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Old 06-12-2012, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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As part of my regular recording routine I record on a EH-55 and later HS(in the silent mode) to Panasonic 3x RAM discs. Next I HS those discs to one of my other HDD Panasonics where I edit and compile the titles and finally when I have enough to fill a disc I HS copy to a -R. I'm forced to use RAM discs because they are the only discs that Panasonics allow HS copying between machines. Generally they work quite well but I do on a somewhat regular occasion have issues with failed burns.

I've tried all the workarounds mentioned in other threads at AVS including washing the disc with soap and water. While this seems to help for a time, once I start having issues with a particular disc it continues to be a problem disc no matter what I do.

Everything in my workflow works fine until the final HS burn to -R(RWs act the same), it's here where one of the titles fails to copy over and the HS copy fails(resulting in losing the portion of disc space that the title took up). When I play that title back on my original EH-55's HDD it looks just fine but when I play back the RAM disc I see breakups which of course carry forward to my second Panasonic. The bad portion is generally only a few seconds to a minute long and if I edit it out(with shorten title) I'm able to copy it to -R no problem. I can also HS that title from my original EH-55 to another RAM disc and it also turns out fine. Thinking it could be the RAM disc I've also tried SHORTENING the title to only the bad part and not deleting it, figuring the bad portion of disc would not be reused, this does not work as I just start having problems on other parts of the disc.

I've also tried using different intermediate machines but failing happens at about the same rate. The failing discs are generally the most used ones but by most used I mean maybe 30? times, no where near the 100k or whatever Panasonic claims for RAM discs mad.gif Besides washing the disc I've also tried reformatting them(I generally use ERASE ALL as some people think repeated reformatting can be hard for RAM discs) but once the disc starts having problems nothing really seems to help. I've also tried reformatting the RAM disc in my PCs(which can take upwards of 1hr) but this also does not help.

The only common denominator in my recording is my original EH-55 which doesn't really have that much use and I never have problems recording R or RW discs with it(at least that I've noticed). Due to my setup it would be extremely hard to swap out that EH-55 with another and because I only seem to have issues with RAM discs I just don't feel the problem lies there.

My most recent experiment has been to DIRECTLY record to RAM in my original EH-55(instead of first going to HDD and then HS burning to RAM) and since I have been doing this(for ~ a week) I have yet to have a failure smile.gif I've been using my "most prone to fail" RAM discs(the ones that would fail about every other time I used them when HS burning to it) so I think I may be onto something.
Does anyone have a idea of what might be going on? While I can continue to realtime burn to RAM I'm of the mindset of most around here that really NEVER like to use HDD DVDRs for realtime burns.

IMO RAM discs seem to be even more voodoo than regular R/RW discs and truthfully I really wish Panasonic had allowed RW discs to be used(in VR mode) like the Pioneers but alas I'm stuck with using RAMs in my Panasonics. My Toshiba XS-35 apparently supports RAM discs, I say apparently because while the XS-35 works perfect in every other aspect, I've never been able to have it recognize a RAM disc...... Maybe like the EZ-x7 models(that I had horrific results with) I'm just not meant to use RAM discs confused.gif
Mickinct, could you see why a RAM drive would act this way? able to burn to R/RW just fine and also RAM but only reliably in realtime?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:30 AM
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Is there a difference in how your various machines react to any given -RAM disk? I have notinced that a few -RAMs which would not work at al in one of my EH50s, worked just fine in my EH59. I now think the burner has something to do with it. Your experiementation with real-time copying might suggest that this is the case (a different copying method).

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:44 AM
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This happens with my Pioneers all the time, exact same issue. I think its simply a matter of DVD-RAM, just like the other disc formats, being not quite all it was cracked up to be (i.e. the "use it a million times, its indestructible" hype). The issue (from my perspective) seems to be an inversion of the usual- + R/RW glitch: RAM prefers real-time burning, while other formats favor HS copy mode.

