5 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2009 11:07 AM by Paul_LS

    Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'

    Alex O'D Level 1

      My son is using Premiere Elements 4.0 under Windows XP Pro SP3 on an Acer desktop with an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and 4 GB of RAM.  He typically edits video shot with a Sony Handycam DCR-HC96, and/or video shot on a Fuji E900 point-and-shoot camera.


      He found he was able to edit projects without problems for many months until we recently ha to restore the PC to factory configuration and reinstall all applications.  Now he is routinely getting memory and performance problems.  After starting Premiere Elements and opening a project file, he routinely gets a box reading, "Adobe Premiere Elements is running very low on system memory.  Please save your project and proceed with caution."


      Often when he clicks play on a video he's working on he finds it won't play.  Shortly thereafter he sees a statement that there has been a serious error, and it exits.


      The PC has a 150-GB internal hard drive partitioned into two volumes, C: and D:, as well as a 500-GB external hard drive we added that is connected by an eSATA adapter that we're given to understand should be at least as fast as the internal drive.  We've attempted to adjust the size of the page files for each of these drives. We saw some documentation that suggested an initial size of the size of RAM plus 12 MB, and a maximum size as twice that of RAM.  However, Windows XP allows a maximum page file size of 4096 MB, so we've tried using this as both the initial and maximum value for each of the three drives.


      At one point my son had his project files stored on the external eSATA drive.  We tried moving these to the D: volume on the internal drive, but it made no difference.


      There are no still photos in my son's projects, only video files of types and sizes that he formerly worked with without problems.  All of the drives have been defrag'd recently.  No other applications are running when he is using Premiere Elements.


      We'd be very grateful for any suggestions of what to try next.

        • 1. Re: Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          There's a big difference between the video from that miniDV camcorder (which is perfectly compatible with Premiere Elements) and video from the Fuji still camera (which is not). Converting the Fuji footage using Windows MovieMaker, as described in the FAQs to the right of this forum should give you a major boost in performance.



          But you seem to be especially concerned about performance issues that have crept in since reinstalling the operating system -- which, ideally, should restore you computer to brand new performance.


          There could be a couple of things going on.


          1) It's possible that your computer used to have the necessary codecs to work with that Fuji camera. Restoring our operating system may have erased those codecs. Converting the video files should resolve that.


          2) Your computer may not be completely up to date. After re-installing the operating system, it can take several trips to Windows Updates, with reboots in between, to get every single update. Be sure, when you go to Windows Update, to click the Custom button and install every update -- particularly those for hardware support.


          To keep your system completely up to date, I recommend a great, free program from Secunia. Once you've updated all of your drivers and formware with it, it automatically keeps them updated.



          3) Finally, installing an operating system and configuring a computer can leave your hard drive a terrible mess -- full of temp files and fragmentation -- which can really affect performance. There's a great free tool that will clean up your drive and clean up your registry with a single click. It's called Advanced System Care, and I recommend it as part of my weekly system maintenance.


          • 2. Re: Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'
            Alex O'D Level 1

            Thanks much for the tips.  We went through the various suggestions, and my son had a problem-free session editing footage from his Sony Handycam DCR-HC96 and posting the finished product to YouTube.


            However, we found the process of converting videos from his Fuji E900 point-and-shoot still camera to DV-AVI in Windows Movie Maker to be very laborious, since it appears to require the user to do the conversion manually, clip by clip.  My son tends to have a large number of short clips that he combines into a single project.  We tried bringing a number of his clips into Windows Movie Maker at one time and creating a master DV-AVI file from all of them, but he finds the finished large file difficult to work with in the editing process.  He'd like to find an easier way to convert his clips to DV-AVI one by one.




            1)  Is there good software out there that will do batch conversions of videos to DV-AVI?  I googled "batch video file conversion" and came up with a number of hits, but wasn't sure which would be appropriate to this specific conversion.


            2)  What about the idea of a codec?  Is there something we can find and install so that he can skip the manual conversion process entirely, as he previously seemed to be able to do?


            Thanks again --

            • 3. Re: Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              I use DigitalMedia Converter, which does batch conversions and outputs DV-AVI Type II files with PCM/WAV 48KHz 16-bit Audio.


              As for Windows Movie Maker (WMM), you can Import all of the short Clips into it, assemble them onto the Timeline (really kind of a modified Sceneline, compared to PE's Timeline), and then Export the combined Clips as a DV-AVI file. This would be Imported into PE and could be cut, as needed. Almost like doing a "batch conversion," but with the need to separate the individual Clips in PE.


              The CODEC is what is used to compress/decompress (or "translate," if you will) the file. In the case of WMM, or DMC, you will be using the MS DV-AVI CODEC.


              PE can handle a lot of "native" CODEC's pretty well, so long as they are properly installed on one's system. However, in the case of the Fuji, you have had problems with this. Also, it's a lot more work for the editing program to do this conversion (if it can, at all) internally. That is why it's always better to get the material into DV-AVI Type II files BEFORE Import into the editing program. It eliminates many problems and certainly makes for a more pleasurable and efficient editing process.


              Good luck,




              [Edit] I did not see what CODEC the Fuji uses to create its files. A little utility, G-Spot will give you all of the data for those files, plus will survey your system to tell you if the necessary CODEC's are properly installed. If not, it will give you the name and then with the help of Google, you can find it, and install it onto the system. It could well be that you just do not have the proper CODEC's (Audio and Video) installed on your system. If that is the case, G-Spot will tell you. Then, you can install what is needed. Do see paragraph 4 above, for a caveat on using anything except DV-AVI files. You can still have problems, as PE will be doing the conversion internally.

              • 4. Re: Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'
                Alex O'D Level 1

                Thanks, Hunt.  Regarding Windows Movie Maker, we were essentially trying your approach (bringing a bunch of short clips into Windows Movie Maker, assembling them into a timeline and exporting as a large DV-AVI file), but my son didn't like having to deal with the end product in Premiere Elements -- too much manual labor to cut them apart.


                Regarding Digital Media Converter, we downloaded the current version and brought a number of my son's clips into it.  However, I'm not seeing DV-AVI as one of the choices for export format.  There's a choice for "AVI," but it wasn't clear to me if this is different from the ".avi" format that these clips are already in as they come from the point-and-shoot camera.  Precisely which export format should we be choosing for best compatibility with Premiere Elements 4.0?


                One other comment -- while not a show-stopper, the $50 cost for Digital Media Converter is non-trivial to us.  Are there any freeware solutions that would completely automate clip-by-clip conversion of individual video files from my son's point-and-shoot camera to a good format for Premiere Elements?


                Thanks again --

                • 5. Re: Premiere Elements 4 'very low on system memory'
                  Paul_LS Level 4

                  Your Fuji camera produces AVI with the MJPEG codec. iInstall the free MJPEG and you will be able to edit the videos from the stills camera.


                  If you still have issues you could also give MPEG_Streamclip a try for converting your files to DV-AVI. MPEG_Streamclip supports MJPEG files it also has a batch conversion facility and is free. Once converted the files will be fully compatible with Premiere Elements. See this FAQ for details. Make sure to follow the directions on the MPEG_Streamclip web site: