An Uncle John
Tutorial Essay
Created By
John Fowles

DVDs and ISO Image Files created
From Them and Vice Versa

To describe in detail the file and folder structure of a DVD and how they can be aggregated into a single
archival image file in the ISO format.
Therefore this note is intended to describe what an ISO image file of a DVD is and how to create one
from a DVD and finally what you can use one for (in particular to replicate the original disc exactly).
This tutorial is intended to be of guidance to those who possess either a VIDEO_TS folder (as copied
from a DVD) or an ISO file made from it.
If you are already fully familiar with how a DVD is structured and know what an ISO file is you can of
course skim over this introduction and proceed to the main content of this tutorial (the procedure for
burning a replica of a DVD)
Otherwise please read on:-
First of all and because I included the phrase and the file extension in my page heading title
just what is an "ISO Image File"?
From the inevitable Wikipedia page at:-
"An ISO image is an archive file of an optical disc, a type of disk image composed of the data contents from every written
sector on an optical disc, including the optical disc file system.ISO image files usually have a file extension of .iso.
The name ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media"
And just what is a"VIDEO_TS folder"?
For a detailed description of the structure of a DVD there is a full description in the wiki at:-
To summarise the folder and file structure of a DVD simply comprises a pair of folders named VIDEO_TS
and AUDIO-TS (where that TS stands for Title Set), and an AUDIO_TS folder, in fact all of the audio and video information
is included in what are nominally video files contained in the VIDEO_TS folder. TheAUDIO_TS folder is a relic of earlier plans
for high capacity audio-DVDs and is actually completely empty, but it is retained to maintain compatibility for all DVD players.
The screenshot below shows an example DVD (albeit strictly speaking an unoffical one) by the great Canadian troubadour and
"Poet Genius" Gordon Lightfoot

For the typical DVD I chose as an example
To see the Video-TS folder's content
Firstly select the DVD Drive in File Explorer

Then right click and select "Open"

That reveals that there are indeed just the two constituent folders:-

Clicking VIDEO_TS in that listing will duly show that there are 13 files in its VIDEO_TS folder
as shown below:-

Note that there are quite a number of video files each having one of three file extensions these being .vob,.ifo and .bup:-
1.*.VOB (Visual Object) files which include both the video and audio information.
But as explained on:-
"On the DVD, all the content for one title set is contiguous, but broken up into 1 GB VOB
files in order to be compatible with all operating systems, as some cannot read files larger
than that size. Each VOB file must be less than or equal to one GB".
The actual running times for each VOB file are shown in that screenshot and
their overall total is 58:34. compared to the DVD's actual Total Running Time of 58:12
2.*.IFO: In video editing, IFO normally refers to a file on DVD-Video disc and stands for
InFOrmation.IFO files basically contain all the information a DVD player needs to know about
a DVD so that the user can navigate and play everything properly,such as where a chapter starts,
where a certain audio or subtitle stream is located, information about menu functions and navigation.
Also included are details of the display's aspect ratio and varying attribute values such as the video's
resolution and format (i.e. North American (NTSC) or European/Australian PAL)

screenshot from a web page headed "PAL / NTSC DVD Conversion (patch method)" that describes the use of
the IFOEdit freeware program on
below which screenshot is this explanation:-
Note the items circled in red above. To 'patch' a DVD so it appears to be an NTSC or PAL disc,
you change the following:-
Standard: NTSC or PAL (select either depending on which you want to convert to)
Resolution: Set this to the closest compatible format (i.e. 720x480 for a 720x576 PAL->NTSC disc
or 720x576 for an NTSC->PAL disc for example)
Static: Set this to Automatic Letterboxed
3.*.BUP: BUP files are simply backup copies of IFO files on a DVD-Video disc in case of corruption
There are several freeware programs available that will "rip" (i.e. copy) these files from a DVD
(usefully removing any encryption that was intended to prevent such blatant copying in the process)
to your hard drive (or any other storage device).
Now to examine those files in more detail:-

Details and Description
In the example shown below the VIDEO_TS folder had been copied (ripped) from the DVD and the copy
is now located on a USB "flash" drive (F:).

But the same listing can of course be seen as I demonstrated earlier by looking at the content
of the actual DVD but you must keep in mind that some DVDs are protected against copying
to anywhere by being encrypted. In such cases there are (as Mr Google can find for you)
programs for (hint hint) DVD Decryption
The screenshot above was made after "ripping " the video_TS folder to a flash drive from the example
DVD using such a program.
Note that that particular DVD has its content as a pair of titles (VTS_01 and VTS02),
the first being in two parts VTS_01_0.vob includes a "splash" screen showing the basic menu
the first vob file is VIDEO-TS.VOB which is a blank black display followed by VTS_01_0.VOB which
starts by presenting for a brief instant a"splash" screen with a very basic menu:-

then rapidly changes to a detailed menu showing the song listing:-

then a very short video VTS_01_1.vob which displays a warning notice regarding copyright,
then the main content which is in this case title 02 which as you can see from the running times
of each file it is split into 4 VOB files each 1GB (or less) and the first file VTS_02-01.VOB
opens the video program:-

