Fixing A Misaligned Tape

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I had a video tape for my VCR that had been recorded with some favorite programs and it became jiggly when we tried to watch it. Out of desperation, I flipped open the side to expose the magnetic tape. I don't know what I was expecting to find, but had run out of ideas at this point because the tracking on the VCR wasn't improving the situation.


The tape was situated low, near the base of the cassette. As we didn't have anything to lose, I put my finger on the tape and slid it up on the right and the left to it's correct position.It played just fine. Well, considering it was very old, I threw it out after we'd watched the programs because I didn't want to record on it again.

Moral of the story: if you have very old VCR cassettes, expect this to occur!

By Holly from Richardson, TX

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

I remember back in my early VCR days when a tape with two great movies snapped something inside.
Being the guy I am,,,,, I grabbed a new/blank tape and opened it up. I threw away the tape and very carefully placed one of the reels from the busted one, that had all the tape on it, into the new case.


I then threaded it back up to the new reel on the other side and put the new case back together. It is still in service. I think it is #15/1100 VCR tapes sitting out there. Slowly I am moving tapes to DVDs.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
October 18, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, you can fix any snapped tape with scotch tape. You have to remove the screws from the back, flip it over carefully without dislodging anything and then you can remove the top (front) and the mechanism will stay where it is supposed to. If you try to take the back off, you will have a mess of little pieces that are very difficult to put in place. There is a little white lever that you press to lift up the door where the tape is read. Inside, it is very like a cassette tape. Sometimes they are broken in the middle but more often, they are disconnected to the spool because of the pressure from multiple rewinds.


If there is a badly crumpled place, which makes your VRC stop or eject the tape, you can just cut out the bad part and splice it back together. You will lose a second or two but can salvage the rest of the tape. I bet you could find better instructions online but it isn't too hard. You can do a similar repair to camcorder tapes too, in a pinch.

I impressed my husband the other day by fixing an old "Land Before Time" videotape that my boys HAD to watch. I think he was expecting me to make it worse and then have to drive to the rental store or something. It took me all of 5 minutes.



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