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How to Copy a DVD to a Hard Drive

Many computers contain DVD drives for viewing and recording DVD material. Backing up a DVD to a hard drive is possible with the right computer software and a little patience.

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  1. Inspect the computer to ensure the system has a DVD drive. The drive will be labeled as such on the outside of the unit itself, or the computer will identify the component as a DVD drive in the system's device controller list.

  2. Insert the DVD into the DVD drive in the computer and allow the computer system to identify the drive and its contents. Typically, a window will open asking the user how they wish to handle the media. Disregard this window.

  3. Install a legitimate copy of a DVD using authoring or ripping software. This software will direct the computer to remove the content of the DVD to the hard drive. Follow the software instructions for best results.

  4. Ensure the hard drive contains enough memory and space to hold the typically large DVD file copy. DVD media takes a large area of space for archiving.

  5. Name the DVD copied files to something easily recognizable and easily found. A common file name will contain the DVD name and the word "copy" to differentiate it from the original media.

  6. Tip

    Play back the copied DVD material when the process finishes.


    Make certain the DVD material is not copyright protected. Most of the movies recorded to DVD have code written to the DVD to prevent the unauthorized copying of the content.

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