Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How To Rip DVDs To USB From Any Computer In Under 10 Minutes

This guide allows you to copy a full two hour DVD to a USB flash drive in under 10 minutes without installing any software or making any permanent changes to any computer. It means that instead of borrowing a DVD from a friend, you can choose to do a very quick copy of it straight to USB flash drive. This guide works with any CD and DVD, and the method can bypass all copy protections and region restrictions. Virtually any computer can be used, even if it is a school, library, office or university computer without any risk. This is because the programs do not attempt to make system changes. The only real requirement is that the computer allows executing programs from a USB flash drive.

What Are Portable Applications?

Portable Applications are Windows programs that don't make changes to the computer being used. They are free programs adapted to be used on removable storage such as USB flash drives, and they don't write any changes to the main Windows system. They don't require installing, administrator privileges or anything except Windows and a USB port. has a well moderated repository of free portable, portable software. Of this, we will be using two pieces of software, VLCPortable, and InfraRecorderPortable.

Things You Will Need

1. USB flash drive (or hard drive) at least 8gb in size. A drive like the mini Corsair Flash Voyagers are perfect because of their size and capacity. They easily fit onto a key chain because the USB contact is retractable.

2. A computer running Windows that can play a DVD.

Step 1) Make sure the USB flash drive is formatted with NTFS. This is because we will be writing files that are over 4gb which FAT32 formatting does not support. To change this, go to your USB flash drive, right click and press 'format'. You will need to change the 'File System' from FAT32 to NTFS. Warning: formatting any drive will wipe all of the data on it - always backup your data.

Your USB flash drive needs to be NTFS rather than FAT32.

Step 2)
Download the programs, VLCPortable, and InfraRecorderPortable, and 'install' them to the USB drive.

Step 3) Go to the target Windows computer and insert the DVD that needs copying and the USB flash drive.

Step 4) From the USB flash drive, run InfraRecorderPortable.exe. Select 'Read Disc' (the bottom right hand icon). If at this stage there are any errors, skip to the section What If I Have An Error Using InfraRecorderPortable? below.

Click the bottom right hand icon, 'Read Disc'.

Step 5) Now you need to specify where the DVD file is going to be saved. Click on the '...' to choose a location on your USB stick. Once you press 'OK', it will start a process of copying the image of the entire DVD which should take at the very most 10 minutes.

You can name the file anything you want.

Step 6) Once the copying is completed, you can open the 'DVD.iso' folder using the program VLCPortable. All parts of the DVD should be preserved, including menus, chapters and subtitles. Enjoy!

You can open the 'DVD.iso' file from within VLCPortable, or by dragging the file onto the open VLCPortable window.

What If I Have An Error Using InfraRecorderPortable?

On some computers without administrator priviliges, 'Open Disc' on InfraRecorderPortable will throw up an error because your administrator has blocked access to SPTI. An alternative but slower method is to use VLCPortable to directly transcode the DVD stream. This will work as long as you are able to watch the DVD using VLCPortable. This process usually takes about 20 minutes, but will be faster or slower depending on the speed of your computer. Using VLCPortable has its advantages and disadvantages - on the one hand the file will be compressed, on the other hand, it won't preserve the menu and chapter structure of the DVD, and the process of copying will take longer.

Using VLCPortable To Copy A DVD

Step 1) Open VLCPortable and select Media > Open Disc (Ctrl+D). Select the 'Disc' tab, and then press 'Play' at the bottom.

Step 2) Navigate through the menu of the DVD and play the part that you want copied. You should make a note of which  Audio, Video and Subtitle track numbers you prefer.

Select the correct Audio, Video and Subtitle tracks.

Step 3) Press Media > Convert / Save, select the 'Disc' tab again. Input the numbers corresponding to the correct track.

Make sure you have selected the tracks that you want.

Step 4) Select the destination of the video file you are creating, and place it on your USB flash drive. Don't worry about the file extension, VLCPortable will be able to play the file regardless of what the extension is.

Step 5) Select the profile 'Video - H.264 + AAC (MP4) (you can select a different file if you want a higher rate of compression). At the bottom this time will be a 'Convert / Save' button.

Step 6) VLCPortable will start streaming. Don't touch anything! It will affect the playback of the resultant video file.

Step 7) Once you are done, you'll be able to open the video file using VLCPortable. Enjoy!