DMRE85HS dud DVDdrive?

Well it all started when the machine went into self-check after 30 or more mins of dubbing HDD to DVD; the time to failure varied but was always around that period (the DVDr being useless afterwards). Then it started taking longer & longer to start up, doing multiple restarts. now it sits there looking blank and inert, not even getting as far as the self-check.

I have done a little investigation and it sounds as though a relay is operating on power up (in the psu area of the main board). Having disconnected the DVD drive completely (but leaving the loop in/out ribbons connected) the machine does start self-check but unsurprisingly doesn’t get too far.

I then disconnected the ribbons from the interface (drive controller?) board on the underside of the DVD drive assembly to the drive chassis itself, when the assembly is plugged back into the main board…’‘click’ … that relay again, and a blank display.

Now to my ‘old tech’ head, this screams that this interface board whatsit has given it up…

Four questions:
1- Does this sound reasonable or am I on completely the wrong track?
2- does anyone have any idea how much it’s going to cost to get replacement part(s), and is it worth it?
3- Any other thoughts?
4- If there’s no economical point in trying to repair, can I salvage the HDD contents before binning the thing?

Any help would be appreciated…xx A

As a follow up, a bit more delving and it appears this is a rather common fault with this model, and seems to be either the DVD drive or PSU faulty.
Check the following for other peoples tales of woe:

I don’t think I’ll be buying any more Panasonic, as this isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with their products recently.

And they used to have such a [B]good[/B] name too!

Hi, Annie M
This is not an answer to your problem but a sympathitic response. (misery loves company? Or something like that) For no apparent reason my DMR E85H presented an error message on the TV screen then began “self checking”. I was able to download the latest firmware from Panasonic over the internet via my computer and I was able to get the reluctant DVD disk tray to open and to load the update to the unit. But, als, it made no difference. I have sent two emails to panasonic in the last few days with no response. Six months out of warranty, just like many others, its seems. Makes you wonder. I really hate losing this machine, for one thing it cost a lot, and for another I really like it. Maybe someone will come up with a solution. Sorry for you trouble and I’m really sorry for mine. Peace to you and yours, Dan

Hi, as I was reading this thread, it dawned on me you might try getting a duplicate machine from one of the buy and sell used sites “for parts”. I think I’ll try this so, if you are going to try, leave a note here and I will hold off till you get one.

[U]PC World[/U] had an article in sept "06 magazine page 53, called the six rules for rescuing dead gadgets. I think you can see the article on line. Dan Tynan wrote the article, his e-mail is

I have had problems with Panasonic and been lucky they failed within the warranty.
If you are out of warranty, contact the Trading Standards people, they say goods should be ‘of merchantable quality’ or something and should last at least three years. I have used this in the past and had goods replaced.

DvD drives are easy to replace/test?? Many here replace “working” liteon drives with other models for increased reliability–I did, and am much happier with my unit. /// bobbo