Originally based on CrasH's DC++ Newbie Tutorials from Duefo; updated and expanded. A general DC++ FAQ can be found at http://www.dslreports.com/faq/dc/
- 1 Video Questions
- 1.1 Why can't I play a video file on my computer?
- 1.2 Why does my video have sound but no video, or vice versa?
- 1.3 Why does my video play upside down?
- 1.4 Why is my video all green?
- 1.5 Why does my video have no sound?
- 1.6 How do I play .rm files?
- 1.7 How do I play .mov files?
- 1.8 How do I play .ogm or .mkv files?"
- 1.9 How do I play VCD format movies?
- 2 General DC++ Questions
- 2.1 How do I share
- 2.2 What is the significance of the blue and green shirts next to people's names in the user list
- 2.3 What is the significance of the yellow keys next to some people's names in the user list
- 2.4 How do I stop downloading a file? Closing the Connection is not working
- 2.5 What is hashing?
- 2.6 How do I get onto external hubs?
- 2.7 What is Multi Sourcing
- 2.8 How can I turn off segmented downloading in the new versions of DC++?
- 3 Troutbleshooting DC++
- 3.1 I am getting a message saying *** Connection refused by target machine when I connect to the hub
- 3.2 What is a TTH Inconsistency Error?
- 3.3 What is a 'TLS disabled, failed to generate certificate' error?
- 3.4 DC++ makes my computer run really slow, is there anything I can do to stop this?
- 3.5 When I search for something, I get a load of useless/non relevant results
- 3.6 Valknut: You are not connected to the hub
- 3.7 I have been downloading files to C:\Program Files\DC++\Downloads, yet when I go there, there is no such folder (and I use Windows Vista/7)
- 3.8 What should I do if I get a 'Calculated CRC32 does not match the one found in SFV file' error?
- 3.9 I can't find specific episodes of shows on search
- 3.10 I am trying to download a file larger than 4GiB, but it is telling me I have no space left on my drive, even though there is
- 4 File Types Questions
- 5 General Questions
- 6 Tutorials
Why can't I play a video file on my computer?
Why does my video have sound but no video, or vice versa?
Why does my video play upside down?
(NB. If you use VLC Player then you will need to download the latest version. VLC player comes with its own internal codecs which are only as up to date as your version of it.)
Most video files need software called codecs to read the information in the file. If you don't get any picture or sound from a video file then it is most likely because you haven't got the right codec installed. The most common ones are listed below. If you think you have got these codecs installed it is worth re-downloading them and installing again anyway, as you may well have an older version which cannot decode the video in newer files.
The simplest way to deal with codec issues such as these is to install a codec pack such as FFDShow. This automatically installs pretty much all of the codecs you could ever need so that any video file will play in any media player of your choice.
However if you wish to limit how much is installed on your computer then you can install each of the required codecs separately. Chances are you will only need XviD and AC3 Filter, DivX for old files and x264 for newer mkv or high definition files. The Ogg Splitter is needed for playing .ogg audio files and .ogm video files.
FFDShow - This codec pack contains nearly everything you will need, and should allow you to play anything you like any media player of your choice.
Links to individual codecs can be found below
- Media Players
An excellent choice of media player to use to play files is Media Player Classic due to its support for different file types and general stability.
Another choice is VLC Player. This player has most codecs built into it so the above installs are not necessary.
Why is my video all green?
This is most likely because you have an older version of Xvid installed. You can correct this problem by installing the newest version of Xvid here. Get the version nearest the top as this will be the latest.
Why does my video have no sound?
This is almost always caused by the lack of the AC3 Filter codec. Make sure this is properly installed first.
If however it is, and you are using Windows Media player then it may be due to lack of support within this for due channel audio files (particularly in older versions of the player). The only solution to this is to use another media player. Good alternatives are Media Player Classic and VLC Player.
How do I play .rm files?
.rm files are Real Media files. They can be opened in Real One Player.
Alternatively, if you wish to play the files in your standard media player you can download the Real Alternative Codec
How do I play .mov files?
How do I play .ogm or .mkv files?"
.ogm and .mkv files are basically the same idea as .avi files. The recommended codec to play these files is the FFDShow as above.
