Mini DV tape damage/blue screen


Novice Member
Please can someone help me because I am so worried right now.
I have approx 40 mini dv tapes that have been accidentally stored in the shed for a couple of years after I thought they were boxed and indoors.
They have been back inside for months and the box that they were in smells a bit mouldy but the tapes don’t appear to be mouldy.
I have tried to play the tapes and they are coming up with a blue screen with the odd one showing a distorted picture.
Please please can someone give me some advice of what I can do as these tapes are of my children aged 0-5 years old and they are all the video footage I have of them.
I cannot put a price on getting this precious footage back I’m desperate. 😢


Well-known Member
First thing you must do is keep them in a warm room for several hours and let the inevitable condensation evaporate away BEFORE you load any tapes into a machine.

I would suggest then that you run each tape forward to the Ned (without playing it) and then re-wind. This is to unstick any tapes and allow them to run freely. You can then try to play them and see what results you get before considering anything else.


Novice Member
It’s really weird because the tapes don’t look damaged at all apart from a little where you lift the flap at the top of the tape and even then it’s only some that are like that.
And when I rewind/forward wind them they run freely without sticking.
what would you suggest that I do next to try to save them? (And thank you for your quick reply)


Distinguished Member
I would imagine the head has clogged. You need a cleaning tape, as the heads are too fragile for manual cleaning.

The latest video from AVForums

Sony A90J & A80J OLED and X90J & X95J BRAVIA XR TV Line-up & Features: Sony Interview
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom