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Rip and Convert DVD’s to an ISO Image

If you own a lot of DVD’s, you might want to convert them to an ISO image for backup and easily playing them on your media center. Today we take a look at ripping your discs using DVDFab, then using ImgBurn to create an ISO image of the ripped DVD files.

Rip DVD with DVDFab6

DVDFab will remove copy protection and rip the DVD files for free. Other components in the suite require you to purchase a license after the 30 day trial, but you’ll still be able to rip DVD’s after the trial.

Install DVDFab by accepting the defaults (link below)…a system restart is required to complete the install process.

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The first time you run it, a welcome screen is displayed. If you don’t want to see it again check the box Do not show again, then Start DVDFab. 

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Pop the DVD in your drive and click Next.

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Now select your region and check Do not show again, then OK.

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It will then open the DVD and begin to scan it.

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Under DVD to DVD you can select either Full Disc or Main Movie depending on what you want to rip. If you want to burn the DVD to a disc after it’s created select the Full Disc option.

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Now click the Start button to begin the ripping process.

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After the ripping process has completed, you’ll get a message telling you it’s waiting for you to put in a blank DVD. Since we aren’t burning the disc, just cancel the message.

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Click Finish and close out of DVDFab or just minimize it if you’re going to keep using it to rip another DVD.

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By default the temporary directory is in My Documents \ DVDFab \ Temp…however you can change it in settings.

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If you go to the Temp directory you’ll see the DVD files listed there…

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Convert Files to ISO with ImgBurn

Now that we have the files ripped from the DVD, we need to convert them to an ISO image using ImgBurn (link below). Open it up and from the main menu click on Create image file from files/folders.

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Click on the folder icon to browse to the location of the ripped DVD files.

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Browse to the DVDFab temp directory and the VIDEO_TS folder for the source and click Ok.

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Then choose a destination directory, give the ISO a name, and click Save. In this case we ripped the Unbreakable DVD, so named it that.

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So now in ImgBurn you have the source being the ripped DVD files, and the destination for the ISO…then click the Build button.

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If you don’t create a volume label, ImgBurn is kind enough to create on for you.

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If everything looks correct, click Ok.

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Now wait while ImgBurn goes through the process of converting the ripped DVD files to an ISO image.

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The process has successfully completed.

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The ISO image of the DVD will be in the output directory you selected earlier. Now you can burn the ISO image to a blank DVD or store it on an external hard drive for safe keeping.

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When you’re done, you’ll probably want to go into the temp DVDFab folder and delete the VOB and other files in the Video_TS folder as they will take up a lot of space on your hard drive.

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Conclusion

Although this method requires two programs to make an ISO out of a DVD, it’s extremely quick. When burning DVD’s of various lengths, it took less than 30 minutes to get the final ISO. Now, you’ll have your DVD movies backed up in case something were to happen to the discs and are no longer playable. If you use Windows Media Center to watch your movies, check out our article on how to automatically mount and view ISO files in Windows 7 Media Center.

With DVDFab, you get a 30 day fully functional trial for all of its features. You’ll still be able rip DVD’s even after the 30 day trial has ended. The more we’ve been using DVDFab, the more impressed we are with its capabilities, so after the 30 day trial you should consider purchasing a license. We will have a full review of the of it to share with you soon. 

Download DVDFab

Download ImgBurn

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/23/10

Comments (22)

  1. C. E. Frederick

    Great article! Guess I’ll finally start backing up my collection now. You guys make it way too easy not to do it.

  2. Taylor

    Is this any better than DVD shrink? Shink seems to offer the same options but with fewer steps to the end result. Lifehacker even offers a tool to streamline the precess even more (though i don’t use it because i don’t compress the video in my iso file).

  3. Will

    no need for the dvd ripping software. imgburn can create the image file directly from the disc.

  4. Raymond

    DVDFab 6 (and older versions) can make the dvd directly into an .iso file without using IMGBurn. You just need to click the icon at the far right of the source and destination boxes. It makes the .iso the same way as this process by ripping the DVD to a folder and then converting to .iso but it is a few steps less. There is also an option in settings to have DVDfab delete temp files after it has performed its task.

  5. Anon A. Mus

    After the 30 day trial, DVDfab would no longer allow me to rip DVDs. Is there another version that I should have been using?

  6. Alec S.

    “In this case we ripped the Unbreakable DVD, so named it that.”

