How to Copy a DVD to Media Player

By Aaron Samsel

Data DVDs contain audio and video files that are compressed so they can hold significantly more information. Data DVDs may be copied or "ripped" to your computer's hard drive using Windows Media Player. Do not confuse data DVDs with DVD-Video discs. These are the kind of DVDs that play full-length movies and your Windows Media Player is not capable of ripping these files. Windows DVD Maker can rip and burn DVD-Video discs, though this program is only available if you run Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.

Standard Method

Step 1

Open Windows Media Player. Double-click on the Windows Media Player icon on your desktop or click on the "Start" button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and find Windows Media Player in your list of programs.

Step 2

Insert data DVD into CD drive. Windows Media Player will usually recognize the DVD and prompt you on whether you would like to rip the information to your hard drive. If a prompt does not appear or Windows Media Player does not recognize the information on the files (sometimes it will label files as unknown or with incorrect information), don't worry--you can still rip the data DVD and insert the proper information manually.

Step 3

Change the file location to a file of your choice. Click on the "Tools" menu and select "Options." In Options, you will see a Rip Music tab with a section that reads Rip music to this location. Run your cursor over it and click "Change."

Step 4

Find the folder or drive you want your ripped files to go, and then click the "OK" button. This could be your labeled music folder or simply your "C" drive. From now on, this will be your default location for ripped files in Windows Media Player: The next time you rip a data DVD, the files will be placed in this file until you again change it.

Step 5

Rip the data DVD. You can rip all or only some of the files. To manage the files that you want to copy, uncheck them on the playlist that Windows Media Player creates in its main window.

Alternate Method

Step 1

Insert data DVD. Click on "Start," then click on "My Computer" so that you can see the DVD icon. Click the icon to view the DVD files. This method can be used if Windows Media Player does not populate a playlist when you insert your data DVD.

Step 2

Open the My Documents folder. You will be able to access this in the My Computer window as well or you could click the "Start" button and then click "My Documents" there. You can copy the files to My Documents or some folder within the My Documents Folder, like My Music.

Step 3

Copy and paste all folders from the DVD window to the My Documents window. You can also simply highlight these documents in the DVD window and click and drag them to your My Documents folder.

Step 4

Import files manually to Windows Media Player. Do this by right-clicking the file and selecting "Open With." Choose Windows Media Player.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may be able to rip some files to Windows Media Player but get a message when you try to play them that says something like, "copy protected file." Windows Media Player will not allow you to remove copy protection once you have ripped the files to your computer. To avoid copy protection, before you rip the data DVD, click "Options" on the Tools menu and select "Rip Music." You will see a number of check boxes--clear the box labeled Copy Protect Music.