My Panasonic DMR-E85H also had the frozen "Please Wait" problem.I found this site and followed the instructions regarding replacement of the C1270 and C1271 capacitors with Radio Shack 1000uF 35V radial-lead capacitors (model 272-1032) @ $1.59 each. Took about 30 minutes plus the time to get the parts. Keep in mind that my husband and I have never done anything like this before. We followed all the posted instructions and the our Panasonic DMR-E85H works great now. Many thanks to everyone who posted these solutions and especially RandyChev for the great pictures. - What a life saver.
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The power supply board on the DMR-E85H has problems. The earlier boards suffered from leaking capacitors and the later boards from voltage regulator problems. If your machine is now dead, the fuse on the power supply board has also blown.Go to the following links for details and photos on how to fix:Replacing capacitors:http://www.fixya.com/support/t216825-dvd_recorder_frozen_please_wait_displayReplacing the voltage regulator:http://www.rbjtech.net/electrical/e85/e85.htm#0Hope this helps. My machine had the later ps board and the voltage regulator replacement worked perfectly.
This is a hard drive failure and is expensive to fix, and not worthwhile in my opinion. Mine packed in with a disc stuck in the disc drive. It was difficult to retrieve. If you have no disc trapped in the tray, I would suggest dismantling anyway and removing the hard drive if you have a load of unwatched content recorded. You can buy a cable to hook it up to a PC - Although I have not done this yet.
DMR-E85H - Rest In Peace.