19 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2011 8:51 PM by the_wine_snob

    File/Codec problem

    rdoutdoors Level 1

      Hey guys,


      I have Premiere Elements 8. I've been using this program for about 8 months without any trouble. All my files and videos are stored on an external hard drive. I went to capture some footage about 2 weeks ago and didn't have any trouble with the files. However, now when I go to open up a project, it asks where are the files are (as if they aren't on the program) and when I select the file from my hard drive, then try to open it in elements, it says "file type not supported or the required codec is not installed". This is on every single file (video, picture, audio) that I have on that program. I can't open anything up at all. Any help!!!!?????

        • 1. Re: File/Codec problem
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          What is the file format of the video and how are you trying to get these video clips into your project?


          Did you use Premiere Elements to get these files from your camcorder to your computer? What kind of camcorder did this video come from?


          Video on an external drive often get "lost" by the program because Windows sometimes assigns a different drive letter to the drive when you plug it in. You can can prevent this by permanently mapping your drive as part of your computer. How you do this depends on your operating system. Since I don't know your operating system, I can't offer specifics -- but, basically, you need to tell your computer to permanently assign a drive letter to your external hard drive.

          • 2. Re: File/Codec problem
            rdoutdoors Level 1

            File formats are .mpeg, .avi and .mov for videos, .wav and .mpeg4 for audio and

            .png/.jpeg for still pictures. The files have all been "saved" in the program,

            but when I go to open them, it wants me to find them on my hard drive and then

            won't open or recognize them.

            Yes, all the video files were captured using Premiere Elements. They came from a

            Canon HV40 and a JVC Everio camcorder.

            My operating system is Windows Vista 32-bit. So if I could map it, that would be


            • 3. Re: File/Codec problem
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              >Windows Vista


              For all things Microsoft, search at http://search.microsoft.com/search.aspx?mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US

              • 4. Re: File/Codec problem
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                Thanks, John.


                You may also want to reconsider mixing all those video formats in the same project. It's just asking for trouble.


                You'd be wise to convert them all to a common format before you mix them into a project. It was save you some major headaches later! Trust me on this.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: File/Codec problem
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Well, the files have not actually been "Saved" in the Project file, just the absolute links TO those files.


                  As mentioned, with an external, one must set a permanent drive letter in the OS, so that the Absolute Paths do not change in any way.


                  This ARTICLE will give you some background on the Project files (PREL's in PrE), and what they actually contain.


                  When using external HDD's, you might want to also see this ARTICLE.


                  Good luck,



                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: File/Codec problem
                    rdoutdoors Level 1

                    But even if I figure out how to permanently route the drive to my computer, I still haven't figured out how to recover the files. Even if I bring a new file into Premiere Elements, it says the same thing. These formats are not all in the same project, but whenever I open a project up, unless I choose a specific project file in the program, all my media files are available.

                    • 7. Re: File/Codec problem
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      I am sorry, but am now at a loss as to what you need and what is happening. Maybe I'm just jet-lagged?


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: File/Codec problem
                        Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                        I'm not getting it either, Bill.


                        When you are prompted to locate the files after you open a project, are you browsing to them? Once you locate one in a folder, the program should automatically start finding the others in the folder.

                        • 9. Re: File/Codec problem
                          lbransc Level 1

                          I am having the exact same problem. I have been working on this project for the last week, as recently as yesterday, and when I opened it up today It said, "Where is the file 'My Movie.wmv?" I don't know why, because I opened a file called 'French revolution.prel' (School Project). When I manually choose the file from the Adobe Premiere elements folder, it gave me this error- "This type of file is not supported, or the required codec is not installed". I know it is the correct file type because I have been editing it in premiere elements for some time. The only thing I can think of is that maybe there is a new update that needs to be installed, or something of the sort. I really need a fix because this yearlong project is due tomorrow. Thanks.

                          • 10. Re: File/Codec problem
                            lbransc Level 1

                            Yes it is browsing to them. The issue is that the program is not opening any files, of any type.

