Can a DVD-RAM disk be re-formatted?

I’ve got a Panasonic DVD recorder/tuner DMR-EZ47V that seems to eat DVD-RAM disks. They record and play back fine for a couple of months and then the recorder doesn’t recognize them any more.

If I put in new DVD-RAM media, it works fine, until it no longer reads the disk, usually after a couple of months.

I was able to get it to read a disk again after reinstalling the last firmware update, but that means having to do the whole set up and put in my program schedule again. Too much time taken.

So my main question: is there some way to reformat a DVD-RAM disk, or do they have a limited life and it’s a lost cause? Since the recorder doesn’t recognize the disk, I can’t format it in that device. But I have a DVD-RAM compatible drive in my PC.

Or could it be my recorder that’s the problem? It’s 2 years old, out of warranty, and it would cost more than $175 to send it to the mainland from Hawaii and pay the minimum repair charge, plus any cost for parts.

Fingers crossed.

joro

Hi,

DVD-RAM can be reformatted. You need a computer and a DVD-RAM capable drive for that job. For video application, UDF2.0x should be chosen. You may need 3rd party software for that task (Windows 7 should be able for this out-of-the-box).

Michael

Thanks mciahel. That’s what I needed to know.

My Windows 7 machine DVD drive is not DVD-RAM capable, but my old XP machine has a drive that is. Nero 6 is on that machine, and I think it has UDF 2.0x format ability.

I’ll try to format a few of the disks that have ‘died’ and see if any will work in my recorder.

Sadly, after formatting the ‘dead’ DVD-RAM disks with Nero as UDF 2.01, they still were not recognized by the recorder. I [I]was[/I] able to format a DVD+RW disk as UDF2.1 in my Windows7 machine, and then the recorder formatted it again its own way. That disk is now able to record, which is my original objective. As they say - when you’re up to your %#* in alligators, sometimes it’s hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp.

I’ve got some DVD-RAM media on order at my local shop, and when they come in, I’ll see if they work OK in the recorder. If not, I’ll just use DVD+RW media.

Try to use ImgBurn to do a FULL erase to see if this make the disc usable again in the DVD recorder :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=geno888;2540401]Try to use ImgBurn to do a FULL erase to see if this make the disc usable again in the DVD recorder :)[/QUOTE]

I can’t figure out how to erase in ImgBurn.

The new DVD-RAM media that I ordered came in. I put one in and it reads and writes fine. I was convinced the recorder was bad, but with the new media it’s working OK.

Go into Write mode and you then have 3 choices.

  1. Click the little Erase button just below the drive selection box.
  2. Right click the drive selection box and select Erase -> Full
  3. Click the Tools menu at the top -> Drive -> Erase -> Full

I’d rather use Panasonic’s software to deal with DVD-RAM, another option would be Latest version on InCD.

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2540648]I’d rather use Panasonic’s software to deal with DVD-RAM, another option would be Latest version on InCD.

Michael[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Michael.

I’m not aware of any software that Panasonic has available for this task. I checked their website, couldn’t find any. If you have a link, it would be appreciated.

Since the Panasonic recorder won’t recognize the disk, it can’t reformat it.

I’m wondering what would cause a DVD-RAM disk to no longer be recognized by the recorder after a while. In my PC’s DVD drive (DVD-RAM compatible), the disk reads fine. The only thing I can think of is that the recorder is glitchy/fussy/broken.

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2540651]Thanks, Michael.

I’m not aware of any software that Panasonic has available for this task. I checked their website, couldn’t find any. If you have a link, it would be appreciated.
[/quote]Search Panasonic Toughbook support site for DVD-RAM drivers. Do not run the setup, you have to extract the files (with 7-zip) until you have access to the language dependant folders. Run the setup which is inside. :slight_smile:

As already stated, InCD from Nero.com is the other option - but never have both installed at the same time!

I’m wondering what would cause a DVD-RAM disk to no longer be recognized by the recorder after a while.
Perhaps wear or dust. The computer drive might have better reading capabilities.

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2540653]

As already stated, InCD from Nero.com is the other option - but never have both installed at the same time!

Michael[/QUOTE]

I’ve already tried InCD. It formats in the correct mode, but it puts some Nero files on the disk which the recorder doesn’t like and apparently causes it to reject the disk.

Thanks for the Panasonic link. I’ll try that.

joro

[QUOTE=geno888;2540401]Try to use ImgBurn to do a FULL erase to see if this make the disc usable again in the DVD recorder :)[/QUOTE]

Sadly, that didn’t work. With the latest version of ImgBurn, I did the full erase and when I put the erased DVD-RAM disk in the recorder, it flashed "incompatible disk’.

