My husband was able to fix the problem. It turns out that the sensor switch was jammed. He used a piece of duct tape to block the signal while putting in a tape. The tape went in and still worked after he removed the duct tape. I have recorded and played a tape, so all is well right now.
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You have a transport problem, the mechanism the plays, FF or rewinds is not working.
Someone is going to have to open and look at the unit---as simple as a belt off or broken to the idler (rubber or geared) that doe the actual work, finding a shop that will work on a VCR unit is getting hard as most of the current techs have never seen this type of unit.
What I used to do when I opened one was have a old cassette with the tape removed! but the reels inside of it still there--tape off both sides of the cassette where it opens so the sensors on either side do not try to stop the unit from allowing this.
This way with the unit open and the dummy cassette in you can see thru its top to see if the reels are moving or not and not have the tape get in the way.
the tape coming back out and unravels the tape means the loading mechanism is the problem----when a tape goes in it loads the tape down, then it pulls the tape out of the cassette and puts it up against the drum with the video heads-----many of these are belt driven and a bad belt or belts will cause this----it is called the loading and or transport mechanism.......when it fails the arms come back but the tape does not get rewound back into the cassette so it mangles it when the cassette door on the tape closes----most likely a belt or the drive idler which also rewinds and fast forwards the tape.
One way is to take off the cover of the unit so that you can see where the tape is hung up and help push the tape out. (One of two problems are usually involved: the cassette cover isn't closing down evenly (a high corner blocking the travel path) or a loop of the tape blocking the cover closing.)
On my VCR unit it was ~4 screws on the back that held the cover in place. (That was VCR only. There might be a few more screws in the larger unit.)
you have probably bent the tab that holds the tape end sensor or its light. The tapes have a clear section at the end of the tape and the light shines through to the sensor to tell the unit that the tape is finished. The light should not pass through the recordable part of the tapes. If anything is bent the light may shine on the sensor and tell the unit you're at the end of the tape and to shut off. Some units have a tape tension sensor also that tells the unit that the tape is broken and to shut off. Only way to know is to remove power and take it apart and look for anything that may be bent. Stay away from the rotating head assembly and the posts that the tap travels on. Do not apply power with the unit open. Do not load a tape and remove power as some units freeze in the loaded position and will not load new tapes unless manually placed back in the unloaded position.