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Backing Up Movies: Nero Recode Tutorial
Last Updated 8/21/2003

Nero Recode is an amazing thing. The interface is fabulous and the features are great. But it is beta and anything can happen!

Step 1: Removing the CSS Protection
Software Needed:

- DVD Decryptor
(freeware: Download | Visit Homepage)

Use this to copy the files from the DVD to the hard drive while removing the protection.

  • Download and install DVD Decryptor.
  • Run DVD Decryptor.
  • Insert the DVD you want to copy.
  • Select MODE->ISO->READ. This basically selects to copy the whole DVD to your hard drive into a big image file.

  • Select your desired destination. The program will show you the free and required space. Make sure you have enough room on your hard drive.

  • Hit the DVD > Hard Disk button.

    Depending on the speed of the DVD reading, this can take some time. Once its done, you'll have a giant DVD image sitting on your hard drive. Its fully deprotected.

  • Remove the DVD from the DVD drive.

Step 2: Mount the DVD Image as a Drive (or Burn ISO if small enough)
Software Needed:

- Alcohol 120% (Trial: Download; $49.95 | Homepage)

Mount your unprotected DVD disc image as a drive or burn the ISO image directly if its small enough.

The image that DVD Decrypt made isn't directly accessible to either Instant Copy or to Nero Recode, so we must create a 'virtual' DVD drive to mount the image. You do not have to use Alcohol 120% for this if you have another package like Daemon Tools. Our instructions, however, are for Alcohol 120% only.

  • If the .iso file is less than 4.7GB, you do not need to mount the image - just use DVD Decryptor to burn the ISO to a blank DVD and you're done. The DVD image is already small enough to burn.

    To burn, open DVD Decryptor. Select MODE->ISO->WRITE. Click the folder icon to choose the disc image you just made. Stick in a blank disc. Hit the big button on the bottom and you're done!
  • Install Alcohol 120%. Make sure you have at least one virtual drive device available.
  • Open your hard drive and find the movie image created by DVD Decrypt. There should be a .iso file and a .mds file. Note the size of the .iso file.
  • Right click the MDS file and select MOUNT IMAGE-> (E:) AXV CD/DVD-ROM (0). (Your drive setup might be slightly different.)
  • Verify that you successfully mounted the image. Browse the drive you just mounted the image on and make sure that it works and there is a VIDEO_TS folder in there.

Step 3: Preparing the Movie with Nero 6 Recode
Software Needed:

- Nero 6 Ultra Edition (Trial: Download; $69.99 | Visit Homepage)

Use this to remove unwanted parts of the DVD & recompress it to fit on a blank DVD.

This product will serve two purposes; removing unwanted content and shrinking the remaining content to fit your fresh new blank DVD. While Nero Recode has a lot of potential, if you have ANY problems, remember its still new - and try the Instant Copy Tutorial.

  • Install Nero 6 Ultra Edition. Make sure you have the LATEST version of Nero Recode installed! They release new versions all the time. Double check your version!
  • Run Nero Recode. Its located under Nero->Nerovision Express 2.
  • Select Copy Entire DVD to DVD.
  • Click IMPORT DVD button.
  • Select the virtual drive you have mounted your DVD image into and hit OK. If everything is okay, you will see an ANALYZING box come up and you can see the program parse through the video. This will take a couple minutes.
  • Once done, you will immediately see a break down of Movie vs Extras. This is the resampling quality required to fit all the content on the blank DVD. If this number is anything less than 60% for the movie, I would recommend removing/changing some items on the new DVD to ensure best quality.

    Nero will try to automatically remove all extra audio tracks and subtitles, as well as come up with the optimum compression settings for each "extras" video. You should check each item under Main Movie and Extras to be sure you agree with Nero's interpretation. Nero will often remove soundtracks you will probably want. ALWAYS CHECK! Each version of Nero gets smarter and smarter, but double checking is the right thing to do.

    If you do not want a Title (say a set of trailers, deleted scenes, or whatever, simply select the title and hit DISABLE. This will remove it SAFELY from the DVD, replacing it with a customizable "video has been removed" screen. This is a safer method than Instant Copy.

    Do check out PROFILES - there are many nice presets in there you can choose.
  • Once you're happy with everything, hit NEXT.
  • At this time, you can either burn your DVD, or save the contents to the hard drive. We recommend saving them to the hard drive. Once you're comfortable with Nero's settings and you are sure of your choices, you can burn directly - right now. However, the smart money is on writing the files back to the hard drive, previewing the DVD to make sure you're happy with it, THEN burning. However, it will take more hard drive space to do this.

Step 4: Test the new DVD files
Software Needed:

- Any DVD software player that will play files from a hard drive (i.e. Nero Showtime)

Preview the new DVD files for quality before committing them to a DVD.

The new files are ready to burn - but until we're comfortable with Nero, we better check the quality and stuff before we burn a precious blank DVD! Any player that you can point to a folder on the hard drive should do the trick. Luckily, Nero Showtime is included in the Nero 6 package and will do the trick.

  • Open your DVD player software and play back the new DVD files. Check the menus, make sure they work as you would expect. Check the quality of the movie. Skip around to high action scenes and make sure the quality is acceptable to you.
  • If you are happy with the new DVD, you may now burn the files. Continue to Step 5.
  • If the quality is NOT satisfactory, or you feel you could have done better distributing the compression, you may delete the new DVD files, and repeat Step 3 with different choices. Be sure to keep your Recycle Bin empty so you have room to work!

Step 5: Burn the files to a Blank DVD
Software Needed:

- Nero 6 Ultra Edition (Trial: Download; $69.99 | Visit Homepage)

Burn the files to a blank DVD.

We know you're using Nero 6, so we might as well use it to burn!

  • Open Nero->Nero 6 Ultra Edition->Nero Burning Rom.
  • If the wizard pops up (otherwise select File->New), select the CD dropdown and choose DVD.
  • From the icons, choose DVD-Video.
  • You may want to choose the LABEL tab and name this disc the same as the original.
  • Select NEW.
  • Using the File Browser on the right, drag and drop the new DVD files to the left window. Use the example folders as a guide to ensure you get the file structure right.
  • Be sure your DVD writer is selected as the burner and hit the BURN icon.
  • Test the image in your PC, DVD player, or wherever you will be watching it. Be sure its okay before you delete the files from your hard drive!
  • Delete the files and any other intermediate files we've created if you haven't done so already.

Congratulations! You're done! Not too bad, eh? I hope this tutorial helped you out.


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