DVD Decrypter question

First off, I want to make it clear that I’m ripping purchased DVDs in order to create an archival (backup) copy, and therefore I’m not running afoul of any copyright laws (I hope).

My question is this: I just downloaded DVD Decrypter because everything that I’ve read has mentioned this program as being basically the gold standard. However, when I finish ripping the DVDs, I’m left with 9 or 10 20-minute chunks of the movie. Is there any way I can get DVD Decrypter to either stop cutting up my movies into chunks or to collate those chunks when I’m finished decrypting?

Basically, I want to end up with 1 movie file. What’s the easiest way to go about that?

Thanks in advance,
Ad Astra

I know some Windows disk formats have a 2gig file size limit, which I believe would correspond to about 20 minutes worth of footage. That could be your issue. I’m not a Windows user, so hopefully someone else will be along shortly with more detail.


If you’re in the USA (and are not a library), breaking the encryption runs you afoul of the DMCA, regardless of purpose. And it’s not clear that there’s a right to make an archival copy of DVDs, in any case. (There are laws that allows such copies for some types of audio recordings, and for computer software–DVDs are probably neither, legally speaking).

DVD Decrypter simply transfers the files to your hard drive. It’s not unusual to have several vob’s with chunks of the movie. That’s how it is on the original disk.

A lot of commercial dvd software players have an option to open a dvd on your hard drive. I use Cyberlink Power DVD and it has that feature. The dvd plays exactly like it did on the disk. Same menus and everything.

For archival purposes, that’s all you need. You can put the originals in your file cabinet.

That’s as much as I’ll say on this forum. :wink: You’ve already transferred the dvd to your hd. All you need is the right software player.

You’ll first want to make sure you’re in ISO read mode (Mode / ISO / Read menu item).

You might also want to look in Tools / Settings / ISO Read Mode to enable (checkmark) some more of the options. While you’re in there, make sure the File Splitting option is set to Auto (see below).

If you’re using a modern Windows PC with its built-in hard drive, this should make 2 files - an ISO (a full image of the disc) and an MDS (a small file with metadata about the image, not 100% necessary).

If you’re using an older Windows version, an external hard drive formatted in FAT32, or an older network attached storage device, the maximum size of a file may be limited to 2GB or 4GB. With the program in Auto File Splitting mode, it will write the largest file it can, then close that one and start a new one. In this case, the MDS file will contain a list of the pieces and will be needed.

Use Fair Use Wizard instead. It will rip the movie into an avi. The free version has a maximum file size of 700Mb, but the paid version will allow you to make it any size above that. I’ve backed up hundreds of DVDs this way. You can rip anything off the disc - the movie itself, extras, etc.

I’ll also add that While ISO files are great if you want to preserve the DVD structure, and all the extras etc, If you just want to convert them for easy watching, or to transfer to a portable media player I’ll suggest using something Like Handbrake instead to convert it to a Mp4 file.
Handbrake + VLC will allow you to rip you movie or parts of the disk to a Single video file which will also be quiet a bit smaller in size.

An ISO file is only useful if you can mount it with a program like Alcohol 120. Then it becomes a virtual disk that any dvd player can recognize.

The original poster specifically asked for a single file.

While software that can play DVDs (like Cyberlink PowerDVD) is perfectly happy to open the component .VOB files, you can’t just copy them back to a disc and have a a DVD player process them properly. For example, if you have some home video from a DVD camcorder, you can’t just copy the component files to a blank disc and have it work in a player. Almost all players locate segments by block address, not by looking in the file structure.

There’s some detailed discussion of this in this ImgBurn forum post. (ImgBurn is the newer product from Lightning UK!, the author of DVD Decrypter, which doesn’t include the options that the DVD CCA objected to).

Did you try to open the different chunks through browsing with Windows Explorer (opening a single VOB file among many in the resulting directory)?

Some programs will split a large DVD movie into many 1GB VOB file chunks, when the movie may actually be 5-7GB total in size. As mentioned, a program like PowerDVD can open the entire directory and play back the movie as one piece.

You can try DVD Shrink, in the options there is a checkbox to not split VOB files into 1GB chunks. I know if you are selecting only the main movie, it will create 1 large VOB file for the movie. You can open the single large VOB file in something like Media Player Classic to playback (without having to use PowerDVD or the like).

Handbrake, as others have mentioned. I use it to rip my DVDs for viewing on my ipod.

My own solution: I use HD DVD Fab to copy the contents of the DVD to the hard drive. Then I use TMPGEnc Xpress 4 to rip to either .wmv or Xvid AVI. I can get ~ 2 hours of excellent quality per Gig of space for a 480p DVD, and the same for about 1.75 gigs for 720p video.

I always thought Decrypter created 1GB VOB files because that’s how it’s stored on the original DVD. Thus a dual-layer DVD will have about 7 to 9 VOB files.

the files are labelled also with the title number; the main feature is not always the first. Some (older?) DVD players will show which title as well as which chapter VTS_01_1 is title 1, file 1. There is no specific correspondence between chapter and VOB file, except they are viewed in order for a title.

If you want a single AVI file, use the software mentioned above. If you want to preserve the features of DVD, use an ISO image as mentioned above; this can also usually be used (where legal) to burn your replacement copy if the original is damaged.

DVDshrink instead can be used to take the disc or its files and shrink it down to single layer DVD size (4.2GB) should space be an issue; with newer high-profile titles, you need to decrypt frst before shrinking as the Shrink program is no longer maintained and it cannot get past the checks that newer copy protection methods throw at it.

Of course, if it is not legal in your jurisdiction to do what you want with what you legally purchased, you should not be breaking the law. The RIAA and MPAA paid good money to have those laws enacted and they should be obeyed.

Thanks for all the help! I’ve figured out Handbrake more or less, and it seems to be able to do everything I’m looking for (and much much more).

VLC (and others) can play both DVD image files as well as a DVD directory structure with .VOB files, just like you had popped in the disc itself (seamlessly, with menus and everything). For archival it is better to make a DVD image as it will be a lossless copy, rather than throwing away data in the transcoding process, unless you’re really short on storage space.