"i am not using camcorder footage im using screen capture program recorded footage via fraps thats been converted to a lower file size in wmv format via windows movie maker."
This is likely the problem. FRAPS is a challenge anyway -- but converting it to a WMV isn't making all that much more compatible with Premiere Elements.
Premiere Elements functions very well with a very narrow range or video formats. If you can convert your videos to DV-AVIs, you should see your stability probles go away (assuming your system is stable and well maintained).
If you're finding FRAPS loads okay into Windows MovieMaker, you can use MovieMaker to output a DV-AVI, per the FAQs to the right of this forum.
Welcome to the forum.
I first want to commend you on a well-written, and detailed post. Wish that others would take a page from your book.
Now, the first thing that I notice is the lack of free space on your system (C:\) drive. If your Virtual Memory is dynamically managed (the default), you are likely to be running out of space for it. At least you have 2 physical HDD's, which I feel is the absolute minimum for video editing. I would look into cleaning out some "stuff" on your C:\, to get more working room there. The general feeling is that 30GB of defragmented free space is the min., but I lean towards ~ 50GB, with a statically managed Page File. With 4GB of physical RAM, I would look to a Page File of about 2 - 2.5x the RAM, or 6 - 10 GB. The static management will do two things: take the Page File management overhead off of the OS and also will locate the Page File in the same area of the HDD at boot up. You might want to experiment with placing it on your D:\, as separating it out from the C:\ can result in performance gains on many systems. This needs to be tested, however. I have my Page File on an otherwise pretty empty D:\, but have many more physical HDD's for media, for Projects, for Exported files, etc. My Projects and their Scratch Disks are separately located too, so the entire workload is spread over a half-dozen HDD's.
Now, I have two articles, that might be useful. The first is to set up a system for video editing, and is HERE. The second is for finding clues, when a program, or system crashes. It is located HERE. There are also several good articles in the FAQ sub-forum, on optimizing both one's system and the PrE program. I highly recommend those.
Hope that something there is helpful, and good luck,
As for the FRAPS footage, there are several posts here, and also in the PrPro forum, regarding editing material from FRAPS. I would recommend looking over those, as there are tips.This THREAD has links to plenty of those other threads.
Good luck, and hope that some of those links will be useful.
your suggestion to convert it to DV-AVI via windows movie maker seems to have done the trick it went into the project and exported without a hitch. although im wondering why ive not had any issues until recently with those type of files, alot of my previous videos have been wmv converted from fraps footage. oh well i guess aslong as it works now i shouldnt really be concerned about why it didnt before. thanks for your help guys.
Not sure why it worked but stopped, however Steve's rec. for Exporting from WMM to DV-AVI will be much easier to edit (higher quality too), than WMV.