    Are you sure? I also saw “Two Towers”, “Return of the King”, and “Trekkies” in those screencaps. :P I take it that they were not all made from a single article-writing session? :)

  7. James

    If you use the icon on the far right of the ‘target’ line, you can save the ripped dvd to an .iso that dvdfab will create for you, so you don’t need to use two programs.

    Also when making .isos to be mounted by you on your computer, its probably better to select ‘dvd8′ so that the quality is 100% (ie, an exact copy of the movie including menus)

    J

  8. Chris

    As a supplement to the above How-To, I use Sandboxie and created a separate sandbox in which to run DVD Fab. It works well in that sandbox and my pc stays cleaner since DVD Fab is not installed on my “real” system.

  9. Mysticgeek

    We’ve found found that using DVDFab and ImgBurn separately gets the job done incredibly quickly.

  10. Matthew Lucas

    How does this stack up against dvdshrink and dvd43?

  11. Mysticgeek

    @Matthew Lucas: I’ve found that this method is an insanely fast way to rip your DVD’s and convert them to an ISO image. While others have pointed out you can convert a DVD to an ISO using just DVDFab… from our tests, it’s a lot quicker process using the two apps separately.

  12. Mark

    Use free app Virtual CloneDrive (http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html) to mount the ISO and SMPlayer (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/10824/getting-started-with-smplayer-on-windows-to-play-movies-better/) to play the ISO. If you’re using a Linux server to store your ISO, you can bypass Virtual CloneDrive and mount the ISO on the server using command line.

  13. Team Beijing

    DVDFab Virtual Drive will also mount the ISO files for viewing and is also free. You can find and download the latest version at the DVDFab Forum http://forum.dvdfab.com/index.php . An easier way to create the image is to use DVDFab Passkey, an on-the-fly decrypter, and read the original disc with ImgBurn (free at http://www.imgburn.com )in “build” mode. Most software players will play the decrypted movie files from a VIDEO_TS folder on your hard drive (made with DVDFab in DVD to DVD mode) so you can skip making the image altogether unless you want to burn the files to disc as well.

  14. chris

    @Taylor “Is this any better than DVD shrink?”

    DVD Shrink is a great piece of software, but it is no longer supported and will not work on newer dvd encryptions. Hence, the need for DVDFab (or something similar).

    @ Will “no need for the dvd ripping software. imgburn can create the image file directly from the disc.”
    But as is the case with DVD Shrink, I have found imgburn also doesn’t work on certain types of encryptions.

  15. Will

    @chris havn’t had any problem with encryption with imgburn yet even though it does typically pop up a message about how it can’t read through all types. i always just go throught with the copy to the harddrive and i havn’t had a fail yet.

  16. Fran

    Indeed, the only DVD ripping apps that seem to keep ahead of the industry’s anti-copying trickery are DVDFab and AnyDVD. I recently had trouble ripping the movie Australia with a version of DVDFab I had downloaded about a month earlier. I checked the DVDFab site, and they had an updated version that worked.

  17. Anthony

    I still don’t understand the need to create an ISO file for backup. What are the advantages of a single ISO file vs. a single folder with all the relevant files inside all ready for playback? You say, “When you’re done, you’ll probably want to go into the temp DVDFab folder and delete the VOB and other files in the Video_TS folder as they will take up a lot of space on your hard drive.” But in the example given, the VOB and other files take up no more space (actually a little LESS SPACE!) than the single ISO file (4,507,813,888 bytes vs. 4,508,418,048 bytes). So why go through 2 steps (rip and ISO) when you can just rip to an external drive for backup.

  18. awraynor

    Much easier way. AnyDVD, right click, rip to iso, done!

  19. jaycustom

    So will this work for a Windows 7 .iso that i burned to a DVD? Because I lost the .iso and would like to make another DVD and .iso for backup. Will this work for that?

  20. snol

    works great but make the cpu high is there a way to make it work slower?

  21. M@r$

    @Anthony
    I convert original DVD’s to ISO’s, because my mediaplayer supports playing ISO files. Now every DVD is a single ISO file instead of a set of files/folders. I think that’s nice.

  22. MickyMouse

    I just wanted to add to this, Boxee the software will mount the .iso and play the DVD image with no other utilities to install. I use Boxee for all my media player needs. It plays ANYTHING!!!! and the cost is great too. Shall I use the dirty 4 letter word. Oh FREE!.

    -MickyMouse

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