I have been having a ongoing problem with a LVW-5101 that I recieved 2 Christmas’s ago. At first it worked fine, when the new firmware came out I flashed it and it worked even better. I had not used in long time and now when I try to record to it one of two things happens either it starts and stops immediately or after a while it gives a disc error and stops. Also if I put a DVD Movie in it gives a invalid disc error. Is there a cure or should I just toss it out?
Welcome to the forum
As you mention that the recorder worked fine up until you left it idle for a while, to me it seems like it may be just a dust bulid on the laser lens or tracking. For a start, I would recommend using a laser lens cleaning disc or a wet/dry disc without any fluid (as these tend to have larger brushes). Unfortunately, if the DVD recorder cannot recognise or play an audio CD, then chances are that you will need to dismantle it in order to clean the lens.
I have heard of people having success using a wet/dry cleaning disc, but you need to use a cleaning fluid with as high alcohol concentration as you can get. The fluid that comes with most wet/dry cleaning discs leaves a residue when it dries up if a few drops are left on a shiny surface, which means you can imagine what would happen if some of this built on the lens. However, before trying any cleaning fluid, test it by placing a drop on the shiny side of a disc you have no intention of ever using and if no residue is left once the drop dries up, this should be fine.
If you do decide to dismantle the drive, use a Q-tip (a cotton ended stick) and gently wipe the laser lens clean.