"Exact" copy, meaning?

Alright, I decided to start a whole new thread for this topic.

What software do you recommend for doing exact backups? I read all over the net about software capable of making “exact” copies, pointing out that you won’t lose any quality at all. Won’t all programs do that? Take Nero for example, which has a DVD copy function, won’t the backups have the exact same data as the originals? That should mean no quality loss, right?

No matter what the ripping software is, the copy is exact (copy protection, corrupted sectors aside) on your HD. The issue is if and how much compression is needed (shrink, nero, DVDRebuilder Pro) to make it fit on to a DVD5. If you are burning to DVD9 ( no compression), there will not be any loss in quality.
FYI: Encoders (like DVD Rebuilder Pro) are better than transcoders (Shrink) as far as quality goes.

Programs such as IMGburn (freeware) and DVDFab platinum ($50) are two programs who can make exact copies when no compression is needed.

I use IMGburn sometimes, but it’s impossible to make copies on the fly, right? Or maybe that is to be avoided?

gary: What happens if my disc has corrupted sectors? Will the backup fail?

If the original DVD has the intensionally corrupted sectors (Arccos, et al) U need to rip w/ one of the DVDFab products (including the free DVDFabDecryptor HD), AnyDVD, RI4M (free and still good for R1 DVD’s) and the like.

I think the general consensus is to avoid ripping and burning on the fly.

But back to your original quest: If original is ripped, the copy on your HD will be exact.

What is “on the fly” copying?

On the fly “skips” putting files on HD.

Note - ImgBurn can not copy encrypted DVDs.


Thanks for all your help! =)

Just two things:

  1. I don’t completely get the whole guessing (interpolation?) thing that the DVD drives do… If they just guess the data at certain points, how can the files hold up afterwards? As the purist I am I want my laserdiscs to look exactly the way they did after the first transfer and not be subject to any possible changes. Any way to turn this guessing thing off? Any way to check if it has occurred? If I verify the data afterwards, will I then be able to see it?

  2. Why bother with DVD and CD when there are so many ways things can go wrong? I do use them myself, but wouldn’t it just be better to buy an external HD, backup everything of value, compress the files to 7z archives and then store the HD somewhere safe? That way you wouldn’t have to deal with media quality, degradation, scratches, etc. Sure, the drive itself could fail, but most drives today are good enough to not break down unless you overuse it. Plus, no more guessing.

Correct me if I’m wrong ^_^;

If you have a decent burner and get good media (TY and VERBATIM) then you will have less errors while burning them and they will last a lot longer.


I’m losing the thought train here, so please pardon me: You asked what software can make exact backups (of DVD’s):
Any reasonably up-to-date ripping software for encrypted discs, any copy software if not encrypted. The data on the HD will match the original to the extent the DVD reader is capable and the physical quality of the source.

If you burn to DVD media theoretically data will be exact, unless u do compression, or media is of poor quality, or if burn speed is too high for burner/media, etc. Yes, the DVD media can degrade over time. Keeping on HD could be safer. In fact alot of folks do this with large HD’s for their ‘home theater PC entertainment center’.

Kindest Regards

Gary: Ah, sorry, the reason I’m asking is because of a bad batch of discs having dark spots on them (the laserdisc data has already been written to them). I want to make backups of these discs, but I’m not yet really sure if the data in the dark spots is still intact or not. Therefore I’m a little concerned about the DVD drive guessing its way through…

So, let’s say some of these spots actually do have bad sectors and the drive has to guess the right data values, will this be visible on the movies on the discs? If so, in what way? Picture quality or skipping etc? Or does interpolation only occur when playing the disc, not during the copying process?

Its hard to know what will happpen.
Why dont you just make a backup copy of a spotted disc, and see what results are.
Or you could make a copy of the original dvd you initially copied.
Assumedly youve ditched the bad disc batch, and are using good media now, such as Verbatim.

I could make a backup and check, but I would have to watch the whole movie to be able to spot any defects. Plus, I’ve got about 50 discs to check to be certain that all spots are “ok” ^_^;

Had it been just DVDs I would have made new copies from them, but I used laserdiscs as source for the initial backups. I really really don’t want to re-record those 100 hours again… -_-;; Also, I’ve got quite a nice LD-player, so I’m a little reluctant on using it more than absolutely necessary.

The media I used was TY “That’s” 8x (for video recording), so I’m a little disappointed (and surprised) it had a 50% fail rate… >_<

If the disc reads okay then your copy will be okay. There’s no need to watch them all.


How come you did not notice the “spotting” until the 50th disc???

In any event, I agree with Wombler.

Heh, I didn’t think about checking the discs underneath until waaaay later… Plus, you have to look really closely to see the dots.

Anyway, I decided to backup the discs and failed miserably. I haven’t tried all yet, but many, many of them got I/O errors at certain points. I’ve tried two different DVD drives and the results are the same. HOWEVER, the DVD recorder used to record them (the one connected to the TV) read a whole disc without complaining (didn’t check the actual picture on the TV, but the recorder played the whole movie through at least). Some discs worked on the computer as well, but not many. Could this be a recorder issue? It’s a cheap model and all… Kind of weird though, not being able to make backups, but playing the discs works fine.

Good luck!

How exactly and with what software did you try and back them up?


Hehe, good luck he says… ^_^;

I used both DVD Decrypter and Imgburn in Read mode (and build i Imgburn) as well as just tried to copy the video_ts folder in windows explorer. All of them failed… The I/O errors occur after a couple of reading retries in Imgburn and DVD Decrypter.

I couldn’t play the discs properly with VLC media player either. They always stop at some point, so my guess is that the set top recorder just skips the bad parts and moves on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the problems originate from the set top; it was cheap and made by a completely unknown company.

Conclusion: I’ve got loads of new frisbees for everyone to enjoy. Want one?