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  1. Member
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    I just purchased a used Sony RDR-GX7 dvd recorder. I have over 70 VHS tapes that I want to convert. I purchased some quality (Verbatim) DVD-R blank disks and when I began recording, I got the dreaded "disk is dirty" error message. I then tried new DVD+RW disks. The recorder formatted the disks and I proceeded to dub a couple of VHS tapes perfectly. I've read that there is a firmware upgrade that would fix this or is that a dead end? I could take the recorder apart and clean the lens. Since the system works with the DVD+RW disks, I could just stick with those, except that would be more costly considering the cost of those disks. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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  2. Member
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    if the tapes are store bought movies, you would need a device to remove the copy protection.
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  3. You only need 1 DVD+RW. Dub a VHS tape to it, then copy that disc to a folder on your desktop.
    Reformat that disc in the recorder.
    While it's dubbing the next tape, burn the desktop folder to DVD+/-R with ImgBurn
    ....repeat.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Assuming these are home movies on VHS and not store-bought movies (see post above - TBC), you should review AVSForum and a few other sites dedicated to consumer hardware support. Doing a quick search, it seems to me that you might be able to get a copy of an updated firmware from one of folks who received it there. It doesn't specify what the update does, but reading between the lines, it looks like the original firmware was so old that it only worked with blanks that support 1x speed recording (& 2.4x for +RW since that's the "base speed" for that format). Since most newer media STARTS at a higher expected burn speed, the recorder cannot negotiate a common record speed. Barring getting this firmware (as I don't see it on the Sony site), another option would be to order blanks online from larger suppliers (such as Rima), where you might still be able to buy 1x media. If those happen to be NOW still more expensive than RW media, you are running out of luck...

    Scott

    <edit>Doh, transporterfan beat me to it (though I would use ~3 RWs to make rotation easier).
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  5. Banned
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    That recorder dates from 2003. A fool and his money... ANY price greater than "free" for that meant you were cheated. I wouldn't hold my breath that your "new" recorder will survive through all your tapes. Sony machines of that era were pretty bad.
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  6. Member
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    According to a post(jman98), I'm a fool. Well, I'm no fool and never give up. The sony RDR-GX7 might be from 2003 and cost any where from $300 to $600, but I found the answer to "disk is dirty" error message. It's not by downloading a firmware upgrade. It's simply the dvd disk recording speed. If you use 16x disks, you'll get the deadly "disk is dirty" message. But, if you get 8x disks, which are still sold on craigslist and ebay, the dvd recorder will work fine. That's what it took to get mine working after I had taken the recorder completely apart,and cleaned the optics and anything else that looked suspicious. The recorder is older, but still a workhorse and worth the time and trouble. Mine cost only $25.00 on craigslist because the owner was using the wrong speed disks, so I got a great recorder for a small price and with a little effort, I will be able to convert over 70 vhs tapes to dvd's.
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  7. Banned
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    The fact that people MIGHT (so you say) pay $300-600 for a 10 year old DVD recorder doesn't necessarily mean that it's great. Lots of people make really stupid decisions. Even back in its day I don't remember off hand anybody being all gaga about this product. I just checked Ebay and I see prices from $25 and up for this model. This is not one of the DVD recorders that has achieved legendary status where people will pay foolish and inflated prices for it.

    Do note that recorders that old can break any time so we'll see if you're really able to convert over 70 VHS tapes to DVD or not. Maybe you will. Maybe you won't. People who sell old DVD recorders sometimes do so while the recorder is starting to show signs of going downhill so they can make the guy who buys it take the risk.
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  8. Member
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    As a matter of fact, I paid $25.00 for the Sony recorder on Craigslist. I opened the unit and cleaned it thoroughly and have recorded all the vhs tapes I have and it is still working fine. So, I believe I've gotten more than my money's worth. Thanks for your concern Jman98.
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  9. Banned
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    The fact that people MIGHT (so you say) pay $300-600 for a 10 year old DVD recorder doesn't necessarily mean that it's great. Lots of people make really stupid decisions. Even back in its day I don't remember off hand anybody being all gaga about this product.
    I usually agree with you, but in this case I can't. While I normally wouldn't choose a SONY recorder even if I were paid to do it, this particular SONY series' Zykor encoders were upgrades for the dirt-cheap Markerteks used in most SONYs and similar cheapos. No, people didn't go gaga over any recorder costing more than $200 because most consumers are visually impaired dingbats who wouldn't know decent recorder PQ from a hole in the ground.

    On the other hand , while it's good that the O.P. got the tapes recorded, one would hope the tapes weren't discarded. One of these days the owner will recognize how all the analog tape schmutz became immortalized forever as digital artifacts. Many who use that archiving method don't notice the problems. Not at first. Anyway, pretty decent machine in its day, atypical and above par for SONY.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 28th Mar 2014 at 19:44.
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