Duplicating DVDs to large hard drive


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2017
I have a large number of DVDs that we have made of family activities years ago using iMovie. We want copy them all to a large hard drive. How best to do this?


macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
Since you made them I assume that they are not copy protected.

If you have a DVD drive attached to a Mac you can use Handbrake to convert them to MP4. Or you can send the DVD's out to a commercial service and have them do the conversion. You will lose any menus that were on the DVD. Depending upon what you want and the DVD setup you can get individual mp4 files for separate sections, or just one large mp4 for everything.

Assuming these are precious memories, be sure to create an off-site backup.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
To keep the menus like on the original DVD, isn't it best to make a DVD/CD master in Disk Utility -> File -> New -> Disk Image from ... your DVD, then select DVD/CD with no encryption? Produces a .cdr file that should play fine on a Mac when mounted.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2011
In case you have your purchased but copy protected DVDs, try DVDFab website, specifically the DVD Copy. The Windows version, which was named the DVD Decrypter, was a free program some years ago and it copied the entire DVD to a VIDEO_TS folder in a hard drive. Unfortunately the free version disappeared and these days it cost $49.

Anyway it basically copies the entire DVD to a VIDEO_TS folder, preserving the VOB file structure and more importantly the entire menu structure which allows you to access the entire DVD with its special features etc.

In your case, however, since you have your home made DVDs, you already have the VIDEO_TS folder handy. Just copy the entire folder to the hard drive.

Then, if you place the VIDEO_TS folder in a folder and make its extension .dvdmedia then Mac's DVD Player will open it as a regular DVD and you will have a full access to all the DVD Menus. Alternatively, you can also use the VLC Player for playback and have access to DVD Menus.

Handbrake does not preserve the original DVD Menus.