How to Copy DVD to External Hard Drive on Windows/Mac (Not Rip)

In many cases you might need to copy your DVD collections. For example, tons of DVDs occupy too much of your room and there is no space for other stuff. Moreover, DVD discs are vulnerable to warping, scratching and breaking. Therefore, using hard drive is always a good choice to store your DVD back-ups so that you don’t need to worry about the problems that might occur to DVDs. More importantly, copying DVDs to external hard drive allows you to edit, share or watch DVDs flexibly without DVD player anymore. If you are seeking for a way to copy DVD to hard drive, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to show you how to copy DVD to external hard drive on Windows/Mac using a recommended software called VideoByte DVD Copy.


Part 1. Why Can't I Copy DVD to Hard Drive Directly?

For DVDs without the protection of DRM and homemade DVDs, you can directly copy them to external hard drive directly for backup purpose since they don’t have copy protection. While for commercial DVDs, you might find errors occur when you’re trying to copy them to hard drive on Windows or Mac. The reason is that the copyright of these DVDs is protected and they cannot be directly copied.

In fact, almost all the DVDs movies and TV shows are armed with one or more copy protection schemes, which can protect these files from being copied directly. Some commonly used DVD protection encryption technologies that usually cause trouble when you want to back up your DVDs to hard drive are listed in the following:

Content Scramble System (CSS): This system includes both player-host mutual authentication and data encryption, which is used to the content of DVDs from piracy and to enforce region-based viewing restrictions.

Sony ARccOS Protection: Corrupted sectors on DVD disc are created deliberately by the system, then a majority of regular DVD copy software will produce bad section errors.

Disney DVD Copy Protection: it disorders the DVD content so that users can hardly locate the right title which contains the main part of the movie. If you try to copy full DVD content, you will get a large size file and videos that are completely out of order and useless.

Rip Disney Disc to Digital

In addition to DVD copy protection schemes, other reasons such as overheating computer and firmware fault, etc. might also lead to the failure of copying DVD to external hard drive. Therefore, a professional DVD copy software is required to copy DVD to hard drive successfully and easily in a professional way.

Part 2. The Best Software to Copy DVD to Hard Drive without Hassle

VideoByte DVD Copy is an easy-to-use, yet a highly advanced tool that can allow you to copy DVDs to external hard drive on both Windows and Mac for backup purposes easily and conveniently. With such a tool, you can clone DVD movies to another blank DVD disc in 1:1 ratio or copy the DVD disc to DVD ISO Image/ VIDEO_TS folder.

Highlighted Features of VideoByte DVD Copy

  • Copy DVD movie disc with 1:1 original quality: VideoByte DVD Copy can decrypt, copy and burn DVD disc so that you can backup DVD movies to external hard drive in their original quality.

  • Choose your preferred subtitle and audio track: VideoByte DVD Copy allows you to check out the disc label and attain the detailed information about each disc, such as all titles chapters, audio tracks and subtitles.

  • Copy DVD with different mode: To make all the copy process easier for every new users, VideoByte DVD Copy provides different copy modes: Full Movie, Main Movie and Custom. If you want to copy the whole movie, Full Movie mode can satisfy your need. Main Movie can perform movie-only backup and Custom allows you to choose desired parts of the DVD to copy.

  • Remove DVD protection easily: For protected DVDs and commercial DVDs, VideoByte DVD Copy can remove the CSS protection and region codes that applied to the DVD disc. Therefore, you can copy any DVD disc you like to external hard drive.

  • Offer built-in DVD player: VideoByte DVD Copy is equipped with a built-in DVD player which allows you to preview the content of each chapter before you start the DVD copy process to avoid the setup errors.

  • Speed performance: the copy speed of VideoByte DVD Copy can be set to "×2.0 - Recommended" or "Max so less time will be spent on the copy task compared with other similar software programs.


It’s not recommended to copy DVD to hard drive for commercial purposes for it might be a violation of copyright laws.

Below are detailed steps to copy DVD to external hard drive. Or you can slide down to see the video tutorial and learn step by step.

Step 1. Load DVD Source

Download and Install VideoByte DVD Copy on your PC and then launch it. Insert the DVD disc you wish to copy to your computer. Then VideoByte DVD Copy will ask you to load the DVD into this program. Or you can go to File > Select Source to import your DVD.

Select Source

Step 2. Choose DVD Copy Mode

VideoByte DVD Copy provides three copy modes including "Full Copy", "Main Movie" and "Customize". You can choose the proper one according to your situation.

  • Full copy: Copy the entire DVD video including the credits, the advertising, etc.
  • Main Movie: Clone the main movie without unnecessary clips.
  • Customize: You can copy the video contents you want as you like
Full Copy

Step 3. Start to Copy

Before the copy process starts, go to Target to choose "Save as DVD Folder" or "Save as ISO" to set the destination you save your DVD contents. Then tap Next to set other options according to your need and tap Start to begin the copying process.

Copy Option

Step 4. Connect to External Hard Drive

When the copying process completes, you can find the DVD content in the destination folder. Connect the USB hard drive with the USB interface and now you can transfer DVD files to the external hard drive to make your business trip more interesting.

That's all steps on copying DVD to external hard drive. With just 4 steps and several simple clicks, you can enjoy your DVD movies at any pleasure time and at anywhere.

Part 3. FAQs on Copying DVDs

Is It Legal to Copy DVD?

It depends on the use of DVD content. According to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it is illegal to copy DVDs for the purpose of commercial use without the permission of the copyright owner.

However, the Fair Use Doctrine allows you to use copyrighted materials without acquiring the permission from the original copyright holder if you purchase these materials for personal use. Therefore, it is legal to copy DVDs in case of DVD damage, loss or for educational purpose.

How to Copy DVD to Hard Drive with VLC

VLC is also a popular software that lets users to rip and convert DVD to MP4 and other digital formats. However, VLC does not support to copy DVD content to hard drive and save it in ISO Image format yet. To convert DVD to MP4 with VLC, you can follow the below steps:

Step 1: Insert the DVD into your computer.
Step 2: Download and install VLC, and then launch it. From the tool bar, please click Media > Open Disc.
Step 3: In the Disc section, tap Browse to select the location where you want to save the converted DVD content.
Step 4: On the bottom-right corner, open the drop-down menu beside the Play button and choose Convert.
Step 5: In the pop-up window, choose MP4 as the profile format and you can set location of the converted file and its name at the Destination File tab. Finally, click Start to convert DVD to MP4 with VLC.


Overall, to copy DVD to external hard drive on Windows/Mac, VideoByte DVD Copy will be absolutely a great help to you. And we will continue to search for more useful tools that can let you backup and store DVD data without hassle.