A previous article explains how to use the awesome VLC player to rip a DVD to an MPEG-1 file. Technically, it gets the job done, but there are other options. Storage is dirt cheap so why not retain the full image quality and size as well as all the menus, languages, subtitles and bonus material from the original DVD. Using ImgBurn you can rip the entire disc to an ISO file and then use the VLC player to watch the DVD just like you had the physical disc in your drive.
After downloading and installing ImgBurn, a wizard will offer a few choices.
Before we start ripping, we need to prevent ImgBurn from splitting the file into multiple parts since we want to end up with a single ISO file of the entire disc. Go to Tools > Settings and click on the Read tab. Under options, change the value of File Splitting from Auto to None. Click OK to go back to the main screen.
The main screen shows everything you would want to know about this disc. Under Destination, click the folder and navigate to a location where you want to store the image file. Be sure you have enough space. Look in the window on the right, the value for Size is how many bytes the disc contains (this disc is 4.6 Gigs).
When you are ready, click the button at the bottom with the green arrow. The ripping process will begin and the screen will give you a progress indicator including the estimated time remaining.
Go do something else while this runs, it’s going to take a while. A dual layer disc can hold more than 8 Gigs and you should rip at the lowest speed you can bear for best results.
When it’s done you will have a file called ‘Name of the disc’ .ISO.
Now, start VLC player and select Open > File. Navigate to the ISO file and select it. VLC player will start playing the file and the result will appear just like you were playing the physical disc.
Now you can enjoy the full quality and functionality of the DVD without having to lug around all those discs.
ImgBurn is a very powerful piece of software that does a lot of other things, including burning image files to disc, and it is completely FREE (I know the Admin loves free). It runs on all versions of Windows, including Vista and all 64-bit versions of Windows.
One thing ImgBurn will NOT do is rip encrypted discs (discs with CSS and/or Macrovision). For that task you need a tool called DVD Decrypter. The developer of DVD Decrypter is no longer working on the software due to issues with the Macrovision corporation and the obvious DMCA violations the product allows. It wouldn’t be proper to advise you on how to rip protected material or commit DMCA violations, but if you do happen to obtain a copy of DVD Decrypter, you will see that its interface and operation is very similar to that of ImgBurn.