JVRaines hit the nail on the head (pun intended) with that last sentence.
I consider 8mm,Hi8,Digital8,DAT and anything with similar form factor to have too close mechanisms with too tight tolerances to ever have a non-professional end user do their own repairs.
My recommendation for the OP: buy a replacement (ebay, etc) and move on.
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It means the camera thinks it needs a cleaning cassette and you should insert one. I used to get this all the time on my Sony TRV-11 DV camcorder. However, my heads didn't really need cleaning, and actually using a cleaning cassette didn't make the message go away. What I found DID eliminate the message was to fast forward all the way to the end of the tape, and then completely rewind.
BTW, despite the abrasion, IMHO a cleaning cassette is a far safer way (than proper cleaning fluid and a chamois stick) for most people to clean their heads in camcorders because of the cramped space and the small drum size. Some people in this forum and elsewhere get very upset about any recommendation to use cleaning cassettes, but the fact is, the one I have is branded by Sony and I don't think they would sell something that intentionally damaged their products. Just don't use the cleaning cassette until the camcorder really shows symptoms of a head clog (search YouTube for examples), and then don't use it for more than the time (usually about 10 seconds) recommended, and don't repeat more often than directed.
Vitality question was answered here.
On the matter of using cleaning paper for lenses and cleaning tapes, both of this are equivalent to a high grid sand paper and should not be used.
This is a professional, internal use only, cleaning tape.
This tapes are used to polish new drums, if people understand what the process of polishing something does, it's used to level up surfaces and for that it will remove some head material. You use cleaning tapes in conditions similar to this one: (source)
This is a 60x magnification of a Hi8 head: (source)
This head need to touch the tape to read information and it's delicate as a graphite of a pencil, it's OK to use paper to clean the drum, not the head! if you are using paper to clean the head and see a black line, that is not dirt! Using the signals that comes from the heads and a PB tape you can check if the heads are OK or if a drum replacement is needed.
About the "company selling something that intentionally damaged their products" issue, yes they do, specially Sony. This corporate people need to make money with services, professionals that understand how this works are been honest when they say do not use this tapes, period.
You're supposed to mix with water half-half.
Is it an approved method? Yes.
Sony sells these for their own camcorder products. Unless you want to be cynical and claim that Sony is doing this to destroy their own products in order to sell more camcorders (unlikely since when a product fails, most people are less likely to want to buy the same brand), you have to instead come to the conclusion that the cleaning product is both safe and effective.
Sony Dry Cleaning Cartridge for AIT 8MM Drives
WHERE is written that "Sony is doing this to destroy their own products in order to sell more camcorders"?
Have you ever in your miserable life heard about planned obsolescence?
How many years you spend pissing on the toilet seat before somebody told you to put it up? Are you brain dead?
Off course they sell the tape! So people like you can buy it.
A people like us that understand how stuff works keep telling people to STOP USING IT.
Its funny how the recommended % of alcohol has risen over the years. Its started with recommendation everything over 90% and now its almost 100% (99%)
I cannot find 99% (not online but in pharmacies or shops) of alcohol for decades and using 96% (on VHS,Hi8,MiniDV) with zero problems and multiple machines and ages.
For all of them I used/use regular print/scan paper (cheap sh... A4 and cut them in small pieces of paper
For VHS I hold the peace of paper with finger/s and move the head in the direction of play slowly with other finger/s
For Hi8/MiniDv I use smaller peace of same paper and hold it with small qtip on top the paper (its to small space for fingers and qtip is holding the paper it firmly but softly to the drum with plastic screwdriver i put it in holes from the sides of the drum and slowly move the drum in the direction of play in both cases mimicking cleaning tapes.
This has worked for decades with zero problems.
For VHS usually you just need to open the top case and you can access the head
For Hi8,8,MiniDv the easiest way to access the drum is to push eject (while powered on so metal casing can go up) next cut off the power to the camera (take of battery or detach the power cable) without pressing any button or power off the camera (if you power off it will automatically return the cage in place). The last step is to unscrew the screws on side window (its plastic cover only ) and when removed it will uncover the the tape mechanism.
For player tape path I use qtips with alcohol
Hey, this thread is busting my chops.
I meant 50/50 water/alcohol for camera lense.
lol guys these are consumer cams. a name brand like sony packaged head cleaning tape isn't going to kill them. the heads are not made of graphite(a form of coal). that's just ridiculous. all recording head are of ferrous metal material that can magnetize the tape. water or alcohol with a high water content might rust them. low water content alcohol is readily available online if you wish to use that. https://smile.amazon.com/Swan-Isopropyl-Alcohol-percent-Pint/dp/B00ZCCYTWG/ref=sr_1_3_...2Balcohol&th=1
qtips are NOT recommended as they shed cotton fibers.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
This is what I said:
The liquid we use to clean the drums is 99 percent Isopropyl Alcohol, as aedipuss said, water content can contaminate the heads and rust can build up. To wipe clean the heads we use cleanroom wipes (ISO Class 5) like this one, you cut a stripe and use it, one pack like that can last forever. But any lint free cloth like this one will do as long is not abrasive and is lint free.
Just to remind you, you've drop your camera!
Cleaning the heads will not solve your problem.