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carlday1, Engineer
Category: Recorders and Players
Satisfied Customers: 381
Experience:  Self Employed Electronic Engineer
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I have a number of Panasonic DVD Recording machines. Two or

Customer Question

I have a number of Panasonic DVD Recording machines. Two or three EX85s, two EX95s and one EZ47. Numerous other models are often advertised on, for example, eBay and Amazon.
On some of my machines, the HDD has failed or is just faulty, and in others, the HDD is good but the DVD-RAM drive has failed.
My local repairer ['Electro' in Molesey] tells me that a new DVD drive now costs around £300.00, so I therefore need to know, please, which of these various machines contains interchangeable components, i.e.the HDD and/or the DVD-RAM drives. The machines are being advertised at less than the alleged cost of just the DVD drive.
I might mention in passing that I have been having a lot of trouble recently with these machines. I get a message about possibly scratched discs - it doesn't say whether this is the DVD drive, HDD drive or the DVD-R, which I have just put in the machine. When this occurs and the machine has 'cured' the problem, it has often either completely wiped the existing recordings from the DVD-R or rendered the remainder or the whole thing incapable of finalising. Why does it do this? It is extremely irritating and rather poor for such expensive machines.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Recorders and Players
Expert:  carlday1 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer my name is ***** ***** I will help with your question.
I will try to help as much as I can. The hard drives in all the machines are very likely to be inter changeable physically but the hard is likely to store the firmware for the machine so a ex85 hard should fit into another ex 85 and work but that is unlikely to be the case between ex85 and ex95, hard drives tend to be one of two types you may find the older machines have a PATA drive and the newer machines have a SATA drive. You may find that the data on the hard drives is not recoverable and if you swap a hard drive the machine may ask to format the drive.
I have seen a lot of the panasonic range of dvd recorders with failed lasers and drive I do feel that they never choose the greatest laser and some do seem to fail quicker than others.
I am sorry but I don't think any of the DVD drives are inter changeable the ex75 and ex85 have the same drive but I am sure the EX95 has a different DVD drive in it.
I do feel £300 is a bit excessive, I know they are not cheap drives and the laser for the drive I am sure was around £70 last time I looked. Are you able to get me any photos of the dvd drive inside your unit. I may be able to help you find a replacement laser for the drive and maybe bring them back to life.
I think when the machine gives a message about a scratched disc it is referring to the dvd disc and not the dvd drive or the hard drive. I feel it thinks the way of correcting the scratched disc is by reformatting it and burning over all the data on it.
I this helps please get back to me with any more questions or if you are unsure about something.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for this. Much of it confirms what I had already thought. Two further points arise, however: 1. How do I (easily) open one of these machines to photograph the DVD drive and will I know which bit it is inside the machine? 2. Regarding the correction of a scratched disc, the machine will not allow me to withdraw the faulty disc before it has 'corrected' (i.e. usually ruined) it. How can I extract it before this happens?


Thank you.


P.S. Once these particular issues are sorted, please be kind enough to cancel the direct debit which I believe was set up before I could get any answers!