To just install support for .ogm files however without the extra stuff CCCP provides you can just install the Ogg Vorbis interleaver. Once you've done that you can open the .ogm file in whatever media player you use.
How do I play VCD format movies?
These movies are in .bin files, so to play them first install Daemon Tools and mount the image (as described further down this FAQ).
Some media players, such as Windows Media Player may not be able to play these files, so we suggest one of Media Player Classic or VLC Player
In one of these, go to "File" and then "Open". Browse to the CD Drive where you mounted the VCD image, and go into the "MPEGAVI" folder. In the drop down list below the file browser, select "View All Files", and then in the file browser double-click on AVISEQ1.DAT. The movie should then play.
General DC++ Questions
For problems with searching and downloading please see the Help Guide
You can add folders to your share by going to File -> Settings -> Sharing. In here you can click Add Folder and simply navigate to the folder you want to share. A good folder to have shared is your default download folder since this will mean that anything you download is automatically shared back with the hub, but obviously the more you can give back the better.
What is the significance of the blue and green shirts next to people's names in the user list
Users with blue shirts are those who have connected to you, or you have connected to them. Green shirts are those that have not. So any actual connect, such as getting a filelist, will make the other person's shirt appear blue to you until they disconnect from the hub. Any user with a key (small yellow thing) is an op/operator/moderator and thus should be treated with respect and dignity.
What is the significance of the yellow keys next to some people's names in the user list
Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean the user's share is 'locked' or anything, just that the user is a op/moderator on the hub. Most of these are off campus now so this is the most likely reason you cannot connect. If you are sure the user is on campus then your DC++ will be set up wrong, so see the client help pages here for details on correctly configuring your client.
How do I stop downloading a file? Closing the Connection is not working
DC++ does have a Download Queue which you can access either by the button at the top, pressing Ctrl + D or going to View -> Download Queue. If you do not remove the file from here, DC will continually try to download it whenever the user that has the file shared is online.
What is hashing?
File hashing is where DC++ scans all of your files and assigns a specific ID to each of them. This feature is designed so that when you do a search for alternate sources on a file you are guaranteed to get that file, rather than a different file simply named the same. On previous versions, matching a non exact copy of a file was a major cause of corrupt downloads. Older clients that do not hash are now totally incompatible with the newer versions of DC++ being released. These older clients are therefore banned from the hub. We recommend everybody uses the latest DC++ client which can be found at http://dcplusplus.sourceforge.net/download/
How do I get onto external hubs?
Basically if you are on campus you cannot use external DC++ hubs. Although you may be able to get onto the hubs using stunnel or ssh tunnelling, you will only be able to download from other people on Resnet. As such, twofo is the only hub where there are users you can connect to.
If you are off campus, click the "Public Hubs" button (top left of the screen, the icon looks like a flatscreen and a wire) and you should be given a window with a list of hubs, and two boxes at the bottom. The left text box allows you to enter and word and search throw the hubs for a specific thing. The right box allows you to enter a specific hub address lists. Since the default address list has not worked for a couple of years now you will likely want to add your own addresses in that do work, such as:
If you have a specific hub address you can go to this by pressing Ctrl + Q or going to File -> Quick Connect, as you will most likely have done the first time you went on twofo.
What is Multi Sourcing
The new, versions of DC++, and the standard Valknut client for Linux and macs, come with a feature called Segmented Downloads or Multi Sourcing. The purpose of this is to split the download up into smaller pieces, much as torrenting does, to allow the user to download the file from more than one person at a time. Although this is fine off campus, users on campus will find that this process actually significantly slows down the transfer speed as the client is constantly having to split the file up, download separate pieces etc. It also puts a larger strain on the systems of both the downloader and uploader as a whole.
As such, we advise that anybody on campus turns off this facility in their client. In Valknut this is done by going to File --> Quick Options --> Download Mode: Single Please see below to see how to disable segmented downloads in Windows DC++
How can I turn off segmented downloading in the new versions of DC++?
