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How to Copy DVDs

I recently found out how difficult it can be to know how to copy DVDs on my computer. After buying our “new to us” 2007 Suburban; we wanted to make a small collection of the DVD’s we already own to leave in the car all the time. So Janna put it on my “to do list” and I started working on it right away. : ) I went to Wal-Mart and bought a 50 pack of DVD-R’s and came home ready to start the burning process.

I thought going into this project that I could do it all from windows media player… I was wrong. So apparently the entertainment industry has been working vigorously to keep people from making copies of their content; even if it is legal. So, with all that against me I tried several trial programs that I downloaded from cnet.com. Most of the programs didn’t work or were too complicated to even attempt using. After giving myself a few days to cool off and figure things out; I found a program that finally worked! It’s called Aimersoft DVD Copy; I ended up buying it. It cost about 30 bucks but was totally worth it. So many other programs claim to make exact copies but won’t copy protected content; most DVD’s are protected.


Here’s some screenshots of how this process works…


1.   Find a DVD you own and you’d like to make a copy of. I chose Donald Duck for this example. (The DVD copies are going in the car and are mainly for my daughter on long car trips.)



2.   This is what the screen looks like when you open the program.



3.   Put in the DVD you’d like to copy; the source box will auto populate. Then select your Target; this is the file where the movie will go until you copy it to a DVD-R later. I like to put it where I can easily find it; on the Desktop. I created a Folder and called it “Donald Duck”.



4.   Selecting the right output type is important because unless you have a DVD-R that can hold 8.5 GB of video you need to select the 4.7 GB. I wasted quite a bit of time copying a DVD just to find out I could not put the movie on the DVD-R because it was too large.



5.   Hit the Start Button and your off! This will take several minutes.



6.   Wait until this box shows up. You don’t need this box so you can close it.



9.   Make sure you get this screen prior to proceeding.



8.   Now change the “source” to the file where the DVD was downloaded to. Then change the “target” to your DVD drive.  Also at this point you will need to insert the DVD-R.



9.   Then press start; the DVD-R will be written. This will also take a few minutes.



10.   Once you get this screen you’re done burning the DVD.



11.  Then find someone with good handwriting and have them label the DVD. Janna is my DVD labeler; she does a great job!



Now you can enjoy the DVD wherever you want. Perfect!


Janna and I are trying to get all the Disney movies we grew up with for our daughter to watch. My wife loves the Little Mermaid; I was surprised to find out that these movies are quite expensive even if bought used. Because these movies are so expensive it’s not a bad idea to have additional copies just in case one gets scratched or destroyed.




{ 10 comments… add one }
  • jon terry July 24, 2012, 4:16 pm

    jesse i hope to learn everything you know through this blog. everything.

    • Jesse July 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

      Jon! You are funny! I hope things are going well for you and the Fam.

  • Ruth July 26, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Another thing as your kids get older, they will want to play the DVDs all by themselves. Save the original for copy making and give them the burned ones to use.
    Also, I tried the free version of the Aimersoft in an attempt to make a DVD for my Sharing Time at Church. Somewhere I must have done something wrong as it would only play on my PC at home and not on the DVR at the Chapel. Plus every frame had an annoying watermark of their name right in the middle of the screen, rather than at the bottom or other edges. So I guess the moral to the story should be, go ahead and buy the “real” thing. (And maybe Jesse will have to help me next time I attempt to do this.)

    • Jesse July 26, 2012, 9:33 pm

      Great tips Ruth! I am not sure why you encountered problems. I tried the free trial before I bought it and it worked great. I think they may have changed how the free trial works. Now, the free trial only lets you use it 3 times before prompting you to buy the license. There are no watermarks in the free trail. Keep in mind that 3 uses basically gives you 1 DVD copy because it counts the upload and the burning as one use each. You can click here to try the free trial.

      • Ruth July 31, 2012, 2:34 pm

        How sneaky to count each step as a time of use!

        • Jesse July 31, 2012, 2:46 pm

          So it is. I think lots of companies do stuff like that with free trials.

  • Mary W. July 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Actually, the movie industry tells us that copying our own rightfully purchased dvd IS illegal. Which is why we can’t easily copy them. However, they are never going to prosecute for copying our own movies. Despite the threats.

    • Jesse July 31, 2012, 4:54 pm

      I read something about that after posting this. So for those unaware there is a legal grey area with copying your own movies. The movie industry says its not ok then others say it is. So proceed at your own risk. But I’m with Mary, it will never happen.

  • Jp30 August 17, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Very nice write-up and info. However, you don’t need to buy any software and can do this for free. Just read this:

    I have been using this method having 99% success rate on the copies I make.

    • Jesse August 20, 2012, 12:49 am

      I have not verified that this will work but it’s worth a shot. It does look a little more lengthy and involved than aimersoft is.

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