In almost all cases my problem files are OK on the HDD, but something goes wonky in the DVD-RAM dubbing process. My workaround is to either switch RAM discs, or switch transfer formats altogether for those titles. Pioneers do allow formatting "normal" DVD-Rs to VR mode, which succeeds in making a transferable file copy 99% of the time. I've never tried using a +RW but assume from the IB it would work the same way. Unfortunately Panasonics are limited to DVD-RAM for HS transfer between machines: if the RAM burn fails, it seems there aren't any workarounds?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Is there a difference in how your various machines react to any given -RAM disk? I have notinced that a few -RAMs which would not work at al in one of my EH50s, worked just fine in my EH59. I now think the burner has something to do with it. Your experiementation with real-time copying might suggest that this is the case (a different copying method).
I always use a particular EH-55 as the original source for my RAM disc, varying the second machine doesn't seem to effect the probability of failed burns. Again it's possible the burner in that EH-55 is flaky but it's my newest one which II purchased as a floor model at Future Shop in Canada in '09?, all my other N. American models were purchased used so I have no idea of their usage.
I should probably just swap that EH-55 with another(can't really use a EH-50 with my usage pattern and because of the black level issue(recording from my Tivo HD which has no DARKER setting) I prefer to not use my EH-59. Problem is it would take a lot of work to swap the two around frown.gif Every in/out jack of both units are used and of course the EH-55s are at the bottom of a rather large stack of DVDRs and DVD players......Just don't tell SuperEye wink.gif
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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This happens with my Pioneers all the time, exact same issue. I think its simply a matter of DVD-RAM, just like the other disc formats, being not quite all it was cracked up to be (i.e. the "use it a million times, its indestructible" hype). The issue (from my perspective) seems to be an inversion of the usual- + R/RW glitch: RAM prefers real-time burning, while other formats favor HS copy mode.
In almost all cases my problem files are OK on the HDD, but something goes wonky in the DVD-RAM dubbing process. My workaround is to either switch RAM discs, or switch transfer formats altogether for those titles. Pioneers do allow formatting "normal" DVD-Rs to VR mode, which succeeds in making a transferable file copy 99% of the time. I've never tried using a +RW but assume from the IB it would work the same way. Unfortunately Panasonics are limited to DVD-RAM for HS transfer between machines: if the RAM burn fails, it seems there aren't any workarounds?
Interesting Pioneers can have the same problem......do you have better luck using RW discs instead of RAMs? Unfortunately Panasonics don't have that option mad.gif
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:49 PM
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Interesting Pioneers can have the same problem......do you have better luck using RW discs instead of RAMs? Unfortunately Panasonics don't have that option mad.gif

I do have better luck with "regular" transfer DVDs than I do with the RAM discs. I keep about a dozen RAMs in rotation, because I have them already and they still mostly work, but as they die off I don't replace them. I don't use RW at all, since my need to transfer files between recorders is not often enough to keep a separate stash of RW on hand. My RAMs do the trick 80% of the time, when they don't I just pop in an ordinary cheap -R and format it to VR mode.

This little trick of Pioneers having the option to format common -R and +R for recorder>recorder file transfers never got the publicity it deserved: very handy feature. A couple years ago when the 2nd replacement burner in my old Pioneer 531 was dying, it couldn't burn a normal finalized video mode -R anymore. Strangely, it was still perfectly fine with formatting -R discs as VR and doing HS hdd file backups in that manner. I was able to back up the whole HDD onto 14 DVD-Rs and move the videos to my 640 for safekeeping while I repaired the balky 531 (again). This was a lifesaver, since the 531 is not RAM-capable and doesn't burn +RW as good as later models did (the 640, 550 and 560 can make HDD file backups to +RW, RAM, or VR-formatted -/+R).
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:40 PM
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I always use a particular EH-55 as the original source for my RAM disc, varying the second machine doesn't seem to effect the probability of failed burns. Again it's possible the burner in that EH-55 is flaky but it's my newest one which II purchased as a floor model at Future Shop in Canada in '09?, all my other N. American models were purchased used so I have no idea of their usage.
I should probably just swap that EH-55 with another(can't really use a EH-50 with my usage pattern and because of the black level issue(recording from my Tivo HD which has no DARKER setting) I prefer to not use my EH-59. Problem is it would take a lot of work to swap the two around frown.gif Every in/out jack of both units are used and of course the EH-55s are at the bottom of a rather large stack of DVDRs and DVD players......Just don't tell SuperEye wink.gif
I understand. What I am suggesting, just as a test, is that you take a known bad -RAM and try HS writing it with your EH59, and see if it works properly.

