How to Copy DVDs With Read Errors

By Alexis Lawrence

If you want to make copies of your favorite DVDs in case something happens to the original discs, you can do so by copying the DVD files onto your computer and then burning them to a DVD-R. If the DVDs that you want to copy are already damaged, however, you may get a read error when you insert the disc into the computer. This doesn't mean that you can't copy the disc. A few DVD-copying programs have advanced technology that can read DVD discs that have errors on them, but only one of those copying-programs is available for free.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD
  • DVD-R

Step 1

Download DVD Decrypter (see Resources). The standard DVD-ripping software includes a feature for copying DVDs with read errors. Once the program is downloaded to your computer, go to the folder that contains the download and double-click the set-up icon to launch the installation.

Step 2

Open DVD Decrypter on your computer. To access Decrypter, go to "Start>All Programs," click the "DVD Decrypter" folder and then click on the program name.

Step 3

Go to the "Tools" menu and choose "Settings." Click on the "Device" tab to display the "Device" options. Check the box next to "Set Hardware Read Error Retries," use the pull-down menu to set the number of retries to "20," and click "OK."

Step 4

Insert the DVD disc with read errors into the DVD drive of the computer. Go to the "Mode" menu in DVD Decrypter and choose "ISO>Read." Press the "Decrypt" button and DVD Decrypter attempts to rip the entire disc 20 times before declaring the disc unreadable.

Step 5

Return to the "Tools" menu and "Settings" if DVD Decrypter fails to read the DVD. Click the "I/O" tab. Check the box by "Ignore Read Errors" and click "OK."

Step 6

Press the "Decrypt" button on the main page of DVD Decrypter again. DVD Decrypter rips the ISO image file from the DVD, leaving out the sectors of the disc that are too damaged to be read. Sometimes, the damaged sectors are inconsequential bits of information that do not affect the main video files on the disc.

Step 7

Take the DVD disc out of the DVD drive when DVD Decrypter shows that the disc is done copying. Place a blank DVD-R into the drive.

Step 8

Switch to the ISO-writing mode in DVD Decrypter by going to "Mode>ISO>Read." Click the folder by "Source" and choose the ISO file that was ripped from the DVD. Click the "Write" button to burn the salvaged DVD file to the DVD-R.