How to copy DVDs to your mac hard drive

Note: These instructions originally appeared on c/net on 12/2009. Most macs no longer have a disc drive, so that part of the instructions may not work all mac users today, e.g., you’ll have to get yourself an external disc player. The original article is attributed to Joe Aimonetti¬†— but his profile link now leads to a 404 page.

When faced with the necessity of making a copy of an unprotected DVD disc, Mac users should not worry–Mac OS X makes it simple. Keep in mind that these directions are only for copying DVDs that do not have any form of copy protection encoded on them.

Follow these directions to make a copy of your unprotected DVD:

  1. Insert your DVD into your Mac. Most Macs will automatically launch DVD Player. Once it launches, quit it. You should see your DVD disc mounted on your Desktop.
  2. Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities). Select the DVD disc from the list on the left. You will notice that there are two DVD icons–select the one slightly indented (this is the DVD itself, whereas the first one is the drive).
  3. Click on “New Image” in the Disk Utility main window.
  4. Choose a name and a destination from the “Save As…” window. Keep in mind that your destination should have enough space to copy the entire DVD, which can be over four gigs.
  5. In the “Save As…” window, be sure the “Image Format” selection is set to “DVD/CD Master” and the “Encryption” selection is set to “none”. Click Save.
  6. After copying the DVD to your destination drive, return to Disk Utility. Your new Disk Image will appear in the list on the left of the Disk Utility window. Eject the original DVD disc from your Mac.
  7. Insert a writable DVD disc into your Mac. Select your newly created Disk Image from the list on the left of the Disk Utility window. Click on “Burn” in the Disk Utility main window. Select your burn speed and whether you would like to Verify Burned Data.
  8. You will receive confirmation once you DVD is successfully burned and you are all set with a fresh copy of your DVD disc. Simply save your new Disk Image and you can make a copy whenever you may need it.
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