DC++ v0.705 and above comes with a feature called segmented downloads. Basically this splits any file you download into 100s or even 1000s of smaller pieces and downloads each piece separately. This works well off campus where internet speeds are far slower, but on campus the processing power required to do this at the speed you download at will make your computer, and the computer of the person you are downloading off, work very hard and will in fact slow your download down.
To turn this off in most newer version of DC++ and above, go to File -> Settings -> Advanced and put untick the box for Enable Segmented Downloads
If you are on a version of DC++ between 0.700 and 0.705 then really we would advice you to upgrade, but if you want to stick where you are, you can turn segmented downloads off by going to File -> Settings -> Advanced -> Expert Settings and put 10000000 into the box for Min Segment Size in the bottom right. This sets the smallest size DC can chunk files into to be 10,000,000kiB, or 10GiB. This is easily large enough to ensure that most of the files you download on the hub will not be split into pieces when you download.
I am getting a message saying *** Connection refused by target machine when I connect to the hub
This message does not mean you are banned, and is almost always caused by stunnel not running in the background. stunnel needs to be running whenever you want to connect to the hub from on campus and if you restart it will have stopped. You can set it to run on startup by creating a shortcut to it in the Startup folder in the Start Menu. This message will also be caused by connecting to the wrong address in DC. People on campus (and thus using stunnel) should connect to localhost:8000 and people off campus should connect to hub.twofo.co.uk:4144. No other addresses will work! Most connection issues can be solved by following the guides on the how to connect page.
What is a TTH Inconsistency Error?
This error occurs when the original TTH downloaded for a file is not a match for the file you actually finish downloaded. This is often caused by a corrupt transfer of the initial TTH before you started downloaded.
To solve the problem for an initial file you simply have to go into your Download Queue and remove the file from there. Then try to re-download the file.
Should this not work, again remove the file from your download queue, and in the main chat window, type /rebuild. This checks your hash data file for errors which could be causing the problem. This should not mean you have to rehash your entire share, unless your hashdata file is corrupt in some way. Even then you would only have to rehash the files for which the entries are bad.
Should neither of these solve the problem and you are continually getting these errors from a specific user, then you will have to contact that user and ask them to the /rebuild process as above, as it is likely their hashdata is corrupted.
What is a 'TLS disabled, failed to generate certificate' error?
This is a new feature of DC++ that as yet doesn't work with the majority of DC hubs, including twofo. As such you can ignore this error as unimportant. To prevent the message appearing whenever you start DC, go to File -> Settings -> Advanced -> Security Certificates and untick all 3 of the boxes in that section. Also remove any port numbers you have specified in the Connection Settings section.
DC++ makes my computer run really slow, is there anything I can do to stop this?
When on campus and uploading/downloading, the speed of the transfer can make DC++ take up pretty much all your system resources, thus causing your computer to be very sluggish. The first and most important thing you can do here is to turn off 'Safe and Compressed Transfers' in File -> Settings -> Advanced. This option makes DC++ try to compress all the transfers it makes. Whereas this is very useful off campus for decreasing the amount of data needing to be transferred, on campus at the speed it needs to go it acts as a massive hindrance. Any compression you do actually gain on a file will be far outweighed by the fact that the process will make the transfer run probably about 50% slower.
The 2nd option is to set DC++ to a lower priority in Task Manager. (Ctrl + Alt + Del, or right click on the task bar and choose Task Manager). once opened, go to the process tab, find DCPlusPlus.exe, right click on it, and set the Priority to Below Normal, or even Low. This should ensure that other processes on your computer will get the processing power they require to run smoothly.
If DC running is causing problems watching videos, then you may wish to set your media player to a high priority in task manager, in the same way you can set DC to a low one. Some players (such as Media Player Classic and BS Player) have an option in their settings to permanently set themselves to a higher priority to allow for smoother playback.
Finally, make sure that segmented downloads are disabled. Regardless of your version of DC++ this can significantly slow your computer down, as well as the computer of the person you are downloading from, and so should be disabled when on campus.
When I search for something, I get a load of useless/non relevant results
For a detailed overview, see the Search Tips page, but at a glance...