this particular folder's total size is 3.05GB

tha DVD at 3.05GB is substantially lower than the maximum capacity
(4.3GB)of a standard (single layer) blank DVD disc.In fact many music and movie DVDs
are under that maximum capacity.
Higher content would require a 7.96GB capacity "Dual Layer" disc.
What can be done with the VIDEO_TS set of files?
Once you have acquired a set of video files in a VIDEO-TS folder there are several things you can then use it
1.Primarily you might have made such a rip in order to safely keep as an archival a set of digital files that could
be used to replicate the original DVD should it be lost or damaged.
2.If you have your computer set up so that for example Windows Media Player is able to open and play VOB
format files you can watch the film or DVD content directly on your computer
3.You may wish to be able to copy a much smaller compressed copy of the complete DVD content to play on a
smaller device,such as a smartphone ebook reader even a GPS unit.
There are in fact a bewildering variety of compressed video file formats,including mp4 and avi
both of which sre known as"container" formats because they can hold (contain) files that have been compressed (or encoded) by a number of different CODECs
(COmpression/DECompression algorithms) such as DivX
4.Within the constraints of copyright law you may be inclined to share your files with others and a single all
inclusive file would be far easier to handle.

Free"Clouds" Storage

A note here about the available cloud storage facilities now offered:-
Kimdotcom founded a site based in his native New Zealand

that originally offered a whopping 50GB of free space but that was apparently reduced to only 15GB in 2017:
But there are many alternatives:-
most internet users will most likely by now be famliar with Dropbox

With which you start with a basic 2GB of free space which is not to be sneezed at!
every hotmail registered account automatically receives a basic 5GB of free space known as Onedrive

which can be sychronised with the content of a onedrive "personal" folder that is set up automatically for every user:-

my personal favourite however is Google's mydrive

which allocates a useful 15GB free to every registered email account (i.e. it can be any email address not just gmail ones, similarly Microsoft's Outlook email arrangement can be set up (usually for email addresses ** or *') but outlook will also handle *.gmail addresses
However hotmail imposes a limit of 10 accounts see
but I believe I found that trying to go beyond 14 can cause a problem.
and for gmail I read(on
"there is no restriction whatsoever when it comes to number of accounts"
butthere is an unpublished limit for each phone number used to register an account
("The specific amount is not documented")
Whatever between hotmail and gmail you can setup a prodigious total of free cloud storage space
Now where was I?
1 and 4 for archiving portability and sharing purposes it is possible and most convenient to create a single
file that contains a complete mirror image of the original DVD that then neatly avoids the problem of having
to collate the complete and numerous set of files.There is a superb freeware program that will both create the
high quality uncompressed ISO image file that can then be easily used to recreate the DVD,
This program IMGBURN I will describe fully in the next section.
2 If you find that you have any problem using Windows Media Player to play either a complete DVD or a single file
from the VIDEO+TS folder it may well be that you need to install extra CODECs.I usually install the K-lite Codec Pack
a free download (of the 20.5MB file klcp_update_1350_20170901.exe) can be obtained from:-
select "K-Lite Codec Pack Update 13.5" to download
3. to create a high quality much smaller compressed video file there is a wonderfully integrated multi-program suite called
AutoGK (Auto Gordian Knot) which has your choice of a pre-determined file size (typically a 2 hour movie can be reduced to a
700 MB single video file (that may then be burnt onto a cheaper blank Audio CD disc) in a *.avi format container file encoded
with the DivX CODEC.
Somewhere I have a draft web page that describes how I discovered this program:I well remember,that, when I realised that a
suspiciously large proportion of the movie video files I was collecting were close to only 700MB in size and had been encoded
with the Avi/DivX CODEC so I naturally searched for a phrase like "How to rip a DVD to 700MB with no quality loss" and was
very surprised and pleased to then find one result whose page title was almost exactly that and contained a very concise description
of how the AutoGK program operated.Soon afterwards I had bought on Ebay for a low price a Philips 5990 DVD player that is "DivX
certified" that not only plays DVDs (including compilation data DVDs) but also has a USB port so can play video files from a
flash drive

provided that they are encoded with the DivX format in an avi container format video file and are 720
pixels or less in width
I had found that AutoGK it was quite easy to use and was soon reliably producing my own 700MB
avi files,so I started drafting a tutorial on this subject. But I am unable to find that draft right now,
when I do I will complete it and revise this page to link to it.
But meanwhile I have found many other interesting and informative web pages so I will for now just list
links to some of them here instead:-
For a full decription see the AutoGK Tutorial at:-
and a page headed Auto Gordian Knot at:- There is an page headed:-
How To Convert Your Dvd Into Avi(DivX/XviD) Video File With Auto Gordian Knot at:-
AutoGK - DVD to AVI using Xvid:-
How to Create aXXo Quality DVD Rips
DVD encoding:-
1 and 4 How to create an ISO file from a DVD and a DVD from an ISO file
One of several DVD burning software programs could be utilised.I recommend the freeware
which opens to a comprehensive and clear menu, arguably the best of any freeware program

