The problem with my newer model Panasonic dvd recorder turned out to have an easy fix, and for it I am grateful.
The problem was its reluctance to read the big deal Panasonic RAM discs. I prefer these discs for a variety of reasons including they last a great long time. But they are a precision item and there's no margin for error when it comes to them being used.
A few years ago the machine started making funny noises when I'd load one or after a power interruption. I heard whining and grinding and a few other noises that were unsettling at best.
It read any other brand of disc just fine.
I ran an cleaning disc through that I used for my CD player. It did nothing.
I kept opening and closing the door and finally the disc was read.
I knew enough to leave things alone until power failure forced me to play with it again.
Last year it did. I found a forum where a similar problem was described and solved. It said the spindle that holds onto the disc was dirty and offered cleaning methods. I tried the simple, non-invasive method.
It didn't work.
But I eventually got the machine to read the disc just by opening and closing the disc door.
Then a few weeks ago the power went off and with it, my patience. I tried a few times to get the disc read, gave up, and put in a cheaper disc.
I went back to the forum and read what to do. I took the main cover off it and cleaned inside, then debated whether to pop the lid on the disc drive and clean the spindle.
I decided to wait. I had a nagging feeling to try a cleaning disc again. Said disc only cleans the lens, not the spindle, but it certainly wasn't going to hurt anything to try it.
Also, it nagged a bit that a simple power failure messed things up. The disc hadn't been moved so it should have stayed grabbed.
I wanted a new cleaning disc. There not so easy to find, but they do exist.
After using it I tried the RAM disc. It read it fine.
I am grateful as all get out, but I must confess I was looking forward to popping the drive hood and cleaning the spindle.
I can't help but feel a bit cheated.
The Big Idea: Paul Cornell
2 hours ago