I have been having the same problem. I am running FTM 2012. It installed and worked for over a month. I am running XP SP3 and am logged in as administrator.
When I start FTM is says the previous run was not shut down properly and that I need to compact. Then is just disappears. Nothing in the Task Manager. I tried repairing, reinstalling, rebooting and bells and candles. No joy.
I went to a second computer, installed FTM 2012, opened the database remotely, compacted and exeted. No problem. But still no joy on the original machine.
I uninstalled a previous version of FTM (actually FTW 16 which I still use occasionally) using both Windows uninstaller and Revo, and uninstalled FTM2012. Reinstalled 2012. This time it came up OK but it wanted to install an update which I did not do. I did not install the update.) Then I closed and reopened FTM and installed the update. After the update, it came up again, but said the previous run had not been closed down properly and I needed to compact. Déjà vu all over again. But it came up and seems to be working. Of course I have wasted one of the two allowed installs.
Before all this collapsed originally I noticed several ooddities. In Family view, the little lines connecting ancestors and children disappeared. So did the little arrows to the left of the children. And in Web Search, I would mergedata, for example showing a parent, but then in Family view, the parent wasn’t there.
Overall I would say Borland/FTM has some problems to fix. This particular one seems to have been going on since at least March last year. Overall this is a great product, but perhaps because there is little competition they are resting on their laurels.