I have Windows XP and a Dell XPS 400. I installed Premiere 8 with no problem, but when I select to start a new project or open an existing project the video download screen appears for about 2-3 seconds and then disappears with no error message. It takes me back to the open project, new project or organize screen. I am able to go in and organize, but there's nothing to organize because I haven't been able to download any video yet. I have reinstalled twice. I saw the messages about holding down shift when starting up but it doesn't do anything for me...I get no new screen.
Can you give us more information on your system. How fast is your processor, how much RAM do you have and how much free, defragmented space is on your hard drive?
Also, have you manually gone to Windows Update, clicked Custom and downloaded all of the non-critical updates? Have you got the latest version of Quicktime?
Premiere Elements 8 is a very demanding program, and it's important that you have the hardware and software support to make it run.