My first question is...
Can your PC see the Camera in Windows Explorer when connected via F/W.?
If so... you only need to drag the Folder in its entirety into your editing Media Drive.
If not you may need to install the P2 Drivers - available on the Panasonic website. (or possibly with your camera on a disk)
EDIT - oops - sorry about misleading with F/W connection advice. I use a laptop connection for downloading cards to ext HD using P2 Forge then I use F/W to my desktop.
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If you're on a PC, you use USB to connect the HVX/HPX series of camcorders to your computer; if you're on a Mac, use Firewire. Be sure the proper interface for PC Mode is selected in "Other Options" under the camcorder's menu; it sounds like you already know how to get into PC Mode.
With tapeless camcorders like the HPX170, you don't "capture" in the traditional sense using Premiere. Instead, you "transfer" the entire folder structure and the files contained therein from the P2 card to a local hard drive (you can edit off the P2 card directly, but usually you'll want to offload to a local hard drive first). Then, you use the Media Browser to navigate to the drive/folder where you copied the P2 footage, and the Media Browser will (usually) automatically switch to P2 mode, and you'll see thumbnails appear. From there, you simply drag any or all of the clips from the Media Browser into your Project Panel, and they'll now be a part of your project.
The most important thing to remember is that you're working with files, moreso than "footage" in the usual sense. Copy the entire CONTENTS folder structure from the P2 card to your hard drive (you can and should create a parent folder to contain that, so that if you have multiple cards you can keep things organized, like SHOOT_01, SHOOT_02, SHOOT_03, and so on). Premiere will then look at those files as footage, and you'll be able to edit them as you would any tape-based footage.
I am not familiar with the 170 but I have an HVX200 which is also P2. The HVX transfers files to a PC through the USB only and to a
mac through the firewire only. If your computer recognized it in USB mode then I assume you are on a PC based system. Instead of trying Adobe Bridge you should select open folder to view files using windows explorer. Once this is open you will see a contents folder and "lastclip" text file. You want to copy the folder and the text file into your Hard Drive together. Do not pick and choose clips until the whole card is copied. You should also name your folder ahead of time (Church Service 112209) or something that hints to its contents. Then you can drag your MXF files and audio clips into Premiere Pro from the Video and Audio folders. I have copied individual clips with success but have sine been told it is safer to do the whole folder and the lastclip file.
I am guessing that since you only saw thumbnails that you pulled form the clip folder, not the video folder. Compare the file size between MXF files and the clip folder is significantly smaller.
I hope ths helps, good luck.