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How to fix a sticking Videotape
If you have a video tape or audio tape which sticks or doesn't run smoothly, this can be fixed by a simple method. I'll explain this in case it helps. Incidentally, if your videotape has snapped, this can also be fixed! See how to mend a snapped videotape. With any of these minor problems, don't despair! It is usually possible to mend video tapes.
With a cassette tape of any sort, there can be a type of problem that happens where the tape starts to stick. But if that happens, here's what you should do:
1. Set the machine to rewind all the way back. Leave it running and eventually it will get back to the start of the tape.
2. Now set the machine to wind forward all the way to the end. It will take a while, but eventually it will get there.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 a few times.
The result should be a tape that now runs smoothly.
The reason this works is because tape doesn't always go onto the spools smoothly, but if you give it the long haul treatment and take it all the way to the end and the beginning, it winds on more smoothly.
A side effect which is also worth considering, is that it's good for the tape magnetically. Tape tends to leak magnetism into its adjacent loop on the spool, but by giving it a rewind/wind, it is shuffled and the recording lasts longer. This was common practice in the early days of computer mag-tape drives!
Drastic measures: What if the method doesn't work? It's true; there can be problems inside a videocassette which affect the running resistance, apart from the uneven winding of the tape. If this happens, you can still rescue your recording by transplanting the spools of tape into the cassette from another tape. Care is required so you don't lose any of the parts.
With this page and with how to mend a snapped videotape you should be able to get that tape fixed! Good luck!
That's about it then, how to mend a videotape. Feel free to save/print this page and credit* the fact that it is at Zyra's website www.zyra.org.uk where there are plenty of other useful and to some extent crazy ideas. * Credit? Yes, it is only fair to give a link to Zyra if you copy the page! This particular page is www.zyra.info/tapesmoothing.htm
In case you'd like to resolve a problem with a failed hard disc drive instead of a video tape, see hard disc drive recovery companies such as ESS Data Recovery, Xytron, Palmer Data Recovery and Ontrack Data Recovery rather than opening it up!
This method of video tape smoothing by repeated rewinding and winding may also help tapes which have gone mouldy.