I also seem to remember someone stating that some ATI cards do have issues also. I'm almost certain it is hardware related. This friend of yours, does he/she, by any chance, run an identical setup to yours?
I don't run MSP 8 yet, MSP 7.3 does what I need at present but PI 11 is stable for me. I did have an issue once, in the beginning with PI 11, where I found that MF 3 DC had an effect on how PI 10 and 11 performed after I upgraded to PI 11. Only found this out by pure chance and upgrading to MF 4 DC fixed that issue.
With Ulead programs, sometimes, we have to think outside the square. I have to agree, these programs can be temperamental on certain hardware/software mixes but, if you manage to sort that out, they are excellent value for money. If you can't or won't, well, how can I put it..., a program that doesn't work for you is useless.
Since we haven't had your kind of problem listed here, I would think it has to do with your system spec's. OK, you don't want to muck around with your system because of deadlines, I can understand that but, what other options do you have?
I would go back to what used to work.