DVD Burning to Laptops



I am an extreme newbie, so please be kind.

I am heading to a big desert soon for an extended stay and want to have some movies to watch from my personal library while I am there. I am currently using DVD Decrypter to movies from a disk to my laptop’s hard drive. However, I recently realized that I can’t get many files onto my laptop since each movie is several gigs in size.

Can someone provide me with ideas for getting movies onto my computer using only around 1GB of disk space, or perhaps some other clever way to get a bunch of movies over to my new home for the next several months? (e.g, external hard drive, etc.?)

Thanks in advance.


Look at AutoGK to convert your movies to xvid avi files. Quality should be good and much smaller file sizes. You’ll need to work from decrypted files on the hard drive.

You could also convert to H264 mp4, which can be even smaller files. Look at Ripbot264 for that conversion.

To play them, use VLC media player. It can handle just about anything.

All those programs are free to use. There are many other options, and other people will probably chip in more suggestions. Expect a fair amount of time to convert your movies by the way.


what Kerry56 said above is a slightly easier method (i.e. AutoGK) than i use…

i use the standard ‘Gordian Knot’ application with the XviD codec ( http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Koepi_XviD.htm ) … i would explain how to use it but it will take to much time even though it’s not hard once you know what to do… and you got more control over it to vs AutoGK.

with that you can generally compress movies to either 700MB or 1400MB in size… you can select pretty much any size you want but 700MB and 1400MB is pretty much ‘the standard’.

general word of advice is… if a movie is about 1hour 30minutes (or so) i generally use 700MB (sound converted down to 128kbps MP3) … if it’s around 2 hours (or more) i generally recommend 1400MB (and you can keep the original DVD’s .AC3 audio track) … and in general with a 1400MB file for your typical 2 hour movie… your looking at ‘close to dvd quality’ at a fraction the file size :wink: … comparing video quality side by side you can notice the difference between DVD and XviD but it’s minimal overall… and i would be willing to bet alot of people out there probably could not even tell the difference especially if your playing them on a standard definition TV.

with the 700MB and 1400MB methods… you will fit between 3-6 movies onto a single 4.7GB disc that way.

as for conversion time (besides setting it up in the application itself) a typical 2hour movie usually takes about 2hours encoding time on my CPU (AMD Athlon64 3500+ (2.2ghz, overclocked to 2409mhz)) … so if u got something faster you will get quicker results or if you got something slower it will take more time.

as for the h264 stuff i would recommend against that for standard DVD movie type video since XviD is pretty much standard and runs on slower stuff as it dont need a monster CPU to run… plus a moderate amount of home dvd players can play them and XBox1 running XBMC can to to play them back on your TV.

but since the OP said he’s a ‘extreme newbie’ … what i said probably looks like hieroglyphics to him lol

as for the video player i recommend… ‘The KMPlayer’ (my general video player of choice for the PC) … cause it dont have issues skipping forward or backward in .mkv (720p etc) video files with the slider bar like VLC Player does… but besides that it seems like ‘VLC Player’ is more popular… but for the reason i said alone makes it not worth using in my case.

p.s. XviD video is primary reason i still use my original XBox running XBMC (XBox Media Center) on it :wink:


Hi pspmun
I can only assume your laptop does not have a DVD drive. If that is the case you could replace your drive with one, then just watch movies on disc.
Hence no storage size problems.


I believe pspmun is just trying to get away from carrying a bunch of disks with him. Lots of servicemen/women and contractors going overseas put their movie collections on their laptop hard drives.

An external usb hard drive would be reasonably convenient for this, and would be able to hold a lot more information than most laptops. And it is possible to find external hard drives that don’t need a power adapter…the problem is many laptops don’t provide enough power over the usb port to run a drive. The answer to that seems to be to get a Y adapter to get power from two usb ports to run the drive.
And of course there are always downsides to having convenience. The usb powered drives seem to be very expensive per gb compared to the regular external drives that need a power adapter. As an example this 320gb drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136269

compared to a 1tb regular drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204079

A lot of the usb powered drives seem to run hot too, when used for an extended period. They are made for convenience, and portability rather than having good cooling.

So, if an external power supply (wall outlet) will always be available, go with a regular external drive rather than one of these ultra portable drives.

Back to format…I believe NBR has a good point about sticking with xvid rather than H264. I get so used to the power of my desktops, I forget that laptops may not like playing that type of video.


Thanks for the replies.

Kerry56 was right. I do have a DVD-RW burner on my laptop, but I am trying to get away with not lugging movies around – I already have enough stuff to drag around!

Maybe I am doing something wrong, so please let me know. I burned a movie onto my hard drive using DVD Decrypter, then installed AutoGK per your advice. The movie showed up as a “.iso” file, which is not supported my AutoGK. Should I use a different DVD program, or a different conversion program?

Thanks again.


DVDDecrypter can decrypt and rip in three different ways. You did it in ISO mode.

Look at the top of the window in DVDDecrypter at Mode. Change from ISO to File.

DVDDecrypter hasn’t been updated in a very long time, and development has stopped on the program. If you run into dvds it cannot handle, get DVDFab HD Decrypter.

DVDFab HD Decrypter is the free section of DVDFab. Be aware that as you use the free section, you’ll be using up the trial for the main program, but the free section will continue to work even after the 30 day trial is finished. http://www.dvdfab.com/free.htm This program is updated regularly to deal with more advanced protection schemes.