- The more you put on the disk the more compression PRE will need to use to make it fit. In the Share> Disc options (may be called something different in v4) you can either allow PRE to 'Fit contents to available space' disk or manually adjust between 'Most Video' and 'Highest Quality'. As you move the slider you can see how much space is needed.
- Image sizes - PRE chokes on large stills. If you are producing a DVD resize them with a photo editing program to 720x480 NTSC or 720x576 PAL before importing to your project. If you want to do pan and zoom you could use 1000x750 sizes or 2000x1500 for HD. More detail here: What resolution should my photos be in Premiere Elements?
- Your problem is most likely caused by the size of your stills. Those 3MB files will kill it. You should also check you have the most recent version of graphics/sound drivers and QuickTime 7.6.9.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children
The biggest limitation will be your notebook. In PrE 4.0, on my notebook, I have done Projects with a Duration of slightly over 2.5 hours - going to DVD-9's (DL discs), but then I have a very stout notebook, designed for video editing from the ground up.
Even with my workstation and my video-editing notebook, I rely on the tips in this ARTICLE, before each editing session, so that I can get the best out of my computers.
For a less-powerful notebook (or desktop for that matter), many find that they reach the limit of the computer sooner, and also find that by breaking a long Project into smaller Projects, completing and then Exporting DV-AVI's from each of those Projects' Timelines, to be assembled into a "master Project" for the DVD authoring, keeps them under the limits of their computer.
Neale has touched on one of the biggest issues - the use of overly-large still images. First, PrE must Scale those to the Project's Frame Size, and is not the best program at that task. This ARTICLE will give you some tips. Also, overly-large stills are major resource hogs. One is expending tons of resources, just pushing around unnecessary pixels. When properly Scaled, one can use many stills. Though in PrPro (PrE's big-brother), I have one Project with 3000+ Scaled stills, over 100 3D animations in MOV format (Animation CODEC), over 100 DV-AVI Clips, and 1000's of Titles. The total Duration is well over 8 hours, and will be output to a multi-disc set.
Having the Assets in the best form will go a long way towards a wonderful editing experience.
For crashing, when doing Titles, a major cause is a bad, corrupt or poorly designed font. This ARTICLE will give you background and tips. That would be where I would start looking for the cause.
Good luck, and hope that this helps - happy editing,