Thank you, huggy_d1, for the suggestions.
My install disc is the SP2 version of the software, and I have not yet added any HSPs after the install, so there should be nothing in the way of updates that I should have to re-add. I am aware of the hotfix for SP2 that has to do with card readers, but since I reinstalled from scratch, I have not executed the hotfix, and so this should not be a case of an update that "did not apply properly".
Regarding your numbered questions:
1) After a successful compile of a new project, the crash will occur if my mouse cursor hovers over a broad number of objects in the project view, for example, a ladder instruction in the list on the right sidebar. Of course, compilation does not appear relevant to the issue since the crash occurs if I hover over the same instruction before compiling as well as afterward.
As to the mouse issue, I can only say that using different hardware mouses (usb, laptop touchpad, keyboard rubber nubby finger stick) makes no difference. If these all use a common driver, then there may be something to what you say. Then again, I don't see this problem in any other software . . .
2) This problem has never yet been project compilation. The problem appears to be crashing related to the user interface attempting to react to a mouse hover over some of the screen objects.
3) The installation did go to the default locations. All available options at install were standard insofar as I can tell.
4) In each account I have tried (there have been 3 now), each was a local admin account.
5) The O/S has all the latest patches including the many that were released this past Tuesday.
6) Concerning antivirus software, it is my opinion that they are all aggressive, although some are far more invasive than others, Norton and McAfee being near the top of the list. My antivirus is eTrust from CA. Since it is made for corporate environments, its firewall policy is fairly tight, but I've not had some of the resource fights with it that certain other AV software has caused me in the past.
In all of this trouble, the thing that is truly frustrating is that 10 months ago when I first installed this, everything seemed to work without crashing. The only major thing I can think of since then is that the hard drive required replacement (about 8 months ago). At that time, I went through all of my Siemens software re-installation in the order prescribed by tech support. From that time until recently, I've played very little with TIA Portal so I cannot say with certainty whether it was ever right on the current hard drive. Regardless, it is not working properly now, and I would surely like to understand why.
I have not yet attempted to install the software on an alternate computer.
The Captive Engineer