How can I rip my DVDs to my hard drive?

Bumferry November 14, 2012
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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?

  1. Chris
    January 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    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.

  2. ivanted
    November 22, 2012 at 3:21 am

    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. :)

  3. kumar raja
    November 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

    use auradvd ripper software it free and premium version also avaible

  4. macdvd
    November 16, 2012 at 2:37 am

    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.

  5. David Hughes
    November 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    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.

  6. Carey Lili
    November 15, 2012 at 2:16 am

    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.

  7. Yang Yang Li
    November 15, 2012 at 2:03 am

    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

  8. Aaron
    November 15, 2012 at 1:03 am

    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.

  9. Josh
    November 15, 2012 at 12:14 am

    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.

  10. Robbie Pence
    November 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm is the best one. Close second is Handbrake.

  11. Bumferry Hogart
    November 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    After much trial and error I have found a solution! WinX DVD ripper PRO has solved all my solutions. A one stop two click resolution for my DVD ripping needs.
    a 2 hour dvd film has ripped in around 33 mins and came in at 1.5 GB in total.

    the play back quality is the same as if playing a DVD directly.

    Thankyou to everyone for your help.

    • BumKing
      November 27, 2012 at 12:58 am


      funny, you didn't give details on where to get it or all that you needed to download.

  12. Eli
    November 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Even if the ripped DVDs take up "only" 1-2 gigabytes, that could still require more hard drive space than is ideal... and the quality may not be that great. Plus, think about the massive amount of time you will need to invest.

    Do you still buy actual DVDs? Or do you buy movies digitally?

    My suggestion is to think more long-term. DVDs are already being phased out for "in-the-cloud" services. This might be a sizable investment if you have a large DVD collection, but Walmart (in partnership with VUDU) offers disc-to-digital service for $2 a disc ( The $2 is for standard definition ($5 for high-def), but even the standard definition looks pretty good on a 40" TV, so it should be fine for computer and mobile device viewing.

    After creating a VUDU account, find the movies you own that you can "convert" to digital... take the DVDs into Walmart... they verify... and you then have a digital copy of the movie online. [You get to keep your original DVDs].

    You will need internet access of course, but at least the movie doesn't take up any hard drive space. Internet-connected TVs are becoming pretty popular, and with devices like the ROKU ( you can easily connect your TV to the web and queue up movies and TV shows. VUDU has an iPhone app too (maybe on other platforms as well).

    There are many digital content services out there, but VUDU makes it cheaper than repurchasing digital movies at full price. They has a pretty extensive library too (although, if you have a number of hard-to-find DVDs, that might not hold true).

    At the very least, consider getting the digital online version for your favorite movies, and worry about converting the other DVDs later.

  13. Dan
    November 14, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I use AnyDVD to remove encryption and such. Then I use CloneDVD to rip the movie to an ISO. The result is a file about 4gb. For more options, I also have CloneDVD Mobile, which allows for .avi or .wmv or any number of other mobile formats. These are all available through [Broken URL Removed] - I believe that they have trials available but don't remember since I purchased all of these products a few years back. They also have a free virtual drive for mounting the ISO if you need that.

  14. Gordon
    November 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I use MakeMKV and Handbreak for my backups. They are very flexible, can rip dvd, bluray, and HD-DVD (yep I was one of those), and the quality is excellent.

  15. rassd71
    November 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I have done a similar thing for taking movies camping. We use a portable hard drive and a laptop and have an entire collection with us.

    I use two products, that have consistently worked well and one is free!

    First I use SlySoft 'AnyDVD' to allow for reading the files

    Then HandBrake, which is free to rip them. The quality is good and the size is a great compromise. You can set them to be small enough to fit onto a standard CD!

    Again, this is for personal convenience of not having to bring the DVD's with us. And not for playing on a huge HD tv. Where you might notice the reduced quality. Although I never have, even on my HD desktop monitor.

    That's my advice.

  16. Adam Borries
    November 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I have friends who swear by Handbrake, but I've never gotten it work right for me. I consider myself to be fairly tech savvy, but I can't figure out the codec options in Hanbrake. I've had a much better experience with Freemake. Dead-simple interface, preset and customizable output formats, and I've used it with "encrypted" DVDs. Good luck! on How can I rip my DVD's to my hard drive?

  17. James
    November 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    [Broken URL Removed]

    I have used this many times successfully. You customize the quality you want, either AVI or MPEG4. I have never gotten any bigger than 10GB with a 2.5 hour movie from an HD disk at the highest quality.

  18. Bumferry Hogart
    November 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for all your help so far. I am still having issues here.

    Firstly, most of the programs offered here don't seem to work.
    Before I buy any program I would like to know that IT does work. The free programs that offer the exact same options, DO NOT DO what i need. I'm not gullible enough to hand over my cash for something that i have no guarantee actually works.(catch 22 i suppose)

    Ripping the actual disc is not really that much of an issue.

    However, when i try to rip/convert the dvds i have EACH AND EVERY program i have used says the same message:

    "Unable to access, dvd is encrypted".

    Handbrake seemed the perfect option, but no. This tool tells me i need another program, but nowhere (and i have checked many websites) does it tell WHAT I ACTUALLY NEED.

    For everyone who has told me "I use xxx" please can you supply where you got this program and what other program are needed.

    There is vital info missing here.

    I really appreciate all your help, but not one single option has worked so far.

    I have read instructions, how-to guides on MUO and lifehaker and a few other sites. but no where does it actually say where i can get hold of the programs i need (that are still available on line at least)

    • Brandon Lockaby
      November 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Movie DVDs are encrypted to prevent people from pirating them. I cannot think of any program where you can legally copy a DVD to your computer.