I put a new DVD-RAM disk in and it read and wrote perfectly.

This is puzzling. Can the recorder trash DVD-RAM media over a couple of months?

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. I’m an ImgBurn fan from way back and I’ll keep using it for the other things it does so well.

joro

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2540659]I’ve already tried InCD. It formats in the correct mode, but it puts some Nero files on the disk
[/QUOTE]:confused: Seems as if you had chosen some special options :eek: Make sure you have the latest version (6.6, IIRC) installed.

Michael

Sorry that it didn’t work :frowning:

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2540701]
This is puzzling. Can the recorder trash DVD-RAM media over a couple of months?[/QUOTE]

All rewritable media can be burned a limited amount of times. Even if manufacturers “guarantee” that is possible to re-write a disc thousands of times, in the best event only a couple of hundreds of times is a more realistic figure.

RAM discs are no exception, and after a certain amount of writing, also these discs eventually becomes unusable.

I can’t say if the player caused this quick end of life for the disc, but theoretically seems possible.

Did you use always the same brand of discs? Did you notice some brands more prone to become unreadable after a short time? How many times did you rewrite usually a disc?

[QUOTE=mciahel;2540804]:confused: Seems as if you had chosen some special options :eek: Make sure you have the latest version (6.6, IIRC) installed.

Michael[/QUOTE]

I couldn’t do it in the latest InCD, so I went to a live chat with Nero and they told me that their software (none of it) will reformat a DVD-RAM disk.

I guess DVD-RAM media can’t be reformatted. Too bad, I’ve got a pile of not very old ‘dead’ disks here. :sad:

All the suggestions and support are appreciated. Thanks.

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2540958]I couldn’t do it in the latest InCD, so I went to a live chat with Nero and they told me that their software (none of it) will reformat a DVD-RAM disk.[/quote]:eek: :confused: Huh? Okay. Then ditch it and use Panasonic’s DVD-RAM driver.

I guess DVD-RAM media can’t be reformatted.
DVD-RAM is “hard sectored”. Formatting a DVD-RAM means, a file system (FAT32, UDF etc.) is written onto the disc plus some testing/verification is done.

Michael

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2540958]I couldn’t do it in the latest InCD, so I went to a live chat with Nero and they told me that their software (none of it) will reformat a DVD-RAM disk.[/QUOTE]Fata Morgana screenshot:


Aloha Michael,

That screen shot is a revelation. Especially after the tech chat person at Nero said it couldn’t be done with any Nero app. (What do [I]they[/I] know?)

Then I d/l and installed InCD 6.5, and it let me format the DVD-RAM, but the recorder still didn’t recognize it.

I also found Panasonic/Matsushita software that formats DVD-RAM (among others). Format DVD-RAM disks. When I installed it and tried to use it, my XP machine froze.

When I have the time, I’m going to move the DVD-RAM drive, currently in the old XP machine, to the Win7 64-bit machine and then put InCD 6.6 on it (I have 6.5.5, but couldn’t use it because it didn’t have the DVD-RAM drive ).

I’ll let you know how that works.

[QUOTE=joelrosado;2541290]
Then I d/l and installed InCD 6.5, and it let me format the DVD-RAM, but the recorder still didn’t recognize it.[/quote]Okay.

I also found Panasonic/Matsushita software that formats DVD-RAM (among others). When I installed it and tried to use it, my XP machine froze.

But you had uninstalled InCD before?
A slightly newer version of the Panasonic software is available from Toshiba. Simply Ask Iris for DVD-RAM drivers and grab the latest.

From my personal experience, Panasonic’s drivers often have issues if the drive is connected to a controller that is not handled by MS standard drivers.

Michael

[QUOTE=mciahel;2541314]Okay.

A slightly newer version of the Panasonic software is available from Toshiba.
Michael[/QUOTE]

Thanks. Got that newer version, installed it and it opened OK. Put in a ‘dead’ DVD-RAM disk (tried it eventually on three of them, just in case one of the disks was physically bad) and waited an hour and a half for each to format. A window said the format was successful.

But when I put the disks in the recorder, it rejected them as incompatible. (Sometimes it won’t like the way the disk is formatted and will offer to format it its own way, but these are just rejected.)

I’ll get more new media when the current DVD-RAM disk ‘dies’, but my curiosity has me wondering why these are fine one day and not compatible the next, sometimes without having recorded or played back anything in the interim.

Could the recorder be killing them? Maybe that’s just a rhetorical question, but scratching my head about this is going to wear me a bald spot until I find out. :confused:

joro