime, available from their web sites, per the FAQs at the top of this forum.
But, with a computer as old as yours, your system is also likely full of fragmentation, spyware and "invisible" temp files that will need to be cleaned and your system optimized. I perform this regimen weekly and four year old computer runs better than the day I bought it.
But, in my experience, using optimized video on a well-maintained system, this program is extremely stable.
Vegas, made by Sony, is also very stable, though it lacks some of the deeper "power" features of Premiere Elements. It too will require a well-maintained computer, particularly for certain types of video editing though.
No program performing something as intensive as video editing can do its job well if the computer it's running on isn't working at its best.
A system restart is usually an indicator of either a hardware malfunction, or something wrong at the OS level.
Open up Event Viewer, and study both the System and the Applications tabs. Look down the list of events. You *should* have some yellow and some red flags. Open those entries up and study them. If there are any links in those error messages, follow them to the MS Knowledgebase pages. There *might* be some clues there, as to what is happening.
Regarding your question on RAM: yes, RAM is good, however I know one user of Premiere Pro, who has a system not unlike yours. He does have a lot of large, fast hard drives, but has used that program fine with only 1GB of RAM. Like I said, RAM is good, the more, the better, but that is not likely your problem.
Please report back with any error messages, especially in the System tab. Something is not right, and those messages *might* give us some clues.
You mentioned that I should open up event viewer. Is that the same thing as the task manager when I press Alt + Cont + Del? Yes I know it sounds elementary but some computer jargon I get a little tossed around on. I need a little help on this one. I will move forward with the knownledge base.
No, though Task Manager will tell you what is going on at the moment. It is good for monitoring the Processes and Performance of the computer, in real time.
In C:\Windows\System32\ you will find Event Viewer (eventvwr.exe, in XP-Pro). It is a logging application, that keeps tabs on the system, and logs all events, whether they are errors, or not. It is a tabbed viewer, and the two most important tabs are System and Applications. I can't recall what one needs to do to access it from within Windows, because when I get a new computer, one of the first things that I do is place a shortcut to it on my Desktop. Then, I can access it with just a Dbl-click. I do the same for Control Panel.
Each time that you bootup, start/end a program, and shut down, it logs events. Most of these events will have a little "bubble" icon with an "i" in it. The ones that you want to study will be yellow triangles with a "!," and red circles with an "X." You'll get messages like this:
"Hanging application Photoshop.exe, version 126.96.36.199, hang module hungapp, version 0.0.0.0, hang address 0x00000000.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp."
In that case, you also have a link to MS's Knowledgebase. Those can usually provide some clue, as to what went wrong, though not always. Still, they are better than nothing. Unfortunately, some of the messages are so cryptic that even a senior coder for MS cannot tell you what happened. However, you might get lucky and find some good, useful info.
Then, there is always "The Case of the Unexplained,"
START > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer
Thank you. I have not done it that way in years, and could not remember what the Path was.
There are certain applications/programs, that go to my Desktop with a new OS(usually from Windows Explorer), so I do not use the "normal" navigation.
Thank you so much for your help and guidance. I have another question. If I reinstalled my XP operating systems all over again wiping my drive clean of everything and then reinstalling all of my programs including Premiere Elements, would that solve my problem?
My guess is if I reinstalled the OS that would reset everything to zero. Do you think that is a viable option?
I'd hold that as a last resort. You should be able to track down the culprit(s) in your present install. I do not know what you have on your system, in the way of programs, but a disc wipe and OS install is a good day's work, to get all of the updates, and then install and configure your programs.
What did Event Viewer indicate in both the System and Applications lists? Anything regarding your issues in there. You will have to scroll down, but the default is to display in chronological order, so check the dates and times.