DVDSmith will bypass DRM protection and region locks to allow you to rip your DVDs

Recently I posted about WinX DVD Ripper. WinX DVD Ripper is a useful software because it bypasses DRM protection and region locks to allow you to rip your DVDs to different video formats (such as AVI, WMV, etc.). Now I would like to tell you about another DVD ripping program that is a little bit different. Meet DVDSmith:


Just like WinX DVD Ripper, DVDSmith can bypass DRM protection and region locks. However, instead of allowing you to rip your DVDs into different video formats, DVDSmith rips your DVD and stores it on your computer in DVD format files (i.e. VOB and stuff). This is really useful because it allows you to truly backup your DVD while still having the ability to convert your DVs into different types of videos in case you need your DVD in another format. Confused? I will explain a bit more clearly.

By “truly backup your DVD” I mean since DVDSmith stores your DVD in DVD format files, so if you ever lose or break your original DVD you can very easily just burn another DVD from your backup created with DVDSmith. WinX DVD Ripper, however, ripped your DVD to different video formats so a reburn of your DVD at DVD quality would be difficult. Update: WinX DVD Ripper also has an option to do DVD -> DVD .VOBs.

Additionally, if you ever need your DVD to be in a different video format, such as lets say .AVI, all you have to do is throw it into FormatFactory and convert it. This allows you to be versatile because you can do quick converts to any format depending on your needs of the hour (i.e. .3GP one day but .MP4 another).

The one major problem with DVDSmith, however, is that it is slow so don’t expect to do quick rips. However it is about equally as slow (or fast, whichever way you look at it) as WinX DVD Ripper. The difference is once you rip your DVD with DVDSmith, once you do the initial investment, you can do quick conversions to other video formats with FormatFactory whenever you want. With WinX DVD Ripper if you want your DVD in a format different than the one you already ripped it to you would have to do another really long rip.

Another (minor) problem is DVDSmith does not have the built in feature to automatically shutdown your computer after it has finished ripping a DVD. Considering that DVDSmith is really slow at ripping, this feature really should be added in. However I say this is a “minor” problem because you can easily use Marxio Timer to set your computer to automatically shutdown, in say about one hour (you may want to give it more time depending on the “Copy Method” you select), giving DVDSmith enough time to rip your DVD.

Overall, I feel when combined with FormatFactory, this program is very handy for being free considering it bypasses all DRM protection and region locks. You may download DVDSmith from the following link:

Version reviewed: v1.0.0

Download size: 3 MB

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7

DVDSmith homepage [direct download]

Disclaimer: I am in no way encouraging piracy or any other sort of illegal action. Please only use DVDSmith (and any other software mentioned in this article) within the laws of your country. Ashraf, dotTech, are anyone else except yourself are not responsible  for any illegal activities done by DVDSmith or any other software mentioned in this article.

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  • r0lZ

    There are two problems with this copier.

    1. You need to know in advance how the DVD is protected, to select the right ripping method. The program should analyse the DVD to find the best method automatically. It’s perfectly possible as all ARccOS or RipGuard protection methods exhibit a common protection pattern, very easy to analyse.

    2. There is no option to turn off the removal of PUOs (Prohibited User Operations, aka UOPs). PUOs are NOT a protection. They are flags telling the DVD player to prohibit some specific operations when a specific title or menu is playing. Although some PUOs are sometimes used for irritating things (such as preventing the user to skip the FBI warnings and studio logos), they are often used for perfectly legitimate things, and removing them all without care is an extremely bad thing. For example, removing the “angle change PUO” on multi-angle titles has the effect of showing the infamous angle icon when the main movie is played on many players. Also, removing all PUOs can lead to severe errors when the DVD is played. Unfortunately, complete removal of the PUOs is very popular in most DVD copy applications. This app is not an exception, and it lacks the possibility to turn that feature off, or to select the PUOs to remove. Pity.

  • franklin verweij

    Looks very useful.
    My question is :
    When I buy a ( music ) DVD in the US, ia it possible to use this program to play the DVD in The Netherlands ?
    Because of the ‘region-lock’ ?
    Thanks in advance.
    Greetings from Gouda, Holland.


