I have a video DVD that I cannot copy to my hard disk.

When I select all files and folders they are about 250 MB. When I check the DVD drive in "My Computer" it is about 4 GB. All the mail VOB files are 0 KB in size.

When I right-click the DVD drive in "My Computer" and click Play in VLC Media Player, then VLC plays it very well.

Where on earth are these huge video files?

The things that I have so far unsuccessfully tried:

  • Opening the DVD in a Linux environment. (But it only showed two small system files.)
  • All the things in "Folder Options" regarding Hidden Files and Hidden System Files.
  • Image-making software like UltraISO, but it takes them forever to finish (hard disk LED stays on; no blinking, which means there's something wrong).
  • No use doing various Command Line commands regarding changing file attributes.
  • If it is truly a dvd you would need to use something like handbrake. – William Feb 25 '17 at 20:17
  • @William Does it work for really stubborn DVD's like mine? The only thing that I can do with my DVD is to watch it with VLC. Impossible to copy or even see the files. Only fake VOB files with zero size. – Morteza Feb 25 '17 at 20:24
  • Most DVDs you can't see the files associated with the actually DVD. In fact 99% I would guess are like that but I'm only guessing. Try handbrake. – William Feb 25 '17 at 20:26
  • @William HandBrake Error No valid source or titles fount HandBrake will not be able to encode the seleteced source as it did not find a valid source with titles to encode. This could be due to one of the following reasons: - The source file is not a valid video file or is in a format that HandBrake does not support. - The source may be copy protected or include DRM. Please note that HandBrake does not support the removal of copy protections. The Activity log may have further information. – Morteza Feb 25 '17 at 20:57
  • Thank you for the suggestions but this problem seems to be solved with a much tougher approach than simply using a DVD ripper. – Morteza Feb 25 '17 at 21:11

You are right- DVDs should be nothing else than a bunch of data that can be copied. In fact they are. Just that the movie- industry tries and tried hard to protect them from being copied.

What you see is most probably some copy protection 1.

If your's was broken by someone and if it is legal (in your country) to make a copy by breaking the protection - either as personal backup or for others won't be easy to answer.

But when VLC can play your DVD my first guess would be 2 is circumventing the copy protection.

Every DVD- Ripping tool with the same capabilities as VLC (using the same library would be a hint) would be worth a try.

Just an idea how copy protection systems possibly work:

In early days computer disks had comparably few data capacity. As the data was stored on a single magnetic film disk (hence their name) it wasn't to hard to find out where exactly a portion of information was stored. So they used lasers and other tools to destroy tiny portions of that film.

Appropriate Software was aware of that error - it could even require that error to occur as part of the protection.

But others simply (tried to) read that sector and the read error caused them to cancel the action of reading/copying the data.

This way - depending on how the software was designed - it might have happened that this standard- software showed the correct memory usage of a disk, but couldn't even show a list of the files and directories on it.

Hope this explanation is more helpful than smart ass alack;)

  • As a very rough and unprofessional idea, it seems that, here, a kind of a simple (low-level) software is needed to gain access to all the files on the DVD. Something which works at a very simple level (much behind the graphical interface of operating systems.) – Morteza Feb 26 '17 at 7:06
  • Exactly that was (and is) done. Programs ignore(d) reading errors when copying and even destroyed the target block (by a to high number of reads and writes) on the destination disk to cause similar reading errors . However, if such an error occurred lateron - e.g. when reading the directory structure of that disk - it was up to the 'graphical interface' again what to do. And that was most probably stop reading. – RuDevel Feb 26 '17 at 17:31

My advice is try a software called handbrake.

It is free. Here is a guide.

  • Thank you but it didn't work. – Morteza Feb 25 '17 at 21:13

If it is a movie DVD you can try the DVD rippers mentioned in other comments. For a full copy of the DVD data, I recommend an ISO file program like PowerISO which will copy the disc as data bit for bit. You can then mount the virtual disk in a virtual drive to utilize it from the hard drive.

  • Thank you for your suggestions. Yes, in principle, everything is clear. The videos on the DVD are nothing but bits of data. However, the way Windows (or Linux for that matter) tries to access that data seems to be distorted. I think this is the case here because even the "Windows Defender" can't finish checking the DVD for viruses (it stops working somewhere in the middle of the operation until the DVD is removed; then Windows goes back to normal.) – Morteza Feb 26 '17 at 7:01

Your DVD is probably copy protected. Try using DVD ripper program - WinX DVD Ripper is my recommendation - to rip your DVD to MP4 or other format. If you want to keep all DVD information, copy DVD to folder or ISO image.

  • Welcome to Super User. Can you elaborate on why you recommend that program? Without explanation of what makes it a good choice, this is somewhat like a random Google hit (or might even be mistaken for spam). Good guidance on recommending software here: meta.superuser.com/questions/5329/…. – fixer1234 Sep 14 '18 at 8:05

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