Minimum hard drive space for burning?

I have a friend at work that cannot really burn dvd’s (he has a benq 1620 but only a 4 gig hd on an old win 98 computer). so I’m digging through some old crap that the wife is harassing me to throw out (old at cases/power supply’s, 486/pentium1/2 MB’s/cpu/ram) and find a working 4 gig drive. I know he wont be able to do movie backups, but lets say, he has captured tv shows in avi format (I think xvid but it really doesn’t matter). If he had the os, nero etc, and the avi’s on the first 4 gig, could he transcode about 4 gig worth of dvd on the second 4 gig drive, and then burn, or does nero need more working space than that?

I’m not sure this would work, obviously he would be limited to ~3.5-3.75gb images, but as he approaches the max size fragmentation could become a big problem (defrag won’t work if there is too little free space), if all goes well the buffer under run protection would do its job and produce usable dvds, but I bet he would see a fair amount of coasters. another problem is going to be the speed of his machine, I’m guessing its a P-II? my 2ghz P4 takes about 4hrs to encode 2hrs of avi to dvd using nero, so he would be looking at some huge encoding times. his best bet would be a dvd player that can play divx/xvid so he could use your hdd as a temp volume and just burn the files straight to dvd from there

depending upon the encoder, some need a lot of free space for temp files

better just to play the avi’s on a divx capable standalone after burning to cd-r

NeroVision tends to require in excess of 10gb on 1 drive to do a video conversion, others would have similar requirements I suspect , although ConvertXToDVD seems not to require anything more than the size of the output DVD.

He doesn’t have the money for a larger hard drive right now (even a small one), so I’m guessing that he doesn’t have the money for a divx player. they are cutting our hours pretty bad at work right now (and he pays massive amounts of child support).
Does anyone know how much space nero uses for temp files (using the make your own dvd video option)? I’m guessing he would have about 2 gig free space on the first drive for temp files.

It is impossible to compile a DVD with just 8 GB of storage space. You’ll need 4.7 GB for the final DVD contents, some 800 MB for the operating system and installed software. This leaves 2.8 GB: not enough to shift around downloaded files. And definitely not enough to store either uncompressed or hi bitrate MPEG-2 captures.

I remember that I could barely compile a 700 meg CD when I had an 8 GB hard disc.

The cheapest harddisk available for purchase today will do. You just need to find the size limit of your motherboards BIOS. If it’s 8 GB, then it’ll be totally impractical to add a 40/80 GB hard disk.