New to forum. I want to watch DVDs from hard drive with functioning menus?

Howdy All,

I want to copy all of my purchased DVD to a large hard drive and be able to get the DVD functionality (read working menus). I built a Microsft Media Center 2005 PC and want to be able click on “My Videos” and see a list of all of my DVDs and be able to click on a picture of the DVD cover and have it launch the DVD’s menu and have it play the DVD from the hard drive.

I will figure out how to have the DVD covers in a menu but I need to be able to get the DVDs to the hard drive and be able to launch the DVD’s menu and have it function properly. This may be as easy as copying the DVD’s entire contents to the hard drive and double-clinking on the correct file but I am not sure. I understand this will consume tons of hard drive space, I will be purchasing a 400GB SATA drive to dedicate for this purpose.

Why do I want to do this? I do not want to have to get up to change the DVD to watch a different movie. Also I plan on buying a Media Center Extender and be able to watch the movie from my living room, computer room, or bedroom without having to carry the DVD to each of these rooms to watch the movie.

I have already converted my 700+ CD collection to MP3 and can listen to music from anywhere in my house and it is very nice. No more scratches on my CDs.

Thanks in advance for any help on this.



You should look into DVD Decrypter (to get them on your Hard Drive) and PowerDVD for playback. All the info you’ll need is here on CD Freaks.

Your 400GB drive will store approx. 45 to 60 DVD’s - wild guess.


Thanks for the info. I have downloaded DVD Decrypter and will give it a try over the weekend. I will post my results.

PowerDVD is definitely the way to go for playback.

Here’s another related question: wouldn’t you need to mount the DVD images to a virtual DVD drive before playing? Or can you play them, menus and all, from the files on the hard drive? I’ve only tried playing a DVD from hard disk whent I mounted an image through Alcohol…

bpenfold: sounds like a really nice arrangement you’ve got!

Vratar: Once DVD Decrypter rips the files to your hard drive, you can play them directly. It also removes Region and copy protection. Great program - donate some money if you use it!!!

Most good software DVD players will play the files correctly (menus and all) provided that the DVD was ripped properly.

if you rip to an ISO, you still have to mount it via Nero Image Drive, Slysoft’s Virtual Clone Drive, Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120% etc.

if you rip to file (i.e. VIDEO_TS) most software DVD players can play directly from the folder.

Working on a similar setup except with my server as the MP3 and movie storage device and utilizing my network to provide access to the music/movies. The only problem I had was the 10/100 Mb connection would sometimes choke, so the solution was to upgrade the switch and NIC’s to Gigabit and now it works perfectly using either PowerDVD or Eugene’s Player for the Hollywood+ cards. I’ve been looking at a 300GB removable HD as the movie storage drive with an estimated storage of 60+ movies. I thought about MCE 2005 but I run Win2k Pro on all my machines and have no desire to upgrade to WinXP.

“My opinions are my own, and I’ve got lots of them!” /.

Thanks for all the replies on playback. :slight_smile: I’ll have to try it myself when I get home…