Trying to copy your favorite album to your computer, but copy protection is preventing you? There are many copy protection methods available, all designed to prevent you from making unauthorized copies of CDs. Unfortunately, they also prevent you from making copies for legitimate reasons. But luckily, there is software that can help you get around these restrictions.
Method 1 of 2: Rip a protected audio CD
Step 1. Disable Autorun
Among the earliest forms of protection, many installed intrusive software on your computer without notifying you. For this reason, you should disable Autorun before inserting the CD you want to copy, to ensure that intrusive software cannot install.
You must open the Windows registry in order to disable Autorun. Read this guide for more details on how to do this
Step 2. Download a CD ripping program
There are many programs that can rip audio from a protected CD. If you need to copy the entire data image from a CD, proceed to the next method. Among the most popular programs are dBpoweramp, EAC and ISOBuster.
- dBpoweramp is preferred for its various options for bypassing copyright protections. You will need to purchase the paid version if you want to access all the features.
- ISOBuster can be obtained for free, but it comes with a lot of adware.
Step 3. Insert your CD
Insert your CD into your computer. Autoplay should be disabled, but if not, hold down the ⇧ Shift key for about 5 seconds when you close the disc tray. This will prevent Autoplay from launching.
Step 4. Rip the music
The method differs depending on the program you are using. You may have to use several methods until you find the one that works for you.
- If you are using dBpoweramp, click the “Options” button at the top of the window and select “Secure” as the ripping method. Click on the “Security Settings” link and enable “Ultra Secure Ripping”. It may take much longer, but may help prevent errors caused by copy protection.
- If the first method does not work, try selecting "Defective Design" from the options menu. This option is for CDs that have been intentionally damaged in order to be copy protected.
- Once you have chosen your settings, select the tracks you want to copy and click on the "Rip" button.
- If you are using ISOBuster, highlight all the tracks you want to copy, right click on them and select "Extract Objects". Choose a location to save them to, then wait for the ripping process to complete.
Step 5. Burn the ripped music to a blank CD
Once the music has been copied to your computer, it is no longer protected by copyright. You can burn them freely to a CD using your usual burning software or by adding them to your digital music library.
Read this guide on how to burn audio CD
Method 2 of 2: Copy protected data CD
Step 1. Download a disk copy program
The above method is for ripping the contents of an audio CD to your computer and burning them to a new CD, but the process is a little different if you want to copy a data CD or make a 1: 1 copy of your audio CD. For this you need a disk copy program.
The most powerful and popular disc copy program is CloneCD. CloneCD is available for free for 21 days, which should allow you to copy all the CDs you need without having to pay. You can always uninstall and reinstall it if you want to start a trial period again
Step 2. Create an image from the disk
When you start CloneCD for the first time, you will see four options. Select the first to start the imaging process. All the contents of the CD will be copied into a single file, which can then be copied to a new disc.
- In the next window, select the disc that contains the CD you want to copy.
- Choose the type of disc. Once the disc has been scanned, you will be given several options to choose from. Choose the type of content that is on the disc: CD audio, data, audio, multimedia, game or protected game.
- Choose a location for the image. Choose a location on your hard drive to store the image file. The image file will be as big as the CD, which means it can take up to 800MB of space.
- Wait for the image to be created. Once you have chosen the location of the image file and clicked “Continue”, the imaging process begins. This process can take a long time. Avoid doing anything else during this time, as opening third-party programs could lead to errors.
Step 3. Burn the image
Once the image has been created, you can burn it to a new blank CD. Clone CD has a burning function, but you can also use any other burning program, like ImgBurn or Nero. Read this guide for more details on how to burn image files to disc.