Backing Up a DVD



How Would I backup a DVD?

To start off, to reassure anyone that thinks the answer to this question will be used for illegal purposes, it is strictly for backing up and archiving DVD’s.

I wanted to use my computer’s DVD burner/player to Rip movies (on DVD) and back them up. These movies are the type that have been playing in theaters, and have come out on DVD. I have just installed my DVD drive, and as far as I’ve been able to tell, these types of DVD’s are heavily encrypted to stop people from reproducing them for illegal purposes.

First, How would I backup a DVD on my computer? I searched around a little bit, and read up on encodings and file containers. I wanted to rip a dvd to my hard drive using DVD decrypter, and then use DVD shrink to encode the .vob files with H.26 encoding, in .avi file format. How Would I do this? Using this method, will I be able to watch the .avi file in windows media player? What are the ideal/optimal settings for a finished .AVI file Around 1 GB in size? Will this playback smoothly?

*I think that H.26 is the best encoding. Am I correct?

**Is AVI the best file container, or would you recommend a different one?

***Is it possible to acheive my goals as stated above with DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink?

****How Large will the .AVI file be after I rip and transcode it?

Secondly, If I wanted to burn an EXACT Copy of the original DVD (with chapters, a play menu, special features, etc) that will play in my DVD Player EXACTLY as the original DVD had, How would I do this? Can I acheive this using DVD Decrypter, or will I need to use a different tool?

*I had wanted to burn the exact copy on a blank DVD-R with 4.7 GB of space. Is this what I need/should be using?

All help is appreciated, but please do not post an answer if you are unsure or speculating.

Happy Holidays,
from Nameless New Jersey.

Additional Details

In Short, I am looking for a comprehensive tutorial on how to backup a DVD in an optimized and compressed format (Details above) on my hard drive, and how to make an exact copy of a DVD on a blank DVD-R (Details above) using DVD Decryptor and DVD Shrink.

(This Post has been taken from my “Yahoo! Answers” Question. I don’t think I will find much help there, considering how specifici my question is, so I moved it here.)

original location -

If I get the answers I need, I will compile the information into a full start to finish tutorial, including screenshots of each step. At that time, I will ask/recommend the tutorial be stickied.

Thanks for reading!


Hi namelessNewJersey and Welcome:

Look at the attached thread which includes a post I participated in as well as a post by beef barley. Both posts should get you started. Remember to use quality media (Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden and only Verbatim for DL).

Guides on CDFreaks (and this is just a start):


Yes its best to look at the links provided by jeff53404 as this seems to be something been talked of recently by alot of new users online here.


wow, thank you for the fast response!

One Question though…

What does DL stand for? I tried googling it, but as you’d expect, the only appreviations I had come accross were for “Download”


DL is Double Layer (referred to in some software packages and elsewhere as DVD-9). Do not confuse double layer with dual layer.

SL is single layer (DVD-5).


First off, welcome to the forums. And thanks for listing exactly what you want to accomplish.

There are many guides to backing up dvds, some of them found on the net are slightly outdated as far as breaking encryption, but are still valid in the main steps. There is a subforum here at cdfreaks with many such guides:

First off, most commercial dvds have at least some encryption. Many have the simple CSS version which any decryption program can break. Many others have more advanced protection on them. The two best, most up to date decryption programs are DVDFab and AnyDVD. AnyDVD runs in the background to break encryption and allows you to use other programs to rip (though it does contain a simple ripper as well). DVDFab has more included in the main program and can do the entire process of decryption and compression to fit a single layer dvd.

DVDFab also has a free decryption/ripping section, called DVDFab HD Decrypter. As you use it, you will be using up the 30 day trial of the main program, but the free section will continue to function even after the trial is finished. And you can update as new protection appears.

DVDFab has gone to a subscription basis for the main program (yearly fees), and AnyDVD will be doing so soon. If you buy AnyDVD before Jan 1, 2009, you will get free lifetime updates for the program.

DVDShrink does not convert to H264. It compresses in mpeg2 (original codec)

To convert to H264 you can use RipBot264, MeGui, Xvid4PSP and several other programs. You will not be able to play them on a regular, stand alone dvd player, but they should play on a modern computer system fairly well. Playback of H264 takes a bit more processing power than mpeg2 or divx/xvid. Many people choose to convert to xvid or divx avi files to play on modern dvd players that can support those formats.

I would use .mkv or .mp4 for the container while using H264. Don’t use AC3 audio in the .mp4 container, use AAC.

File size depends on the original file size, the resolution you choose and the bitrate you choose to encode to H264.

An exact copy of the dvd can be made, but will have to remain in dvd-video format. If you go to dual layer, no compression would be necessary. Going to single layer, there are many different programs that can do this: DVDShrink, Nero Recode, DVDFab, CloneDVD, etc.


