FileWhopper Blog
News and Perspectives from IT Experts

How to Copy Several DVDs to a Hard Drive?

You have data backed up on DVDs but want to copy the files to a hard drive. Is there a quick way to do it?

Before switching over to HDDs, DVDs were the most ideal method to back up your data. Unlike CDs that provided a mere 700 MB of storage, DVDs offered a whopping 4.7 GB, which made them the most economical method to back up your data in those days. However, gone are the days, and with technology evolving rapidly, DVDs are no longer viable. In this modern-day era, most of the PCs don’t even feature a DVD writer as most users now rely on flash sticks and cloud storage solutions. Even though that’s the case, you can still get an external DVD writer that can be connected to your PC via a USB cable.

That said, many people still have their precious data stored on DVDs and CDs and wish to transfer it to any of the modern forms of data storage. The more DVDs you stack, the higher the chances of losing your data. DVDs and CDs are fragile, and they can be easily scratched, which may lead to the writer/reader sensors failing to copy or read data. Therefore, eventually, you are forced to transfer your data to a more modern storage medium to be on the safe side.  

DVDs were launched back in 1998, and back then, they were a massive hit. Imagine getting external storage of 4.7 GB while it still made sense to have a built-in 4GB HDD. However, in the tech world, even the best can’t last forever. A decade later after the introduction of DVDs, we started to migrate our data to cloud storage platforms to reduce the risk of losing it.

Actually, before transitioning to the cloud world, we had first experienced an enhanced DVD version in the form of Blu-ray. A single-layer Blu-ray disc could store up to 25 GB of data, while the dual-layer version offered 50 GB of storage. Blu-ray discs were mostly used to store 3D or Full HD videos. However, Blu-ray discs did not stay long on the market as technology gave the community more reasons to rely on external hard drives and cloud drives for backups. Moreover, external hard drives and cloud drives became more affordable as time went by.

Now, if you are looking to transfer data from your DVDs to an external drive, then you must be puzzled as there seems to be no straight route to achieving this. Back then, it seemed like DVDs were the ultimate way of storing data, which made most of us forget about the future. You can find someone with over 2000 DVDs storing their precious data. Copying data from all these DVDs can be a pain as it can take the whole week or even a month depending on your availability. However, at this moment, we can all agree that moving your data to a hard drive makes sense and it has to be done one way or the other.

Copying DVDs one by one is not a viable solution. This is the reason why over the years, many Multi-DVD systems have been developed, featuring hoppers or robot arms to insert DVDs. With these systems mostly used by big corporations, home users don’t have much choice.

The idea of a multi-DVD system is to either duplicate or share data. Therefore, such a system helps corporations create identical DVDs at once. However, just to give you a hint of how much this method can cost, take, for instance, MF Digital’s Rip-station 7000 Series CD/DVD/BD, which costs around $4500. The system features robot arms to insert DVDs into the tray. Such products are ideal for media giants, TV and radio stations. They decrease human labour, thereby reducing labour costs. Therefore, we cannot say they are expensive for big corporations that need to convert or transfer data stored on DVDs.

MF Digital’s Music CD Ripping Station is a cheaper option as it goes for about $2200. The system helps you copy data from CDs without having to rip them. However, I still think the price is still too high, especially if you just need it once and for home use. 

Thus, to effectively copy data from a huge number of DVDs, I would advise finding a reliable company that has a Rip-station 7000. Companies that offer data transfer services can be hard to find, but they do exist. However, even after you have found one, depending on the number of DVDs you have, its services might still be pricey for you. Let’s say the company charges around 50 cents per disc. That means 2000 DVDs will cost a thousand bucks, which is still a hefty price to pay.

Doing the Dirty Work Yourself – Manual Copying

There seems to be no cheap or free quick fix for this issue. However, you can still manage to get things done without having to pay a cent – you just need to copy each DVD manually. You can approach this task as a holiday or family project. If you have more than one PC in your home, distribute the DVDs evenly and guide each family member through the procedure. Alternatively, you can ask a reliable friend to embark on this task with you to ease the workload. Another method is to get multiple external DVD drives and connect them to your USB ports. You will then be able to insert more than one disc at a time. Of course, you can check this article out, though fulfilling its recommendations might be troublesome.

If time is not an issue, then you can set a daily target of copying 5 to 10 discs. Note that an excellent PC tower can take up to 2 internal DVD drives. Depending on the number of USB ports that can power up an external DVD drive, you can add one or two, even three if possible. However, it all depends on how much data your external storage can hold. Also, the processor has to be competitive to handle all of these tasks.

To make the task easier, you can get software like Perfect Automation that detects and copies discs automatically. Thus, you won’t have to worry about the software side of the process as the program will copy each disc automatically to a separate folder on your hard drive and, once done, pop out the tray for you to insert the next disc. Utilities like this make things easy for the user. Perfect Automation is a worthy tool as it occupies just 219K of space and is free. Moreover, it doesn’t need any sort of installation.

Dealing with Format Issues

To begin with, back up your DVDs to a hard drive where they can be stored safely. The idea is to minimize the workload since you don’t want to copy the files twice.  You shouldn’t worry about file formats at this stage – you can resolve the issue later.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution, then converting your data into the most common formats is ideal, especially if they are identified as international standards. Although space costs money nowadays, converting files to space-saving formats can sacrifice quality. So, it is better to leave your files in their best quality.

As for movies, I would advise you to first check if you can find them anywhere online before performing the transfer and conversion procedures. Unless it’s a wedding, birthday party or holiday video, then it is not worth the struggle. Obviously, getting a resolution of 720 x 480 in a world dominated by 1920 x 1080p to 3840 x 2160p (4k) is just not worth all the hassle. Rather watch the movie on Netflix, YouTube, or Amazon Prime, to mention a few of the streaming services.  

Interested in Transferring Large Files and Folders?
While on the topic of data transfer, did you know that you can transfer files and folders of any size with FileWhopper? This is one of the best yet most affordable platforms in the industry. Developed and designed by a Microsoft partner, the website is highly responsive and easy to navigate. The platform has a lot of cool features to make your transferring experience smooth and reliable. You can send files or folders via FileWhopper fast and conveniently. You only pay a one-off fee for what you wish to send. Files and folders are uploaded to FileWhopper’s servers, where they are kept securely for 14 days before being permanently deleted without leaving any traces. That said, the storage period can be extended to up to 90 days upon request. The tool applies top-of-the-range encryption technology to ensure your data remains safe and secure. Here is how the system works:
1. Select the large file or folder you wish to send and receive a quote based on its size.
2. Download the FileWhopper App and upload the selected large file or folder fast and securely.
3. Copy the link to the uploaded large file or folder and share it securely with the intended recipient(s).
4. Share the password provided by the app with your recipient(s).
Did you like this article?
Share it