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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2002
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    I've had three Panasonic set top recorders over the years. I bought the DMR-E20 when it first came out. Was happy to get it for under $1000 back then. As electronics tend to do, the other two broke. The original recorder, with no hard drive is the only one left.

    The problem is, I have 100-200 DVD-Rs that were recorded, but never finalized. The DMR-E20 refuses to finalize them. I know this had been covered before, but I was hoping maybe there might be new software available now.

    Is there anyway to finalize these on a computer? I don't want to buy another 200 discs, spend money on IsoBuster and rip and burn them all. And I really don't want to spend money on a DVD recorder that I will never use for anything else.

    So does anybody know of any way to finalize these discs on a PC?
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
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    You could TRY this:
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/293552-How-to-Finalize-DVD-Disc?p=1894962&viewfull=1#post1894962
    I've read of people having some success with this but it is certainly no guaranteed solution.

    Also be careful installing ImgBurn nowadays....watch out for attempts at adware installation.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2003
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    Do you have Nero 12? If so, try Nero Video and select TOOLS -> DISC TOOLS -> FINALIZE.

    Brainiac
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  4. Member
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    There is no software available that will finalize your discs for you. They are missing the menu and the lead out, maybe more. Only a compatible Panasonic recorder would be able to to create the missing portions of the DVD video structure.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
    Do you have Nero 12? If so, try Nero Video and select TOOLS -> DISC TOOLS -> FINALIZE.
    Do note that while this does work for SOME people, I'd say that it does NOT work for MOST people. Still, if you have Nero already it's worth a try, but the odds are that it won't work so I would not recommend buying Nero just to gamble on this.

    hech54's link has a reference to use ISOBuster to get the contents ripped from the DVD at which point you'll have to make a new DVD out of them. But this at least almost always works. ISOBuster is not free, but you can test it in free mode and if doesn't seem able to do anything with your disc, there's no hope for it unless maybe ISOPuzzle can do the same thing as ISOBuster. Some unfinalized discs can't be saved though.
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Even if you bought another dvd-recorder the chances are that that would also refuse to finalise the disks. AFAIK disks can only be finalised by the unit they were recorded in or an identical make/model.
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  7. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    hech54's link has a reference to use ISOBuster to get the contents ripped from the DVD at which point you'll have to make a new DVD out of them.
    The link goes to post #4 - the DVDDecrypter tools method.
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Originally Posted by Brainiac View Post
    Do you have Nero 12? If so, try Nero Video and select TOOLS -> DISC TOOLS -> FINALIZE.
    Do note that while this does work for SOME people, I'd say that it does NOT work for MOST people. Still, if you have Nero already it's worth a try, but the odds are that it won't work so I would not recommend buying Nero just to gamble on this.

    hech54's link has a reference to use ISOBuster to get the contents ripped from the DVD at which point you'll have to make a new DVD out of them. But this at least almost always works. ISOBuster is not free, but you can test it in free mode and if doesn't seem able to do anything with your disc, there's no hope for it unless maybe ISOPuzzle can do the same thing as ISOBuster. Some unfinalized discs can't be saved though.
    Agree wholeheartedly, which is why I asked him if he already had Nero. I always suggest using tools you already have before you search for other tools.

    Brainiac
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  9. Member
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    hech54's link has a reference to use ISOBuster to get the contents ripped from the DVD at which point you'll have to make a new DVD out of them.
    The link goes to post #4 - the DVDDecrypter tools method.
    #4 describes ImgBurn's tools method.
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  10. Member
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Even if you bought another dvd-recorder the chances are that that would also refuse to finalise the disks. AFAIK disks can only be finalised by the unit they were recorded in or an identical make/model.
    jjeff, our Panasonic expert here at VideoHelp once confirmed that Panasonic recorders can finalize discs from other Panasonic models in most cases. The exception being recordings that were damaged due to spindle slippage or discs with defects.
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Even if you bought another dvd-recorder the chances are that that would also refuse to finalise the disks. AFAIK disks can only be finalised by the unit they were recorded in or an identical make/model.
    jjeff, our Panasonic expert here at VideoHelp once confirmed that Panasonic recorders can finalize discs from other Panasonic models in most cases. The exception being recordings that were damaged due to spindle slippage or discs with defects.
    Interesting.

