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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

DVD Ripping with PgcDemux

The tool I have used here is PgcDemux. There are other very popular tools available for this job, namely DVDDecrypter and DVDfab Decrypter. Unlike the other two, PgcDemux does not need any installation. You can run it for the unzipped folder by just clicking the .exe file. So I have preferred this one.


  1. Click here to download PgcDemux
  2. Homepage

Here is the Screen shot of the download page:

PGCDemux download


This tool does not require you to run an installer to install it.

As you click the Link 1 from above list you should see this file PGCDemux installer at your Download Location. It is a zip file. Double click on this file to unzip the contents of this file (you may use a free tool named 7-zip for this purpose).

The unzipped folder contains the following three files

PGCDemux 2

Double clicking on the above 'blue boxed' PgcDemux.exe file will run the program opening up the main program window as explained in the next subsection.


The following is the program window that you shall see when you run PgcDemux for the first time

PGCDemux main window[5]

Step 1:

Hit the "1." 'Browse' button and you shall be greeted with a pop up window as the next shot, from where you need to choose the IFO file. Do not worry about what is IFO file as this window is only going to list those files which are indeed IFO files. Navigate to the DVD Drive containing your DVD Disc.

PGCDemux file choice

Step 2:

As you double click on the VIDEO_TS folder you shall see something like the following:

PGCDemux video ts

Step 3:

These are the IFO files that you need to select. Now the question is which one! Hover your mouse over all the three IFO files and choose the file which is the largest in size. In this case I chose VTS_01_0 which is the largest (74.0 KB of the three IFOs listed in the 'choice window'.

PGCDemux choice

Step 4:

Select the largest IFO and hit the "Open" button, and you shall see the following screen. Note that the selected IFO is now displayed in the "Input IFO" field of the Program Window.

PGCDemux input

Hit the "Browse" button next to the "Output Folder" field to choose the output location. The location should have sufficient Hard Disc Space (about 6 GB at least for a large movie). As you choose your Output location the second field should look like the next screen shot...

PGCDemux output

Step 5:

Here you need to prepare the program to provide you the output that can be used in the next stage. Look at the next screen shot very carefully and check/ uncheck boxes according to that under "Options" section of the program...this step is very important. Basically, you need to make sure that you uncheck all the boxes but "Create a PGC VOB". "Create Logfile" is optional, but I suggest that you keep it checked as this will help you to see through the process in case anything goes wrong (though the chances are minimal unless you do something wrong).

PGCDemux options

Check the "Mode" part of the Program and make sure that "by PGC" is selected...

PGCDemux mode

Step 6:

Now the last part before you can actually run the program. Look in the "PGC Selection" part of the main program window.


Make sure that in "Domain", "Titles" is selected. Now look in the next field. If you click on the Green Colored drop down arrow, you can find all the PGCs by numbers and their duration. Choose the PGC number which has the longest duration. In this case it is PGC # 01, with about 3 hrs duration. Except for Episodic DVDs, there will only be one PGC having the longest duration.

Now the program is all set to start the Ripping.

Step 7:

Hit the "Process" button at the bottom lest of the main program window to start the process. Once you hit the "Process" Button, a progress bar will be showing you the process status. Refer the next screen shot...

PGCDemux finale

The Title Bar as well as the progress bar will give you an idea of the progress. Now, you need to just be patient unless the process is completed, the time of which will depend on your Computer's power.

Step 8:

Once the process is over, you shall see a small pop up window opened like the following screen shot. Note that, this happens even though the title bar is displaying that 98% is completed. Do not worry about it. Just hit the "OK" button and then hit "Quit" button at the bottom right corner of the program window.

PGCDemux finished

Now if you navigate to the output folder, you can see a number of VOB files ( about all of size 0.99 GB) and named in sequence. This is very important that you do not rename any of these VOB files otherwise AGK will not be able to convert the full movie.

PGCDemux result

The logfile at the beginning is created by this program which may be referred to see the full details of the program run.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

DVD Ripping- A Complete Guide (DVDFab HD Decrypter)

DVDFab HD Decrypter

As mentioned in the DVD Backup Post, PgcDemux can not handle Latest Copy Protected DVDs, and to rip your latest copy protected DVD yu need a more capable tool, which in this case is DVDFab HD Decrypter. As the name suggests, this program can Decrypt (which means 'Rip') even the HD DVDs, but we are going to concentrate on its ability to rip our good ol' DVDs for now.



