Specifically, what is happening is that the used read buffer during burning goes up to 100% and fluctuates between 100% and 98% rather than going up to 100% and moving down to 0% or so. So since it's only using about 2% of the buffer, it is only burning a little at a time. This does not affect the quality of the burn: I use DVD-ROMS for data storage and no files have been lost, it just takes a while.
Another issue is that when I am playing videos using VLC or another video player from the DVD drive, the audio "pops" occasionally. This does not happen when I play a video from my hard drive. So it is not a problem with burning alone or specifically with Nero, which is what I use to burn disks.
My best guess at this point is that there is adware that is somehow sitting in the buffer that my existing software (Avira, CC Cleaner, Malware, NOD32, SBlaster, Spybot, and Ad-Aware: and I only have Avira loaded: I use the others individually) cannot catch. Is there a better choice for catching whatever it is that's infected the buffer or is this indicative of another problem?