Panasonic DMR-EX98V problem with DVD player

beestyboy

Novice Member
I have a Panasonic DMR-EX98V which I bought I think in 2009. The DVD player stopped working a few years back. It gave an error while burning a DVD and after that it signalled that a DVD was loaded even though one wasn’t, and gave the NOREAD error when a DVD was loaded. I researched that at the time and followed the suggested cleaning procedure (spindle and laser) with no luck. I can’t recall the original error code at the time, perhaps a U8x?

The unit must be well and truly reset as it hadn’t been powered up for at least two years. It almost went to the dump when I moved home back in 2018, but I just felt that it still had some life in it, plus it had a lot of old recordings on the HDD and it could play a VHS – so it was reprieved.

I recently decided as part of my lockdown madness 😜 to dig it out and have another go, so I plugged the old unit in and amazingly it powered up. It took a l-o-n-g time to reach the ready state, but it got there in the end. I think the slowness was down to the clock not being set.

I popped in a VHS cassette and that played. Noisy, and a poor picture, but that’s how it was back then!
The HDD still had a lot of recordings on it and that played just fine.
The SD card slot I didn’t try, I don’t think I’ve ever used it.
The DVD player failed to work, as I expected. The display on the machine shows the disc symbol even when no DVD is present. It also shows the letter D for Digital broadcast indicator which shows when the unit is receiving digital broadcast or TV Guide data – that was odd because there was no aerial attached. Maybe I misunderstood that part.
If I put a DVD in (I tried a couple of manufactured pre-recorded discs as well as some user recordings) I get NoREAD showing on the machine, with Cannot read. Please check the disc. on the TV.

As I mentioned, the DVD failed some years back when it was in the process of burning a disc and it’s never worked since. From other similar threads I suspect the laser is a goner. I am thinking that as the machine thinks there’s a disc already present then I suppose it’s the laser which has decided that? It seems that on this forum way back in 2012 it was suggested that one could obtain and fit a replacement laser part for around £50.

My next step this time around was to look at section 7 of the service manual. So, I put the device into service mode and came up with:
Latest error code F00 – i.e. no error history information;
RAM drive last error – error no. NO 01, last drive error – 040990 (04 = bad disc or drive malfunction).
INFO****** never displayed, so the past 19 error histories were not accessible (as I expected really after all this time).
Laser power confirmation (with DVD-RAM disc inserted) just displayed NODISC even though a disc was inserted. The same disc when loaded outside of service mode gave the NoREAD error.

I then tried a DVD cleaning disc but I don’t think it ever started to ‘play’.

So now I tried the spindle and laser cleaning process again. I removed the main cover off the player (a bit dusty inside but not too bad), then the cover off the DVD drive and cleaned the spindle and laser, neither of which appeared dirty.

But still no luck with playing a DVD I’m afraid. I took some photos and videos and they are at https://photos.app.******/TGEzjvX8aFooPapX6 . Needless to say, it was my smartphone looking at the laser, not me. It seems the laser is working and the disc does spin, albeit very briefly, so at least the drive mechanism seems to be working. It looks to me that the machine is doing a quick scan of the disc to make sure it’s readable and decides it isn’t? Then again, the machine always thinks there’s a disc in there regardless.

All advice appreciated. Thank you.

Cheers, Steve
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Welcome to the forum.

The laser is a combined CD and DVD dual laser.
All the symptoms you have given indicate that the DVD laser has failed and will not be redeemable.
If you can still see a working laser it must be the CD laser showing.

Either the laser module or the drive would need to be replaced to get the unit working again.

Spares are the problem. If you can get the laser number ( starts with 'RAF') you might find a supplier from China if you do some searching... or get one from a second hand machine.
 
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beestyboy

Novice Member
Welcome to the forum.

The laser is a combined CD and DVD dual laser.
All the symptoms you have given indicate that the DVD laser has failed and will not be redeemable.
If you can still see a working laser it must be the CD laser showing.

Either the laser module or the drive would need to be replaced to get the unit working again.

Spares are the problem. If you can get the laser number ( starts with 'RAF') you might find a supplier from China if you do some searching... or get one from a second hand machine.
Thank you Gavtech for your welcome and prompt response. I will see what I can find out about the laser number and the availability of a replacement.
 
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Gavtech

Administrator
Regarding the second hand route, any of the machines from the same group of machines are likely use the same drive/ laser. i.e. DMR EX768, DMR-EX78, DMR- EX88.

The laser number is usually on a white sticker on the underside. RAF may not be present on the sticker.

It may be RAF 3331, RAF 3332, RAF 3336 or similar and may have a suffix such as A-C
 
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beestyboy

Novice Member
Thank you, I'll be looking at the machine again presently.
I did try a CD, that aso gave the NoREAD error.
 
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beestyboy

Novice Member
I have removed the laser sled and the label shows:
3332AC
61 C
8629J
60742
-07+09
I can see a new 3336AC on ebay and all the other numbers and letters on the label are different so I'm guessing that wouldn't work for me?
No sign of a 3332AC anywhere yet.
 
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