Main DVD dumping guide

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Note: this is an old, deprecated guide, please use this guide instead for games DVD Dumping Guide (Disc Image Creator), and this guide for DVD-Videos DVD-Video Dumping Guide.

Please dump all tracks at least twice (if possible, using different drives) to be sure that they are correct!


This guide will explain how to preserve DVD-based games in the best possible way. It is a general purpose guide meant for all systems that use DVD media (consoles or computers) and for most DVD variants (data DVDs and DVD-Video). Also the discs must be unprotected and must not have any kind of abnormalities (eg. garbage data). Please refer to more specific guides on how to dump protected and non-standard DVDs.

Software needed

Determining disc type

1. Determining disc type

  • Insert the DVD in the drive and launch IsoBuster.
  • If the disc is larger than 4,700,000,000 bytes exit and use CloneCD instead.
  • If this is a PC-DVD note the filesystems, in case the disc is PC/MAC hybrid eg. Spore.
  • If the disc a either a PC-DVD or DVD-Video scan for protections.

2. Dumping Single Layer discs

Insert the disc into the drive and launch IsoBuster. If you have multiple drives with discs inserted, make sure you have select the right one from the list. Right click on Track 01, select Extract Track 01Extract User Data (*.tao, *.iso, *.wav) menu item, then choose folder for extraction and press OK.

The copying process may take several minutes. If you get "Unreadable sector" errors during it, press Retry button. If the error appears again, try to clean your disc from dust or scratches and try again. If the errors persist your disc is unsuitable for preservation.

After the disc has been copied, launch HashCalc, check MD5, SHA1, CRC32 and uncheck others. Select File option from the Data format list, then press button next to the Data field, select dumped image and press Calculate. The calculation process may take up to several minutes. These checksums should be posted along with other info.

Dump your disc again and compare old dump checksums with the new ones. If checksums are the same, your disc has been dumped properly.

3. Dumping Double Layer discs

If the DVD is Double Layer, dump it using CloneCD. When you select the DVD information, it will be shown in the right column about the disc. In the bottom it will show the Layerbreak sector. Note that number as it is needed. Continue dumping the disc and when finished you will end up with an .ISO and a .DVD file. The latter contains the Layerbreak sector and it is recomended to keep it. It is required in case you want to burn to a DL DVD. Always use DL DVD+R.

It is safe to use CloneCD for Single Layer discs too. Please don't be confused with CloneDVD and never use it.

4. Mandatory information for PC-DVD

  • Game title: most obvious, is located everywhere. Please include subtitle.
  • Disc title: some games stored on multiple discs may have discs with titles. Examples: Armored Core: Nexus (Disc 1) (Evolution) and (Disc 2) (Revolution).
  • Game languages: just start the game and look for "Language" menu in options
  • Version: Right click on the game .exe or relevant file and click on "Properties". In the "Details" tab, the version is under "File version". Sometimes the version number can also be found in the readme or ingame.
  • Image size: look for it in any file manager (but not in IsoBuster).
  • Edition: some games were rereleased in different packages, for example, Platinum/Greatest Hits/PlayStation 2 the Best series. If game was released in original package, post edition as "Original".
  • Layerbreak sector:
  • Media: If the DVD is greater than 4.7 GB and up to 8.5 GB, the DVD is DVD-9. Otherwise most of the time, it is DVD-5.
  • Barcode: EAN / UPC code, usually printed on the back cover of the packaging or disc case.
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