How to Copy an Encrypted CD

by W. P. Wentzell
cd image by anna karwowska from

Due to the fragile nature of the compact disc (CD), many users opt to copy their audio or software CDs for personal backup. Making exact copies of CDs requires little prior knowledge of copy protection or Digital Rights Management (DRM). There are many software tools that can copy audio and software CDs regardless of their digital copy protection mechanisms (see Resources for suggestions). These software programs circumvent copy protection methods, enabling you to copy and burn various CD media.

Step 1

Insert the encrypted CD you wish to copy into the CD-ROM drive of your computer. Load the preferred CD copying software.

Step 2

Navigate to the CD-ROM drive using the CD copying software interface, and select the CD for copying.

Step 3

Start the CD copying process. Many software programs will allow you to save a disc image (for example, .iso, .dmg, etc.) to your hard drive to burn to a CD at a later time. Other software allows you to record directly from your CD-ROM drive to a CD-Rewritable drive on the fly.

Navigate to the location where you saved the CD image. You may choose to burn this file as a CD image immediately using your preferred CD burning software, or you can save the file to burn later. If you chose to copy the CD on the fly to a blank CD-R, remove the newly burned CD-R from the tray and insert it into your computer to test the copied disc.


  • Encrypted CDs are strictly prohibited from being copied and distributed, as this violates copyright laws. You may copy encrypted CDs solely for personal backup purposes.


Photo Credits

About the Author

William Paul Wentzell is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, holding bachelor's degrees in English and photojournalism. His work has been published in the New York Times, Deseret News, The Victoria Advocate and The Daily Texan.

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