Panasonic DMR-EX85 won't read DVD RAM disks any longer

stevebrooker

Standard Member
My Panasonic DMR-EX85 HDD/DVD recorder which has performed brilliantly for two years has developed a glitch.

It will no longer read any of the DVD-RAMs onto which I have stored many hours of TV recordings.

The same DVD-RAMs can be read by another Panasonic DVD (non HDD) recorder with no issues at all so the disks are fine. As I would expect, they being DVD-RAM cartridges.

The EX85 still reads DVD-RW and DVD-R with no problems.

All advice welcome:lease:
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Hi Steve

Can you describe what happens when it tries to initialise the disc... and what messages are returned - if any.
Are there any noises - and can you describe those too

It would do not harm to eradicate the small possibility of OS corruption by doing a power reset. [ Disconnect from mains for 5 or 10 minutes ]
 

stevebrooker

Standard Member
Gavtech

I tried a power cycle off/on, but not perhaps for as long as you suggest. I shall try that this evening.

I am not at home right now, so I can't ley you know the exact error message information, however it eventually said that the disk cannot be read.

You can hear some noises from the machine as it tries to read the disk, which it takes a long time trying to do (over a minute) but I am not sure how to discribe them.

Steve
 

Gavtech

Administrator
You can hear some noises from the machine as it tries to read the disk, which it takes a long time trying to do (over a minute) but I am not sure how to discribe them.

Steve

Have a look at this thread generally, linked below, and particularly posts 3 and 4 to see if it tallies with your experience.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=746079

There is an explanation there of a possible remedy, if this is the kind of problem the machine is suffering - which is quite possible.
The machine has had an appropriate length of service life and the problem described there often occurs with RAM discs first.
 

stevebrooker

Standard Member
Thanks for the suggestion

I have read the other forum and if the sounds I get are similiar then I will give it a go. I will let you know how I get on but it probably won't be for a few days.

Steve
 

stevebrooker

Standard Member
Gavtech

I'ts taken a while but earlier today I took of the top, opened up the DVD drive, found the black ring covered with dust, cleaned it and put everything back together.

Result - no change! I was so hopeful...

It still reads all disks except DVD-RAMs. The DVD-RAMs all work perfectly in another Panny DVD recorder but not in this one.

They all get error message Cannot read disk, please check the disk and "No Read" on the front panel display.

There are a variety of sounds whilst it tries for about a minute to read the disk. Some of these are quiet "graunching sounds", nothing violent and some are quiet ticking.

Any other ideas. I do not want to incur a large charge by returning it to Panny for repair as it is no longer under guarantee.

Thanks for the previous idea. Pity it did not work.

Steve
 

mandm

Novice Member
Hi Gavtech, how are you mate?
I am having similar problem with my EX75, it will not read/recognise any disk (RAM or no RAM). Before i give your solution a ago, assume its applicable to 75 too?
cheers
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Gavtech

I'ts taken a while but earlier today I took of the top, opened up the DVD drive, found the black ring covered with dust, cleaned it and put everything back together.

Result - no change! I was so hopeful...

It still reads all disks except DVD-RAMs. The DVD-RAMs all work perfectly in another Panny DVD recorder but not in this one.

They all get error message Cannot read disk, please check the disk and "No Read" on the front panel display.

There are a variety of sounds whilst it tries for about a minute to read the disk. Some of these are quiet "graunching sounds", nothing violent and some are quiet ticking.

Any other ideas. I do not want to incur a large charge by returning it to Panny for repair as it is no longer under guarantee.

Thanks for the previous idea. Pity it did not work.

Steve

Yes it is a pity.

Have you used / played any or all of these RAM discs in a PC at all? - It doesn't sound like you have from your report, but I ask because certain LG writers have been found to cause problems [ changing some flags ] with RAM discs. [ Since they play OK in another machine this seems almost certainly not the issue ]

That fact that it is only RAM discs suggest there is something especially challenging about reading them at the initialisation stage.

I do not have any good information about the requirements, but it maybe that the laser current requirement is higher when reading RAMs... and the fact that it struggles, may be down to the laser having aged and just not being capable of the needed output.... or the power supply struggles when having to feed a critically higher current output.

This could perhaps be caused by failing capacitors in the Power Supply section - which can give themselves away by leaking or having bulging tops .... or by voltage sub-regulators failing which is usually invisible but sometimes betray by having overheated leaving heatmarks as an indicator.
[ Is your machine in a stack? ...or perhaps poorly ventilated ]

But this is all speculation on my part. I've not heard of a pattern of failure yet in the EX75 / 85 series.
I would not have thought OS corruption could be the problem [ once fully reset] but who knows.

Anything which improves the optical link is worthwhile so perhaps cleaning the laser lens [ very carefully] may improve matters....but the fact that other discs are not affected suggests that is not the issue.

It is difficult to suggest the best strategy here... because failures of this sort, if they mean replacement of the DVD drive, are prohibitively expensive and are usually uneconomic unless under guarantee or insurance.

You could have a look at this thread and see if the approach suggested there might bear fruit:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=711820


Good luck.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Hi Gavtech, how are you mate?
I am having similar problem with my EX75, it will not read/recognise any disk (RAM or no RAM). Before i give your solution a ago, assume its applicable to 75 too?
cheers


Hi mandm

There is no reason why it would not be. Conceivably the problem could affect any DVDR, if laser lock cannot be achieved because of disc slippage.... but it should betray itself by a slipping noise after the drive does a speed arrest.

If you hear 'clunking' that tends not to be a good sign [ The laser cannot get any data off the disc at all and aimlessly clunks from one end of the laser sled to the other trying to find contact. ]
That usually requires replacement.

As no discs work you have nothing to lose by trying I suppose...Also see my notes to Steve above.
If you do go in, while you are there, try cleaning the laser lens carefully with a dry cotton bud.

Once you have the top of the drive off, don't move anything in the drive apart from the laser sled. [ Moving the disc platform wheel is OK whilst you are cleaning the rubber on it. ]

Good luck.
 
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mandm

Novice Member
Well i tried the above method but no luck for me, even i cleaned the rubber seal twice but the grinding noise continued and 'disk read' error appeared.

I guess next stop has to be pana dealer!
 

mandm

Novice Member
It's always good to bring a dead thread alive :D
Anyway i i took the box to the local dealer and sadly the guy said your dvd drive has gone and you need replacement :mad:
As i have a lot of stuff on the HD (not backed up of course) was wondering what would be the best way to get my stuff off the hard drive, before HD goes belly up! Is it possible to get a replacement unit a reasonable cost?
cheers guys
 

Gavtech

Administrator
It's always good to bring a dead thread alive :D
Anyway i i took the box to the local dealer and sadly the guy said your dvd drive has gone and you need replacement :mad:
As i have a lot of stuff on the HD (not backed up of course) was wondering what would be the best way to get my stuff off the hard drive, before HD goes belly up! Is it possible to get a replacement unit a reasonable cost?
cheers guys

By replacement unit I presume you mean a replacement DVD Drive?

Unfortunately these are exceedingly expensive and are not usually economic to replace so it depends on what you intend to do next.

If you intend to buy a replacement machine instead of fixing your existing machine you can simply feed out the programmes and record them on the new machine, albeit it would be in real time only.

However, have you considered contacting Panasonic about this? Your EX85 cannot be very old and irrespective of the guarantee position Panasonic are known to be sympathetic to this problem and have picked up the bulk of replacement costs in most cases.

I'll find threads about it if you wish to pursue that avenue.
 

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