  • tekknokat

    I tried to download DVDSmith to use with Alcohol 120% (virtual drives), or Ashampoo Burning Studio 2010 Advanced/Elements both offered as Freebies at dotTech.org, Ashampoo Burning Studio 2010 Advanced offered in August 2010 is still free at http://store.v3.co.uk/p9387-ashampoo_burning_studio_2010_advanced as offered by dotTech.org last summer, as of making this Comment, December 13, 2010. Now Ashampoo has changed the name to Ashampoo Burning Studio Elements, as seen in this newer post made December 10, 2010: http://dottech.org/freebies/19414 .

    PROBLEM IS: DVDSmith is only compatible with 32-bit versions of Windows, as is FormatFactory, it too is only compatible with 32-bit versions of Windows. I am contemplating installing DVDFab HD Decrypter, as this is compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows as well as 32-bit versions, however, you must have 10GB OF FREE HARD DISK SPACE FOR THIS SOFTWARE. (DVDFAB HD Decrypter) While hard drives keep getting bigger and bigger, the amount of content and software we put on these hard drives take up more and more space, so a 320GB hard drive now, is barely as large as a 40GB hard drive was a decade ago. When you consider the size of the media, music, movies, and software you install on that drive, the space seems to disappear on NTFS Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit drives as fast on a 500GB drive, as an old 80GB hard drive did in 2001 on a Pentium 4 PC with Windows 2000, Windows ME, or Windows XP 32-bit versions, FAT or NTFS formatted drives, used up space much slower than Vista and Windows 7 drives do now.

    Does anybody else think that the newer large hard drives don’t last as long with the newer operating systems? For example Vista and Windows 7, I don’t know if 64-bit versions use up space on a NTFS formatted disk faster than 32-bit version, but they seem to be lasting me about as long as the older smaller disks did. Maybe I am just more adept at consuming online media and finding it, and downloading it faster? Am I mistaken? I suspect that some people might have a qualm about installing software that says the installation requirements are 10GB of empty hard disk space, I have never installed a software that uses that much space, before putting any DVD movies in any folders even.

    If I go ahead and continue with the installation, I will let you know how it goes. I will post here, or in one of the newer DVD ripping freebies that dotTech.org offers, since not many people may check Comments on posts made back in August 2009, in December 2010.

  • RobCr

    This has been mentioned by a couple of you –
    Ashraf mentioned possibility of Trojans, but I would have thought this guy is as reputable as they come.
    I believe that he was the author of DVDDecryptor, and then created the commercial product.
    I know it as DVDFab Platinum (I’m a version or two behind)
    If the current version is the same as mine (in regard to the free ability), you just install the commercial version.
    Every time you run the program, there is a wide button, that you can click to use the ‘freeware mode’.
    So it is not a case of installing the free version, it is just part of the commercial program, but you select to run it as free each time (no limit).
    The main difference between the two modes is – the free version does not shrink.
    So you use DVDFab to decrypt your original, onto your hard drive.
    Then you run DVDShrink to shrink it.
    The use Nero to burn it.
    I would be prepared to bet that this program is the most up to date, regarding it’s ability to handle the latest protections.
    And I would trust him more than others.

  • Peter

    Doesn’t FormatFactory have the ability to rip DVDs. Under the “ROM Device\DVD\CD\ISO” section there is a “DVD to Video File”. I haven’t tried it though.

  • Ashraf

    @Ivory Bill: You were right. You can rip to .VOBs. I was wrong.

  • Ashraf

    @Techy Kid: It varies from country to country. Some allow you to rip for backing up purposes only, some don’t. I don’t want to give you any wrong legal advice so best I can tell you is Google it.

    @ronald: I don’t know.

  • ronald

    following on from Giovanni’s post above, how does DVDSmith compare to DVDShrink 3.2?

    i’ve been using DVDShrink for a while now and do like it. It allows de-cryption, compression (from DVD-9 to DVD-5) and re-authoring.

    any reasons to use DVDSmith over DVDShrink?


  • Techy Kid

    Hi Ashraf

    Just a quick question.
    I always read your articles and everything,
    but is ripping DvDs illegal?
    I mean we all download illegal music and that,
    but can they tell if you have ripped them?
    Just wondering..cause I don’t wanna go to Jail

    A concerned Techy

  • Ashraf

    @david roper: I would recommend using the original DVD format (VOB) to store your DVDs.

    @Giovanni: Sometime in the past I have yes.

