Photoshop Elements 12 Editor Crashes When Editing Raw

Hi --
Consistently when I'm editing RAW files (Canon T2) the Elements Editor 12 crashes.  To repro:
1) I'll select 5-8 photos in the Organizer.
2) Right click and "Edit with PS Editor"
3) RAW importer/editor (not sure if that's the official name, but it's the screen when I can make minor edits and white balance)
4) Select all images and open.
5) Initially they'll all open in the full PSE Editor, but after editing a few the editor will hang and suddenly wierd things happen:
     a)     the "after" version of the photo is a grey and white checkerboard.  If I go back to the "before" version, it looks fine
     b)     the close file "x" button in the top right is disabled (just get a beep), but if I go under "file" and "close" in the menu, the file will close.
     c)     I can't close the application itself.via the "X" button or "Exit".  I need to logout or manually go into task manager and kill the process.
I have a fairly new PC with vanilla installation of Windows 8.1.
Any suggestions?

Update -- still having this problem but not it seems to happen when editing JPEG as well.  I'm not sure how to repro it as it doesn't happen every time, but sometime between the 2nd and 10th photo that I try to edit the editor crashes right after I save or "save as".  I hear a system bing and then the editor becomes non-responsive.  I can "close' the file via the menu (not via the "x" button in the top right), but no other functionality works.  Can't close the editor other than by shutting down or manually killing via Task Manager.
Incredibly frustrating.  I'm thinking about uninstalling/reinstalling but am worried about losing all of the data in the catalog (~15k photos).  I'm thinking about just writing the metadata to the files (most have it already) and manually copying the catalog files.
Anyone else have this problem and/or suggestions on how to address it?
Thanks much

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