Help with inoperative DMR-EH50

I have a DMR-EH50, which has operated basically unsatisfactorily ever since everything went to 16x media. Recently, it had gotten where most anytime I went to eject a disc, particularly after recording to it, I would have to go through approximately 10 minutes of “Self Check”, “Please Wait”, “Error has occured, please press ENTER”, “Please check the disc”, “Please change the disc”, etc. Usually at least four of those five messages each time.

By the way, I did install a firmware update several months ago. I had tried burning the update from Panasonic’s website to CD in every possible format with no success, and when I e-mailed Panasonic about it, their only response was to mail me a CD of the upgrade, which installed successfully, but made little to no difference in the operation of the unit.

Having become fed up with the unit’s recent performance, I decided to open it up to look into the possibility of switching out the DVD drive, as I’ve previously done on a LiteOn recorder with excellent results. Well, as I discovered, and some of you are probably aware, the drive on the EH50 doesn’t exactly match a generic DVD burner, and this was likely not a feasible plan. Nonetheless, as long as I had the thing apart, I went ahead to see what would happen if I took the data cable that was attached to the built-in drive and instead attached it to the port that it would fit into on a standard DVD burner. I believe this would be either the mono or digital audio output on the drive, while powering this external drive with a normal computer power supply. Yeah, it was a dumb thing to do, but I was guessing it probably wouldn’t do any harm, which was probably a wrong assumption on my part.

Anyway, all it would do if I tried to start up the EH50 on this configuration was a never ending “Please Wait”. If I’m recalling correctly, it would give that message with the external drive connected to the data cable, whether the drive had power or not. The EH50 would do nothing at all if I plugged in the unit without having anything whatsoever attached to drive data cable.

So, having no success therein, I put everything back together the normal way, hoping to at least return to the unit’s normal substandard operation. It was somewhat difficult getting the drive’s power ribbon-cable reconnected, but I believe I have properly done so, along with the data cable. I also performed continuity tests on the ribbon cable, and while it would be difficult to ensure continuity on every single connection, I know that some are working and have no specific evidence that any have been broken.

However, now, no matter what I try, when the unit is plugged in, all it will do is endlessly display the “Please Wait” message on the front panel, and does not respond to anything. Is it likely that I have damaged or burned out some component? Does it sound like I just have something connected improperly?

Any advice that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated, as there are no shortage of items on the HDD that I would be interested in retrieving. I’ll consider taking it to a service center, but I would rather make the repairs myself, if possible.

Aside from the data on the HDD, it would be nice to have the unit working again, but that’s not something I’d put much money into in itself, as I’d rather buy a unit that will transfer digitally from DVD to HDD. Speaking of which, I see on page 43 of the manual that the EH50 supposedly will high speed dub to HDD from DVD-RW recorded in DVD-VR mode, which is not the mode that the EH50 records in. I have tried this with discs from another recorder made in that format, but to no avail. Has anyone ever had success in this?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Sorry to say all what you did may make you SOL with making the unit work again. Some out places may be able to recover what was on the HDD. When the unit did not work with 16x media you should have tried other media rather then take the drive apart.

If it matters, I think I was mistaken before about the two cables. Based on the connections to the hard drive, I’d say that probably the ribbon cable is the data cable and the 4-pin is the power. I was thinking the ribbon was power because I got a lot of sparks from it at one point, accidentally touching something to it before I noticed that it existed.

So, basically, all I did that was abnormal was to attach the power connector to an audio output of an external drive that was already powered. I’d think that if anything would be damaged, it would have been that drive, but I could be wrong. Perhaps something got blown with that sparking. The fuse over by the main power connector tests fine, though.

Anyway, if I can’t get the thing working, as long as nothing’s wrong with the HDD, I could just buy another EH50 and put it in there, right? Not to say that I want to purchase another of these units that can’t burn discs worth c**p anyway…

you are not the first or the last who tried to fix a problem then made all things worse.
This time you may be SOL and the whole DMR-EH50 may be BIN bound. We all live and learn sparking is not a good sign (mainboards can be trash with even the smallest one). You may be able to save what is on the HDD, but who knows. :frowning:

OK, thanks for the input. Hey, I’ve read on here that if you put a new drive in the EH50, and it’s able to recognize it, that it’ll insist on reformatting it. Does that only apply to drives not formatted for the EH50’s file system, or is it in all cases? I’d be a bit surprised if the unit contains a long-term memory device independent of the HDD which is capable of causing a properly formatted drive to be rejected.

I would guess if you put the old HDD into a new HE50 all would be OK, If the drive was not damaged, any new HDDs would need to be formatted before use. But alot depends on how much damage you did to the HE50.

I would sugested that the EH50 might well keep a record of the harddrive id. Number in an EEPROM.
Just like a printer knows that you have taken an empty print cartridge out and refilled it. If this is true, then the likly default behaviour of the EH50 on finding a new hard drive installed would be to format it regardless of whether the new drive was : already correctly formated : or contained video data

I also own a EH50, that is making nasty sounds from the dvd drive :doh: