I had a little difficulty getting a tape out. After I did get it out I now cannot get the tape shuttle to go all the way in with a tape. It works fine without a tape. All of the rollers seem to be inplace and move as though to pull the tape in. But with a tape in the shuttle just stops about midway down.
The open handed smack to the tape side actually worked. We were just about to buy a new camcorder after all of the repair shops said that it would cost more to repair than to buy new. There's nothing like beat to fit.
Thanks for the solution! I too had the exact same issue. I used the "whack-a-cam" technique and it now works perfectly! I am very careful with my electronics and have only recorded 8 one-hour tapes. I was surprised that the camera started to malfunction with relatively little use. This is my 4th Sony video camera and I have never had one go bad. I have only upgraded the cameras due to recording formats. Thanks again!
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Buy a Sony-make head cleaning cassette and play it in the camera for 10 seconds. Do not play for more time, neither forward or reverse the cleaning cassette, otherwise you will damage the head of the camera. This cleaning cassette is to be thrown when it is fully played (and not rewound!).
Have you all tried using a new battery? It happened to me before where I would try and load the tape and the motor just hung and wouldn't allow the tape to fully go in. I tried to recharge the battery to see if that was the problem and even left it plugged in but camcorder appeared to still be weak. I think went to Wolf's camera and asked if I may if a bigger batter would feel weird with my current camcorder (I just said that so I could see if I could borrow a new battery and see if it would fix the problem). When I installed the new battery, it loaded the tape with no problems.
A C31:40 error indicates that the drum (the spinning video head) is either not spinning or is not supplying a signal to the main computer to tell the computer it is spinning. It could be a bad drum or a loose connection. It will likely take a qualified technician to verify the diagnosis.