8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2011 4:26 PM by the_wine_snob

    PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads

    Meridian Pictures

      I realize that Premiere Elements 4 is old, but I still like and use it for all my projects. Here's my problem: I've been running PrE 4 for months on my new 64-bit Win 7 HP laptop, but only today it started going bonkers. It opens just fine, but when I open a project, it minimizes the PrE window as soon as it loads. Even though I've tried re-opening the window, it refuses to return to full screen.

      I've tried compatibility to Vista and even XP, running under administrator priveleges, but to no avail. Is this a result of a newly-installed program or a virus? I'd love to get back to editing...

        • 1. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Welcome to the forum.


          Does PrE run fine, if you Open a New Project, instead of your existing one?


          For general issues with PrE, see this ARTICLE, as there are plenty of tips, and links. It starts off with general things to do, and then works up (in degree of difficulty, or work) to some troubleshooting tips.


          One thing that I would immediately check would be the video and audio drivers, the version of QT Player, and then the amount of defragmented free-space that you have on your system. If you have been doing a lot of video editing, space might have filled more than you realize.


          Good luck,



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            If the above article does not fix things, then please post the full specs. of your Project, your Source Footage and also your system. See this ARTICLE on what would be so very useful.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
              Meridian Pictures Level 1

              PrE still doesn't open projects. This is what I have done to remedy the problem, but still to no avail:


              • Re-installed program
              • Repaired program
              • Tried opening a new project
              • Installing Quick Time
              • Running in compatability mode for XP and Vista



              BTW, my machine has plenty of space left, so it couldn't be a storage issue.


              Here's the specs of my machine:


              • Processor: AMD Athlon II P360 Dual-Core 2.30 GHz
              • RAM: 4 GB
              • 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium


              ...and my project:


              • About 30 seconds done
              • One music track
              • One narration
              • Two titles


              .... and the source footage:


              • All raw AVI except for
              • Two WMA files
              • No greater than 106 MB



              Is that the information you needed?

              • 4. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Thank you for the info.


                There is one thing that I need clarification on - do you mean that you can no longer Open a New Project, one that is empty? If so, then you can ignore the test below, though we might come back to that, if we can get PrE to Open a New Project.


                When you say "raw AVI files," are these DV-AVI's, a particular form of AVI? This ARTICLE will give you more background on file formats.


                You mention WMA Audio files. Like an AVI file, those can contain a lot of different stuff, but more on that in a moment.


                With Win7-64, 4GB RAM is about what Win7 needs to run, and that does not leave a lot of excess for programs.


                Now, Projects can become corrupted, or unstable, due to many things. Assets in a Project can become problematic. One way to test a Project for "bad" Assets is to make sure that PrE is closed, and then "hide" the Assets from PrE. As the Project file, the PREL, does not contain any of the Assets, but only follows absolute Paths to those Assets, this is farily simple. How one has structured their Assets folders can greatly simplify this task, or can cause a bit of work. It sounds as though your Project is pretty simple so far, and should not be difficult to follow these steps for testing:



                • With PrE closed, go to the folder(s), where the Assets are located, and Move the folder(s) elsewhere. Remember, the PREL uses absolute Paths,so that original Path will no longer apply. At this point, I would also separate Assets by type, say with Video files in a "Video" folder, Still Images in a "Stills" folder and Audio files in an "Audio" folder. You will see why in a moment.
                • Launch PrE, and Open the problem Project.
                • One will be confronted with a message dialog box, asking "Where is file ______?" Since we moved those Assets, we need to help PrE find them. Just navigate to the Moved folder, where that first Asset is located. The dialog screen offers a Finder, but since you Moved things, you should have that info handy. Locate the first file, that PrE is asking for.
                • Once you find it, PrE will do two things: establish the new link, and then look in that folder for any other Assets, used in that Project, and link to them also - pretty neat, eh?
                • Since we separated our Assets by type, if the first type, say Video, loads fine, we can rule those out. If the Project crashes here, we have found at least one problem.
                • When PrE comes to the next Asset, that dialog screen will reappear, and we will do the same thing - locate the file, that PrE is asking for, and again, PrE will re-establish the link to it, and search that folder for any more Assets. If all goes well, we can probably rule out those Assets as an issue.
                • This will repeat, until either the Project loads, or until the Project crashes, or hangs. If that happens, we have narrowed things down to one Asset type. This is why we separated them - it makes troubleshooting Assets much easier. Note: Titles are written in XML code, in the PREL, so nothing tangible exists for them, at this point.



                Whatever you do, do NOT choose Save, and especially if you decide to Skip Media, or Cancel. Only do a Save_As,so as to NOT overwrite your original PREL. Never overwrite an original PREL, if you are having issues.


                Please report on this test. Does the Project fail with a particular Asset type? If so, what is that Asset type?


                If you have quite a few Assets of that particular type, you can redo the test, by moving, say half of those Assets again, and running the test again. If the Project crashes with either the first half, or the second, you are getting closer.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  There is one thing missing - the Project's Preset, when you did New Project, and how closely do those AVI files match that Preset?


                  Next, and I saw no mention, but feel the need to ask here, are there any large Still Images in this Project?


                  Good luck,



                  • 6. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    One more question, and though it is mentioned in that linked article, could be a major contributor to what you see. Do you have active, real-time anti-virus scanners ON? Same for any real-time malware detection, or pop-up blocking. If you do, turn those OFF, and test. Especially the newer, real-time anti-virus scanning programs have caused no end to problems.


                    Good luck, and sorry that I did not ask this specifically earlier.



                    • 7. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
                      Meridian Pictures Level 1

                      Really weird! Huh! I tried relocating my assets, and it seemed to work. That's funny.... I had all my assets (except for the music) in the same folder, something I never did before. When I relocated them, PrE worked again! Yay! But the weird thing was that the workspace was hidden, leaving the preview pane the only thing visible. I restored it, and now I'm back on track. I did restart PrE, just to make sure it wasn't a one-time fix, and it didn't crash on me.


                      Thanks a bunch, Mr. Hunt, for helping me with this problem! Now I can get back to editing!

                      • 8. Re: PrE 4 Opens, Then Crashes When Project Loads
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Hm-m, odd indeed, but the great news is that you are back to editing!


                        Good luck, and hope that it holds,