Transferring DVD Home Movies...Frustration!

Hi All,

I was hoping someone out there could help solve a really frustrating problem I have getting my DVD home movies transferred from the DVD disc to my PC hard drive.
The home movies were originally filmed back in the mid 1990’s using a JVC (PAL VHC I think) camcorder which used small tape cassettes. Approx 5 years ago I converted the tapes into DVD format using a DVD/Video recorder. The files on the DVDs are VOB files. I am attempting to copy and paste the VOB files to the hard drive so that I can convert them to AVI Files thus having a digital backup to my all home movie DVDs.
The problem is that when I copy then paste the VOB files it starts to paste but then after approx six minutes I get a box appear stating that” Can’t Read From The Source File Or Disk. VTS_01_2 Type VOB File” The strange things is will copy the VTS_01 but none of the other files. I have tried renaming the files but obviously its a read only disc. I have plenty of room in the hardrive. I have also tried copying it to the desktop without success.
Any advice/suggestion would be most appreciated.

Welcome to the forums neddog.

You should try a ripping program. They were developed for commercially made DVD’s with encryption, but will work for home made movies just as well. One of the best ones was DVDDecrypter. Download it from this site: and click on the link that says [I]Download direct link[/I].

Your DVD’s may have deteriorated and this may make the process difficult. One question though. When you make a DVD on a recorder, you need to “finalize” it. This closes the disc and allows it to be read or ripped by other machines. Did you do this finalize process? If not, you have two choices. You can put them back into the recorder and finalize them, or you might be able to extract the data from them using ISOBuster.

ISOBuster has a free version and a commercial one. I don’t know if the free version will work for you or not, but it won’t hurt to try it.

By the way, why are you converting to AVI? Conversion will produce a small amount of video quality loss. If you want them out of DVD-video format, you could make them into mpeg2 files with no loss of quality at all. A program called Vob2Mpg can do this for free. And there is another one called DVDVob2Mpg that will do the same thing…also free.

Hi Kerry,
Thanks very much for this useful information especially about converting to mpeg2 files to avoid loss of quality. If do manage to get the files of the DVD I will bear that in mind
Even though it was a few years ago I remember that I clearly finalised the discs. I am going to try your suggestion of DVDDecrypter later this evening. Will post later how I get on with this software. Will also check out Vob2Mpg if I succeed in getting the VOB files onto the hard drive!
Thanks for being the first person to reply.

Well, it [B]is[/B] possible to convert to avi using a lossless codec like HuffyUV, Lagarith or UT video codec, but the file sizes will be huge in comparison to the DVD-video or mpeg2 files. Most people convert to Divx or xvid when going to avi, and these are not lossless.

Let us know if you run into problems. I have a bad feeling that the discs may have deteriorated, and this could be a real problem to save the data. If DVDDecrypter cannot rip them, then ISOBuster would be a logical next step to try and recover the data.

For a start Windows copy & paste is a poor way to transfer files from a DVD.
I’ve had this corrupt files that a DVD copy program worked fine when it copied the files from a DVD.

Kerry56 made some good suggestions but I would try ImgBurn in “Build” mode if you want to rip the DVD to your harddrive as it is. ImgBurn is made by the same author as DVDDecrypter but is current.

If you have a conversion program you like or are familiar with that may be your best option for the conversion. Once you get your DVDs ripped to your harddrive.

I have a couple of suggestions though .
This is a new program .
VideotoVideo converter

Use Tools/Join Video Files. Add the .vob files strait from the DVD.
Except the Menu .vob if it has one. Select OK.
Then you will be given several conversion options.With settings for those.

Next another good program it can work directly from a DVD but won’t “Index” the files that way. It usually produces a superior result from files ripped to the harddrive. It is AVStoDVD used with the HCEnc 2-pass option . Also select “Muxed Mpeg2 file” . That will create a .mpg file.