    • Anonymous
      November 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I'm with many of the above commenters and use DVD Fab. I paid for the lifetime license as I use it a lot and with new protections coming out all the time, you will need updated versions to support them. It handles the decryption, the rip and the re-size with good results.
      I have 3 kids and it's rare that a DVD will be usable for more than 4 or 5 months, so backups and burning is a way of life for me.
      I rip DVDs to Movie Only ISOs in single layer (DVD5) so when I create my copies they fit on single layer DVD-R's and are compatible with every DVD player I've tried them on. DVD-R's are cheap, so when the kids destroy them, I just burn a new copy.
      I keep my ISOs on a 2TB external drive and every few months I copy (just the changes) to another 2TB drive to create a backup and rotate the other drive in as my default. I keep the backup at work in a file cabinet.
      I also use DVDFab to take the Movie only ISOs and make iPad/iPhone sized rips for road trips and when vacationing.
      I also leave the 2TB drive mounted and shared on a spare computer on my network (to handle print serving too) and mounting/streaming full ISOs works like a charm across the network - even on wifi!
      I used to use AnyDVD for the decrypt, RipIt4Me, VirtualDub, DVDShrink , CloneDVD or Handbrake for the rip and resizing, but it required upkeep and a lot of checking for specific disk compatibility. DVDFab takes all the guesswork out and it just works!

  19. Dave Rimmer
    November 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I would try Format Factory -
    It's free and does a good job. Just choose AVI and it will encode a dvd to around 700mb.

  20. Sapper82
    November 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I too would like an answer to this question.

  21. Eric Whitehead
    November 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    You could always try Handbrake. On a Mac Handbrake is really easy to use and fast. On Windows on the other hand, not so much. It does still work (at least some of the time) and the files are usually about half a gig for the normal quality on the disk.

    You are going to have to have VLC installed and you will need the libdvdcss plugin before Handbrake will do anything, but once you have that you should be able to rip a lot of your disks. Just beware, on a PC it'll probably take ~5 - ~6 hours per DVD.

  22. Denis St-Michel
    November 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I prefer a free software called "Freemake". It can convert almost anykind of media to any other kind. I use it to convert my DVD to iTunes format. Never had any problem with it. It's a bit slow though, but the quality is great and the file size make sense. Wow. 35G. That's quite big.

  23. Brandon
    November 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Well, a good one would be CloneDVD but that costs money. My favourite suggestion is IMG burn which lets you rip any dvd into an ISO file to mount yourself.

  24. Nikhil Chandak
    November 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm
  25. ha14
    November 14, 2012 at 9:00 am
  26. Rajeev Dandu
    November 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

    why don't you use windows media player to rip dvd's? ( if you are windows user)
    I think it's easy to rip in windows.

    • Cheezus Christ
      November 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      instructions? i dont think ripping anything but audio with WMP is possible.

    • Brandon Lockaby
      November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Windows will not allow you to rip DVDs due to copyright law. You can rip music CDs on Windows Media Player.

  27. susendeep dutta
    November 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Try Handbrake -

    5 Simple Steps To Rip An Entire DVD To Your Hard Drive - (Using Handbrake)


  28. Douglas Mutay
    November 14, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Format Factory is a good tool that can do the job. You can rip a DVD and convert it directly into any format such as divx, mp4, mpg, etc and specify the size of the output file. You won't loose the quality and you will gain space.

  29. Alan Wade
    November 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    DVD Shrink does a fast and professional job. Read more and download:

  30. Paul Girardin
    November 14, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Have a look here for some free programs:

    You can also watch theses two websites that offer different free deals for the day that you'd otherwise have to pay for normally as they often showcase commercial rippers, don't worry as both those sites are LEGIT.

    Here are the addresses:

    Whatever program you use for this purpose, it is better to have an external hard drive for storing the ripped films.

    I just bought a 3TB Hitachi Touro Desk Pro for $159.99 (CDN) and am in the process of moving lots of files from my old computers (and other external hard drives) without making a big dent to it.

    This will free up your internal hard drive so it can do the job it is supposed to do which is insuring your computer will perform its regular everyday functions well.

  31. Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I've always had good results with Digiarty's MacX DVD Ripper Pro. I also have their Blu-Ray Decryptor but since I don't have a Blu-Ray drive, I haven't tried it yet. I normally just rip to ISOs to put on my NAS server so they are the same size as the original media since they include everything but I have also used it to convert to both mp4 and avi for use on portable devices as well with acceptable results. You need to remember that if you are not ripping to an ISO file, in most cases you will have a loss of quality since almost all codecs use lossy compression.

  32. Boni Oloff
    November 14, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Try to use the CloneDVD. It looks professional, i never use that too.

  33. Aswin Kumar K P
    November 14, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Use Nero Package...It will be the best..

  34. Drew Butler
    November 14, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Check out an application called Dvd Fab Platinum. I used it for a while but after re-installing one of my computers I can't find my serial number... Grr. Anyways it was great software and after you set your setting once you could backup your movies to your HDD and choose from multiple popular formats with one click after inserting your DvD. Great software and only had a few DvDs it didn't work with due to encryption. Anyways Dvd Fab was great but isn't free and I don't feel like re-purchasing due to losing my serial number so I'm getting the program below.

    Thanks to MUO if you are active on the site and earn 500pts you should consider getting Audials Moviebox 9 for free. Judging from the review it looks great but I haven't used it yet.(still have a few points to go lol) If that interests you click rewards in the upper right hand corner of the page and check it out. Hope this helps

    • Drew Butler
      November 14, 2012 at 3:10 am

      Wow 35 gigs lol.. just saw that. Dvd Fab takes a while but the file size with good quality runs from about 700mb-1.5gigs depending on the length of the movie and the format you choose to record to....

      I will report back about Audials Moviebox after I get a chance to check it out which will probably be tomorrow evening... Have a great night.

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