    But if the OP's old Panny can not do it then it's a big risk, and one the OP clearly does not wish to take, that a new Panny could do it.
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  12. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    hech54's link has a reference to use ISOBuster to get the contents ripped from the DVD at which point you'll have to make a new DVD out of them.
    The link goes to post #4 - the DVDDecrypter tools method.
    #4 describes ImgBurn's tools method.
    Same thing only different.
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  13. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    All the "software finalization workarounds" cited above (that do not involve first making a salvage copy) have been recommended ad nauseam for the past few years. You can try them, but the odds of success are 50/50. If they fail, best case they simply don't work, but worst case, you destroy any simple chance of recovering the videos. I have personally watched people wreck their unfinalized DVDs by trying the IMGburn and Nero tricks. After that, the only software that might play the videos is CyberLink PowerDVD, a ridiculously overpriced app to buy if it didn't already come bundled with your PC.

    For 100-200 dvds, dafoe, it makes much more sense to just purchase a new or open-box-demo Panasonic DMR-EH59 DVD/HDD recorder from B&H Photo/Video. Finalize all the discs, then pack up the EH59 and resell it on EBay. All told, you might lose $60-$100 on the deal, but its by far the quickest, easiest way to fix your problem. Note some percentage of the backlog will resist finalizing in a new Panasonic, because they were burned incorrectly by the older, aging Panasonic.

    As an aside to anyone else with a huge stash of unfinalized Panasonic discs and a dying recorder: do yourself a big favor and buy a Panasonic EH59 while they're still available. Finalize your backlog, then stop making any additional discs with a DVD recorder. Just stop, for the sake of your own sanity and the sanity of any a/v forums you'd inevitably come back to. I cannot for the life of me fathom why anyone would let dozens, let alone HUNDREDS, of discs pile up for years on end without finalizing them- yet this continues to be one of the top ten new Panasonic threads on every a/v forum in the world at any given moment. We rarely hear owners of Sony, Toshiba, LG, JVC, or Pioneer recorders say they have over a hundred unfinalized DVDs looming: this seems to be an inexplicable (and dangerous) Panasonic fetish.

    The trouble with Panasonic recorders is you MUST pay close attention to how they age, and the only reliable way to do that is by regularly finalizing discs as you fill them up. The first sign your Panasonic is in trouble is failure to finalize three discs in a row: at that point you need to stop using the unit altogether until you have a chance to disassemble and clean the burner. Once a Panasonic burner clamp picks up dust or fingerprints, it starts subtly slipping as it spins the discs, creating off-spec DVDs that may not play on any other Panasonic and might be impossible to finalize at all. This a nasty, known bug of all Panasonic DVD recorders, and you ignore it at your peril. Sometimes a cleaning doesn't help and you discover your Panasonic has laser or electronic issues causing unstable burns. The bigger and older your stockpile of unfinalized discs, the greater your risk many of them were burned off-spec and will be difficult or impossible to salvage.

    Panasonic made some nice recorders, but like all brands they have "gotchas" that owners need to be aware of. So if you still use your Panasonic DVD recorder, don't let unfinalized discs accumulate. If you haven't added anything to a particular disc after a month, it is almost certain you never will, so leaving it unfinalized accomplishes nothing. Even if the disc is only a quarter full, after a month it should be finalized or you risk losing the contents due to the recorder going wonky. Better safe than sorry, and blank DVDs are cheap.
    Last edited by orsetto; 3rd Dec 2013 at 14:37.
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  14. Member
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    Thanks for the replies, guys. I tried the DVD Decrypter method- no luck. And I don't have Nero. I don't really burn DVDs these days.

    I will probably do what orsetto suggested and buy the E85H (the model I recorder these on) on ebay and resell it after I'm finished. The prices on these thing are ridiculous these days.

    I took it apart shortly after it stopped working. I was going to replace the two blown capacitors. But I put the board off to the side, and forgot about it. Long story short- it got snapped in half. So I junked the entire unit. But most (if not all) my discs should finalize.

