Copying DVDs to your hard drive: easy ways to do it

By backing up your DVD collection, you can easily copy DVDs to your hard drive.

It’s no secret that DVD sales have been declining in recent years, approaching the notion of histories like VHS and audio cassettes. So you can try copying DVDs to your hard drive to preserve your precious collection.

Let’s understand how you can easily copy a DVD to your hard drive in more detail.

Which free software to choose?

There are a lot of tools for DVD backup, but we will use one of the free programs. For example, Handbrake utility or another soft that rips DVDs and converts DVDs and videos to the necessary formats and codecs. The program is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Copy-Protected DVDs

Purchased DVDs are copy-protected, that is, against piracy. However, this point can be circumvented from the outside. Copy protection is the main problem to be solved because it is a legal issue. DVD ripping software has no such functionality, so users have to solve the problem themselves.

C:\Program Files\Handbrake

Using the Handbrake utility, you should get a copy of libdvdcss.dll, available for download from the online dll library, to your 32 or 64-bit version. After downloading the file, you should move it to the folder where Handbrake is installed, i.e., to C:\Program Files\Handbrake.

Ripping DVDs

The software is already set up, so let’s look at how to use Handbrake to rip DVDs.

#1: Scan a DVD

  1. Open your computer’s CD tray – insert a DVD.
  2. Open Handbrake and wait for the application to start.
Open Handbrake

3. Click on your DVD icon.

4. Handbrake will scan your DVD.

#2: Select Materials

Handbrake utility allows you to choose what content should be copied from a DVD. These selections are made via the Source options.

It should be understood that DVDs have additional content besides movies and TV shows. Among such content can be director’s cuts, deleted scenes, interviews, etc. The user should make a selection in the Title section.

Among such content can be director's

DVDs are divided into chapters and corners. Corners are used to represent different versions of the same scene, but modern DVDs use them on international copies.

Make adjustments to the chapters and corners to be saved in the following drop-down boxes. The user can replace Chapters with Frames or Seconds for more convenient content trimming.

#3: Choosing a location

Decide where the Handbrake utility should save the file. If using Plex or Kodi, you should add the DVD to your existing video library. You can save the results to external sources (external hard drive and blank DVD).

save the file

Click the Browse button to select the destination, giving the rip a specific name.

#4: Selecting the Quality

On the right side of the screen are the utility presets that correspond to the quality of the rip. Handbrake has general presets, and device-specific presets. For example, a 1080p video ripping format is available for selection.

Look through the whole list and see what options are available. Remind, with higher quality, and the final file will copy more.

#5: Select audio with subtitles

The bottom part of the window contains:

  • Image,
  • Filters,
  • Video,
  • Audio,
  • Subtitles,
  • Chapters.

More attention should be glued to the Audio and Subtitles tab. Here the user can choose the takes and subtitles on the rip. If there are fewer of them, the final file will be smaller.

choose the takes and subtitles on the rip

You can choose which subtitle files to copy or burn to DVD in the subtitles tab or leave them as a separate subtitle file.

#6: Rip Your DVD

Once each set is set, you should click the Start Encode button. Copying will take some time, depending on the video length and quality settings. You can see the progress of the process in the Actions Log tab.

Start Encode button

Do you own a vast DVD collection? Then use our tips to watch the classics on your new devices without any problems.