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How to Copy 1400 DVDs to New Hard Drive

I expect many people still have a great deal of optical disks stashed away, since CDs and DVDs were the most economical way to store information for 20 to 30 years. Just cutting one disk a week might get you over the 1,000 mark, though I suppose most of them would have been recopied and recycled before now.

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We did not get DVD+RW discs storing 4.7GB each until about 1998, when 4GB was a fair size for a hard disk. A decade later, an Amazon reception informs me I purchased a 500GB Western Digital My Novel for #62.20, so I was probably switching from optical to electronic disks a while around 2008, if not before.

In theory, we may have switched from DVD to the new Blu-ray disks rather, as a Blu-ray can save either 25GB (single-layer) or 50GB (dual-layer) on archival discs. They were getting larger and cheaper at a quick pace. Today’s 8TB and bigger drives confirm that we were right.


How to Copy 1400 DVDs to New Hard Drive

Schofield’s First Law of Computing states: Never place data to a program unless you can see precisely how to get it out. I didn’t think to mention storage, or the effort it may take to regain it. Technically, your information is available, but the sheer quantity of DVDs means it is not too practical. Moving it to a hard drive makes sense, but there is no clear way to do it. Buying specialised hardware could be costly when doing it manually could have quite a long time.

Through time, many commercial systems have sported multiple DVD drives, occasionally with hoppers or robot arms to feed at the disks. However, most were targeted at large corporations or service suppliers, and very seldom at home users.

Multi-DVD systems usually targeted either the disk copying or information sharing markets. Products aimed in the first enabled companies to create a great deal of indistinguishable DVDs at once. They allowed companies to share information from large numbers of DVDs or BDs, or make”cold storage” copies that could last for 50 years. Facebook, as an instance, developed a host to store 10,000 Blu-ray disks, and demonstrated that the system in a three-minute YouTube video.

MF Digital’s Ripstation 7000 Series CD/DVD/BD ripper should do everything you need, but it costs $4,595, for instance, built-in PC. It uses a robot arm to pick up disks and drop them in a DVD tray. Products like this are aimed at radio and TV stations, publishing empires and educational institutions that needed — maybe still desire — to convert a good deal of old discs into electronic format. They aren’t expensive compared with the price of people doing it manually.

I’m not positive if MF Digital’s cheaper Audio CD Ripping Station would do the job since you don’t have to rip your disks, simply copy them to a hard disk. However, I guess #1,699.56 is more than you would like to cover a one-off job.

That leaves you with one quick option: find a business which possesses a Ripstation 7000 or similar device and provides file transfer as a service. I didn’t manage to find one — the search phrases are catchy — and the cost might still be prohibitive. I would guess it’d cost from 25p to #1 per disc, and 50p does not sound too unreasonable. In spite of a majority deal, moving your information may cost #500. You would also face the issue of shipping a very major box of disks at least one way.

When there’s no quick fix which you can justify on cost, you’ll need to copy every DVD by hand. You could handle it as a holiday project, but it is a tedious way to spend your spare time. Instead, set yourself a goal, like copying five to ten discs a day, every day. Despite a few breaks, you should do it in a year. If you do not set a goal, you might never complete the job.

Maybe you could accelerate the process using two DVD drives, but it is dependent upon the hardware you have available. (Not every USB interface offers enough electricity to run a DVD that does not have its own power source.)

Following that, it would be a blessing to get some applications to detect discs and copy the files automatically. This avoids waiting for the document directory to look, highlighting the documents you desire, and dragging them into your hard disk.

Perfect Automation includes a utility that does the job nicely. You check the box for”Copy a good deal of CD/DVDs mechanically” and begin feeding it discs. It is a little (219K), free program and does not have to be set up, so it is worth a try.I also attempted Averk’s free AutoCopy two , which is even smaller in 184KB. Averk had much the exact same problem as you — he wanted to move over 100 CDs to a hard drive — and wrote a small utility to do it. Unlike Perfect Automation’s program, AutoCopy two includes a countdown timer. While its copying took more than Perfect Automation in my system, I discovered that both were faster and more reliable than doing it manually.

Format problems

The first task would be to replicate all of the DVDs to a hard disk and, of course, to a backup hard drive: you do not wish to do this work twice. You may worry about file formats afterwards. Over the long run, the best options are usually the most frequent formats, especially if they’re ratified international standards. Given the price of storage nowadays, it is not worth converting documents to more effective, space-saving formats, since this takes time and might involve a lack of quality.

I am converting some videos which were in less popular formats — like wmv, mov, flv and rm — to mp4 with the H.264 codec, which can be supported by chips (Intel Quick Sync Video) and many graphics cards. You may also reprocess old movies to remove colour casts, make them look sharper, adjust faulty aspect ratios and”upscale” their resolution, even although the results from my previous VHS-C video camera won’t ever look great by today’s standards.