I tried dd, dd_rescue and ddrescue, all failed.

Since AnyDVD makes the disc copyable in a second on a Win7 host, it should not be too difficult. It says that the UDF filesystem is patched, curiously, it also says that there are no bad sectors. The whole DVD is copied in 10 minutes. What does AnyDVD do?

AnyDVD reports the same thing when run in a guest WinXP in VirtualBox but bad sectors are encountered while copying. No problem on native Win7 though. I guess AnyDVD does not have enough control over the DVD drive and the problem already occurs when the Linux host is trying to read the disc.

dd is fooled, it finishes but just produces a small file and states it's finished.

dd_rescuse and ddrescue are complaining about read errors and are intolerably slow. These tools can copy only a few MB in 10 minutes.

Why is this happening, why are these tools failing?

How can I copy my own DVDs to the hard disc so that I can play them back later?

I am looking for a permanent solution preferably on a Linux host but it can involve VirtualBox and WinXP, and freeware / shareware tools. Native windows is also acceptable as long as the solution only involves open source / freeware tools but not shareware software.

Related questions:

UPDATE: As it turns out, I am screwed on way too many levels. I ended up using AnyDVD.

  • @Bart I would be happy with a C solution too. Making a binary snapshot of the disc, and replacing the bad blocks with zero bytes, would that help? – Ali Feb 19 '12 at 15:00

The message "UDF filesystem patched!" just means that the copy protection added .ifo files of invalid size, such as 0 bytes or 1GB, so it was necessary to adjust the size of the .ifo and .bup files within the UDF filesystem to their "real" size. The message is harmless, but there is of course no guarantee that the adjusted size is correct.

Copying a protected DVD within a virtual machine is normally useless, because the emulated DVD hardware is almost always very different from the real thing. So to be avoided unless the emulated drive is the same make as the real one.

If you are looking for a native Linux solution, there are not too many possibilities.

You could try VLC, which can read certain protected DVDs, and also HandBrake. The article RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs explains some more how the libdvdcss package is to be used in this case.

A DVD copy program you have not mentioned is dvdisaster. Another one is DVD::Rip.
See also Five Best DVD Ripping Tools.

However, if the copy protection is good enough, or if it is new enough not to be cracked yet, then you are simply out of luck (for the moment).

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  • Upvoted and thanks! The problem is, I cannot get it off the DVD disc, even with dd. Why is that? I thought dd and similar tools bypass the filesystem. Say I somehow get a "bitwise" copy of the disc by bypassing the filesystem and ignoring read errors, can I somehow pass this bitwise copy to AnyDVD running in VirtualBox? Would that help? I just checked VLC: it fails too. – Ali Feb 21 '12 at 22:30
  • Some copy protection schemes produce DVDs that are "damaged" on purpose unless read with the correct software. Apparently your DVD even manages to trick dd. The first step is to try and find out which scheme. Use tools such as PROTECTiON iD. See also CD/DVD/Media Protections. I have no current experience with these tools, but they are always a year or more behind the protections. The one time that I tried many such tools on a CD that I bought, none of them succeeded. – harrymc Feb 22 '12 at 7:37
  • Thanks for the links. I will give these tools a try. In the meantime, my question is: say I somehow get a "bitwise" copy of the disc by bypassing the filesystem and ignoring read errors, can I somehow pass this bitwise copy to AnyDVD running in VirtualBox? Would that help? – Ali Feb 22 '12 at 9:06
  • It might, but depending on the protection scheme. Many times the ignored "damaged" sectors actually contain data. The most one can do is try the tools (of which there are many more under Windows). There is also the question of whether your dvd device is good enough. At the time that I tried to to copy my dvd, I found a hacking article that said that its protection scheme can only be cracked using one certain cd make then on the market, and this was when I gave up. – harrymc Feb 22 '12 at 9:32
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    AnyDVD analyzes the protection scheme and unscrambles the sectors accordingly. The sectors can be encoded and/or burnt in a non-sequential order and/or intentionally "damaged" and even sometimes the DVD is physically and mechanically damaged in parts that the reading software needs to skip. Once AnyDVD recognizes the scheme then it knows what to do. BTW, there are hundreds of protection schemes in existence, some involving actions while the dvd is pressed that can't be done by a burner. – harrymc Feb 22 '12 at 11:42

The utility suite cdrecord has the utility readcd. Its open source and has enough command line options to do anything with cd/dvds that I've ever needed. It has some options to continue cloning/recording if errors are found.

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  • Thanks! Say I somehow get a "bitwise" copy of the disc by bypassing the filesystem and ignoring read errors, can I somehow pass this bitwise copy to AnyDVD running in VirtualBox? Would that help? – Ali Feb 21 '12 at 22:35
  • I would try mkisofs (from the cdrecord toolkit) to make an iso that could be then read in virtualbox. – jdh Feb 21 '12 at 22:46
  • Thanks for the tip, I will give it a try and get back to you! – Ali Feb 21 '12 at 23:31

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