Ripping a Questionable DVD-R

I’m totally baffled. My friend burned some things onto a DVD-R for me, and I think something went wrong during the burning because the disc would only play on my Philips standalone player (it wouldn’t play on a Toshiba or either of my computers). When it does play, there are some chapters that are really choppy too. So I thought I would try to copy some chapters on my computer, and play them from there.

I downloaded DVD Decrypter and AutoGK the other night and successfully ripped chapters from other DVD-Rs I have, and then I inserted this problematic disc (not expecting too much). DVD Decrypter recognized the IFO information–I can see which chapters to select–but when I tried to rip those chapters, I kept getting read errors. This was not exactly surprising since my computer has never been able to play the disc, but just a few minutes ago I tried it a second time.

This time, while DVD Decrypter reported another read error, my computer went through the motions of automatically playing the DVD–meaning it recognized the disc as a DVD for the first time–and then it actually brought up the DVD’s menu–something it’s never done before in the 10 or 15 times I’ve tried to play the disc on the computer! It wouldn’t play beyond that in Windows Media Player, but then I opened up PowerDVD, and it played on the computer for the very first time (or at least part of it did). I have no way to account for any of this, but it gives me hope that ripping chapters might be possible. Does it mean anything that DVD Decrypter can recognize that there is information on the disc? And–in light of the recent confusing events–is there hope for this DVD-R now that it will actually play (at least every once in a while) on my computer? Any feedback is appreciated.

–Also, I should have been paying more attention when I got the DVD Decrypter read errors, but I think the error messages say “Uncorrectable error” when the computer doesn’t recognize the disc, and then something about a “Seek Complete” (I’ve forgotten the exact wording) when the computer does recognize the disc. Thanks!

It sounds as though the disc is either badly mastered or damaged, more likely the latter. Try cleaning it and see if that helps.

I tried cleaning it, but nothing changed, which makes me wonder if it might be badly mastered (even though I’m not exactly sure what that means). If it is badly mastered, is there any workaround for that? Thanks.

You can try ripping the disc with a different device (some readers cope better with damaged discs than others)and/or use different ripping tools; e.g. AnyDVD, DvdFab Decrypter or RipIt4Me (in case the problem is because of some structural copy protection). You could also try ripping in movie only mode and/or setting Dvd Decrypter to ignore read errors.

However, none of these will help if the disc is badly mastered (i.e. defectively manufactured).

I think you are trying to copy some “things” (as you say) from backup media that was crappy in the first place. You keep mentioning -R media but never mention the brand, media ID, etc. You mention “chapters” so it must be a movie(?) but you don’t say which movie.

You seem to know plenty about backing up. Why are you wasting time and effort on something “your friend” gave you that is probably messed up anyway. Just copy the original yourself onto decent media.

Best regards,

Why this tone of suspicion? If you’d like to know (or if it’s relevant), the “things” on the disc are various clips from VHS tapes (not movies) that my friend burned onto a DVD-R for me, arranging them in chapters. She has since thrown out the tapes, so no original copy is accessible. She put some label on the disc (don’t ask me why), so I couldn’t see the brand immediately, but now DVD Decrypter tells me it’s a Sony. I can’t tell you what the media ID is because I don’t know what that means. If you can offer me some help, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, thanks for the bump.

Thanks for your response. I haven’t had time to try different ripping tools yet, but I’ll give them a shot and see what happens.