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Hi, Teajay. Thanks for the kind words about my book. (BTW, I also was an editor on Paul's book!)
I'm sorry to hear you're having challenges -- but it's kind of scary that even a complete reinstall of the operating system isn't helping!
Normally, I'd suggest launching the program while holding down the Shift key (or even the left-side Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys together). This can clear corruptions that can creep into your preferences and your cache. But, if you've reinstalled Vista and the program, that's not likely. I suppose it's worth a try though - just not likely.
The only other thing I can think of is to clear the project's media cache (under the program's Edit/Preferences/Media Cache). You may also want to go to the Timeline drop-down and Delete All Render Files. This will force the program to re-render your project. Again, just in case a corruption has crept in.
That could help -- especially if your problems are unique to this project and don't seem to be affecting the program's performance overall.
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Could you please list your system's components in detail?
That crash on Rt-click sounds a bit like a video driver issue, but could be other things, as well. Do you by chance have an nVidia video card w/ the latest drivers? If you do, please check whether PhysX, or 3D Stereovision are loaded with it. If so, try with these two modules disabled.
Also, check what your video's Hardware Acceleration is set to. If it's at max, try with it turned OFF. If that helps, test by moving it up a notch at a time, until you get the crashes and then turn it down one notch.
Both of those elements can cause behavior similar to what you describe.
You should also state the details on your media, it's type, the source, if Standard Def or HD, and how it's imported into PE, and Project presets.
Having utilized Steve's book, assuming it's SD, then you should be aware of the benefits of DV-AVI and it's use and the resizing of still images.
If your horror show continues, then lets leave no stone unturned...
Sorry I haven't got back immediately, I'm on the other side of the world (Australia) so I'm asleep while you guys are responding (and I assume you guys are asleep now.)
I tried deleting the cache etc and re-rending everything but that didn't work. I tried altering Playback Properties to Compatible or Normal instead of GPU Accerated and I got excited when it stopped crashing whenever I right click anything on the timeline, but it still crashes when I start playback and then press stop or space bar to stop. So a little bit of progress.
I'm thinking that maybe it might be the latest Realtek Audio driver that I'm using which is a beta version but I'm not sure that I had it installed prior to reinstalling Vista. But I will try it later just to see.
As for the format that the sub-clipps that I rendered are in, they are avi files using YUV 422 10bit REC 709 format. I think its a professional format that is very large in size. Each clip is 1280x720 because my clip is going to YouTube. I would probably have not used such a big file size producing codec but it worked perfect for several months which leads me to suspect that it is not the cause of my issues. The problem I have is that some of the resources I used to produce these sub-clipps have gone because I forgot to back them up, which means that if I want to alter the codec I use for each sub-clip I cannot go back and re-render but rather would have to transcode from the YUV 422 codec to a different one and I don't know of any programs that even recognise YUV 422 10bit other than Premiere Elements. And it's a lot of extra work just to find out that it might not even help.
I have the final almost complete project as a rendered mp4 file that I can upload to YouTube in its partially completed form if I have to, but I think I could make it 10 times better with just a little extra work so I'm hoping I don't have to do that.