I appreciate the info, kerry.

Between your guide and the links provided by various members, I think I will be able to rip my dvd’s with little to no problems!
(Although ripping to my hard drive seems a bit more complicated than duplicating a DVD)

I have a question regarding double layer;

How can I tell which DVD’s are double layer, and can all dvd burners burn double layer?


How can I tell which DVD’s are double layer, and can all dvd burners burn double layer?

They will be labeled as such (DL). If your burner is new, there is an excellent chance it can burn the media but it may not be able to burn at a higher speed. That would be determined by your drive’s firmware.


If you are not sure if your burner can handle dual layer disks, run Nero Info tool. It will give you a great deal of information about your drive, its capabilities and the current firmware revision in it. It is free to download and use.

Burning dual layer disks you should stick with Verbatim brand. And if your dvd burner is more than a couple of years old, I would get the 2.4x variety Verbatim DL for best compatibility. (the 2.4x can be safely burned at 4x by the way).


Yes! Great news, I checked my DVD drive, (it isn’t installed yet, still in its box. Kinda hard for a christmas present to be a surprise when your the one that ordered it) and it supports up to 8x right speeds on DVD -/+ R DL.

This brings me to a few more questions;

1.) I’ve heard verbatim quite a few times now, is this the “premium” DVD manufacturer?

2.) Is it better to get DVD+R or DVD -R, or is there no difference.

3.) I’ve heard that for best quality, you should burn at half the drive max speed, or half the media’s max write speed; whichever is lowest. Is this correct?

4.) This is the DVD burner I have,

Would you still recommend verbatim x2.4 write speed?

And two more unrelated questions;

1.) Does Lightscribe discs have the same quality of non lightscribe discs?

(Does verbatim make DVD’s with lightscribe the same quality as non lightscribe DVD’s?)

2.) From what I can tell, LightScribe can only burn in images in shades of black into colored discs? Is this true? Is it possible to have a multicolored DVD Label?

I could be completely wrong on this, but thats just what it seemed like to me.

thank you so much for the info, I’m learning ALOT!
Nameless New Jersey


Verbatim is one of the best, and most consistent sources for media. We tend to recommend it quite often simply because it works well in a wide variety of burners. There are other types that can match it in quality, especially Taiyo Yuden 8x media, some Sony disks, and a few others. You can find the exceptional types of media by looking in the Blank Media forum here at cdfreaks.

For dual layer (or maybe I should say double layer before Jeff whacks me on the head :slight_smile: ), you should probably stick to Verbatim. It is clearly the most consistent DL media we have at the moment.

  • or -R doesn’t make too much difference, though there are some varieties that work better in particular burners. DL is again an exception, and you should stick with +R DL.

Half the rated speed is generally safe, though as all broad generalizations, it doesn’t hold true that it is the “best” policy all the time. Verbatim 16x for example, burns quite well at 12x. For the DL Verbatim, I would choose to burn them at 4x…no matter their rated speed. Not everyone would agree with me on this because they have tested their burners and firmware to find the optimal speed. As a recommendation to someone new to this, it should work fine.

I have no experience with Lightscribe disks, but from what I’ve read they should be equivalent in quality of burns to their regular counterparts. Lightscribe does monochromatic burning. To get color labels you’ll need inkjet or thermal printing on media designed for those processes.


before Jeff whacks me on the head

My whacking days are over. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

namelessNewJersey: We don’t know what your stand-alone player is (are) but there is an advantage to using +R media. That is, your Lite-On drive will have the ability to booktype (AKA Bitsetting) the disc which could enhance your ability to play it on other players. It may not be that big a deal but when you have a finicky player, you need all the help you can get. Post back for a list of programs or utilities that will booktype your drive.

Regarding Speed (you said somewhere you wanted to learn more), take a look at this thread.

What to buy? I almost always get Verbatim DL 2.4X at BestBuy or Newegg as that seems to be what’s on sale. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough for the 8X but 2.4X works for me and the price is right.


will definatley do that then. By stand alone player I just meant it could be played in most players (Windows media player, Winamp, etc) I should have been more specific in what I had meant :).

Thanks alot. Now I know which DVD’s to buy.


If I’m reading your post correctly, there might be a misunderstanding. A stand-alone player refers to a DVD player not connected to or connected with your computer. A stand-alone is connected to a TV or it might be integrated with a VCR (combo unit).

DVDs burned on a computer will almost always play on a computer, especially the one they used to burn the disc. The headache comes when you try to play it on a stand-alone unit. That’s where booktyping could help.



It must be getting late; I mis interpretted my own post.

sorry, just ignor my last post.