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Hello. Yes, you do need power to open the disc door. When you slide the disc cover open switch, you should hear the little musical sound, and then the "preparing to open cover" appears in the lcd display. Then the door opens automatically. As for charging the corder, you can get a new ac charger for 25 bucks on Ebay. Sony uses a special plug that is inserted. If you want to go the cheaper route, I saw mobile *battery* chargers for your unit(not to be used as camcorder power supplies) as inexpensive as 8 bucks...most were 10 dollars and up...the input voltage/current to the cam is 12v @ 500ma. However, the fact that the connector isn't the generic "cylinder" shaped power connector makes purchasing a compatable power source a necessity. ---Rick
There is no easy solution. Qualified Sony servicers have a service remote that connects to the lanc jack. There are hexadecimal codes supplied in sequence to cause the micro to output a signal to open the door. However, disassembly by a qualified tech can allow mecahnical release as well. I can tell you this is not an a do it yourself fix. This particular model once it is unhappy with a disc will never open, the problem was irradicated in subsequent models. Third party brand discs and discs with surface marring, especially fingerprints, will lock up the works.