    @MikeR: I dont know MikeR. I kind of disagree. Even if the developer of a software on GOTD is unknown, some software is worth downloading (don’t worry I will let you know when they come along =D). If you ever have problems just e-mail the developer and if he/she won’t help or you can’t get your issue resolved, just drop the software and go to the next best alternative.

    @Darthyoda: SiteAdvisor warns some of downloads from DVD Fab’s developers website have trojans. Just an FYI.

    @Ivory Bill: It could be that in the free version that feature is disabled and you can get it in the Pro version (you need to pay $15 or $25 for upgrade).

  • Ivory Bill


    I am a long time lurker, and have never commented before because I either agree with your analyses (when they cover something with which I am familiar) or find them valuable when they cover topics that I haven’t studied myself.

    I haven’t ripped any dvd’s in a while, but when I used WinX-DVD ripper (free version), I always ripped DVD’s into unprotected DVD format. I am sure the version(s) I used are several generations old, but I am very surprised that you can no longer rip to dvd format with WinX.

  • Darthyoda

    For years I’ve been using DVD Fab HD decrypter, which was freeware. Now they combined the free & non free version into the same version, so you can still do it free, but you might have to choose between the free & paid version when you run the program, not quite sure.

  • Tortuga

    Hi Ash :D

    Thank you for the find.


    @ MikeR: I have to say, that observation of yours on the last paragraphs are right on!! ;)
    LOL indeed

  • MikeR


    DVD Decrypter and DVD MenuShrink have been my favourite apps for years and years and, er, years. And nothing else I’ve used — and I’ve tried out a lot — has come close to that classic freeware combination.

    But I also use RipIt4Me as the front end (also, freeware.) RipIt4Me — in ‘one touch wizard mode’: and you don’t need to use any other — checks the integrity of the source material and also provides valuable options, one of which I always tick as a kind of default: ‘Movie Only’.

    This immediately excludes all the crap of trailers, promotions etc and starts at the movie itself.

    In the one-touch mode, you simply leave and forget the processing, because RipIt4Me seamlessly integrates into DVD Decrypter and triggers Decrypter’s operation after you’ve sorted out your earlier preferences in RipIt4Me.

    When DVD Decrypter has finished its job, RipIt4Me closes it and then automatically opens Menu Shrink, ready for you to run the deep analysis. (Obviously, if you’ve only ripped the movie itself, you’re not going to be messing around with user-choice compression levels for other elements of the DVD — there’s only the movie, and the auto compression optimum percentage is the one that has to be accepted.)

    I’m going to try Ashraf’s recommendation because I value his work and his opinions, and also because, as noted, DVD Decrypter is, in computing terms, ancient history now after its English developer was threatened with all manner of prosecutorial horrors.

    So because DVD Decrypter is now very far from being up to date, there are a few tecchie issues it can’t address because they were never extant at the time the software was written.

    If DVD Smith, being newer, can accommodate changing circumstances, then that will be excellent.

    If it can’t, then ancient history notwithstanding, the combination of RipIt4Me / DVD Decrypter / Menu Shrink remains not only the oldest around, and the cheapest (!) around, but the best.

    Why so many users go chasing after GOTD offerings in this particularly specialised area from completely unknown developers with no user support forums whatsoever, is beyond me.

    When they get a problem — as they inevitably will, one day or other, who’re they gonna contact: GOTD? A commercial software developer with no provenance at all? Or the thousands of other users worldwide in the DVD Decrypter and DVD MenuShrink online forums?

    A no-brainer. But then, I do oft times wonder where too many GOTD offerings are concerned if the absence of a functioning brain isn’t a pre-requirement for downloading and installing a particular software-of-the-day.

    Or perhaps an inability to read Ashraf’s reviews.

  • Giovanni

    GREAT finding ASHRAF!!

    I’ll try it as soon as possible!!

    Till now I’ve always used the award winning freeware DVD SHRINK and DVD DECRYPTER which also bypass all DRM protection and region locks without any hassle.

    Have you ever used them?

  • david roper

    Excellent article and “find”.

    To be able to rip to a HD and finish later with FF is a real advantage.

    Nothing else needs to be said except to tell us all of your choice of the best format to “keep/archive” the DVD in – for later transformations, i.e. VOB, AVI, DIVX, etc?

  • essexlad

    Thank You Great