How to Copy DVDs on a Computer With 2 Disk Drives

by April Kohl
dvd image by dinostock from

Backing up a DVD can be a long and tiresome process when you only have one disc drive. You first need to copy the disc's contents onto your hard drive, then replace the DVD in your drive and burn the files back out to the new disc. When you have two DVD drives, the process becomes much quicker and less frustrating.

Step 1

Insert the DVD to be copied (which we will call "the original DVD") into your DVD drive. Insert the blank DVD into your DVD burner. The computer accesses both DVDs. Load your DVD copying software, such as Nero, Roxio or CD Burner XP (which is compatible with later versions of Windows, too).

Step 2

Select "Copy DVD" if you are presented with a new-session options window (as [Nero]( does), or click the "File" menu and select "New" to begin a new session. Select the drive containing the original DVD as your source disc and the drive containing the blank DVD as your destination (or "Burn to") drive.

Click the "Copy," "Next" or "Begin" button to begin the copying process. You may be presented with another options window, this one allowing you to select whether to store temporary files on your computer or simply burn direct to disc. If you have the free hard drive space, storing the temporary files will increase the chance of a good copy being made. Click the "Next" or "Copy" button to proceed.


  • Copying the contents of a commercial DVD is an offense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and is punishable by a fine or even imprisonment. Although some states and other territories allow a limited amount of copying for backup purposes, the general rule is that reproducing a commercial product without permission is a crime.


  • Make sure you are using the same-size blank DVD as your original DVD. For example, if you attempt to copy the contents of a dual-layer DVD onto a single-layer DVD, in the best case you will get an error message unless there is only 4.7Gb (or less) of data on the dual-layer DVD. At worst, the blank DVD will be ruined.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, April Kohl has been writing since 1992, specializing in science and legal topics. Her work has appeared on the Second Life News Network website and in British Mensa's "LSQ" magazine. Kohl holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Durham University and a diploma in English law from the Open University.

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