Introduction: How to Copy a CD Game on a Mac

Picture of How to Copy a CD Game on a Mac

**Before you read: However you use this information is up to you, I am not responsible for any trouble caused to you because of this instructable. Period. Also the selling of copied games and/or CDs is illegal, so don't do it.

This instructable will show you how to copy any CD game (for PC or MAC) using terminal, all of this may seem a little complicated for those non-terminal-bashers (if you don't know what this is, its all good, you don't have to, I will explain later on).

Step 1: What You Will Need:

1: A game to copy (duh)

2: A blank CD to copy to

3: A mac computer or laptop with disk burning capabilities

Step 2: Insert the CD

Picture of Insert the CD

What the title said...

Step 3: Open Terminal

Picture of Open Terminal

Ok, for those not handy with the Unix operating language I will give you a quick run through of the basics. Ok, so first of all, all you know on a Mac is a lie, no not really, but kind of... All you see on the screen on the mac is what is called a GUI or Graphical User Interface, which makes everything look shiny and high tech when really, in the background there are thousands of commands running in the background making what happens in the GUI happen, Terminal is just an interface that lets you enter your own commands to interface the System, a few basic commands will let you effectively copy a CD game flawlessly.

To open terminal go to your Applications folder in finder, find the Utilities folder, and then find Terminal which is inside the Utilities folder. (Or do what I usually do: hit the apple key+the space button which opens a search window in the upper right hand corner on your screen then just type "Terminal" and it will pop up in the results list, just double click it and it opens.)

Oh and P.S. Don't worry about the color of your terminal window (the default is black and white) my green and black window is on custom settings.

Step 4: Copy the CD to Your Desktop

Picture of Copy the CD to Your Desktop

Ok, now comes the commands I was talking about so first of all, type in "df" in the window (without the apostrophes) and this will tell you which "Volumes" or mass info storages are "Mounted" or active on your computer, somwhere in that list it should say "/Volumes/YOURGAME" where YOURGAME is the game you are copying. so in the next line you type:

sudo cp -r -v /Volumes/YOURGAME ~/Desktop

For best results just copy and paste, then change YOURGAME to the actual name of the disk.

Before you press the enter key, let me explain what you are doing:
sudo -act as the superuser, because normal users cannot copy CD's or Volumes of any type

cp -r -v -cp means copy, and the two letters after it are flags, telling the command how to act, -r means recursively meaning to apply the action to a folder, not just a single file. And -v means verbose or list the files copied as they are copied.

/Volumes/YOURGAME -Specifies the directory or folder being copied

~/Desktop -Specifies where to copy the folder to

Now that I'm done explaining, copy and paste the command and hit enter, it will ask you for your password, this is because some bad things can be done with the power granted with root abilities, so apple Requires a password for all "sudo" or root commands in order that people cannot mess with the system.
THE LETTTERS IN THE PASSWORD WILL NOT APPEAR AS YOU TYPE THEM, just type your password and hit enter, you will begin to see a lot of text appear in the window, wait untill all of the files have copied, or else you will not be able to play your copied game, and we would not want that, would we.

Step 5: Write the Files to the CD

Picture of Write the Files to the CD

Now you need to eject the game CD and insert the blank CD. Drag and drop the folder that was copied to your desktop to the CD, then double click the blank CD, a window will open, click the button that says "burn CD", burning will begin, when it is done, you have an exact copy of your game! Thank you for Viewing My Instructable, I hope you enjoyed.

P.S. Sometimes you have to use a DVD to copy the game if it is a large game data wise.


TonyD20 (author)2015-06-30

i did it and all that happened after it finished burning was open up finder. Did i do something wrong?

nwal96 (author)TonyD202015-09-06

hey I am having the same problem as you i was wondering if you ever fixed or found another way to do it- Thanks

TonyD20 (author)2015-06-30

Does this damage the original disc at all?

madcoww (author)2010-03-03

 I am copying the name of the game (Battlefield 2142) but it says "no such file or directory" what do i do?

TimerT (author)madcoww2015-04-02

Type: Battlefield\ 2142

spel3o (author)madcoww2010-08-15

Since there is a space inbetween Battlefield and 2142 (haha 42, hitchiker's guide reference aaaanyways) you need to add a back-slash inbetween the two names like this: /Volumes/Battlefield\ 2142

Pothedd (author)2010-08-15

Yea, how do you make this work when the volume has spaces in the name???? Terminal takes the space as an end to the command...

spel3o (author)Pothedd2010-08-15

I had some trouble with that when I was learning terminal too. Spaces are represented with a back-slash after the word with a space. For example: Copy This Cd.dmg would be Copy\ This\ Cd.dmg

TimerT (author)spel3o2015-04-02

yep, but make sure it is backslash not forward slash otherwise it would think of it as a file path

TimerT (author)2015-04-02

how do you know when all the files have copied.