                            • 11. Re: File/Codec problem
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              "Where is the file 'My Movie.wmv?


                              My question would be, where IS "My Movie.WMV?"


                              It has obviously been used in the Project, but is now not in the same exact spot (remember, the Paths are Absolute, and must match 100%). Where IS that file?


                              Are there any external HDD's, any networked drives, or did you only Move/Copy the PREL file over to the computer?


                              Good luck, and maybe this ARTICLE will give you more info on PREL files, and on the locations of the media.



                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: File/Codec problem
                                lbransc Level 1

                                The file My movie.wmv is in My Documents>Adobe>Premiere Elements>9.0


                                Everything to do with this project originated on the hard drive of my computer or on the flip digital camcorder I filmed it on.

                                • 13. Re: File/Codec problem
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  Are the missing files still on that Flip camera, or did you Copy them over to the HDD?


                                  When you navigate to "My Movie" in the listed Path, does PrE see and link to that?


                                  Something is going very wrong here.


                                  Good luck,



                                  • 14. Re: File/Codec problem
                                    lbransc Level 1

                                    The raw video clips are saved in a different location on the desktop of my computer.


                                    When I open the folder and open the .prel file, it opens premiere elements but the same error code pops up.


                                    I find it weird that at least two of us are having what looks to be the exact same problem at the same time, which lead me to believe it is an issue with the program that has occured due to an update or something like that.

                                    • 15. Re: File/Codec problem
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      OK, it sounds like you are saving the Assets to the Desktop folder. PrE has issues with that particular folder, as does PrPro. If that is correct, can you Copy/Move the AV files to a regular folder, say inside the Project hierarchy?


                                      Good luck,



                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: File/Codec problem
                                        lbransc Level 1

                                        I'm not sure if that is the problem, but I'll try it. I'm no expert but I hope I'll eventually find a fix.

                                        Thanks for all your help.

                                        • 17. Re: File/Codec problem
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          My workflow is to create a "root" folder for each Project (might be below the root folder for a client). Then, I create my sub-folders below that root folder. These consist of: Videos, Still Images, Audio, SFX, Music, Titles (if I am creating those in PS), etc. Next, I Copy my Assets to the appropriate sub-folders. My PrE Project is then created (New Project) in the Project's root folder, and I locate my Scratch Disks there too, with "Same as Project" in Edit>Preferences.


                                          Everything is now contained in that Project, and I have everything that I need. Should I find that I need other Assets, I just Copy them to the appropriate sub-folder.


                                          My folder structure looks like this:


                                          Project Name


                                               Still Images





                                               Various Scratch Disk folders


                                          This keeps all aspects of the Project in on place and neatly. It also pays dividends, when time comes to Delete that Project, as one only has to Delete the Project's root folder, and everything clears out with it. Remember, I am working with Copies of my various Assets, and the originals are safely stored elsewhere.


                                          As mentioned, the Desktop folder is a special folder, that displays its contents on the Desktop. I never use that for anything but my Shortcuts. PrE has issues, due to the special nature of the Desktop folder, if one either Exports/Shares to it, or links to an Asset in it. This is not always the case, but happens often enough, that I would use it as intended, and keep that folder clean. If one, say places an installer into that folder, I would clean that out, when the installation has completed.


                                          Good luck, and hope that this helps,



                                          • 18. Re: File/Codec problem
                                            rdoutdoors Level 1

                                            Yeah, I think we are having the exact same problem. I searched for an update and didn't find any. I also find it weird that every single file I have used or uploaded to premiere elements has this problem. So I'm assuming that I just need to permanently link my drive to the computer? How do I do that?

                                            • 19. Re: File/Codec problem
                                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                                              If you are using an external (I'm not clear on that), then you need to go to Windows Help, and type in "drive letter," to find your version of Disk Management (changes version to version). There, you can set the drive letter for each external HDD. Then, no matter what is plugged in, or what is available at boot, the same drive letter will apply, based on the external's ID. Check your OS version, and use the Help files to do this.


                                              Good luck,