Three caveats:-
1. if you "mess up" or try to cancel a procedure my experience has been that the chances are that the blank disc
will have been written to (with possibly only today's date as the volume name') thus rendering it useless.I have
several times been presented with a quixotic advisory popup that I have yet to make sense of:-

Bite the bullet and put it into the "coaster" pile!!
2.If you see a badly worded popup offer to set up a blank disc as either a USB Drive or a DVD
choose DVD because the USB setting will initiate a totally unecessary formatting operation that I
found renders the disc useable only as yet another coaster
3.Ignore the "verify" provision (on a newly installed copy of Imgburn the verify checkbox will be checked
as shown below),uncheck it once (it will then remain unchecked)

I found that the verifying operation takes as long as the basic burning sequence and after several hundred
burnt DVDs I have never known a problem if the burn was unverified,plus unless it is a reformattable
(ReWriteable) disc once the disc has been finalised there is nothing you do except start over with a fresh disc
Note these three Menu items:-
Create image file from files/folders
create image file from disc
Write image file to disc

the first two will allow you to create an ISO image file either from the folders on the original DVD or if they are
already on your hard drive simply select the command to "create image file from files/folders"
I had copied the two Troubadour folders from the flash drive F: to my desktop to make the ISO file and screenshots
because there was insufficient space left on the flash drive for the ISO file
So here are the two folders in my desktop folder:-

then after selecting them here they are lined up in imgburn with the same desktop folder now set as the destination

they are then ready to write to desktop folder and I can then set up the save action
by pressing the Blue (build)arrow

The program asks for volume label confirmation

and proceeds to create the iso
Insert a DVD into your DVD burner drive and select that drive as the destination:-
If that disk is not a blank the program will helpfully tell you so:-

but if it is a blank DVD then the destination disc is shown with a red colouration and the status will be shown as "ready":-
Thus this program can be used as a utility to check if a given DVD is blank or not.
Then using the same DVD whose copied content in the folder on drive F: I displayed above and having selected that folder
and the destination burner (drive D:) the program is ready to "build" the ISO file:-

the blue arrow can then be pressed to initiate the burning procedure
Again the program is very helpful and popsup a suggestion for a volume label:-

As you can see the program will adopt the title of the subject DVD disc itself (or you could rename it
later if necesary)
the program will then take several minutes writing the image
The ISO file will then be created
Completion of both the ISO file creaton and the eventual disc burning is announced by a catchy jingle:-
and a popup notification.

or if something goes wrong an exasperated jingle:-
the iso file size will be the same as the folder size on the DVD of course:-

Although it is not per se a compressed file (like a zipfile) similar "unzipping" software may be used.For a very long time I favoured this
freeware program
its logo will be shown against the iso file name and clickng the iso file produces a handy popout jzip menu

pressing "open archive" will list the file's content
but I became fed up with constantly being told by the Malwarebytes program thst JZip was to be avoided so it continually
deleted it , probably due to its tendancy to offer to install dodgy software during installation, so I gave up
and now use and recommend the similarly peforming program from

Burn a DVD from this ISO file

On Imgburn's menu select "write image file to disk" select then the iso file and choose the burner if necessary
In the screenshot below Drive D: is the internal burner drive that I want to use whereas Drive E:is an external
burner connected to a USB port

When a blank dvd is inserted the disc icon under the Write tooltip shown in the above screenshot becomes
coloured and it then becomes clickable note that when imgburn is installed the "verify" check box by default
is checked but now I always deselect it as I have never had a verify problem in the 20 or so times that I omitted
to uncheck the box and verifying takes as long as the actual burning operation.
Besides which if a problem were to be reported there is precious little that you can do about it after the disc has
been burnt,but possibly if you have a problem when burning an important DVD then it could be a useful utility
if the disc being burnt was a more expensive RW (Re-Writable) one.

To summarise the burning of a replica DVD from an ISO file:-

check the size of the ISO file you wish to use
insert a blank DVD large enough to hold the size of that ISO file
select the write image file to disc option on the imgburn menu, and the destination burner

items required

The IMGBurn burning program-Freeware or its equivalent
A suitably sized blank DVD
Patience (a standard 4.38GB DVD Marked confusingy 4.7GB) will take around 15 minutes to burn the complete
maximum size. At the end a popup pops up

the screenshot above is from a finely illustrated official tutorial that includes some extra details you'll need to
bear in mind when you intend to burn a double layer DVD at:-
and if your computer's sound is not muted a pleasant jingle will be heard
All for free too!
Ain't life grand!!' the AVIRecomp suite shares 3 programs with AutoGK:-
If for example the ISO file is an image of an Operating System or an update to one you may require to
use it to install that system on another computer or upgrade one, In this case there is no need to unarchive
the file because if you use Imburn to "write the image file to disc" directly the resulting disc will contain
all of the set of files and folders including the essential setup.exe file that will initiate the installation process
therefore the burnt disc can be used itself for the installation or upgrade.