If it's the first time you are opening NESmaker, I'd suggest to reinstall (unzip the NESmaker zip file), disable your antivirus, and try again.
Also make sure to unzip (uncompress) the NESmaker_4_5.zip file (right click, unzip or uncompress ...), it will create a NESmaker 4.15 folder, then you open the NESmaker.exe from that folder (not from the zip file itself).
If you had a project already created... and it used to work before... rename your NESmaker folder (to keep it as a backup)... and retry the resinstallation explained above.
is it a project made with that version? (4.5) or an older version project?
If it's a 4.5 project, you could try to open one of the auto-saved versions of that project (select "all files *.*" types and open the MST.1 or MST.2 ...)
If it's a 4.1.5 project or older, you can't open a project form an older version. With nesmaker 4.5 you can only open 4.5 projects.
you can export your tiles / objects from your old project (in NESmaker 4.1.5) and re-import them in a project (NESmaker 4.5).
I haven't created any new work, I'm starting from scratch with 4.5.2. when I am attempting to create a new project with 4.5.2 I get the error. is there a new set of supporting files needed for 4.5.2 or can the .exe just be placed n the folder with the older 4.1.5 version?
You must have something wrong... are you sure you have disabled your antivirus (just to test if the issue comes from that)) and unzip (uncompress) the nesmaker folder, on your desktop, documents or downloads folder...? And run the NESmaker 5.2 exe from it?
Do not mix the old 4.1.5 folder and the new NESmaker 4.5 folder. It needs to be totally separated folders!
That's all you need to do, unzip it... and run the exe...
Then, follow the tutorial videos that comes with it (else you will not do very much because the module is empty).
Oh, no that is just the 4.5.2 patch, for those who has already downloaded the 4.5.0 (that was needed to install AFTER they actually installed the official NESmaker 4.5.0).
For official releases, always check here: https://www.thenew8bitheroes.com
So... just get the NESmaker 4.5 zip file from the official site (download). it will contain already all the patches so far. Unzip it, then you can run NESmaker by following the tutorials from the official site https://www.thenew8bitheroes.com/learn
Keep it mind, you can't use NESmaker without following those tutorials... this version is a beta version, meant to be used for those tutorials (the Summer Camp series)