If you go to the Download Page link you should see something like the next screen shot. Hit on the Green "Download" Button to start your download.

Once your download is over, you need to install this program by running the downloaded installer.

Once you complete your installation you should see thisprogram icon placed on the desktop. You will need to Reboot your PC after the installation is over.


Step 1:

Double Click on the program icon and the following screen will appear.

This is the main program window. All those options which I have blackened are not available in this free program, but in its commercial counterpart. The two enabled functions which we shall require are shown in the Red Rectangle.

Step 2:

The Button 1 will rip the whole content of the DVD to your Hard Disc Drive. We are more interested to get the Movie only to the Hard Disc Drive. And to do that, the Button 2 is required. Now, insert your DVD to your DVD Drive. The program will automatically detect the DVD and you can see it in the "Source" field. Now hit the little 'Folder Icon' beside the "Target" field and choose the location where you would like to save your ripped movie. Remember to choose a location where enough free space (at least about 9GB) is available.

Step 3:

Once you have chosen your source and target, hit the option at the left pane of the main program window labeled as "Main Movie" (if you have not done it already in the previous step). You can see something like the next screen shot.

Look at the portion of the Program Window labeled as "1" in blue. The First column is "Title" and the second column is "Play Time". If the DVD is a single movie DVD, then you do not need to do anything. The Title Number belonging to the Largest Duration will automatically be selected. If it is otherwise, select the required title based on the play time.

Now look at the right part of the main window labeled as "2". Here you can find all the available Audio Streams in the DVD movie. You can choose the one you would like to rip by clicking the check box beside the stream name.

The small window below the Audio Streams (2) window shows the subpictures available. You can also select the ones you require or you may leave it as default.

Once you have completed all the above, just hit the "Start" button at the right bottom corner of the program window to start the Ripping Process.

Step 4:

Once you hit the "Start" button as mentioned in the previous step, you can see the following window.

Let me explain what are the different parts of this window.

1. This is the Log Window, reporting the operation progress in a textual manner. If anything goes wrong, this log really comes handy to pin point the problem.

2. This portion shows you the time required to complete the operation (So that you can decide how many cups of coffee you need to take).

3. This one is pretty handy if you just need to forget this process for now. The program can shut down the PC once the operation completes, provided you check the box beside the option.

4. This is the Graphical Progress Bar.

5. In case you have a old PC which can not handle multi tasking efficiently, you can just pause this process using this button for the time being.

6. In case you need to cancel the whole job!

Step 5:

Once the process is completed, you will be seeing the following screen shot.

Nothing much to do here; just hit the "OK" button in the small pop up window.

Step 7:

Now navigate to the target folder you have chosen to something like the next screen shot.

Take a note of the .vob files. These are the files you need to feed to AGK (AutoGK), the first one to be precise. And do not rename any of these files if you want to convert the whole movie to XviD. If you can not understand which are vob files, just look for the files which are very large in size in comparison with other files.

So the ripping guide is concluded here, using DVDFab Decrypter.

To find out how to convert your DVD to AVI (XviD) using AutoGK after you have ripped the DVD as above, see this post here:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

DVD to AVI (XviD) Backup - A Complete Guide

Ownership and Disclaimer : The content of this article (pictorial) is the sole property of the author. No part (including images) of it can be reproduced without explicit permission of the owner (that is the author). The tools used here are copyrighted and/or owned by the respective developer. Furthermore, the author can not be held responsible for any loss of what so ever nature claimed to have happened by following this guide. Please remember to follow the copyright rule prevailing in your country. If any break of the rule occurs by using this then you alone will be responsible, neither me nor my guide or use this guide at your own responsibility.

I have few DVDs which I felt that I should have a backup. So I started to search for a way, and there is nothing better than "Google". I encountered many tools and many guides, some having a steep learning curve and some uses tools which require almost no intervention from the User- kind of an AIO. After pondering over all the options for few months, I jumped in and found that there are still problems lying ahead. I got all my problems resolved after discussing the issues in different forums and ultimately produced an excellent backup of one of my favorite movies. My quest made me realize that there is a serious lack of a complete guide to help a complete 'newbie' to get a great quality backup using an Windows PC. So here is a guide which should help a New User to get a perfect backup of his/her favorite movie. So read on.....

Purpose: The aim of this guide is to show a easy way to convert the main movie on a DVD to AVI using XviD codec.

