DVD-RAM failure with DMR-ES15

I have a new panasonic DMR-ES15 that is destroying DVD-RAM media. The unit is only 10 days old. After recording a program, when I eject the disk a message will come up saying there was a problem with the media and will try to recover. When the recovery process starts, after a few minutes a 'U88" error will appear.

After restarting the unit, the DVD-RAM media is destroyed. The media is no longer recognized by the ES15, it also will NOT allow reformatting.

After repeated calls to Panasonic support, the only fix they suggested is to update to the latest firmware and ONLY use original Panasonic DVD-RAM media. I completed both tasks and system is still destroying discs (both panasonic brand and Maxell). Ironically it also killed the free pana DVD-RAM that came with the unit. I don’t think panasonic can suggest any media more compatible than the one that came free with the unit. I now have a stack of unusable DVD-RAM that I can use as coasters.

Has anyone seen this problem? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. I’ve only heard positive reviews for the ES15 and can’t understand why panasonic is unable to help me. Did I purchase a lemon and need to return for factory warranty service?

Thank you for your help.

David W.
Seattle, WA

I doubt that the discs are “Destroyed”. Rather, the drive is defective and should be returned. The discs are probably still usable in a properly functioning drive.


Thanks for the advice, I returned the ES15 to Frys and got a replacement. I no longer have problems DVD-RAMs, however, the media damaged by the first unit cannot be reformatted by the new ES15, they are just dead… I don’t understand why the format utility can’t write over the error.

Again, thanks for your help


My next step would be to look at the discs in a PC RAM burner. Also, inspect the discs for physical damage.