If a new project takes 5 mins to load, something is very wrong. The combination of your RAM and CPU must be too low for Premiere Elements.
PE9 was loading and running correctly until about a month ago. It did fine until something changed. I have lots of HDD and ram. I just uninstalled it and re-installed it this weekend but it still has the same problems. I'm using Vista and I wonder if an update to Vista or PE9 caused some problems.
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One likely cause of issues would be an update/hot-fix to Vista (do you have those set to the default of automatic?) breaking your video (and/or audio) drivers. Per the suggestions in that linked article, I would update both from their mfgr's. Web sites. Do not trust Windows, or any utility to tell you if you have the very latest drivers. Those recommendations will probably be 6 mos. out of date, and of little to no use.
If nothing in that article helps, then I suggest posting the full system specs., as outlined in this ARTICLE.
Disable display driver and try to launch PE9. To do this, right click on "My Computer" and choose Properties, go to Device Manager and choose display. Here right click on the display card and say "Disable". You may have to restart. Once done, launch PE9 and see if that works.
If it does, it is a display driver issue. Before I give you more steps/thoughts, Could you try this and let me know if this works for you?
I updated my video & audio device drivers and it is improved. It still doesn't load the user info bar, but it is opening up the .prel files faster. I'm also going to add more ram. Thanks for the help.