I have a Panasonic DMR-ES40V, which has performed well since new in Dec., 2006, until it started acting up last week. Here are my observations:
1. Started receiving "Err - Cannot read. Please check disc" message; this message appears even when there is no disc in the tray.
2. Unplugged and plugged unit. Now the unit will not hold initial setup settings when powered off and back on; the clock retains the time, but every time the unit is turned on, I get the "Select Language" message.
3. Disassembled, and cleaned lens and spindle, per DigaDo thread.
4. While DVD drive lid was removed, I noted upon closing the tray that the laser assembly would leave the read position and bump the spindle, then return to read position and flash the laser, three times in total before the spindle would spin for 2 seconds and stop. I guess this is the "clunking" sound others too have noted.
5. I was able to record another disc, but received the "Err - Cannot read. Please check disc" message again after I put in another disc.
6. I have not received any of the error codes that others have mentioned on the forums, such as U61, U88, or U99.
I love this unit, and like I said, I haven't had any issues with it until recently. Many have stated that your work in getting Panasonic DVD recorders back into shape is exceptional, and unrivaled. Would you be able to get my machine back to near-new condition and if so, would you have any ballpark figure as to cost?
I am a newbie to the forums, hence I cannot PM you directly.