How to copy a DVD to another DVD using a single DVD drive?

Here’s the quandary:

You need to duplicate a DVD but you only have one DVD drive.  How can you clone the DVD?

I can bark off a queue of DVD programs out there that are fit for the task; however, there’s an easier way to accomplish this without using any auxiliary software.  There’s no need to download spyware suffused software or procure specialized programs such as Nero or Roxio.  Wait, sometimes there you need to download burning software replete with junkware; however, I’ll show you how to navigate the mess near the end of this article.

The DVD stuff is built-in

Windows 8.1, 8 and 7 have an integrated DVD burning solution.  Admittedly, it’s a rudimentary program, but I actually find the dearth of options refreshing because it quickly lets me burn what I need without confusion.

First, copy all the files from your source DVD to a new folder on your desktop.  I created a simple folder called Files to Burn and dropped a few items inside.

Windows 8.1 Files to Burn to DVD

Then pop in a blank DVD and wait a few seconds for the Windows AutoPlay feature to detect it.

Windows 8.1 Autoplay feature

If AutoPlay doesn’t appear in 10 seconds, open Windows Explorer (Windows Key + e) and click the DVD drive in the left pane under Computer.

Copying a file to a DVD

In Windows 7, Autoplay looks like this:

Windows 7 Burn Files to Disk Autoplay

Choose Burn files to disc then give the disc a title and choose With a CD/DVD player.

Windows 8 Burn a Disc

I now empower you to drag and drop your files from your Desktop folder into the DVD burning window that shows desktop.ini.

Windows 7 Burn to Disc

Click the Burn to disc button and you should be all set.

This works best for files, photos, music and videos but isn’t ideal if you’re trying to make a bootable DVD or copy a non-commercial movie.  In that case, you should use imgburn.

Heat it up with Imgburn

ImgBurn let’s you burn HD DVDs, Blu-ray discs and supports numerous file formats and types.  Get the latest version from the download page, install it and get going.

With ImgBurn you can easily rip the DVD to an ISO and then burn that ISO to a second disc; unfortunately, you need to be circumspect on how your download and install this program or you could unwittingly install spyware on your computer.

Pay attention to two things:

  • The download page
  • The installation wizard

On the download page, ignore all the ads and superfluous links and select a Mirror (aka: file server) from the center of the page.

Select a Mirror for ImgBurn

Then you’ll see a bunch of crap designed to forestall your effort to download the real program.

Ignore the obnoxious green download button in the screen center (it’s an advertisement) and choose the smaller one in the bottom right corner highlighted below:

Download imgburn

Okay so we’re out of the weed there.

Now in the installation wizard, accept the license agreement, default components and destination; however watch for spyware as you approach the sixth screen.

Say no to the gratuitous program called Conduit Search Protect.  Ignore the recommended option and choose Custom installation (advanced).  Make sure you uncheck the “Install Conduit Search Protect” box before you click Next.

Stuff like this makes my blood boil and my skin bristle because I hate it how these software distributors make it so easy to fortuitously install junkware… so annoying.

ImgBurn Custom Installation

Anyway, do the same thing for Tuneup Utilities

ImgBurn Tuneup Utilities

That should mark the end of this vendors Draconian tricks and everything should complete smoothly.

Imgburn Completed Setup

Now you can easily create an ISO image from the source disc and then burn that image to a new DVD… all using a single DVD burner.

Windows 8.1 imgburn Burn image from Disc

Please let me know if this helped you in the comments below! Thanks

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Posted in How To, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with:
  • Nek

    Thank you for the clear instructions! 🙂

  • Kat Harrison

    Thanks, Vonnie. Using ImgBurn worked perfectly for me to copy a non-commerical DVD. Your installation tips were helpful in preventing “extra” software installations. (My blood also boils on account of this technique.)

    Note to other users: Copying a DVD took quite some time on my computer. Between the software install, reading the source disk and burning the copy, I spent almost an hour on the process.

    • Pierre Abou Khalil

      Hello,

      Could you pls explain to me, once I create an ISO image from the source disc how can I burn it to an empty DVD?

      Thanks,

      Pierre

  • mariner1946

    Thanks, great advice, clear ins.

    • Thanks for taking the time to share your comment Mariner!

  • Beau Ravn Ap Gwyddon

    Suggest this is no longer a good idea. There are 7 mirrors on the Imaburn website and all of them (according to AVG), come with a nasty piece of malware called Open Candy. It can be used to either find and access personal data, take over your computer or use it as a ‘mule’ to launch other malware. Open Candy almost appears to be built in to the Imgburn program because it is even in their own download mirror! Nasty!

  • LDM

    yup I got nasty PUP adware (Open Candy was one of them) computer kept getting slower and slower and eventually rendered the HD useless

  • Judy H Strickland

    FINALLLY!! Someone who can speak plain English when giving directions!!! Much appreciated!

  • Hans van Meurs

    Thank you for the tips.

    Tried just using Windows 8.1 first on my newest laptop, would not even play the source DVD. Downloaded VLC, it played the DVD OK. Copied all the DVD files to a temp directory and burnt 3 disks; PC played these on the laptop but the family DVD player/TV didn’t play them. “Unknown Disk” was the message. Downloaded Imgburn with your instructions. Copied the ISO Image – put in a fresh DVD disk and , after browsing and finding the ISO file on the root of C: drive, burnt that to the fresh disk. Put it in the DVD player plugged into the TV and Voila! – It worked! I believe that has finally given me the copy facility I needed to copy family VHS video material I had professionally moved to DVD 10 years ago. It takes about 10 min for 1 hour material to be burnt.

  • Hans van Meurs

    Thanks for the accurate warnings even though I’ve caught before and think I’m careful but I could miss something. I needed to watch the download and install of all software to avoid getting stuff I didn’t want . One I missed took a lot of time to un-install and reconfigure browsers etc. I was trying to cook while installing software; I got the malware and burnt the dinner.

  • Debbie Rudd

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

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  • Wanda Carr

    I just made copys of my home videos and the copys will not play

  • Josh

    For what it’s worth, while I hate that software vendors try to get you to install bloatware, it’s FREE software. So the vendor is getting paid by the bloatware company to include the software as an install. If it really bothers you, find a paid software – it won’t have bloatware included in the install.

  • Frank Mayberry
  • Denny Chan

    There’re various ways for you to copy and backup Blu-ray discs. If you’re looking for a way or a 1-click Blu-ray copy software app that could copy Blu-ray discs in 1:1, no quality loss and disc compression neither, this place is where you should stop to focus and read on.

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  • Whosondephone

    Thank you so much for including the (Windows Key + e) bit! I’ve been wondering about that for 11 years!

  • JonesLee

    Great work, vonnie.

    I add a small freeware named DVD Decrypter ( http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk ). By Running it in background, you can use the ImgBurn to make copies of your copy-protected DVD discs. The CDBurnerXP, by the way, is another solid DVD copying/burning application and totally free. For more DVD/Blu-ray digitizing tools and knowledge, visit my site at: http://dvd0101.com.

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  • Cecilialxs

    WinX DVD Copy Pro can easily copy a DVD to new DVD disc with original quality using a single DVD drive in a few clicks. Very easy to use. Detailed guide: https://www.winxdvd.com/resource/how-to-copy-a-dvd.htm