Panasonic DMR-E80H recorder has playback problems

I bought a Panasonic DMR-E80H 80GB HDD/DVD Recorder off eBay. The description said it had an L1 Errror problem so I thought maybe I could fix it. When it arrived it didn’t come with a power cord, remote control, or anything - just the machine.

I used the power cord from my PS2 to power on the machine and it went to a blue screen that said there was an error and to press Enter. It would power off then back on with the same message but sometimes say to change the disc. I googled the for answers and came up with a self test mode for the e85 which I tried but it wouldn’t go into it. However, it did take a reset to defaults (I think).

I decided to try to swap the hard drive with one I had laying around from my 80GB Tivo machine. I was saving the drive in case I needed to restore an image from it for an HDD upgrade. I put the 80GB tivo drive in the Panasonic and powered on. It went into setup mode and seemed like everything was working perfectly.

Now I have a new problem. After watching a couple of dvd movies over the last couple of days I get up the next morning to watch another movie and it has playback problems. Large pixilation (blocks) occurs over the entire screen. Small pixilation at times. Pausing then playing sometimes fixes this but it mostly has problems all the time trying to decode and playback movies. Does anyone have any suggestions.

I haven’t tried cleaning the lens, but I’m planning to buy a dvd lens cleaner after work and give that a shot.

I’m hoping repairs, like swapping a e50 or e60 drive, aren’t going to be too costly since I bought the recorder for 70 bucks on eBay.

More on the problem:

The player records to from the TV to the HDD with no problem (tried it in XP mode). I’ve recorder from my Tivo and DVD player using L1 as a source in XP and LP and FR mode with no problems. I’ve also tried editing and creating playlists with no problems. The recorder will also burn to a DVD using Fast dubbing with no problems. However, when I try to burn to DVD-R without Fast dubbing it generates a flawed disc. After finalizing and playtesting on my Philips 642 about every minute into the video it will produce blockiness then skip ahead for about 15 seconds. Playback will resume smoothly then the problem occurs again about 1 minute later throughout the entire video. I’m having an electronics repairshop look at the problem.