Categories Multimedia

Make a copy of a DVD with Nero

Over time, DVD media tend to get damaged. Scratches, deep scratches, micro breaks,... in short, so many irreversible damage that jeopardises the contents of your discs. Before they become unreadable, I suggest you take the lead by learning to quickly copy your DVDs using Nero Express.

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There are 2 ways to make a copy of any DVD or CD (audio, video, data, etc.):

  1. Make a copy of the source to another physical medium;
  2. Make a copy of the source to an ISO-type image file to be easily stored and usable on your hard drive;

We will therefore study the 2 solutions that each have undeniable advantages. But before, I invite you to download the Nero Express software contained in the Nero suite:

Nero 8 (183.0) MiB, 8,180 téléchargements)

Nero 7 (318.7) MiB, 3,367 downloads)

N.B. : in order not to burden the system, I strongly advise you to install only the strict minimum — in this case Nero Express, Nero Burning Rom and why not Nero CoverDesigner. By limiting yourself to engraving software, you will not be encumbered by a gas plant.

Solution #1 — Copy to another physical medium

The main advantage is to be able to transport or store a disc easily. However, this method has the same problems with the use of this type of medium (see introduction) and does not offer high read rates.

To implement this first solution, start by launching Nero Express from the start Menu.

Then click on the module Image, Project, Copy then in the proposed list, on Copy the entire DVD — opt for CD or any other medium depending on your case.

Capture décran - Nero Express, fenêtre daccueil
Screenshot of screen — Nero Express, home window

On the next screen, select your DVD player as source drive then enter the target drive — if you have only one DVD burner then choose the same value as the source drive.

Then click on the small arrow on the left side edge to show up a pane of additional options. Check the box Determine the maximum speed this will allow us to burn at the optimum speed — the fastest without causing errors.

Capture décran - Nero Express, configuration des paramètres de gravure
Screenshot of screen — Nero Express, engraving settings configuration

To validate everything, click on the button Copy then wait for the time of the copy. Note that you will be asked to insert a blank DVD during the burning process.

Solution #2 — Copy as an image file (ISO)

This second method will allow us to transform the contents of a disk into an image file that will carry the ISO or NRG extension. This type of file has the characteristic of collating under a single file — the size of which corresponds to that of the medium used, all the folders and files present on the DVD.

It is therefore very easy to create image files and then store them en masse on a hard drive — especially external to facilitate transport. Then the reverse operation will be to burn the ISO file to a DVD. The advantage is that the original hierarchy will be retained. For information, if you opt for the first copying method, know that Nero passes through an image file that it stores in memory and then burns it to another medium. This allows the same drive/disk drive to be used.

This second method merely reproduces the principle of the first.

Start by opening Nero Express and then click on Image, Project, Copy and on Copy the entire DVD — or corresponding medium. In the source drive, leave the optical drive by default but select Image Recorder as a target drive.

Capture décran - Nero Express, choix du lecteur cible Image Recorder
Screenshot of screen — Nero Express, choice of target drive Image Recorder

Validate by clicking on Copy. A window will then be displayed inviting you to choose the location where the image will be saved.

Capture décran - Nero Express, choix de lemplacement de sauvegarde
Screenshot of screen — Nero Express, choice of the backup location

Now that you have a nice file of more than 4 GB stored on your PC, it would be useful to know how to proceed with the reverse operation. In other words, what method should I use to burn a file of this nature? The answer can be found here: Engrave an ISO image with Nero.

Another advantage of this type of file is that they can be used without going through burning and therefore using a blank DVD. You can use virtual file editing software like Daemon Tools — be careful not to install spyware, which can create virtual disk drives.

So it’s very easy to run multiple image files at the same time, without a physical drive, etc. This part will soon be processed in a full-fledged tutorial. Subscribe not to miss it!

To learn more about image files, go to Wikipedia.

Now you have no excuse for not protecting important data that may disappear in the face of the test of time. And you, friends readers, what are your DVD copying methods? What software do you use?


Leave a Reply to vales Cancel reply

  • Copying to a DVD (or CD) is a very bad idea if you hope to keep a long-term record: these supports have a limited lifespan. It seems that the hard drive is more resistant.

  • @Li-An : yes, it is for sure that it is better to prefer the second method if one prefers the long term. However, it is mandatory to go through the first method to make a copy of your DVD installation of the operating system or its video games, for example.

    Some brands are also unrecommendable and according to a recent study published in a computer journal, 7 years would be the average lifetime of a record... that’s very little!

  • Caucheteux Michel

    Good morning, lean.
    I congratulate you for your site and for your articles that are very well made. (I know what I am talking about I am a former director in organisation and information system).The information you give on nero is excellent,I have used it with a lot of profit.(I have nero 9 but the instructions given by Nero are very complex, it must have been done by an IT specialist and not validated by a user!)
    I have a little worries with nero vision, I put on dvd a movie of windows media center following your tutorial, it works well but when I eliminate the ads, so when I cut I have a shift in the soundtrack.If you can help me with this problem I'll be happy with it.
    once again my congratulations on your site.
    Michel Caucheteux

  • @Michel Caucheteux : thank you very much for your comment!

    When it comes to film encoding, it’s a recurring problem I've encountered with Nero in the past. This is not specific to Nero but is linked to the audio and video codecs used.

    Knowing that the source format is DVR-MS or WTV, you should stay in Microsoft formats by opting for video WMV and WMA audio. That said, what I'm saying is yet to be proven.

    On the other hand, what is safe and logical, the more compression increases and the more likely there is a lag. It is also necessary to remain consistent between sound and image — do not diminish too strongly either.

    An alternative method for solving such problems is to remove ads with Lifeextender and thenencode film with Nero.

    A second alternative method — which works very well on Vista — is to do all the work with Microsoft software: Media Center, Movie Maker and DVD Maker (see tutorial Save, edit and burn your videos to DVD). An ultimate advice: use RW DVDs for the burning phase and then make a copy after checking that it is working (chapting, playback and fast forwarding in the film, etc.).

    Good continuation and see you soon!

  • Ben

    Good morning,
    thanks for the tuto

    What have you used as an operating system and what is the version of Nero?
    Nero 7 is not compatible with Windows 7

  • chantal fiorato

    I'd like to do a cd with several small films of a few minutes to make a single movie
    (a birthday present or the whole family wishes her happy birthday that she will be able to read a dash