A few top tips to get you started:
1. Search the forum for posts on speed issues
2. Buy more RAM
3. Apply the latest 5.02 patch for Premiere
>1x 500GB Hard disk (C: and D:. The files are on D:)
If that actually means ONE hard drive, with partitions, you have just about the worst setup there is
You need AT LEAST two separate, physical hard drives (3 is better)
Read Harm on drive setup http://forums.adobe.com/thread/662972?tstart=0
- click the embedded picture in Harm's message to enlarge to reading size
- you need AT LEAST 2 drives for video editing, 3 is better
- some HD formats work better with (require) RAID
Read Hunt on Partitions http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708?tstart=0
A link with many ideas about computer setup http://forums.adobe.com/thread/436215?tstart=0
OP: definitely follow John T's advice.
Todd: is there an average or benchmark for how fast the files should load after a project is opened as a result of the 5.0.2 update? It's probably too subjective considering everyone's machine is different; just wondering if there are any numbers or standards. For the record, my 5.0.2 is pretty rock solid.