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Ask Max: How to copy and burn a DVD?

Asked on 04/11/2007:

I have been trying to copy/burn a DVD. I go to the disc utility section and I get lost. I know I am burning an image of the DVD but I not sure how to do it. I’m not using the latest iLife edition. Can you point me to an article that would walk me through this process step by step.


Copying a DVD can be limited. If it is a commercial DVD you are copying it may be larger than the average blank DVD has room for. If you click once on the DVD and press the Apple key and ™I™ key at the same time an info window will open. In the listing of the General section will be the DVD Size. If the size is larger than 4.7 GB it will not fit on a standard DVD. You may have a Mac that supports Dual Layer burning, if so then you will be able to fit most any DVD. Even If you can fit the whole DVD you may want to remove the copy protection and region encoding. To remove those items there are many free applications to help you out. Mac the Ripper is one I have used in the past and is well liked by many people who want to back up their DVD library.

If you are not backing up commercial video DVDs but instead copying Data DVDs or your own home movie DVD then you can use Disk Utility. With the DVD you want to copy in your computer, open Disk Utility. In the left hand section of the window in Disk Utility is a list of all Disk/Disc Media. Select the DVD you want to copy and go to the File menu. In the File menu under New is ™Disk Image from (your DVD name).™ Selecting that will open another window. There you name it and change Image Format type to ™DVD/CD Master.™ Click the Save button and wait for it to make a backup image. Now with the DVD image made you can start burning copies. Drag the image you made to the left side section of Disk Utility under the media listings. Click once on the disk image icon and then on the big radiation symbol to burn. You will be asked to insert a blank disc. Put one in and click on the Burn button. Repeat as needed for multiple copies.

I hope that will get you going in the right direction.

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