3 years old ... well try some simulations with Nero.
128 MB as you write below is not enough muscle IMHO.
I have Athlon XP1800+, 512MB RAM, UW-SCSI hdds and one Samsung IDE hdd (quite new) on primary IDE as Master, the DVD writer on Secondary as Master - and nothing else on those buses
DVD writing needs WAY more speed than CD writing! Think of that. 1x DVD writing is sth like 10x CD writing, so you see what 4x or 8x would mean. Try to write slower (2x or 4x). As you said DVD-RW (you mean +RW maybe?), it will be 4x speed i guess. Try to reduce to 2x!
Be sure to have your (reasonable fast) 1 or 2 hdds on Primary as Master/Slave and your DVD writer if possible ALONE on secondary as master. If both are on one IDE, they have to share the speed of that IDE bus. Separate them like I told you above. If you still have the CD writer in the system and on one bus with the DVD writer, disconnect it and retry.
AGAIN: DVD writer alone on one IDE port! Everything else might be recipe to desaster.
I've tried different types of burning software, (Nero, 1Click) without any success. I got a partial burn of 1 click last night on a Verbatim DVD-rw. My son has the same drives in a new machine, burning same media without problems, so I'm starting to suspect compatability problems with my older machine. Athlon CPU with 128 ram. Frustration starting to set in any help or advice would be appreciated.
Give that Athlon with 128MB ram, I would say its sth like Athlon 600-800MHz? Leave machine alone while burning. Open no other programs. (I guess you did both of there right).
Disable screen savers. Disable the Monitors Power Properties. Disable ANY power saving settings on your machine. Disable everything which might do accesses at some time (in Win98 or ME, the Scheduling Agent for example).
Use nero, uncheck "write disc" on the last tab, only use "Check speed" and "Simulation" on that tab. Do it a couple of times.
Defrag your hdd drives if they are VFAT(32). If you have Win2K or even XP, add RAM. Win2k may run with 128MB but XP -> no way. I think XP with 512MB feels more sluggish than Win2k with 192MB - in my opinion.
Remember: 8x speed dvd-writing means nearly 12MB/sec - your 128MB minus the space Windoze needs may be sth like 80MB left if its Win98 - thats not even 7 seconds of buffer! If you have even less free memory, the shorter it is. For CD writing, 80MB are about 14 seconds at 40x speed, to make the difference clearer.
If writer and harddisk are on one IDE cable, separate that and you may be done. If writer already is alone on one IDE port - more research is needed.
I hope this helps and good luck!
Do not hesitate to come back.
All the best, oman/Lutz