Thanks, for the reply.
No, I cannot open the auto save projects either -- same reason.
Help/About shows Premiere version = 5.5.2. Help/Update says I'm using the latest version.
I suppose it can't hurt to deactivate/reactivate. I'll give it a try.
I haven't seen any thread where someone recovered from this problem with a reinstall, though there are a few complaining about spending the time to do it with no results.
It's a little frustrating to have projects that worked last night not work this morning.
OK, here's what worked for me:
I re-ran the installation for Premiere Pro only. I didn't deauthorize; I didn't reinstall the whole creative suite, just Premiere Pro. After that, I opened the project and all my M2TS files linked automatically.
I wish I understood the problem better, but I've lost more than half a day to it already and have to get back to editing. John T. Smith -- thanks again for the reply.
Software problems happen, so you should buy AND USE software to make a full backup of your hard drive to an external USB hard drive... plus, making step-by-step backups during a new install or major program addition makes it easy to go back a step if something doesn't work
This backup and then restore is, of course, only to the same computer with a new drive (or the same drive as long as you don't mind writing over everything) since doing a restore to a new computer won't work due to Windows and many programs having activation information that is keyed to your hardware (which is why Windows will force you to RE-Activate if you change very much hardware)
The product I use is at http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-linux.htm
Image runs off of a bootable CD via Linux (the Zip you download includes a program to make the bootable CD) and it reads EVERYTHING on the drive, even the hidden registration information, so everything is restored when needed... and you may restore the image to a brand new drive in case of a crash, and not have to re-install anything
Please note that I own no part of Image, and I don't get a referral fee (that is just a plain web link) but I use the program and it has saved me a LOT of trouble when I had a hard drive die... and I was able to restore everything and not have to re-install or re-activate a single program, from Windows on up