What are your computer specs? How fast is your processor and how much RAM do you have? How much free, freshly defragmented space is on your computer?
When you started your Premiere Elements project, did you select the project setting for a hi-def project that matches your camcorder's specs?
And what model of camcorder did this video come from?
I'm surprised to hear that you've been using this program on this system for a few years with no problems. Windows 7 was only introduced last year!
I'm having the exact same problem as the above poster. I'm using Windows 7 and PE4 worked for a while until one day it crashed (as it tended to do pretty often). It offered me the chance to save my project as it was crashing and so I did. Then whenever I tried to use the program again, it would always crash and "minimize" when trying to open a project or start a new one exactly as it did for the other person. I'd been thinking about upgrading my software anyway, so I got Premiere Elements 9. Now it won't work. If I try to start a new project, it gives me a blank screen. I try to open one, I get "Sorry, a serious error has a occured [...]". It's basically an updated version of the same original problem.
My computer is a Dell Studio 1555 (I think that translates to Dell Studio 16). It's got an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 281 GB of free space, a regularly defragmented hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 video card. The problem can't be blamed on video compatibility as the original problem in the old software arose randomly after I had been using the same Flip HD camcorder and video settings for a while and the new software hasn't interacted with any video yet because it crashes before I can get any in! What the heck is going on here?
Unless you know for certain that your problems are being caused by the exact same problems as the original poster, it's probably not a good idea to tag onto a discussion in progress, Jay. Otherwise we end up trying to carry on two discussions at the same time.
Please start your own thread, and confirm that, when you created your new project in version 9, you selected the appropriate Flip camcorder project settings. Also confirm that you've updated to the latest version of Quicktime and that you have downloaded the latest drivers for your graphics card from the ATI site.