This can usually be solved simply by being a bit more definitive with searches, as you would with a google search. If you want a specific episode of a series, then put the series number and episode number. If you want a video file, put an avi on the end. Simple searching for House, for instance will bring up masses of irrelevant stuff and really make search useless for you. However searching for 'house 2 06 avi' will bring up anybody sharing episode 6 of series 2 of the show.
Similarly, if you want a whole series of something, just do '<show name> <series number> avi'. This should vastly increase the effectiveness of your searches.
Valknut: You are not connected to the hub
This is an issue when you try downloading from a search. The problem is that valknut has connected to hub.twofo.co.uk:4146, but the DC++ users are connected to localhost:8000. And the hub address is returned as part of a search result. And you can search multiple hubs from the search dialog. So valknut looks at the search result, checks if it's connected to localhost:8000, discovers it isn't, and complains.
There are various ways to get round this problem:
(1) On newer versions of valknut you can go to Settings -> Connection Settings -> Adjust Hub Details in Search Results and this should solve the problem.
(3) Browse the user's filelist and download from there
(4) Use a different client. Shakespeer is the generally accepted alternative DC client for Macs. Installation instructions for that and stunnel (required for shakespeer) can get found here
I have been downloading files to C:\Program Files\DC++\Downloads, yet when I go there, there is no such folder (and I use Windows Vista/7)
This is caused by Vista not giving the user permission to access the folders within Program Files (for whatever personal reason it has against this). To access and move these files, go to
"C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\DC++\Downloads" where USERNAME is your user name on the computer.
You may not be able to find the AppData folder in your username since it is, by default, hidden. To unhide it (as well as all other hidden files) go to Control Panel -> Folder options, and go to the 'View' tab. Then choose the option for 'Show Hidden Files and Folders', click OK, and go back to your username folder and the AppData folder ought to now be visible.
Next it would be a really good idea to change the Default Download Directory so that files do not get lost in this way again. To do this, go to File -> Settings -> Downloads, and just choose a new directory for completed files to download to. Don't forget to Share this new folder by adding a new folder in File -> Settings -> Sharing. (Without wishing to go into a particularly long rant about the [Pros and] Cons of Vista, this behaviour does seem a little bit over the top :P)
What should I do if I get a 'Calculated CRC32 does not match the one found in SFV file' error?
Basically just delete the .sfv files in the folders you are getting the errors in. Or go to File -> Settings -> Advanced and turn off "Enable Automatic SFV checking" to turn this checking off altogether.
The error occurs normally when an album, or other group of music files, has been downloaded from a torrent. As a file integrity check, the torrent uploader creates a .sfv file which stores the hashes of each of the individual files in the torrent, so people can be guaranteed to have the same files as were uploaded. However, once the files have been downloaded, even a change as simple as changing the tag on the file will change the TTH. Until DC++ hashes the file, and discovers the new hash to be different from the hash in the .sfv file, this is not an issue though, and nobody would notice that anything had been changed. So you either have to remove the .sfv files (which are unnecessary on DC++) or disable the SFV checking.
I can't find specific episodes of shows on search
Before reading this pretty pretty please make sure you are set up correctly to search by following the appropriate guides on here. A good way to check whether this is working is to do a generic search, ".avi" or "music" (without the quotes) and see if you get results (these always should).
See the Search Tips page for more information on using the search effectively.
I am trying to download a file larger than 4GiB, but it is telling me I have no space left on my drive, even though there is
Assuming you aren't reading the free space incorrectly (looking at the wrong drive for instance) then the problem is likely to be that your drive is formatted to FAT32. This means it physically cannot store files larger than 4GiB. The safest, and quickest, way to deal with this is if you have another drive formatted to NTFS. To see what format a drive is in, go to My Computer (or just Computer on Vista) in the start menu, right click on the drive in question and go to properties. Above the stuff on the amount of drive space you have is a piece of information called filesystem, this will either be FAT32 or NTFS.
If you don't have another drive in NTFS format then it is possible to convert your current drive into NTFS from FAT32. This is a relatively safe process, but there is always a risk that you will lose data so if you are determined make sure you have a backup of vital information on the drive (your work if you are the sort of student that does it). Find a friend with a space drive or usb key if you have nothing just to be on the safe side. If you have any questions please ask in main chat and somebody will try to help.
