Tagged Windows 7

Note: This post is regarding getting 64-bit HandBrake to rip DVDs on 64-bit Windows 7. The instructions in here may work on other operating systems, adjusting for paths and library versions, but no guarantees.

VLC 2.0 was recently released, but with that release it broke HandBrake for ripping DVDs. This happened because HandBrake relies on VLC to provide the libdvdcss library to break the copy encryption on DVDs. I’m not sure about the details, but VLC 2.0 does not give HandBrake the ability to rip encrypted DVDs.

The solution to this: download a copy of libdvdcss just for HandBrake. This sounds simple, but it required a lot of research and trial and error. Luckily, I’ve done all that for you.

  1. Download and install the latest version of HandBrake. Make sure to select the 64-bit version. If you already have HandBrake, make sure it isn’t the 32-bit version (if it is, uninstall and install the 64-bit version).

  2. Download the latest version of libdvdcss for 64-bit Windows. Note: This is a link to version 1.2.12. It seems only some releases of libdvdcss have DLL files for Windows. Search around and find the latest version you can find with DLL files.

  3. Rename libdvdcss-2.dll to libdvdcss.dll and copy it to the HandBrake folder in your Program Files folder (for me, C:\Program Files\HandBrake\).

  4. Right-click the HandBrake shortcut on your desktop, and select “Run as administrator.” Accept the security elevation dialog.

  5. Open Tools > Preferences and go to the Advanced tab. Check “Disable LibDVDNav.”1

You should be able to rip DVDs no problem now. For instructions on how to do that, refer to the guide in the HandBrake user manual or search for a how-to on Google.

If you are confused about quality settings for ripping your DVDs, here’s a thread on the HandBrake forums with users chiming in about their preferences.

  1. I’m not sure if this step is necessary, but I checked this and it worked, and I’m not about to troubleshoot this. 

Windows 7

I’ve gotten my hands on a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. Not like it could have been worse than Vista. The upgrade process went completely smoothly, copying all my programs, settings and files over from my Vista installation. I’m still planning to install a clean version, but first I need a hard drive and more RAM (more on that later).

  • Speed — for all the reports of improvements over Vista (which slowed down on a regular basis), it doesn’t seem that much faster. Start up and shut down times are only marginally faster, and Windows Explorer seems a bit faster (especially with large folders of videos). So far, Flash seems to be the most problematic — Firefox slows up a lot when I’m watching Flash movies.
  • Taskbar — the redesigned taskbar was pretty weird until I changed it to small icons, so it matches about the height of the previous taskbars. So far, the new icons aren’t too great of an improvement — the running applications are indistinguishable from the quick launch buttons. That said, the new system tray is great.

To be honest, there doesn’t seem to be many groundbreaking changes.


One large change with Windows 7 has been that Microsoft has been promoting 64-bit a lot more. I decided not to go immediately switch to 64-bit since that would have required a clean install, and I didn’t have the resources to back up. Not to mention I only have 4 GB of RAM, which makes 64-bit a lot less worth it.

My plan is, however, to buy a new hard drive (already done at a Black Friday sale) and 4 more gigabytes of RAM (not yet done). Once this is done, I’ll install a clean version of Windows 7 64-bit and experience the magic (drivers and programs not working with 64-bit).