How-To Geek

Convert a DVD Movie Directly to AVI with FairUse Wizard 2.9

Are you looking for a way to backup your DVD movie collection to AVI?  Today we’ll show you how to rip a DVD movie directly to AVI with FairUse Wizard.

About FairUse Wizard

FairUse Wizard 2.9 uses the DivX, Xvid, or h.264 codec to convert DVD to an AVI file. It comes in both a free version and commercial version. The free, or “Light” version, can create files up 700MB while the commercial version can output a 1400MB file. This will allow you to back up your movies to CD, or even multiple movies on a single DVD.

FairUse Wizard states that it does not work on copy protected discs, but we’ve seen it work on all but some of the most recent copy protection. For this tutorial we’re using the free Light Edition to convert a DVD to AVI. They also offer a commercial version that you can get for $29.99 and it offers even more encoding possibilities for converting video to you portable digital devices.

Installation and Configuration

Download and install FairUse Wizard. (Download link below). Once the install is complete, open FairUse Wizard by going to Start > All Programs >  FairUse Wizard 2 >  FairUse Wizard 2.


FairUse Wizard will open on the new project screen.


Select “Create a new project” and type a project name into the text box. This will be used as the file output name.  Ex: A project name of Simpsons Movie will give you an output file of Simpsons Movie.avi.


Next, browse for a destination folder for the output file and temp files. Note that you will need a minimum of 6 GB of free disk space for the conversion process. Note: Much of that 6 GB will be used for temporary files that we will delete after the conversion process.


Click on the Options button at the bottom.


Under Preferences, choose your preferred video codec and file output size. XviD and x264 are installed by default. If you prefer to use DivX, you will have to install it separately. Also note the “Two pass” option. Checking the “Two pass” box will encode your video twice for higher quality, but will take more time. Un-checking the box will speed up the conversion process.


Under Audio track, note that English subtitles are enabled by default, so to remove the subtitles, you will need to change the dropdown list so it shows only a dash (-). You can also select “Use TV Mode” if your primary playback will be on a 4:3 TV screen.


Click “Next.”


Full Auto Mode vs. Manual Mode

You should now be back to the initial screen. Next, we’ll need to determine whether or not we can use “Full Auto Mode” to convert the movie. The difference is that “Full Auto Mode” will automatically perform a few steps that you will otherwise have to do manually. If you choose the “Full Auto Mode” option, FairUse Wizard will look for the video on the DVD with the longest duration and assume it is the chain that it should convert to AVI. It’s possible, however, your disc may contain a few chains of similar size, such as a theatrical cut and director’s cut, and the longest chain may not be the one you wish to convert.

Make sure that “Full auto mode” is not checked yet, and click “Next.”


FairUse Wizard will parse the IFO files and display all video chains longer than 60  seconds. In most cases, you will only find that the largest chain is the one closely matching the duration of the movie. In these instances, you can use “Full Auto Mode.”


If you find more than one chain that are close in duration to the length of the movie, consult the literature on the DVD case, or search online, to find the actual running time of the movie. If the proper file chain is not the longest chain, you won’t be able to use “Full Auto Mode.”


Full Auto Mode

To use “Full Auto Mode,” simply click the “Back” button to return to the initial screen


Now, place a check in the “Full auto mode” check box. Click “Next.”


You will then be prompted to chose your DVD drive, then click “OK.”


FairUse Wizard will parse the IFO files…


… and then prompt you to Select your drive that contains the DVD one more time before beginning the conversion process. Click “OK.”


Manual Mode

If you cannot (or don’t wish to) use Full Auto Mode, choose the appropriate video chain and click “Next.”


FairUse Wizard will first go through the process of indexing the video.

Note: If you get a runtime error during this portion of the process, it likely means that FairUse Wizard cannot handle the copy protection, and thus cannot convert the DVD.


FairUse Wizard will automatically detect a cropping region. If necessary, you can edit the cropping region by adjusting the cropping region settings to the left. Click “Next.”


Next, click “Auto Detect” to choose the proper field combination.


Click “OK” on the pop up window that displays your Field Mode.


Then click “Next.”


This next screen is mainly comprised of settings from the Options screen. You can make changes at this point such as codec or output size. Click “Next” when ready.


Video Conversion

Now the video conversion process will begin. This may take a few hours depending on your system’s hardware. Note: There is a check box to “Shutdown computer when done” if you choose to run the conversion overnight or before leaving for work.

The first phase will be video encoding…


Then the audio…


If you chose the “Two Pass” option, your video video will be encoded again on 2nd pass.


Then you’re finished.


Unfortunately, FairUse Wizard doesn’t clean up after itself very well. After the process is complete, you’ll want to browse to your output directory and delete all the temporary files as they take up a considerable amount of hard drive space.


Now you’re ready to enjoy your movie.



FairUse Wizard is a nice way to backup your DVD movies to good quality .avi files. You can store them on your hard drive, watch them on a media PC, or burn them to disc. Many DVD players even allow for playback of DivX or XviD encoded video from a CD or DVD. For those of you with children, you can burn that AVI file to CD for your kids, and keep your original DVDs stored safely out of harms way.


Download FairUse Wizard 2.9 LE

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 03/9/10

Comments (5)

  1. pdfdergi

    incredible! This can be as easy as never came to my mind. Thank you.

  2. Wizard

    I’ve been using the paid version of FairUse Wizard for years, but have recently changed over to HandBrake. FairUse Wizard is very easy to use when it works, but it has not been updated in at least a year. Newer encryption schemes have emerged that FairUse can’t deal with, so you have to use some other software, (like DVDFab or AnyDVD) to rip the disc. I don’t follow the development closely, but it appears that this program has been essentially abandoned by its founder, Ump.

    There are also serious problems with FairUse Wizard’s x.264 codec. The codec is internal to the program and is a very old version. I found out the hard way that the program incorrectly encodes x.264 video in .avi container files. These movies played back fine on my PC, but playback on the new generation of media extenders is problematic. During action scenes the video is choppy and drops frames. When the same videos are properly encoded using x.264 in HandBrake, the video is smooth as silk. This is a well-known bug in the handling of ‘b-frames’ or some such thing. Anyhow, I now have to go back in and re-encode all of my DVDs using a proper, up-to-date codec and file container.

    FairUse Wizard limitations:
    1. Can’t rip newer DVDs without using a separate program to decrypt the disc
    2. Has serious problems with the x.264 codec- Use XviD instead (even though it is a far less advanced codec)
    3. Appears to have been abandoned by its creator

    If you can’t live with these limitations, I suggest you consider AnyDVD paired with HandBrake. AnyDVD is a bit pricey, but it flat-out works. When you put a DVD in your drive, AnyDVD acts in the background to make the disc appear completely unencrypted. HandBrake requires a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, ripping discs only takes a couple of clicks.

  3. Joe Blough

    How does this whole process differ vs using the old DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink to copy movies?

  4. Silencer

    Fairuse is good but not perfect as AutoGK.

    and you should configure Xvid settings in FairUse …

  5. anatolibugar

    Before use Fair, can i change setings in XviD encoder settings, or must settings leave in default?

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