Be aware though that once converted to NTFS it cannot be converted back. Mac computers can have trouble reading NTFS formatted, and even more trouble writing to them, so if you are in the habit of loaning your drive to somebody with a mac to get things then converting to NTFS would be a bad idea.
To convert an existing FAT or FAT32 volume to NTFS, follow these steps: (from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307881)
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
2. At the command prompt, type the following, where drive letter is the drive that you want to convert:
convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, type the following command to convert drive D to NTFS:
convert d: /fs:ntfs
Note: If the operating system is on the drive that you are converting (ie. your C drive), you will be prompted to schedule the task when you restart the computer because the conversion cannot be completed while the computer is running. When you are prompted, click YES.
3. When you receive the following message at the command prompt, type the volume label of the drive that you are converting, and then press ENTER:
The type of the file system is FAT.
Enter the current volume label for drive drive letter
4. When the conversion to NTFS is complete, you receive the following message at the command prompt:
5. Quit the command prompt.
File Types Questions
What is a .nfo file and how do I open it?
A .nfo file is basically a glorified text file. As such it can be opened with notepad/WordPad easily and read. Often these files are provided with games and give detailed instructions on how to install and crack the game. The default program to open a .nfo file in windows is, wrongly, set to something strange in the registry that will not display the file at all, so I would suggest you set notepad to always open .nfo files. Alternatively you can install the DAMN nfo viewer which reads and displays nfo files properly with the original formatting intact.
How do I use .bin, .cue, .img, iso, and .cdr files?
All of the file types listed above (with the exception of .cue files) are Virtual CD's. This essentially means that they are a file that you store on your computer that contains all of the information that would normally be on the CD. .cue files are used with .bin files to identify the information on the CD, although they are not necessary.
To use any of the file types above, first download and install Daemon Tools (Daemon Tools Lite is the simplest option here as it is free). Once you've done this, a red icon will appear on your start menu on the right. Right click this and go to "Virtual CD/DVD-ROM..." and then "Device 0: [F:] No Media:...", and finally "Mount image". This should bring up a small box where you can locate the .bin file (or likewise), and then click "Open" to load it. If you now go into Windows Explorer you will see the CD mounted in an extra CD Drive. Open that and you will be able to use the image as if the CD were physically loaded into your computer.
The game I installed now asks me to insert the CD/DVD before I can play, what do I do?
Most games comes with a crack or some file to patch. This is often found on the image file for the game itself. Once the image is mounted, go to My Computer and into image drive.
Hopefully there will be a CRACK or DEVIANCE (or some other folder name in capitals), in which there will be a keygen or random .exe file. The keygen you would be able to use to get a key to install the game. The other .exe file you should copy into the Program Files folder where the game installed, overwriting the original file there. The program should now run successfully.
How do I use .rar files?
.rar files are similar to .zip files. They are an archive of information that has been compressed to reduce the size of the file (and hence the time it takes to download them). You can open them using Winrar, and extract the contents of the archive to a folder.
What are .r01 , .r02 etc files?
These files are also winrar files. Sometimes larger files, TV shows, games etc, are split into smaller chunks using the Winrar program. To extract the file you want from them, wait for every one of the files to have downloaded, then open any of the files with winrar and just extract
What are .7zip files?
Why can't I delete a file?"
Due to a codec problem, sometimes Windows will not let you delete a video file even though it is not being used. The simplest way to solve this is just to simply reboot your machine and this will free the file from the 'lock' windows has put on it. This or log out and back in again, anything that stops the explorer.exe process really (you can just go into Task Manager and kill this process then re-run it and in File -> Run, rerun explorer.exe although this can have some slightly odd side effects until you next reboot).
An alternative is to download and install Nero, and then start it up. Click to make a new DVD or CD, but instead of actually making one, locate the file you cannot delete in the right hand file browser. Click on it and press delete, and it should be gone. If not then you will have have to reboot your computer as above.
How do I do <such and such>?
Where can I find <download>?
For the first one, try asking Google. Type in your question and you'll most likely get a decent response. As for where can you find things, use the search button. That's what it's there for. If you don't find anything then there's a good chance no-one has it. Try using Google again to see if you can find it as freeware.
