Are you saying that the program does completely open or it doesn't?
If the program opens, it could be that your AVCHD video files are slowing it down (since you've got a pretty marginal machine for editing AVCHD). Though I can't say for sure because I don't know what model of camcorder you're using and which video format it shoots in.
I'm also not sure what you mean when you say "30 to 40 little icons show up on my bottom right hand tool bar". Can you post a screen shot of this so we can see it?
The program opens okay
I use Need4Video file converter to change the files to an avi. File
And I attached a screenshot, hope you can see it ok
It could well be that your converter isn't created true DV-AVI Type 2 files. A non-DV AVI can be worse than an unconverted file!
What specs did you use to create your AVIs? When you place these AVIs on the timeline, is there a red line above them? True DV-AVIs should have no red or green lines above them until you add effects or transitions to them.
FFDShow has caused problems for many Adobe users. It is often installed along with various CODEC "packs," and can be a tough bugger to clean out completely.
Do you need FFDShow?
Not sure what ffdshow is used for, but I would guess no, don't need it
just a yellow line runs through the video 1 and audio 1 clip,(not using timelines 2 and 3 yet, there is a red line just under the playhead