bowduke (author)2013-02-16

it says my disk name is dvd_rom when it should say gta iv but any way i copied and pasted what you said to do and jusst put dvd_rom were u hade your game and all it says is no such thing

boduke (author)2013-02-16

i cant find the game name!

boduke (author)2013-02-16

what software do i need to copy or mack back up disks for xbox 360

Temarius (author)2012-04-12

Now, I know this might sound ridiculous, but when I try to insert both a windows only game and mac compatible ones, is reads it for a bit than ejects it with nothing happening. I don't know if this just because I am running Lion or what... If there is a way to override this so i could copy my games, that would be wonderful. Please help.

spel3o (author)Temarius2012-04-12

If you insert the disk and it immediately ejects then it is most likely corrupted/unreadable. You mentioned that the computer read the disk. Does that mean that you can play the game normally? If so you should be able to use this technique, which by the way, is rather roundabout. This was one of my first Instructables and I made it before I learned about Disk Utility. You can use it to burn images of disks with a lot more ease. Google it.

Temarius (author)spel3o2012-04-12

Sorry I didn't make this more clear. When I insert the disk into my mac, it buzzes, but nothing happens, no disk image pops up or anything, and than it ejects. When I insert it into windows computers however, it works fine and runs through the install so on and so on...

spel3o (author)Temarius2012-04-12

That sounds like a problem with a disk or the drive on the computer.

jbaker22 (author)2012-01-25

Do you know how you can do this with a ps2 game and basically copy the info and put it in Doom so you can play it on your computer?

jrocha3 (author)2011-12-03

Hi! First of all, thank you so much for posting this, it's a really helpful article.

I was trying to copy the sims 3 and the sims 3 expansion packs and did all the steps correctly and worked just fine. I tried to burn The Sims 3 Fast Lane on a cd, cause it's the only one with 2,61G (the others are around 5G and i haven't got the chance to buy the cd's to burn yet) and had to burn it on a windows cause mac would give me error messages when it was analyzing the disc at the end of the burning. So that ended up working fine too, and i installed it on mac. Now, when i was going to play the game it said that i need a cd to play it - the burnt cd is on mac. What am i doing wrong and how can i make it work? sorry for being such a noob, but this is really making me desperate!

bphil9 (author)jrocha32012-01-05

I am trying to copy Sims 3 as well yet I am having trouble. Did you use a CD or DVD? And how long did terminal take to copy all the files? Thanks.

jrocha3 (author)bphil92012-01-05

I used a DVD-RW. The terminal didn't take long to copy the games, the one with 2,62G was really fast and the other took a bit longer, maybe 10mins max. But the problem isn't the terminal part, i think...

bphil9 (author)jrocha32012-01-05

Okay I got it fixed! Thanks! Just one last question - where did you buy a disk big enough to hold all the files?

jrocha3 (author)bphil92012-01-06

I didn't, the dvd i burnt the game (the one with only 2,62Gb) in was a regular dvd (4,7Gb), i guess you could find it anywhere. I'm not gonna buy expensive disks to burn if it won't work in the end. But i know that not every store has those disks, so you can always buy them from ebay or amazon. Good luck and just let me know if it worked for you, maybe i did something wrong, i just wish someone could help me!

bphil9 (author)jrocha32012-01-10

I burned it onto a disk and it said it could not verify the integrity of the installer when I tried to open it :/

kbehymer (author)2011-10-24

Can you do this with xbox 360 games? Or movies?

spel3o (author)kbehymer2011-10-24

I do not own an xbox 360, but I am fairly sure that the disk drives found in PC's will not recognize console disks. I know it didn't recognize my Wii's disks. As far as movies go, it should work fine as long as the movie does not have copyright protection.

Zephyr Wind (author)2011-02-14


TheShawMaestro (author)2009-06-01

A much simpler way to do it would be to use disk utility to make a .DMG. Then it would simply be a matter of selecting the image, and clicking Burn".

spel3o (author)TheShawMaestro2009-07-07

and how exactly would you do that? (sorry, I am not very handy with diskutil)

erikals (author)spel3o2009-12-23

Just google 'Make a disk image in OS X'

Should work for you.

feo007 (author)erikals2011-02-02

Will the cd work on a pc?

spel3o (author)feo0072011-02-06

If everything is done correctly yes. But as stated above by Shaw, diskutility is a *much* easier way to go about this.

feo007 (author)spel3o2011-02-06

Sorry, I meant the disk utilitied cd. I was making a completely legal copy of Myst for a friend and he uses a pc.

spel3o (author)feo0072011-02-08

Great, another myst fan :) Which game is it? realMYST has some trouble sometimes.. (I had to make a copy of the game since I lent the real one to a friend and haven't gotten it back)

anonymouse197 (author)2010-09-06

This is an amazing instructable!!! Thank you so much, GENIUS!

Pothedd (author)2010-08-15

Ha Ha Haa! Success! You are a genius my friend. Thank your for your response, it worked like a charm.

About This Instructable




Bio: All of my life I have been interested in learning the way things work. It was always hard for me to use something and just ... More »
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