When is the next episode of <series> out?
You can find the release dates for TV shows at Epguides. If it's not listed there then it hasn't been scheduled for TV yet or the episode the week before was the series finale.
You can see a detailed list of shows airing this week/month at http://www.pogdesign.co.uk/cat/ This can even now be customised to only display the shows you watch, and with the actual air times based on your timezone.
As with Public DC++ hubs, if you are on Resnet you can pretty much forget about torrenting. Don't try it as it won't download fast IF it connects and will likely get you cut off by ITS. So yes, we are saying that if you are on Resnet, DO NOT TORRENT.
If however you are off campus then please read on...
Bit torrent is a program very similar in looks to the Internet Explorer download window. The basic theory behind it is that someone will place a "torrent" on the internet, and as more people download it they will also share that torrent to the rest of the internet. As long as there are still users uploading the torrent, you will be able to finish the download. Torrent files are usually placed on large archive websites such as Mininova, Pirate Bay, Torrentz or EZTV (recommended for releases of new TV episodes), and many others.
Once you have installed the bit torrent program, you just go to one of those sites and click on a torrent link for the download to begin. In the spirit of Bit Torrent, it is requested that you keep the download window open for as long as you can once the download has finished so that the file can be distributed to other users.
For a graphical demonstration of this process, Mininova have produced their own guide at http://www.mininova.org/getstarted
Note that you will get nothing like the speeds you saw on campus. The best speed you will get is dependent on the speed of your internet connection and the state of the torrent itself. Newer ones are likely to max out your connection, and older torrents will go alot slower. Also remember that extremely new torrents will have thousands of leechers all downloading at once so the speeds there may be quite slow as well.
To get the most speed out of a torrent, you had better set up port forwarding. Guides for this can be found here
Recommended torrent clients are utorrent and Azureus (Vuze)
utorrent is a nice small client that is probably better for most users. Azureus has more plugins and features but will take up alot more system resources, so if you have a slow computer use utorrent.
NB. The latest versions of Azureus/Vuze come combined with a video server. This is unlikely to be required by those of you just want to use it for torrenting, so is better disabled (to speed up the program and to stop the messages from it from getting in the way).
To do this, first go to View -> Advanced. This should bring up the Menu bar at the top. On there, Go to Tools -> Options. In the options pane, find the "Interface" option and click the plus next to it to open up the drop down menu, then go to the "Start" section. In the window that has appeared, there will be a little button with 'Show' written on it at the bottom labelled "Display Vuze UI Chooser". Click on this, and choose "Classic Interface", and restart Azureus.
Scripting is where a user makes a set of preset text, so that if a common question comes up in the main chat it can be easily answered using the script. For most scripts, when they are activated they will display a line of text with the user name of the person you are talking to at the beginning. For example you were most like sent here by a scripted command, stating "%[nick], go to http://www.twofo.co.uk/wiki/index.php/FAQ for answers" where %[nick] represents the DC++ nickname you are sending the script to.
To start making your own scripts, in DC++ go to "File" then "Settings", then the "User Commands" section, and finally the "Advanced" sub-section. You now have the option to add, change, or remove a script. Since you probably don't have any so far, click "Add". A list of options should appear. Here we are going to make a basic script the same as the one used to send you here. Once you know how to do this you can adapt the script however you want.
The first thing to do is to select the "Chat" check box in the "Command Type" area. Also make sure that you tick "User Menu" in the "Context Menu". You should now see that you can type in the three boxes below. The top one is the name of your script. This can be whatever you want, but it's probably best if you give it a name which best describes the script. In this case, we are going to name it "Wiki FAQ", so type that in the top box. Now go to the "Command" box and type in "%[nick], go to http://www.twofo.co.uk/wiki/index.php/FAQ for answers". The %[nick] will display the nickname of the person you are directing the script to, however this will be explained in a second. More commands like this are listed on the right of the scripting box, so try them out. You can leave the "Hub IP/DNS" box empty, so now just click "OK".
