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DVDs allow content creators to include high quality content, mainly due to the large storage capacity that they offer compared to CDs. The bar has been raised even higher with the arrival of Blu Ray discs Blu-Ray Technology History and The DVD [Technology Explained] Blu-Ray Technology History and The DVD [Technology Explained] Read More . DVDs however, continue to be a very popular media among users and content creators.

The thing with DVDs, as with all kind of optical media, is that they are pretty easy to damage. DVD players need the DVD to be in a specific format. Computers don’t have such restrictions and you can easily play content from your hard drive without needing the DVDs every time.


The obvious solution, at least for playing them back on your computer would be to copy the content of the DVD onto the hard drive and play back the copied content instead of the actual DVD. The problem with this approach is that even if you are able to copy the contents, the files are oddly named and require more disk space.

Av even better option is to actually rip the DVD bitRipper : One-Click Free DVD Ripper for Windows bitRipper : One-Click Free DVD Ripper for Windows Read More to the hard drive in a file format of your choice. What’s more, you can tweak various options so that you are able to view the file on your iPod and mobile phones.

Before we go any further, keep in mind that people have been ripping DVDs for the wrong reasons as well. So most DVDs are copy-protected, meaning that copying or ripping its content is rendered more difficult. While you can circumvent such restrictions, that is not the topic of discussion here. Let’s quickly jump over to ripping DVDs.

A number of software are available that will let you rip DVDs with ease. I prefer Handbrake for the simple reason that it is easy to use and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Handbrake also requires you to have VLC installed on your computer. So if you don’t already have the awesome media player, go ahead and [NO LONGER WORKS] download it as well.

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Install Handbrake (+ VLC) and get ready with the DVD you want to rip. Insert the DVD and fire up Handbrake.

rip dvd to hard drive

Point Handbrake to the DVD you just inserted. Handbrake will now scan the DVD’s content and get back to you after it has scanned the entire disc, offering you suggestions as to what you might want to rip to your hard drive.

rip dvd to hard drive

Choose whatever it is that you wish to rip. Generally, the movies and/or shows are longer in durations and are much larger in size; making them easier to identify as opposed to other trailers and menu screens.

rip dvd to hard drive

Choose where to store the ripped files and choose from among the various presets if you want to rip the video for iPhones or PSPs. You can also specify custom settings such as cropping the picture, applying video filters, adding or removing subtitles How To Use Handbrake To Attach Subtitles To A Movie File How To Use Handbrake To Attach Subtitles To A Movie File Read More or audio tracks and much more. If you don’t know what all these mean, just choose a preset and you are good to go!

Hit Start to begin the encoding process. This might take some time depending on your computer’s hardware and the length of the video file. You might also experience high CPU usage during the encoding process, which will make it difficult to use your computer during the process. So go and enjoy a cup of coffee!

Do you rip your DVD collection to a hard drive to keep them safe? What are your favorite applications for the task?

  1. Wu Tracy
    July 29, 2016 at 2:30 am

    This article lists DVD ripper software capable of ripping and converting DVD discs, ISO image files or DVD folders to computer, mobile handsets and media players supported file formats:
    hivimoore.com/2015/03/best-dvd-ripper-copier-review

  2. Shameem Jack
    July 29, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Nice share! Thanks!

  3. Henry Baker
    December 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Since *most* DVDs *are* copy-protected, this article is a useless waste of time. So here's how to fix that absurd omission: Get DVDdecrypter. Google it.

  4. peacewise
    April 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    DVDFab Decrypter is free. Give it a shot http://www.dvdfab.com/free.htm...

  5. RIC MANNW
    April 3, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    In linux and windows go to f http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
    the file you want is "libcss something"
    Sorry someone help me here for her!
    ric mannw

  6. jason
    March 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I must recommend Slysoft.com and the following software:

    AnyDVD - To circumvent various copy protections
    CloneDVD2 - To Burn a back-up DVD

    So...
    Could someone point me in the direction of media conversion software that is 'top notch'? I'm currently working with
    'ConvertXtoDVD 4'
    Is this really the best?

    Thanx guys and your welcome!
    +jAy-

  7. jason
    March 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I must recommend Slysoft.com and the following software:

    AnyDVD - To circumvent various copy protections
    CloneDVD2 - To Burn a back-up DVD

    So...
    Could someone point me in the direction of media conversion software that is 'top notch'? I'm currently working with
    'ConvertXtoDVD 4'
    Is this really the best?

    Thanx guys and your welcome!
    +jAy-

    • Chris Chip
      March 29, 2010 at 3:08 am

      Anyone know of any freeware programs like the Slysoft products? They look pretty good, but student budgets confine me to free programs only for the next year or so.

  8. Doc
    March 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    If you want to rip a video DVD to XVID/DIVX with Handbrake,, you must use Handbrake 0.9.3, as 0.9.4 has ripped out XVID/DIVX support in favor of x264. This sucks because I have a DIVX-compatible DVD player (set top box).

  9. Boxcar
    March 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

    As was mentioned early on in the article, you must find your own way to circumvent copy protection, as that is not the focus of the article. There are any number of programs available to do exactly that. The ones I've used run in the system tray and give some kind of notice when the protection has been worked around. At that point you will be able to rip the DVD without issue.

  10. Chris0089
    March 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    It does not seem to work with Disney Pixar "Up"

  11. celeste
    March 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

    does this let you rip a protected disc?

    • RIC MANNW
      April 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      In linux and windows go to f http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
      the file you want is "libcss something"
      Sorry someone help me here for her!
      ric mannw

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