How can I rip my DVDs to my hard drive?
Question by Bumferry /
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I wish to rip my DVDs onto my laptop/external hard drive before I put all my films into storage. This is for personal use only (I am aware of the legality of ripping etc).

I have tried to use bitRipper which works but the quality is not as good as I hoped and the file sizes are huge (around 35Gb per film).

I have also tried VLC but this didn’t seen to work… (it only converted the main menu and saved it as a .Ps file!?!

Is there an easy program or way to rip DVDs using LESS space than 35Gb a film, Or should I bite the bullet and invest in a really big external hard drive?

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Answers (43)
  • Chris

    A lot of great help here if DIY is your thing, but for the larger collector, the affluent maybe, then is a great DVD and Blu-ray Ripping service currently serving 14 countries.

    Thank you to the owner for permitting me to make this plug. We already receive great leads from makeUseOf.... we're fans, thank you.

  • ivanted

    Though there are so many similar tools, but I prefer leawo dvd ripper for it's direct and easy for me to backup my DVD movies. Just personal experience, thought you can have a try. :)

  • Alisa Fish

    35 GB is really big, you need to use a professional DVD Ripping software to do that.
    and I have ever tried to rip 7GB DVD to MP4, and the tool I use is powerful and easy to handle, you may take a look if you need.

  • kumar raja

    use auradvd ripper software it free and premium version also avaible

  • macdvd

    I think this step by step guide will help you a lot. It will show you how to rip and copy video from DVD to computer hard drive. Supports personal DVD and copyright protected DVD. The guide is easy to understand and it works pretty well for me all the time.
    Glad to help you. Contact me if you need further help.

  • David Hughes

    Handbrake looks more complicated than it is, really. I got started with it by following this guide:
    The difficult bit is deciding what bit rate to encode your DVDs at - but that depends on what your own requirements are, really. (I was using it on Linux, mind - perhaps it's more difficult on Windows? I wouldn't know.)
    The thing that made me give up, though, was the thought of the number of man-hours it would take to rip my collection. I was averaging times of around 45 minutes per DVD at middle-of-the-road quality. My computer is by no means top of the range, but has what I think is a reasonable amount of processing power - so I basically decided to wait a few years until I have a better computer.

  • Carey Lili

    I use Any DVD Cloner Platinum ( or Any Video Converter Ultimate ( to rip my own DVD to video for playback on computer or my mobile devices (iPhone/iPad), very convenient and the quality is the same to the source DVD.
    I chose to convert the main movie (the longest time I mean) only so I will not get a very big size video file finally. On the other hand, you also can choose a lower level of image quality, video file with smaller size you can get. For example, you can resize the image frame and the bitrate.
    Any DVD Cloner Platinum works on more newly release DVD movies while Any Video Converter Ultimate provides more customized settings for the output video.

  • Yang Yang Li

    The huge file size is the reason people encode. Try encoding your movies in mkv. MKV produces great video quality at a relatively small file size compared to your 35GB. My bluray movies usually come out to around 8GB.
    I use Aiseesoft Bluray Ripper which is exceptional.
    Source: <== This Dude

  • Aaron

    I would just rip the DVD as a ISO image using DAEMON tools light. you would have to mount the image every time you wanted to watch it but you would retain the DVD menus. Your looking at about 8 gigs for DVDs and about 25 gigs for blue ray though it all depends on the content on the original disk. there's no picking and choosing what content to rip, its all or nothing.

  • Josh

    there are 2 ways to do this imho. they both require some serious storage though so first I would recommend building yourself a file server. the easiest way to accomplish this is outlined here: and involves installing a very easy to use server OS known as freenas (more info found at ). once you've got your storage set up (hard drives are ridiculously cheap now so at this point i might even recommend installing another sata controller, using a larger case, and doubling the number of hard drives and doubling the amount of ram installed in the system to allow zfs to do awesome things like removing duplicate files, and checking file integrity (checksums))

    once you've got your BIGASS file server set up and running smoothly, you can then start ripping your dvd's. if you're using a computer to play these back, for complete and total 100% same-as-on-the-dvd quality, the best thing to do would be to rip the dvd's to ISO format and mount the disks as a cd-rom drive when you wish to play them. you can accomplish this by a variety of means. if you're on a mac you can use disk utility to create a disk image of the disc, if you're on linux, you can use the dd command (or any graphical versions thereof) to create a disk image, or if you're on windows, you can use magic iso which is free, or any one of the large number of good disk image software that is available. this works with 100% of all readable dvd and blu-ray media (dvd and/or blu-ray drive required respectively). of the 2 options, this is by far the easiest method. in fact, you can easily multiply your speed of ripping multiple dvd's by using a computer with multiple dvd drives and simultaneously creating several images at the same time. (the easiest method i can think of is a linux box with 6 or so dvd drives, put a bunch of dvd's in, and then use dd or a dd based utility to create images of all of them.

    If you wanted to save space while still retaining as much quality as possible for backing up dvd's (and you don't care about menus and want to extract special features separately or not at all), I would recommend a really good open-source tool specifically for ripping dvd's called handbrake. handbrake has PC, Mac, and Linux versions that all do the same thing: easily transcode your dvd to a more compressed format (either h.264 or mpeg4/divx/xvid (which are all very similar variants of the mpeg4 standard). while this may sound technical, handbrake accomplishes this with pushbutton ease. it even comes with pre-defined workflows whereby you can click on the name of the device you would like handbrake to optimize for (there are ipod, appletv, iphone, etc. etc. profiles which are set to make life easy) OR if you prefer to tinker with the advanced settings, those are all still at your control as well. at it's easiest: pop a dvd in, select the "high profile" preset, and click on the magic "go" button. then in anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours depending on how fast the computer you're running on is and how much memory you have, you'll have a nice little .mp4 file that will play nicely with any media player under the sun that supports h.264 video and aac/mp3 audio (including windows media player, vlc, quicktime, and every home theater pc interface i've ever used). ripping will take a long time this way, and you miss some of the special features of dvd, but you'll save space.

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