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This unit is designed to work with DVD-R, DVD-RAM and other discs as listed in the manual. You don't need to format discs for them to work in this machine. Just put the blank disc in, and record something to it.
Do you mean it won't format/initialize the disc? Alternative possible problem, when you put in a disc, does it not recognize that a blank disc is in the unit? Only DVD-RAM discs need formatting. DVD-RW discs need to be initialized. DVD-R disc do not need either formatting or initializing. (This unit does not write to DVD+R or DVD+RW discs.)
In the case of DVD-RW discs that can't be initialized. Check if this has already been done (or if you need to unfinalize the disc).
If the new disc is not being recognized as a blank disc, the recorder may not be recognizing the disc (dirt, scratches or manufacturing issue) or the recorder is not focusing on the disc properly. In the first case, clean the disc or try a different type of disc (Samsung claims that their discs will be most compatible). In the second case, the unit may need service.
I hope this helps.
Cindy Wells (usually tracking and focus problems will be seen on both recording and playback (even with commercial discs).)
vfazzi - You shouldn't have to format a DVD - it should do that automatically when you put a blank one in, or when you start the recording by pressing REC. After the recording is done, you will need to finalize to play it in another player, and the option should then be available (It would "know" not to let you finalize a blank disc).
Are you loading to play or to record? Commercial DVDs should play. DVDs for recording may not be recognized by your drive. First make sure that the disc is blank. You must insert a blank disc of the proper format: DVD-R or RW, DVD+R or RW. Even with the proper format, some brands may not behave the same way as other brands.
If the player is in VCR mode you will get this problem when loading discs, make sure the light on the front shows dvd. It also happens when trying to record form VHS to DVD in the dubbing menu if you are in DVD mode.
I have a similar problem in that it will not record at all or not record very well. It has a drive inside like a PC DVD drive called the DVD RAM drive. The horrible clunking (grinding) sound is the disc slipping in the spindle. Unfortunately here in Australia the fix is to replace the whole drive (AU$350)!!
I have opened it up and tried to adjust the force of the spindle and it works for a while.
Hope somebody has a better solution.