For the record, I have seen the same thing with my -RAM disks that you see with yours. I have had a few, that when I attempted to format them, the recorder said "format failed" and then they were unusable after that. I have been thinking of trying to format them on my computer to see if they will "come back" to usability, but never remember to do it at a convenient time.rolleyes.gif I recenetly got my EH55 repaired by MICINCT, I wonder if IT will, with a newely replaced laser pickup, be able to recover those bad disks.

I consider the situation to be serious enough that if I have some really important content, I copy it TWICE onto -RAM disks (either on two different disks, or twice on one disk. None of my -RAMs are so bad that I have had multiple coincident failures, so I have never lost content using this method. A cheap, and not completely satisfying method of deling with this problem is this: when you are making the -R disk, and the copy fails because of those "EVIL BITS" created by the -RAM transfer, you realtime dub that title, and it will work. If there are breakups, they will be in the -R, but the copy will continue and not fail. Again, not completely satisfying, but it is (marginally) better than just "cutting out" the bad spots and dubbing the rest with a "hole" in it.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I understand. What I am suggesting, just as a test, is that you take a known bad -RAM and try HS writing it with your EH59, and see if it works properly.
.
After my original post I took my worst RAM disc(the one that regularly failed at at least one spot) and did some testing. I HS copied to it from my other EH-55, EH-59 and a EH-50. I filled up the disc each time with titles from the HDD, from the RAM disc I HS copied to another EH-50(the one I regularly do my editing and R burning on) and finally HS copied off that machine to a -RW(as to not waste R discs and the RWs act just like a R disc). After testing all machines I could not get one single failure........that kind of tells me that while RAM discs may be somewhat flaky(others also experience occasional RAM failures) my originally purchased EH-55 definitely has a iffy burner frown.gif The final proof would be to swap it out with my other EH-55, if the vast majority of by failures go away, it's got to be the drive.....
Mickinct, if this is the case do you think this is something you could diagnose? It's very intermittent but can be duplicated with select RAM discs, maybe just replace the laser and hope for the best?
Another option is to only use this EH-55 for realtime RAM burning or -R burning but I'm kind of wondering if -R discs I make with this machine might also be iffy confused.gif Truthfully like many of you(who actually admit it wink.gif) I don't watch nearly as much as I record, I'd be bummed big time to learn discs I've made with this machine are prone to lockups frown.gif the good news is I really don't burn all that many DVDs on this particular EH-55. Before getting my Tivo HD I used it mainly for timeshifting(record/watch/delete) and since getting my Tivo I mainly use it to burn to RAMs and only later convert to DVD on another Panasonic. Where this EH-55 is located my remote doesn't always reach, my others are mostly on a desk where I kind of have a editing area(similar to some of Digado's photos).

Not sure if this is related but I did notice when I first purchased this EH-55 that it was the pickiest about reading commercial discs(not that I really use my DVDRs for DVD playback) but during testing discs that played with no problem on my other DVDRs or DVD players might hiccup on this one.....possibly the laser is just out of adjustment?? I tinker with things but would NEVER adjust something like laser azimuth, at least without calibration tools which I have no access to.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:57 PM
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YES the drive would need to be replaced, some ram discs are very picky. Ihave alot of rams that were made on early dmr-20 units that will not play on the EZ machines 2008 on, the ez machines ask me to format disc. DO you need me to repair??

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Old 06-12-2012, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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YES the drive would need to be replaced, some ram discs are very picky. Ihave alot of rams that were made on early dmr-20 units that will not play on the EZ machines 2008 on, the ez machines ask me to format disc. DO you need me to repair??
The odd part is new RAM discs seem to work for a while(20 or so uses) before having issues but then if I take those discs they work just fine in any of my other Panasonics confused.gif
Thanks for your offer and I just may take you up on it, before going that route I'd want to switch recording machines to be totally sure that was the issue. If I'm having issues with RAM discs do you think R or RW discs may also be recording poorly? I might be able to live with realtime RAM recording(or not using it for RAMs at all) but it would be kind of useless to me if I couldn't at least use it to burn R discs at a good quality.
Would you actually replace the drive or just the laser assembly?
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:36 AM
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YES the drive would need to be replaced, some ram discs are very picky. Ihave alot of rams that were made on early dmr-20 units that will not play on the EZ machines 2008 on, the ez machines ask me to format disc. DO you need me to repair??
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.
.
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Would you actually replace the drive or just the laser assembly?
That was my question too. Would the whole drive need to be replaced, or just the laser pickup?

