I have a DVD, which has some questions and solutions. I want to copy this DVD into my hard disk as a backup in case it gets scratched.

I think I have to save it as ISO file but I'm not sure.

How can I copy my DVD to my hard disk?

  • Windows 8+ can mount an .ISO outside of that there are literally hundreds of programs that allow you to mount or extra an .ISO. Specific program software recommendations are not on topic here. – Ramhound Jan 20 '16 at 23:22
  • Software recommendations are off topic, so I edited the question to be more general - i.e. ask how to accomplish what you want. – LawrenceC Jan 21 '16 at 0:09

There are two basic types of DVDs:

  • data DVDs that contain programs and are designed for a PC or similar
  • video DVDs that contain titles/chapters of video and are designed for a DVD player.

I think I have to save it as ISO file but I'm not sure.

An .iso file is the contents of a data CD or data DVD put in a single file. There's many free programs that will take a data DVD and make an .iso from it (e.g. ImgBrn). Generally most programs that burn DVDs will work with image files. Be careful though because some programs might offer or actually make a proprietary format that's not technically .iso - such as older versions of Nero (they make .nrg files).

What you can later do with an .iso is use another program (WinISO, Virtual Clone Drive, etc.) that emulates optical drives. (If you are using Windows 8, as @Ramhound mentions it's possible to mount these directly without a third-party program).

These programs will add another drive to your system, but instead of reading a real disk, it reads the .iso and makes Windows mostly think that it's a real disk.

You don't have to make an .iso - you could just simply copy the files off the DVD onto a folder. Good reasons to make an .iso include:

  • you wish to upload the file somewhere - it's easier to move one big file over a network than many small ones

  • you want to play a backup copy of a game or install a program that requires the CD to be inserted, but only some games/programs are fooled by virtual optical drive programs.

  • if you want to burn a bootable CD or DVD, for example an OS installer disc, this is most easily done by providing an .iso.

An easy way to get at individual files in an .iso is to install 7-zip - it treats .iso files like .zip files - but 7-zip won't let you "mount" it as a CD.

However, if none of the above apply you might as well just copy the files to a folder somewhere convenient on your system.

If your disc is a DVD video disc, those are typically copy-protected. You need a decrypter program to copy the videos to your hard drive for personal use - if legal in your locality. Examples of those include DVDFab HD Decrypter and Handbrake if you have the libdvdcss file installed.

You can make an .iso of a DVD video disc if you really want (because technically it's just a data DVD with files named a certain way) but it will make it more difficult or impossible to play videos from it.

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I have always used MagicISO for this task.

enter image description here

Not much to add. it's simple and it works.

Select Tools> Make ISO from CDROM>choose an output directory> Done

Then use windows 8/10 to mount the ISO file when you need it by double clicking the ISO file.

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I've used DAEMON Tools Lite. And it is free.

Edit: It has ability to take backup of the disk. You select the disk to backup and destination folder, click the backup button and it saves it to the hard disk.

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  • How exactly did you use it to accomplish the task? – Ben N Jan 21 '16 at 0:18
  • @Ben N, I've edited my answer. – ilhan Jan 21 '16 at 0:23

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