TV/VCR/Stereo Troubleshooting/Panasonic DMR-EZ485V
I found exactly same case as mine on internet as copy/pasted on this mail.
The model no of mine is panasonic DMR-EZ485V,DVD Recorder.
Your estimastion and suggestion will be appreciated very much.
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TV/VCR/Stereo Troubleshooting/DVD Recorder not reading disks
Expert: cleggsan - 3/14/2009
QUESTION: I saw your response to someone earlier and you said to him to let you know if what you suggested didn't work. So I thought I would give it a try. My DVD recorder (a Panasonic DVD Recorder/VCR combo) just stopped reading disks. I have searched all over the internet for ideas. I have used a disk cleaner. I have inserted it and re-inserted it many times. I opened the DVD player up to clean it. (I used a q-tip with alcohol over the laser and cleared out a tiny bit of dust.) I have left it unplugged for at least 30 minutes. I have tried different disks. I opened and closed the DVD drawer when it had no disk in it several times. I called Panasonic and they said it needed to be repaired. But I wonder if I just did something that messed up some thing that could be fixed, because..... this all started right after I did something that I hadn't done before. I had used a DVD in my laptop to back up some data. I then erased those files (on my computer) because I wanted to use the DVD again for TV programs. (Which I then decided was a bad idea.) I put that DVD into the DVD player and got a message that it needed to be formatted. I went to format it and at that point it stopped reading any disks. I saw something online about resetting DVD players - and sometimes that meant leaving it unplugged, but other people seemed to suggest there was a longer process. But I couldn't find more on that. It just seems like something went haywire when I put the disk in and I would like to see if I can fix that. Thanks for your help. Robin
ANSWER: My vote goes for a bad or weak laser diode inside the optical pickup assembly. WHy? When you put in the recordable disc and tried to reformat it the diode became stressed because the format mode requires much, much more power to this diode and it was probably overpowered. This happens in a small percentage of cases because the laser diode is a semiconductor type of device and they are produced on a yield basis; in other words, they are not all the same and some are more perfect than others.
So, that is my vote. It could be for other reasons, of course, but the symptoms are more closely to a bad diode than anything.
But, the problem is replacement of the optical pickup is very costly and depending on how much you paid for the model you have it may be cheaper to just buy a new player/recorder. In some cases a bad bump to the player can cause the optical pickup to go far out of adjustment - which is corrected with an alignment procedure, also very expensive.
Sorry I don't have better news for you.
PS: Did you check the owners manual to see if there any suggestions in the troubleshooting section?
PPS: Don't use any cleaning agent on the head or discs. Water only on discs and g-tip dry on the pickup lens. Alcohol will ruin the lens.
PPS: BTW, there are several reset procedures for Panasonic recorders. If you pulled the disc out before the formatting had completed you may have to do a special reset to bring the software back to a normal mode. See your manual for this procedure.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you so much for your quick response. This whole thing is very frustrating. I did look in the manual and there was no help at all with this including no information that you mentioned in your second PPS. I was just resigning myself to the reality of buying a new unit and felt some relief in knowing that I wasn't just missing something. However, I just became aware of something else that is huge. I have many disc I have recorded buy not finalized. I am assuming that they can't be viewed on a new machine. Is that true? That would lead me to try to get this one repaired. Do you have any idea how expensive the repairs you are talking about might be? Thank you for your help. Robin
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Without the model number I cannot give you a better guesstimate of remedy. However, if the optical assembly needs replacement the cost is quite huge; probably around $200 plus or minus.
If the discs are not finalized they should be able to be finalized in a new machine, especially if you were to get the same model or one similar to it from Panasonic.
Some players will play the unfinished discs - which would allow you to retrieve the contents and start over on new discs - if not continue on the old discs.
So let me know the model number if you need more thoughts.
Question: Does your DMR-EZ485V play music cds okey? Does it play movie dvds? Is the problem just that is won't record dvd discs?
Comment: The power to the laser diode is very low for reading cds. It is much higher for reading dvds. It is much, much higher to record either music cds or dvds!
If you have a weak laser diode, a very common problem, it is possible this is the cause of your trouble. A new or realigned laser diode can cost $100 or more for repair!
Let me know more after checking the playback of cds and dvd movie discs.