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:21 AM
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The odd part is new RAM discs seem to work for a while(20 or so uses) before having issues but then if I take those discs they work just fine in any of my other Panasonics confused.gif
Thanks for your offer and I just may take you up on it, before going that route I'd want to switch recording machines to be totally sure that was the issue. If I'm having issues with RAM discs do you think R or RW discs may also be recording poorly? I might be able to live with realtime RAM recording(or not using it for RAMs at all) but it would be kind of useless to me if I couldn't at least use it to burn R discs at a good quality.
Would you actually replace the drive or just the laser assembly?
Okay, well I finally rememberd to test my theory. I had seven "bad" -RAM disks, that in my EH50 and EH55 dvd recorders, would not format (the on-screen message said "Format Failed!") and therefore had become unusable in any of my machines. I just didn't have the heart to toss them, so they were in a stack in the back of a shelf. Anyway, I took them out and put them in my newest EH59, and guess what...they ALL formatted properly! biggrin.gif I am now wondering if it might not be a laser issue directly, but a weakening power supply in the machine lowering the voltage, making the laser less effective. Whether these disks can work in a recorder or not, definitely appears to be related to the specific machine.

Luke

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I've also been experimenting with my most problematic RAM discs, the two that would fail somewhere during the burn quite regularly. I have been recording only real time to these discs and have recorded to them probably 10 rewrite cycles and NO failures smile.gif Even though I really don't like to use my HDD DVDRs for real time recording, for my specific use(to just transfer the titles to another Panasonic DVDR) I'd rather do this than risk a failed burn(again the issue only seems to be with RAM and not R or RW discs which I'll continue to burn HS).
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:41 PM
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I'll try a HS copy to the newely rcovered -RAM disks and see if they are reliable.

I have been bitten by this occasionally, but often enought that for "important" content, I copy it to a -RAM disk twice. I figure the chances of two copies being bad are remote, and the probability that two bad copies will have the same spot bad are astronomical. Using playlists, I can always piece togehter the parts of two recording to make one complete error-free one.biggrin.gif

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:37 PM
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Yes it would have been nice to know if the machine I fixed for you would have formatted them also.

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Old 04-16-2013, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I've also been experimenting with my most problematic RAM discs, the two that would fail somewhere during the burn quite regularly. I have been recording only real time to these discs and have recorded to them probably 10 rewrite cycles and NO failures smile.gif Even though I really don't like to use my HDD DVDRs for real time recording, for my specific use(to just transfer the titles to another Panasonic DVDR) I'd rather do this than risk a failed burn(again the issue only seems to be with RAM and not R or RW discs which I'll continue to burn HS).
Well it's been almost a year since I started only realtime burning to my RAM discs(this along with occasionally washing them) and I'm very happy to report I no longer have failures smile.gif
I record to RAM discs daily and before only burning in realtime I would have failures quite often. This was with using multiple Panasonic DVDRs so I don't really believe it was DVDR related but rather how Panasonic DVDRs HS burn to RAM discs('05 and newer if it matters). I really don't like realtime burning in my HDD DVDRs but so far I've had no issues and if it gives me 100% or even close to that burning success then thats what I'll be doing. Note I never have issues HS copying from the burnt RAM disc back to the HDD but just the initial burn if it's done HS.
Note I'm not talking about realtime burning from the HDD to RAM but rather the initial copy from my Tivo via line output to line input of my Panasonics, so the quality is the exact same as if I had first copied to the HDD and then HS copied to RAM smile.gif
Oh and I also believe the occasional RAM disc cleaning also helps too, very early on in my test after about 20 rewrite cycles even burning realtime I would have failures, with cleaning and realtime I now have been having 100% success, which is very nice!
Before doing what I'm doing now I was beginning to really detest RAM discs and their failures, not anymore, now they are just a nice way to move things from one DVDR to another losslessly cool.gif
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