These two are what I would try if the ones above fail:
Finally if ImgBurn fails to rip the DVD I would try IsoPuzzle . You need the correct wnaspi32.dll to add to IsoPuzzle’s folder but it is available for download in this forum. It creates an .iso file .
You will need a virtual drive to work with an .iso file . If you get to this point I suggest Virtual CloneDrive available from Slysoft.

IsoBuster will create a similar image file to IsoPuzzle.
The trial or free version should be able to do that.
I have the paid version so I’m not sure if you can extract the VIDEO_TS folder with the trial or free version. IIRC those are more limited in function.

Hi Kerry/Cholla,
I have now tried your recommendations with regard to software however the programs start to convert the VOB file but after about 75% of the conversion it just sticks. This happens on all of the programs.
This home movies on DVD are very precious to me but I am starting to think there is absolutely no way to get the VOB files of these DVDs into the harddrive. Perhaps the only way I can back up my home movie DVDs is to burn duplicate DVDs however I would much prefer to have them stored on the hard drive as I think DVDs are prone to errors and corruption. I have already had one go on me which had some beautiful footage of my kids with their grandparents.
Back to the drawing board!

If ISOBuster won’t extract the data from the discs, then you have some serious errors in the disc, probably physical deterioration.

Using ImgBurn in Build mode and output set to Image file didn’t work either? This would have given an exact image of the original disc in the form of an ISO file. From this you could do anything you’d like.

Do the DVD’s play ok? If so, you might be able to use a screen capture program to copy them. Play them in something like VLC media player and capture the playback. Quality loss will be noticeable, but its better than having them on a deteriorating disc. Unfortunately, I don’t use screen capture programs, so I don’t have any experience in using them, and don’t know the best to recommend for this. The free trial for audials might be one to try:

It may be that your DVDs have deteriorated . If that is the case you won’t be able to duplicate them to DVD either.
Try a media player like VLC player & see if you can play the individual .VOB files from your DVDs.
Will each of the complete .vob files play? If they will them I’m not sure why some of the software won’t complete a rip to the harddrive.

I’m surprised that IsoPuzzle wasn’t able to rip any of your DVDs.
I’ve only had it fail on one DVD & that DVD was badly scratched.
You may need to give it a lot of time. I’ve let it work for 12 hours or more on a damaged DVD.
You also may not be using it to it’s full potential .It can be used with the dvd placed in multiple drives. This gives another drive with different reading ability a chance to do part of the recovery. To add to that I’ve even used an external harddrive for the 2 files IsoPuzzle creates & workes with & used 3 different computers & 5 different drives to recover a DVD.
You need to use this wnaspi32.dll that Kerry56 made available to download in post #5.

Since these DVD’s are important to you give IsoPuzzle a longer & more complete try.

@ Kerry56 , You are correct about using ImgBurn in Build mode. I’ve been using it with Virtual CloneDrive for so long I forgot to post that’s how you would use the .iso file ImgBurn creates. DVDDecrypter will rip in standard DVD compliant format as long as you set it correctly.

Hi Kerry/Cholla,
The DVDs do play ok although a couple of them are a bit tempremental hence my urgency to get them into my hard drive.
Just realised that the only one I didnt try was Isobuster. If that fails I will go back to Isopuzzle and give it more time.
Thanks again for your support. Will keep you posted.

@ neddog , Were you able to to copy your DVDs with anything ?
I just wanted to check.

Hi Cholla,

Thanks for asking. Have been in Ireland for the last week so havent had a chance to check for other solutions. I still need to try a couple of suggestions from Kerry and yourself. I havent tried Isobuster yet so that will be my my next port of call. Will keep you posted and thanks again.

@ neddog , It’s been about a month .
I just was checking to see if you were able to copy your DVD’s with IsoPuzzle or IsoBuster .
It always helps to know when a program works .
As well as which program worked.

Hi Cholla
Thanks for asking. No I havent had any success so far but it could be that I am not using the software correctly.
Will perservere and let you know