DVD Copies: The Beginner's Guide

One of the most common questions I get asked about computers is about how to copy a DVD.  Many people have lots of movies that they own, but are worried about scratching them and rendering them useless.  To solve this problem, people buy blank DVDs from the store and use in the archive their movies or software.  They then used these archived DVDs for regular use in the home or for a portable DVD player in the car.  Unfortunately, DVD movies and software are protected by copyright protection codes.

But, since people do need to legitimately duplicate DVDs for archiving purposes, software manufacturers have come out with product to circumvent the built-in copyright protection.  This article will discuss how you can use this software to copy (legally) Sony and Disney movies for personal use.  It is important to stress that it is illegal to copy movies, games, and software to give to friends or family.

My Favorite DVD Copy Software

If you want to copy DVDs you cannot use big-name software like Nero, Corel, or Roxio.  These brands specifically state on their boxes that they cannot burn copy protected CDs or DVDs.  Because of this, you'll need to use software like Magic DVD Copy.  This software is one of the best ones you can use and you can find at many local retail stores.

Magic DVD Copy is one of my most favorite CD/DVD copying software and I have had good results using it.  I have used other DVD copying software in the past that haven't measured close to the capabilities of this one.  You can download a free trial for Magic but are limited to an allotted amount of time.  Luckily, you aren't limited, feature wise during the free trial so you can try it out before you buy.

The Steps of Copying a DVD

Again, you cannot burn DVDs for any other purpose than archiving legally.  Do not illegally pirate DVDs.  People work very hard to provide do those movies and games that you like to watch them play and when you pirate you cut them out of a paycheck.  Plus, when you buy your movies and games, it tells the people who make them that you like them.  When you show them that you like it, they will make sequels and better versions in the future.

With that out of the way, let's talk about copying DVDs.  The first step of copying a DVD is find the one that you want to duplicate.  You also need a computer with the necessary DVD ripping software and a DVD drive capable of burning DVD discs.  If you want to copy DVDs without losing quality you will need a dual layer disc burner as well as blank dual layer DVDs.  Dual layer discs can hold twice the memory in comparison to single layer DVDs.

Once you have the discs, the DVD you want a copy, and a computer with a DVD burner, you can start copying.  Start the DVD ripping software and put in the disk you want to copy.  Typically, you will need to select the drive you want to copy from as well as a destination source on your hard drive.  Once you start the copy process, the software will move the files onto your computer.  This process can take a fair bit of time and can take at least a half an hour and probably even longer.  Once this process is finished, you will put in the blank DVDs that you want to copy to.  The burning process will take another 20 to 30 minutes.  After this step, the DVD will be ready to use.

There are many settings you can change in the DVD ripping software.  You can adjust the video and audio quality of the movie copy to save space and be able to fit it on non-dual layer discs.  If your movies have annoying movie trailers you can opt to make the copy without them.  Also, you can choose to burn the movie without any special features.

Comments 2 comments

jazzuboo profile image

jazzuboo 7 years ago from Queensland, Australia

Nice hub. I've had a lot of luck using DVD Shrink as well, very simple to use, and you can't beat the price :-)

Draanor profile image

Draanor 7 years ago Author

I use DVD Shrink for compression mostly. I have had some problems in the past with it not working with certain brands of movies (Sony, Disney) whereas Magic DVD works every time. But I would say that once you have removed the copy-protection, DVD Shrink would be the best movie compression software.

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