Storing your favourite DVD movies can take up quite a bit of space when you store the physical collection in your home. A few hundred DVDs can take up enough shelf space to cover an entire wall. As a result, many people have begun ripping their DVDs to their computer and backing them up on hard drives instead. This allows the owner of the DVD to discard the physical disc (or stow it away in the basement, attic, or storage unit), while also allowing quick and easy access to the entire DVD library in a searchable digital database.
While there are obvious benefits associated with storing your DVDs in this manner, there’s also a risk that the files could be damaged or deleted. If you’ve recently lost DVD files and are looking for a way to recover them into a playable format, follow these simple steps:
Step 1 – Download a File Recovery Software
First, you’ll need some type of file recovery software to dig through your computer’s hard drive and find the DVD files that have been deleted and/or written over. These programs can recover files even after they’ve been deleted from the recycle bin. FileXRecovery at StarxSoft.com is a good example of a comprehensive file recovery suite that can be used to restore DVD files.
Step 2 – Recover the ISO File for the Deleted DVD
Once you’ve installed the file recovery software (this process should be relatively self-explanatory), you can then follow the necessary prompts to recover the DVD files. Most novice users will make the mistake of searching for video files, when in fact what you’re looking for is a disk image file with the .ISO extension. ISO files essentially store the entire DVD in a virtual format. Recover that file and you’ll have your DVD back, but if you want to quickly play it and/or back it up further, follow this third optional step.
Step 3 (optional) – Mount the ISO File in a Virtual Drive, Play in Media Player, and/or Burn to Disc
Finally, you have your DVD files back and you want to see if they are still intact. Simply mount the ISO file to your computer’s DVD drive using a disk image tool and play the file the same way you would if you were to insert into the physical disk drive. You can also use a DVD playback software to directly play ISOs with a click of the mouse. If you’ve already discarded the original version of the DVD, it might be a good idea to go ahead and burn a copy to have as a physically stored backup.
Reading between the Lines
Don’t let a single deleted or damaged DVD file trick you into thinking that digital DVD storage is inferior to storing them physically. It can’t be denied that physical disks and their cases consume entirely too much space and take way too long to sift through when you’re looking for a specific title. At the same time, being able to quickly recover DVD files after they’ve been deleted is always a nice skill to have if you’re going to be collecting a digital library of DVDs.