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This message is displayed when the device is checking for its hard drive and DVD drive to signal back that they are operational. You can consider this a bit like the BIOS of a computer as it is waiting for its devices to come back with a "READY" signal. If "PLEASE WAIT" is scrolling across your screen for a really long time it could mean that the two devices with moving parts (HDD / DVD) may be having an issue coming up. UNPLUG unit from wall. Wait for some time (5 min) and then plug it back in. If your device is still not working then you have either a bum HDD or a bum DVD. Considering which one is working all the time (HDD) you probably have a dead hard drive, but my own unit's DVD drive went nuts, so that is also a potential source of the problem.
Either way, your local computer repair store can have a look at this issue, considering what the unit is is basically a single purpose PC
I had the same problem. After googling I found that the HDD might be faulty so I unplugged the device, brought it upstairs to unscrew it (to change the HDD for an empty new one). One last check before I really unscrewed the cover - and the recorder started again! After 5 minutes the 'please wait' returned. So, did the same thing again, tried a few times, and the recorder started. Then, I imediately reformatted the HDD, and the problem is now gone.