November 24, 2008

Backing up your DVDs

If, like me, you own some DVDs and if, like me, you have small children around who can make the survival of such discs problematic, you might be inclined to create playable backups of your discs. There a variety of ways that you can go about it:

1) Buy a second copy. Not really sensible from a a financial standpoint, but doable. You've now a got a backup without actually having to make one.

2) Use DVD Shrink to extract the main movie only. Remove all of the subtitles-unless you need them, of course- and all of the foreign language audio tracks. Then, if you're feeling adventurous, trim the credits at the beginning and end. This will reduce the compression considerably. Then hit the "Backup" button and you're on your way.

Sure, you can copy the entire disc without removing diddly, but you'll get around a 50% compression ratio. Not that bad on standard definition TV, but certainly not good on an HD set.

Note: You will need some burning software, such as Nero to burn the resulting image file. Lots of free software out there, so have at it.

3) Use AnyDVD or DVD43 (you can't use both, because AnyDVD bitches about the presence of DVD43 during installation) to remove the region encryption and then use IMGBurn, which replaced DVD Decrypter. I actually think DVD Decrypter is great, but all work on it has ceased, so you're better off with the newer IMGBurn, which is why you need AnyDVD or DVD43, because IMGBurn will not make an image for you of an encrypted DVD without at least one of them running in the background.

Anyway. Let's suppose that you've got AnyDVD running, and you've inserted your copy of the last Indiana Jones movie. Click on the Create Image from Disc button, or click on the Mode/Read pulldown menu choice. Voila! IMGBurn creates an ISO image of your DVD on your hard drive. Onto the last part.

Now it's time to burn that ISO to a disc. Since you're making a backup of a commercial disc, you'll need to have purchased some DL discs, which have an 8.5 Gb capacity, the same as standard commercial DVDs; I will ignore HD discs, which aren't really available yet.

Note: Do not skimp on funds and buy crap Memorex discs. Spend the extra cash and buy VERBATIM DL discs. They work great. The Memorex discs are turds. Sure, they cost less per disc, but you'll spend more because you'll end up throwing lots of poorly burned discs into the trash.

Already, click on the Write Image to Disc button. When the screen appears, set the burn speed to 2.4x. Any faster and you're just asking for trouble. Then click "Burn" and walk away until the music sounds, which signifies that your disc is ready.

So that's it. Easy as pie. Have at it, and don't forget to label your newly created DVDs. Just an FYI.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 05:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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