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From Xbox DVD to PC HDD to DivX (v0.1)

Tutorial written by : myffonline
Last edited: August 13, 2003

If for whatever reason you don’t have a DVD drive in your computer (too slack, too stupid or just a cheapskate like me), but you do want to backup your DVD’s as DivX or Xvid, you can still do it so long as you can ftp to your xbox. This is the method I use and I know it works.

What you’ll need:

Modded Xbox!
PC with around 9Gb free hard drive space
Ability to FTP between Xbox & PC
CD Burner if you want to burn final DivX

Daemon Tools
CdrWin/WinISO or equivalent iso creating program
Gdfimage or equivalent (if you want to burn final DivX onto Xbox readable CDRW)
Nero or other burning software


Rundown of what’s going to happen

OK here’s a short rundown of exactly what’s going to happen.
We’re going to use FlashFXP to copy the files off a DVD Video in your Xbox to your PC hard drive. Then we’re going to use CdrWin to make these files into an iso, which will then be used with Daemon Tools to mount as a virtual DVD drive in your PC. Then we’ll use Smartripper to rip the appropriate stuff off the virtual DVD, which will then be used by Vidomi to encode as DivX or whatever codec you like. Finally we’ll use gdfimage to create an xbox readable image of the DivX file, burn the image onto a CDRW and play it in your Xbox with your favourite media player.

Quick Note: The DVD I used for this tutorial is my PAL Almost Famous DVD. Other DVD’s will have different file names etc.


Lets A Go!

Start your xbox and load up EvolutionX or whatever you use. To unlock the vobs you have to first put the DVD in and then play it in DVDx or the MS Dashboard. Once a few seconds of the movie have played, do an In Game Reset to quit back to the main dashboard, without rebooting or turning off your console. OK, now start up FlashFXP, and connect to your xbox. In the D:\ There’ll sometimes be an AUDIO_TS folder and always a VIDEO_TS folder. Go into the VIDEO_TS folder and you should see something like this:

The list of files on the DVD can be explained as the following:
.BUP backup files, not needed
.IFO InFOrmation (about the DVD and file structure etc)
.VOB These have video and audio information in them (the actual movie)

As you can see though in the image above there are a lot of .VOB files, so how do we know which ones to get? That’s easy. Just look for the biggest ones. As you can see in the above image there are a few gigabyte files. This means we get the ENTIRE VTS_04_x.VOB series (not just the large ones). Also we need the .IFO file for the whole DVD, called VIDEO_TS.IFO.

So, create a directory C:\VIDEO_TS and transfer the appropriate series of files. In the above example I will copy over

VIDEO_TS.IFO – Definitely need this one
VTS_04_0.IFO – Not really sure if I need this one but I’ll get it anyway.
VTS_04_0.VOB – Turned out I didn’t need this file but better safe than sorry
VTS_04_1.VOB - Movie
VTS_04_2.VOB - Movie
VTS_04_3.VOB - Movie
VTS_04_4.VOB - Movie
VTS_04_5.VOB - Movie
VTS_04_6.VOB - Movie

Each large gigabyte VOB took me about 15 minutes to transfer. When the series of VOBs you think are the correct ones are transferred, you can disconnect from your xbox, take the DVD out and shut your xbox down. You won’t need the DVD again.


Creating the Image

Open CDRwin. You may get an error about ASPI managers or something, disregard it. You will be presented with two rows of images, you need to click on the second one from the right in the top row “File Backup and Tools”
This screen will come up:

At the top make sure “Build an ISO9660 Image File” is selected and not anything else. In the next section down click on “Directory…” and choose the VIDEO_TS directory (MUST be C:\VIDEO_TS) where all your vobs that you transferred are. Then click “Add”. The only other thing you need to do is give your image file a name, as you can see mine is going to be called “AlmostFamousDVD.iso”. It doesn’t matter where you put it. Click on “START” and away you go.

Note: It may say that the output file size will be smaller than you would expect, but don’t worry. For instance it said that the output file size for AlmostFamousDVD.iso was going to be 1.9Gb, but when it finished it was actually 5.86Gb, which was what I expected.


Mounting the Image

To mount the image you just created onto your virtual DVD drive, right click on VIRTUAL Daemon Manager in your system tray, go to Virtual CD/DVD-ROM –> Device 0: [E:] No media -> Mount Image

After the image is mounted the autoplay box will come up asking you if you want to play the DVD in Windows Media Player (in XP). Click Cancel.

If all this happens then you can safely delete all the files in the C:\VIDEO_TS folder expect for of course the iso, which is currently being used by Daemon Tools.


Ripping the “DVD”

Open Smartripper. You will be presented with something like this:

Smartripper automatically detects the “DVD” and selects the appropriate files. All this is fine. Click on Start and the “DVD” will be ripped. This will take approximately 15 minutes.

After it is done, you can safely unmount the image in Daemon Manager and delete it. We will use the new vobs extracted from the iso by Smartripper in the next step.


Encoding to DivX

Open Vidomi. Make sure you are in encoder mode rather than player mode.

You want to click on the + sign and select the vobs you’ve ripped with Smartripper.

In Options you can set different parameters. In Video Options you select your codec, I used Divx 3 Hybrid 1 [One Pass] which had pretty good results. You can also choose your colour space, either RGB32 or YUV-something, YUV is faster.
Advanced Video Options can be left alone, unless you know what you’re doing. Audio Options choose Lame to Encode, set your bitrate at 128kbps for a shorter movie and 96kbps for a longer one – 2 hours+. Also its usually a good idea to click Resample 48Khz to 44.1Khz if you aren’t sure whether your soundcard can handle 48Khz. One time I didn’t check this and my sound came out all garbled.

Leave Subtitle and Chapter options alone unless again you know what you’re doing. In Output Size you can choose how big you want the final file, set your media size and how many media discs you want it to fit on. I put Almost Famous to fit on one media disc, and set the media disc size to 692 megs (just to be safe). Network options can be left alone. In Select Source Range you can specify a particular section to be encoded - just leave it alone. Finally in General Options check that the output file extension will be .avi.

Once you’ve specified an output file name click “Start Encoding”. If you click on the Output button you can see where its up to. Make sure your screensaver is off and let your computer go. Almost Famous took my computer 3 hours 47 minutes to encode, and it’s a 1.4Ghz with 256 meg of RAM.


Creating the Xbox readable image

Now once Vidomi is finished and you have checked the outputted avi works, you can create your xbox readable image. Use your favourite image creating tool, I prefer the command-line Gdfimage (works every time). Finally go into your burning software (I use Nero) and click “Burn Image” or equivalent, select your image created with Gdfimage and hit burn. I burn mine at 2 speed on a TDK 700 meg CDRW, always works perfectly. Once that’s done, put it in your xbox, fire up Xbox Media Player and play your divx movie!

Hope this tutorial has been useful to somebody! I sure wish I could have read it a couple of weeks ago.

Tutorial written by : myffonline



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