Now to use your script, go back to the main chat area and right click on the name of anyone in either the user list or the actual chat. You should see your script is at the bottom of the list, and by clicking it you will send the script to whoever you right-clicked on. The script will be seen by everyone in the chat, but the user name will be displayed at the beginning of the script (this is why we used the %[nick] command earlier). That's basically all there is to scripting, so try out different things to make your own scripts. Just remember to use them responsibly, and not to repeatedly spam the chat with useless information.
There are two (well, loads more than 2, but only 2 described here) different methods to turning your DVD film/TV series into an avi file you can share (well, obviously there are more than two, but these are the easiest). The first uses a combination of DVD Decrypter and Auto Gordian Knot and the other using Fair User Wizard 2
There is little difference in terms of the output between the two different methods, especially not in the time taken to encode as they actually use the same program to do the actual encoding. Most people choose one or the other due to personal like or dislike of features or interface. Auto Gordian Knot has more video options than Fair Use Wizard for instance, but FUW tends to be easier for the first time user to grasp.
DVD Decrypter and Auto Gordian Knot
First download and install DVD Decrypter and Auto Gordian Knot. Insert the DVD you wish to rip into your DVD drive and open up DVD Decrypter. (DVD Decrypter is now out of development so you may as well turn off the 'Check for Updates' option when it appears) Go to Mode at the top and choose IFO mode from the menu. This will bring up a list of the video tracks on the DVD on the right hand list, film length for a film DVD or several episode length ones for a TV Show DVD. Select the track you want to rip (taking note of the exact PGC Stream as you will need this number for later) and click on Decrypt on the left. This will take a few minutes. Repeat this process for each track on the DVD you want to encode.
Once the DVD is ripped, close down DVD Decrypter and open up Auto Gordian Knot. In the input file box at the top, browse to the IFO file in the folder that DVD Decrypter ripped to (by default, C:\DVDName\VIDEO_TS). A pop up box will appear asking you to select which PGC you want and you should choose the number of the track you ripped. If you forgot to take note of this it should be fairly easy to work out from the drop down menu. In the Output Box choose the place you want the final file to be created and a name for this file.
Most of the options in the main window are self explanatory, file size, audio track etc. If you click on Advanced you will find options on what audio settings you want and whether to encode to DivX or XviD. Standard options here will be XviD and a VBR mp3 at 160kbps. Leave the Output Resolution set to Auto Width as this will remove the black sections above and below the rip on the video if it is not in 4:3 resolution.
Pressing Ctrl + F9 brings up the Expert settings for the programs. It is advisable not to play with these unless you know what you are doing (or have the time to spend playing with them to learn :P)
Finally click Add Job to queue up the encode, and click start to start the process off. If you have multiple rips you can queue these up to start as soon as the first encode finishes but just selecting the new IFO/PGC, going through the options and clicking Add Job again. Be warned that the encode process will take a long time, 2 hours or so for a film even on a modern computer.
Fair Use Wizard
Download Fair User Wizard 2 and install.
Open the program up with the DVD you want to rip in the drive. Choose a name for your rip and a folder to rip into. Click next, choose the DVD drive. You will be presented with a list of video streams on the DVD. Select the one you want (or multiple ones if you are doing a series of episodes of things by holding Control and clicking) and click next. Fair Use Wizard will then rip the files off the DVD.
On the resolution screen that appears after this has completed, make sure you click on the Auto Crop button to remove the black bars above and below the video. After this the options are self explanatory: file size, audio bitrate etc again. Then click finish to start the encode process.
Converting between Video Formats
There are various video editing software available allowing you to convert video files between DVD, Ipod, PSP, XViD and other formats. Here we will concentrate on Avidemux and WinFF.
Avidemux is available at http://avidemux.org/. Firstly download Avidemux, install it and then run it. Now open the source video file, select the output video and audio formats and the file container. If you are not too sure about what formats to use there are default options that you can access from the 'Auto' menu. Once you are happy with your options save the video. Wait for it to encode your video and you're all done!
WinFF is available at http://code.google.com/p/winff/. Firstly download WinFF, install it and run it. Add the source files that you wish to convert into the application, select the format that you wish to convert to and the output directory and click Convert at the top. Wait for it to encode your video and you're all done!