08-27-2009, 06:55 PM
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I was hoping that you could give me some advice with regard to my broken JVC DR-M100S. I purchased it several years ago and used it sparingly. Recently while trying to use it, it started giving me a LOADING error. From reading the forums, this appears to be a generic error code which for the DR-M100s could mean anything. The interesting thing is that I could never get it to reset using the power/stop button combination. Leaving it unplugged for days had no effect either. It was sitting for so long that I don't remember if it has a DVD in it or not.

Given that its a highly regarded model, I'm wondering if its worth the trouble to get fixed. I've used it to record off our DV camcorder and to transfer VHS tapes to DVD.

My other option is to buy new (which is unadvised given the quality of current models of DVD recorders) or to buy used.

If I go the repair route, do you have any suggestions on what I might be able to do or how to fiind a repair facility?

Thanks for your time.

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08-28-2009, 12:01 AM
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Indeed, LOADING is a generic error message on the first- and second-generation JVC DVD recorders. It's not actually trying to "load" anything, not necessarily. These errors are usually caused by one of the following common problems:
  • Bad blank DVDs (a.k.a. cheap media a.k.a. inferior or low quality blank discs) -- In most cases, the errors with the machine is with the choice of blank DVD-R or DVD-RW (or DVD-RAM) used by the operator. Simply changing to a better quality blank disc will fix the error. For a list of suggested blank DVDs and where to buy good discs, see the Blank DVD Review / Blank DVD Quality Guide at http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm -- Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden work best, but I'll personally suggest the 16x Verbatim DVD-R for this exact machine. I've used thousands of them, with little to no errors whatsoever.
  • Power surges - These don't need to necessarily be noticeable surges for you, but fluctuations in the electrical power in the house, which cause the unit to momentarily power off, which causes it to be confused, and the JVC DVD recorder will start to blink LOADING over and over again. The way to fix this is to put the unit on a UPS (battary backup surge protector), and preferably one with automatic voltage regulation (AVR), which prevents spikes in power or drops in power.
  • Dead, bad or bulged capacitors - these little electronic parts plagued devices built in the 2003-2005 era, inferior Chinese parts used at the time. There were a lot of them, found in everything from AMD motherboards to Panasonic and JVC DVD recorders. It's really easy to fix for somebody with a little mainboard soldering knowledge. And once the machine is truly repaired, it won't break again. The bad capacitors simply need to be replaced with better grade ones. End of problem, for good. Forget sending it to the manufacturer to repair (JVC) or a "repair shop" -- find somebody that knows about electronics, maybe at a local school/college or cable company. They can do it, no problem. My Panasonic had the same issues, was fixed for $25 by a guy at the local college AV lab.

Indeed, this machine is VERY MUCH worth fixing, you'll never find another high quality machine like these mid-generation JVC-made (JVC-manufactured) DVD recorders. (Note that newer JVC DVD recorders are simply re-branded machines made from another low-end manufacturer, as of 2007.)

Check out the DVD Recorder Reviews to see how this recorder ranks against the others that existed before and after the JVC DR-M100 model recorder.

Hope that helps.

For detailed one-on-one advice, register for the forum as a Free Member, and then consider an upgrade to a Premium Member. Note that until the end of the year, we're running a half-price special on lifetime membership, only $10! Excellent bargain!

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 08-28-2009 at 12:07 AM.
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08-28-2009, 12:22 AM
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As an additional thought, the capacitors usually bulged after "overuse"of the machine --

-- not that you used the machine too much, but rather the machine was always drawing power, more than should be reasonably expected. Even when it was "off" (like too many other electronics out there), it was still drawing electricity. To most of us, especially those of us who pay our own electric bills, that's not very reasonable.

The way you disabled this overuse was to put the machine in POWER SAVE mode. When you went to power it off, it would then totally cut off as soon as the fan ran the temperature back down to normal.

That brings up another point! HEAT!

The other most common way for the caps to bulge is if the machine were routinely used for extended period, such as 6+ hours in a row, and not allowed to cool down. While the JVC is very well cooled inside and out, it's still a fairly compact case design for a DVD recorder, and heat builds up! Those LSI Logic video encoder chipsets really get hot.

Be sure the machine is well vented, and not crammed inside some crummy compact consumer "entertainment center". Those units are just awful for heat, especially wooden ones where the units have no airflow or air circulation.

Some folks have even taken to custom modding their JVC DVD recorders, removing the cover and drilling some holes in it, in the top of the case. Beyond that even, some have installed large 120mm or 140mm fans that push air up through a custom vent. This type of fan adds almost zero noise, while supplying an enormous amount of hot air push-out.

Attached below are some images of what bulged capacitors look like, photos from my Panasonic ES10 before it was repaired about two years ago. (You must be logged in to view the images!)

ABOVE IMAGE: Notice the slight bulge and leaking of "capacitor juice".

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