This whole guide is divided in to following two sections:

Section 1: Ripping the DVD to your Hard Disc.

Section 2: Making the Backup

Every section is further subdivided into three subsections:

  • Download
  • Installation
  • Use

Tools Used:

    • PgcDemux for Ripping- it only works for non-copy protected DVDs.
    • DVDFab HD Decrypter for Ripping- for all newer copy protected DVDs. - I'm in process of adding this, please be patient.

  1. Auto Gordian Knot (popularly known as AutoGK or AGK) for making backup

Section 1 - Ripping the DVD to Hard Disc

As the main purpose of this guide is to Convert DVD to AVI (XviD) and Ripping is a necessary but additional part, I have decided to move it to another post so that users who do not require a Ripping Guide can just continue to AGK conversion guide. Please follow the links under the respective tools to view the guide to Rip a DVD using that tool.

1. PgcDemux


Note: As mentioned above this tool will not work for copy protected DVDs. It is best usable if (for any reason) you have the DVD folder (VIDEO_TS) on your HDD. Otherwise, please refer to the guide for DVDFab HD Decrypter. PgcDemuxis a very powerful tool which can be used for various reasons in editing the DVD content, but discussing those functions is beyond the scope as well as the purpose of this guide.


DVD Ripping with PgcDemux:

This concludes the section of Ripping.

Section 2- Making the Backup

In this stage the tool to be used is AutoGK. The best thing about this tool is that it comes bundled with all the necessary back end tools, so the user do not need to worry about missing components. Though this tool is mainly targeted to new comers, there are hidden options which can be invoked by pressing CTRL+F9. Though there will be no need to mess with the default settings of AGK.


AGK comes in two versions, one is the Full Installer of the Last Stable Release (2.45) and the other is the last Beta Release (2.48). The Beta release is only the update pack, so the user needs to download the full pack as well as the update ed Beta version installer to use the latest version. I suggest that both the versions should be downloaded. I have used 2.48 Beta release for the purpose of this guide.

  1. Click here to Download AGK version 2.45 (Stable)- Full Installer
  2. Click here to Download AGK version 2.48 Beta Update- Update Pack Only
  3. AutoGK Homepage

Click Link 1 first to download the complete installer of about 8MB in size. Then get the Update Pack using the second link. The installer looks like this AGK INstaller .


Step 1:

Double click the version 2.45 installer and proceed as usual to install the program. Do not fiddle with the default installation settings unless you are absolutely sure about what you are doing. Though you can safely change the default installation location if you wish.

Step 2:

Once the installation is completed, run the version 2.48 Beta installer. It should pick up the installation location of the previous version by default even if you have changed it in earlier stage. So just carry on with the installation without changing the default options.

During installation, you may like to choose the Standalone Compatibility to be installed provided you have idea about what type of chip your Standalone DVD player uses. This will enhance the compatibility of the end output from the program and hence making it more playable in a standalone player.


Step 1:

Go to Start> All Programs> AutoGK and click on AutoGK icon which looks like this icon . The program window looks like as follows:

Main window

Step 2:

Click on folder icon beside the "Input File" field. That will open up a Pop-up window. Navigate to the ripped files folder, which were created in the last section. Choose the First File named as VTS_01_1- this is very important to choose the first file and the first file only. Now hot the "Open" button.


As you choose to open this file, the "Input File" field should look like this:


AGK will automatically choose the same input folder as Output folder and the Output file field should look like this:


If you intend to chose a different location for your Output file, just click the Folder Icon at the right end of the field, and you can choose another location. Remember only to choose a location with sufficient free space.

Step 3:

Now look at the Audio and Subtitle Selection section of the Program. the default one should already be selected. In this case there is only one Audio Track available and no subtitle track is there. There may be situations where you need to choose between different Audio Streams and Subtitle Streams. You can choose multiple Audio Streams, but that will simply increase the end file size. You can move the Audio and Subtitle streams up and down using the Blue Arrows beside the respective windows.


Step 4:

In this step you need to choose the output file size. There are three distinctive options available

  1. Predefined Size templates
  2. Custom size
  3. Target Quality (in Percentage)

First let us explore the " Predefined Size templates" option. Click on the Drop Down arrow beside the field and you may see all the available options. Do not choose anything below 1 CD (700Mb), as the end quality will seriously suffer. Generally the default is 2 CDs (1400 Mb).


