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Ultimate DVD Archival System Tutorial (Using Plex!)


This is the full guide for beginners and experts on DVD (movie/tv show) archival system using plex.


This allows you to save all your DVDs to a physical hard drive (or in the cloud if you would like) and play back the video from anywhere! This guide strictly shows you how to use plex media server on your hard drive on your desktop. We do not show how to setup the cloud!

Lets Begin:


1. Find an old machine to host your plex media server on, Plex states that the media server program can run on windows, MacOS, Linux, NVidia Shield, Netgear Nighthawk X10 Router, and many popular NAS devices such as Drobo, Netgear, Synology, etc. 

  1. Check the requirements for your system here: https://goo.gl/6gXiSw
  2. Please Note: You may save your video, music, and pictures to a plex server in the cloud, only if you have a plex premium account. More here: https://goo.gl/7lBfqp

2. We purchased the dell PowerEdge r900, a 9-year-old server for $350 (purchase and shipping). The server has 128GB of DDR2 memory, and a 500GB SATA Hard Drive in it, but that will be plenty for most people's needs

3. Next, we installed a fresh copy of windows server 2016, though plex media server can run on most desktop versions of windows

4. Now we were ready to install plex media server:

1. Download the latest plex media server from here: https://www.plex.tv/downloads/

2. Now run the installer, once the installer opens, you can click options to change the installer directory, then click Install:



3. Then, click restart to reboot your computer or server




4. Now that the computer is restarted, search for plex media server and run it, it should now be running in the taskbar of your computer.




5. Now we have to setup the directories and account systems for plex

1. Right click the plex icon in the taskbar and click Open Plex...




2. You will now see a login screen, here is where you will be creating your plex account.




3. After you get logged in, you will see a screen that will tell you to buy a plex pass, just click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the window




4. Next, give your server a "friendly" name and then click next




6. Now we are going to setup the libraries so plex can find our music, pictures, movies and more.

1. I created a PLEX directory inside of my C:/ Drive on my server

2 Within that directory, I put folders for Movies, TVShows, Videos, and Music




- You will notice that I have a (s) in front of some folders, those are folders that I share with other plex users so they can connect to my server

- (SIDE NOTE) Stick to the end of the guide and I will show you how I converted all of our DVD and Blu-Ray disks into .mkv files for plex at full resolution!

3. These are where you will attach your libraries for plex to recognize your videos.

4. I will let you setup this part, because the way the file system is setup, is up to you!

7. Here is how I converted all of our DVDs to .mkv for plex

1. I downloaded MakeMKV here: https://goo.gl/nHiJzr

2. As shady as the program may seem, is it one of the best "free" ones, and it does not contain any extra software.

3. MakeMKV will convert your standard DVDs for free always, and your blu-ray disks for a 30-day trial (NO SIGN-UPS!). That should be enough time to convert all your blue-rays.

4. Insert your disk into the server/or computer you would like to rip the disk to.

5. For this fine example, I have placed my treasured Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix Disk into my server. Then I opened MakeMKV.

6. When the program opens, it should show a lot of data, click the large DVD icon to gather chapter resources. Give it some time especially for some blue ray disks it may take longer.




7. Next, you should see a couple of options under the DVD. There can be many of these. You want to find the title that has the highest storage amount, sometimes you will see a blu-ray disk with multiple high storage Title, only select the first high storage Title. Most Blu-Rays will have 28.2GB Titles for the main movie, and most DVDs will have 6.8 GB titles for the main movie. YOU DO NOT WANT TO CONVERT ANYTHING ELSE BUT THE MOVIE ITSELF!




8. Once you have selected the correct title, set the output folder to your MOVIE directory of Plex, and click Make MKV.

8. The Full Plex Tour & Setup

1. I have received questions regarding movie setup and TV show setup:

2. Once you have exported a movie for instance; the file name may be: Harry_Potter_and_The_Order_of_the_Pheonix_T00, if you rename that file in your Plex Movie Directory to Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, Plex will automatically find it and set it up within your plex server

3. As for TV Show Setup; here is how I did it: I will be using the Cosby Show for instance. COSBY SHOW EXAMPLE DIRECTORY:

/TV Show Plex Directory

/The Cosby Show

/Season 1




/Season 2

4. Plex should then automatically detect each season and episode of the TV Show.


You should now be ready for installing plex on all of your devices and watching anywhere!!!


If you have any questions regarding setup, how to broadcast, or general ideas about Plex let me know below!



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I doubt you've got a licence to make an own personal copy of a DVD disk. So this sounds a bit like consumer grade piracy, for personal uses but still piracy.

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5 minutes ago, Dutch-stoner said:

I doubt you've got a licence to make an own personal copy of a DVD disk. So this sounds a bit like consumer grade piracy, for personal uses but still piracy.

Last time I checked you're allowed to make a backup of any media so long as you don't strip off the protection and it's only for your personal use. Haven't fully read OP's post so not sure if that's being suggested or not.

Current Network Layout:

Current Build Log/PC:

Prior Build Log/PC:

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I usually run my BR rips through handbrake to convert files to a more compact format as they're quite large.


As far as I know, it is legal to make a digital copy of media you own as long as you don't distribute/sell.

System specs:


GTX 1050


Samsung evo SSD

a few HDD's

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Just to clarify,


It is legal to rip your DVDs to your hard drive as long as you do not sell it or make it off profit. 


I do not support selling ripped DVDs, I only copy DVDs for easy of access.


Also, Handbrake is also a great program, but it cannot decode some blu-ray drives, so I use MakeMKV.



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