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What is the best way to back up an entire library of dvds?

Here is my scenerio:

I have several hundred dvds that i want to back up digitally. I have unlimited harddisk space (almost 7000 gb). I want to copy entire dvds (or possibly just the main movie from the dvd, depending on what makes more sense) WITHOUT compression or losing quality. (Quality is of most importance.) I am new to this, but I need top quality, albeit it might take days and thousands of gigs of memory. When I've done this with trial programs, none of my media playing programs have been able to read the file that has been created (They can only read the individual iso's that were created), so the dvd menus and subtitle controls and such are lost. I also need the ability to burn a 1 to 1 copy of that dvd at any time from the harddrive without having the dvd disk itself. I need to be able to burn these dvds with the same quality that the original dvds were. I need top quality for everything. I am willing to pay for a program if that is necessary to make this work smoothly and keep it organized.

In addition, I need to be able to potentially convert these files into something an ipod can play (mpeg4). I am assuming that would be possible in the same program that could just convert the dvd file into an mpeg4, but that MUST be possible.

If anyone could give me suggestions, point out flaws in my plan, or give links to potential programs that would be needed to do this, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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marked as duplicate by TheTXI Jul 27 '09 at 11:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

on what operating system? – John T Jul 26 '09 at 5:55
Windows Vista Home. Very powerful computer. – user3748 Jul 26 '09 at 15:02
dupe:… – fretje Jul 27 '09 at 9:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I was just researching this tonight. Lifehacker has a 5 best tools list.

What I ended up doing is using the free DVDFab HD Decrypter to copy the DVD to my hard drive. It can decrypt everything I send at it. DVDFab HD Decrypter does the copy without additional compression, so there is no quality loss.

DVDFab HD Decrypter

Then I use Handbrake if I want to convert it to a mobile device format like an iPod. It does conversion, but no decryption any more.


Finally if I want to burn it back to a DVD then I use DVD Shrink on the files DVDFab moved to my HDD. It will shrink it to an ISO that fits on a 4.7 MB DVD. DVD Shrink has decryption too, but it isn't being maintained, so some of the newer discs will not decrypt.

If you are on Mac then use MacTheRipper instead of DVDFab to rip the discs. HandBrake will work on both OSs for converting it to your iPod.


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Ive heard dvd rebuilder is better for rewriting discs. Thoughts? – user3748 Jul 26 '09 at 14:47
Where can i get the hd decryptor. The only downloads i can find give me a 30 day trial of dvdfab. Also, dvd fab splits the files into 1 gb chunks instead of making 1 big file... – user3748 Jul 26 '09 at 14:57
And do you know of a player that ill play the vts files created? – user3748 Jul 26 '09 at 15:03
If you download from that link then it should convert to DVDFab HD Decrypter after the trial. I am not familiar with DVD Rebuilder. Get VLC or MPlayer classic and possibly K-Lite codec and you can play anything. – Jim McKeeth Jul 27 '09 at 4:37

DVD Shrink lets you back up a DVD and gives you the option to leave out parts of the movie or the extra's, compress the main movie or certain chapters more or less (handy in case of a dual layer DVD) or just back it up 1:1 to the disk.

Watch this tutorial to see how it works

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