Next comes the "Custom Size" option. If you select this option, you may input any size in the field. I do not recommend this as it is not at all for Newbies. You can change the size by clicking on the arrow button beside the size field.


Last is the option of "Target Quality (in Percentage)". I would always suggest to use this option. The main reason is that this option is faster than the other two options. There are two problems though, first you do not have any control over the output file size and some Standalone Compatibility features are disabled. The second one should not bother you much, and the first one depends on your personal choice. The quality setting can be any number up to 100. But I would suggest that to keep it at 75% or to increase it till 80% at most. Beyond that percentage the quality improvement will hardly be recognizable for normal viewing purpose .


If you choose this option you will get an warning from AGK like the following regarding Standalone Compatibility as mentioned above:


Just hit the OK button to continue.

As I said, I prefer to use this mode. If one likes otherwise, the other two options can always be chosen.

Note (for Advanced users): In "Predefined Size" mode, AGK will do a 2 pass encoding. This ensures that the quality-size ratio are optimally maintained. But this takes longer time to complete a job. In "Target Quality (in Percentage)" mode, as there is no worries about the output size, AGK does a 1 pass encoding only, making the process faster.

Step 5:

Here we need to change some settings to control the final result. Click on the "Advanced Settings" button as in the next screen shot:


Hitting this button will bring up the following window:


Make all the settings exactly as shown in the above shot. The Codec is XviD and I suggest that it should not be changed as XviD produces better quality output than DivX and this comes bundled with AGK installer.

Regarding the sound I prefer to choose the original sound as that keeps the Multi channel Listening Experience intact. Though if any output size below 2 CDs are chosen, AGK will re encode the original sound to MP3 as that will decrease the output file size.

Leave the Subtitle option as shown above, as external subtitle can not be played by a Standalone player. In another guide I shall try to show the process of ripping subtitle is discussed and how it can be used in the Standalone player (I may also add it to this guide letter).

After all the settings are in order as above, just hit OK to save the settings.

Note: These settings will be saved for the next project too, unless the user changes it to something else.

Step 5a (Optional):

If you are aware of the type of chip used by your standalone player you may proceed to read this step, otherwise proceed to Step 6.

Hit CTRL+F9 to open up advance options in AGK...


Now look at the right-bottom most part of the window and check the box beside "Enable Standalone Support" and then from the next box beside it choose the type of chipset used by your standalone player. Once you are done, just hit "OK" to complete. There is no need to touch any other options.

Step 6:

Now as we are all set and done, just hit the "Add Job" button right below the "Advanced Settings" button. 15

Now you can see the job being listed in the "Job Queue" as follows...You can also preview the end result by hitting "Preview" button 16 beside the "Advanced Settings" button.


Step 7:

Now there are two options available, you can either start the job in the queue by hitting the "Start" button


or, you can go on adding more jobs in the queue. If you add multiple jobs you may change the priorities by moving the jobs up or down by using the Blue arrows beside the queue window.

As you start the job, you can see the progress in the log window beside the queue window as follows...


Once the job will be over, it will vanish from the Queue Window. You may also terminate the job midway if you wish by hitting the "Abort" button abort , which will be activated as soon as the job starts.


If you add multiple jobs, you may make AGK to shut down your PC (or sleep etc) after the jobs are done. To do that, look for a small field above the right corner of the log window named "When Finished". Clicking the drop down arrow will give you all the options.


This concludes the guide to get a great backup of your DVD movie. Burn the resultant AVI file on a blank CD or DVD using any standard CD/DVD burning application like CDburnerXP which is free.


If you face any problems while converting, I suggest that you use DVDDecrypter in IFO mode to rip your DVD and create VOBs to be used in AGK. There are many guides on how to rip a DVD in IFO mode using DVDDecrypter, so I am not adding another one to the crowd. Just search through the net or under Guide section.

Another tool that can be used for ripping is DVDFab HD Decrypter (Thanks GMaq for pointing it out to me). This is a free tool and excellent one. One brownie point that it scores over DVDDecrypter is that it is still under active development and can handle all the newer copy protections placed on DVDs, which unfortunately DVDDecrypter can not.

Download links:

DVD Decrypter:

DVDFab HD Decrypter:

DVDFab HD Decrypter Ripping Guide:

If you can not resolve the problem in a very unlikely situation I suggest that you visit the AGK support forum at

Let me know if you have liked this guide.