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  1. I have been using a toshiba vcr (made around 2002) to watch all my old vhs tapes. It rewinds and fast-forwards very quickly and I have been using it for months watching hundreds of tapes without issue. But a couple of days ago something happened that upset me very much and am very nervous to use it again. I was watching my Logan's Run vhs tape (made around 1987) and watched about 5 minutes and it was playing fine with a couple of snowy patches that were not too bad. So I did a quick fast-forward rewind of the tape (because in my experience, that helps clean off any debris on the tape, and helps it remove those little snowy patches) and re-watching the 5 minute part I just watched before fast-forward rewind there appeared this permanent horizontal glitchy line. I have never had that happen to me before, so I started thinking about what could have caused this. Maybe the vcr needs a good cleaning, but is it also possible that the super fast-forward rewind is a bit too harsh for older delicate tapes (pre-1990) and I should maybe use an older vcr that does not fast-forward and rewind so fast?
    I know it is very possible for a dirty vhs tape to mess up the heads in a working vcr, but could it also be possible that a more modern vcr (post-2000 with very quick fast-forward rewind) will damage older vhs tapes because of the more delicate magnetic tape used in old vhs tapes?
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  2. Member
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    Open the tape flap at the glitchy part and see if you can see a crease in the tape or some other obvious damage
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    It's not heads, don't "clean" them, etc.
    The unit is likely feathering the tape, alignment has drifted, realignment is needed.

    As dave said, open the tape gate, look at the section.
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  4. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    you really should have backed up the tape long ago to digital. every time they are played the more wear occurs. retail movies weren't put on the best tape to begin with and over time they all dry out and start shedding. a "dirty" tape is most likely one that's shedding it's recording layer these days. a different vcr probably won't help recover what's already lost.

    you can get the movie on blu-ray for about $6. i like the thought that went into it but the production was sorely lacking even for the time....
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  5. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    It's not heads, don't "clean" them, etc.
    The unit is likely feathering the tape, alignment has drifted, realignment is needed.

    As dave said, open the tape gate, look at the section.
    I was really worried last night when it first happened, because I took the tape out of the Toshiba vcr and tried it in another good clean working vcr (Sharp) and the horizontal glitchy line was still there, so I assumed it was one of those permanent lines that don't go away...
    Now today, I opened the tape gate like you guys suggested, and saw a lot of moldy looking debris near the reel, so I tried to clean it off the best I could, and tried the tape again in the toshiba vcr, and it was playing perfectly fine (no horizontal line). Big sigh of relief, thanks for the suggestions everyone. (A wild guess of what happened- maybe a piece of the mold from the tape or debris from inside the vcr got onto the tape reel during the fast-forward rewind and caused that horizontal line temporarily and simply playing the tape more made it fall off)
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    Hydrogen peroxide is safe for cleaning mold off tape. Use a respirator because you don't want to breathe those spores.
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  7. 3 hours later - I rewind the tape to fully watch logan's run and the horizontal line is back!! So depressing lol... And lifting the flap I can sort of see a slight crease near the middle similar to the spot where it is on the screen. So maybe my vcr is misaligned or something like he said (or maybe needs a good cleaning). But I still find it very odd, because I just tested a bunch of random other movie tapes I have, and they do not get damaged at all from use in the toshiba vcr when I fast-forward, rewind them etc., so why would just Logan's Run get the horizontal line damage and not the other tapes? (and last year I remember I watched the logan's run vhs completely and it played perfect)

    edit - After testing out a bunch more old vhs tapes, i've come to the conclusion that the toshiba vcr is not damaging the tapes at all, it was just a bad logan's run tape that i got lucky the first time watching. thanks for all the responses everybody.
    Last edited by streetsofrage47; 18th Mar 2019 at 02:39.
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    Damage usually occurs at or near the pinch roller, which comes after the video drum. So your tape was probably damaged while you watched it last year.
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  9. Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    Damage usually occurs at or near the pinch roller, which comes after the video drum. So your tape was probably damaged while you watched it last year.
    Oh, that is interesting, and searching "vcr pinch roller" I saw this post- "http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vcr-repair/6518-how-vcr-pinch.html" talking about the importance of having a good clean pinch roller.
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    Clean and in good condition. It's made of rubber and as you know, rubber changes over time. A hardened, shiny, or out-of-round pinch roller can wreck VHS tape, which is awfully thin. The pinch roller squeezes the tape against a metal capstan and that's what actually pulls the tape through the machine.
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  11. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    If you are too worried about your tapes get them in a modern format and digitize the ones that never made it to digital, VCR's are not going to last forever they will eventually break due to age even when not used.
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  12. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Mold in a VCR isn't good whatsoever. It will screw up the deck, as well as any other tapes put into it.
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