With the insane prices map software companies are charging these days for replacement map DVDs (used in DVD-based nav units), it’s a smart idea to create a backup of your nav DVD in case of theft, loss, or damage.
I’ve used the following method to back up the MDV-09D data DVD for an Eclipse nav system, as well as the OEM NAVTEQ DVD for my Cadillac Escalade (which means this approach should work for any GM-based nav DVD backup), and my neighbor’s Toyota Sienna (which means this should work for most Toyotas and Lexus).
What You Need:
- A computer with a DVD+RW drive (a drive that can both read and write DVDs). I’ve successfully used a Samsung TSSTcorp CD/DVDw SH-s183L.
- DVD Decrypter – the original free DVD reading and decrypting software… and still the best.
- ImgBurn – a free, lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application
- A blank dual-layer DVD (look for DVD+R DL on the package). Regular DVD+Rs will only hold 4.7GB of data, which isn’t enough for modern nav discs. A dual layer DVD+R DL will hold up to 8.5GB. I’ve successfully used Memorex DVD+R DL 8X discs, which are read as RITEK-S04-66 in ImgBurn.
Copy the Original Image:
- Put your original nav disc in your DVD+RW drive.
- Open DVD Decrypter. Make sure you’re using version 188.8.131.52 (final).
- From the Mode menu, select ISO, then Read.
- Choose the Destination on your hard drive for the backup image.
- Press the green “Play” button to decrypt and save the data to your computer. Depending on the speed of your DVD+RW drive and the amount of data it needs to read, this could take a while. Eventually, you’ll end up with two files: a large one that ends in .ISO and a small one that ends in .MDS. You’ll need both files later.
- Remove your original nav disc and store it in a safe place.
Burn the Backup Image:
- Insert a blank DVD+R DL disc into your DVD+RW drive.
- Open ImgBurn. These instructions are based on version 184.108.40.206 (released June 16, 2013).
- At the opening screen, select Write Image to Disc.
- If you have more than one DVD+RW drive, set the Destination option to the one that contains the blank disc.
- Click the small book icon in the lower right corner (if you hover your mouse over it, it says Change Book Type…).
- Select the tab for the manufacturer of your DVD+RW drive (check your Windows Device Manager and then Google the device name if you’re unsure of the manufacturer).
- Drop down the Change For: option list and select DVD+R DL Media.
- Drop down the New Setting: option list and select DVD-ROM.
- Press the Change button. You should get a “Success” message.
- Press the OK button to return to the main screen.
- Click the yellow folder icon to select the source file (if you hover if says Browse for a file…).
- Select the .MDS file you created above, which should be stored in the same folder as the .ISO file.
- Change the Write Speed under Settings to 1x (the program might automatically change this later, which is fine).
- Press the large “ISO to Disc” icon on the bottom left side to burn your backup image to the blank DVD.
- The status screen will show you the progress of your burn. How long it takes depends upon a number of factors, including how much memory your system has, how fast your processor is, how many other processes are running, etc. I recommend not doing anything else on your system while the disc is burning, to reduce the chance of messing up the burn.
When the process is complete, take your new backup DVD out to your car to test. If it works, I recommend leaving the copy your car and keeping the original DVD stored in a safe place. If it doesn’t work, discard the unusable backup DVD and try again with a blank one. If it still fails, try searching online for your specific nav disc to see if it uses some extra-special copy-protection and what method(s) might be available for you to make a backup.
Please post in the comments if you’ve successfully backed up your nav disc, and include details on the car and the map DVD type.