    It's a bit annoying that the E20 wont do it. It would be nice if it were good for something. I haven't gotten any use out of it in years. And it's huge. I really should just get rid of it.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. I will pick up a recorder at some point.
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  15. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    dafoe, you really don't want to dabble in used Panasonic recorders of the E85 era. Most of them on eBay are riddled with defects and the asking prices are no bargain compared to a brand new EH59 from B&H. You can flip a new EH59 resale very quickly, as its a hot model, but getting your money back out of an old E85 is harder. B&H often has open-box like-new EH59s available for $239, many Panasonic fans have jumped on those and they sell out quickly. One is currently available here, at this price you would almost certainly lose less than $40 on a resale.

    Perhaps we haven't made it clear enough: EVERY Panasonic DVD recorder sold since 2002 uses the same file system and finalization specs. You can finalize an E20 dvd on an EH55, or EH75v, or EH59 (and vice versa). So you needn't worry about buying the exact same old recorder model that made your still-unfinalized discs: there is no advantage gained, and a lot of risk.

    Your E20 is not finalizing them for you either because its too old and drifted, or the discs themselves were burned oddly by your aging E85 and the E20 just can't find a lock to finalize with. If it is the latter, you will be stuck looking for software salvage workarounds: even a new EH59 would not be able to finalize a "slipped disc" from a failing E85. There is no way of knowing until you try finalizing the E85 dvds on a brand new, perfectly operational Panasonic.

    You have not mentioned whether these unfinalized DVD-Rs will at least play normally on either your E20 or e85. If so, the easiest workaround would be making analog dubs (line output of E20 or E85 connected to line input of a new DVD recorder or PC video device). It would take forever and you'll lose a bit of PQ, but it would work. If the discs won't even play in your E20 or E85, the last resort would be to play them on a PC using the CyberLink PowerDVD software player. A friend from Malaysia recently sent me a bunch of mangled unfinalized DVDs he wanted me to rescue, after he already failed with ISObuster IMGburn, and Nero. The only solution I found was to locate the file structures with PowerDVD, which amazingly will play almost anything, and capture the a/v output of my PC with a DVD recorder to make duplicate discs. The drawback with PowerDVD is the ridiculous $90 price to buy it if you don't already have a version that came bundled with your PC.
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  16. Member
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    orsetto - Might be worthwhile to post what version of PowerDVD you have. Cyberlink is notorious in my opinion for making newer releases LESS useful than older ones. If you've got an old copy from a few years ago, there is some realistic chance that a newer version actually won't work like you used it. Then again you may have a current version, but I abandoned Cyberlink years ago when I felt they went too far in removing functionality from their products in newer releases and to say I don't trust them is being kinder than they deserve. Actually, another part of the reason I abandoned PowerDVD was that I could not get the damn thing to play files (ie. MKV, Divx, etc.) correctly and gave up trying to see if I could fix it when VLC did the job I needed and was free.
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  17. Member orsetto's Avatar
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    jman98, this would have been about six months ago, so it was whatever version of PowerDVD Cyberlink was distributing then. I did not purchase PowerDVD, nor do I still have it installed. Based on recommendations I read here regarding its unique ability to play any DVD no matter how corrupted, I downloaded the free trial version. A brief trial version was sufficient because I knew I could finish dubbing my friends discs in a matter of days and did not otherwise need PowerDVD. I am not fond of CyberLink bloatware, and the purchase price for a fully-activated copy is outrageous considering PowerDVD is bundled free with so many new PCs.

    I will say I was very impressed by PowerDVDs ability to play any goofy messed up DVD I threw at it. Corrupted RAM discs, unfinalized-Rs from old recorders, unfinalized DVDs that had been tampered with in vain attempts to "close the session," etc. It is also the only PC software player I've used that doesn't stall dead-eyed when confronted with one of the idiotic "No First Play PGC Specified, For No Apparent Effing Reason" finalized DVDs made by old Pioneer and JVC dvd recorders.

    If bundled free with your PC, its a worthwhile last-ditch tool to have in your arsenal. I'd have a hard time recommending someone actually buy it, however. Better to download the free trial version and work 24/7 to finish your project before the free trial expires. Then uninstall the sucker, as it tends to try and take over as default media player.
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