JVC Camcorder Errors "REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY" or "UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE" or E04

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Juan Carrera, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Juan Carrera

    Juan Carrera Guest

    This is the 06/01/2004 update concerning "REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY" or
    "UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE" problems that affect many JVC camcorder owners.
    Many also
    have had only blank tape to show after videotaping. The problems also go by
    error codes such as "E01", "E03", "E04" and probably others, depending on
    the camera model. In the case where the unit seems to record but the tape is
    empty later, there is no error code, to my knowledge.

    There are so many complaints on the Internet that I have started keeping
    track of them at http://jvc-class-action.blogspot.com The earliest complaint
    dates back to 1997.

    There are 503 people complaining about the issues listed above. So far 179
    of these people have given me their contact information and joined this
    lawsuit. There are complaints from 26 different countries, and 82 different
    JVC camcorder models.

    Here is the number of complaints, by JVC Camcorder Model. The letters at the
    end of the model number have been removed, as they only indicate which
    country or market the model was sold in. For example, if you have a
    GR-DVM90U model, drop the "U" at the end before looking in the following
    list. If you do not find your model number listed, it is because there are
    two or fewer complaints about that model.

    MODEL # COMPLAINTS
    GR-DVM90 35
    GR-DVL300 14
    GR-DVL805 13
    GR-DVL505 9
    GR-DVL100 9
    GR-DVX10 7
    GR-DVM80 7
    GR-DVF21 7
    GR-DVX8 6
    GR-DVL520 5
    GR-DVL720 5
    GR-DVM70 5
    GR-DVX9 5
    GR-DVP3 4
    GR-DVX44 4
    GR-DVL150 3
    GR-DVX80 3
    GR-DVL500 3
    GR-DVL510 3
    GR-DVL20 3
    GR-DVL915 3
    GR-SXM240 3

    COUNTRIES COMPLAINING

    ARGENTINA
    AUSTRALIA
    AUSTRIA
    BRAZIL
    CANADA
    COLOMBIA
    DENMARK
    FINLAND
    FRANCE
    GERMANY
    GUATEMALA
    HOLLAND
    ISRAEL
    ITALY
    MEXICO
    NETHERLANDS
    NEW ZEALAND
    POLAND
    PORTUGAL
    ROMANIA
    SLOVENIA
    SOUTH AFRICA
    SPAIN
    SWEDEN
    UNITED KINGDOM
    UNITED STATES

    A legal firm is preparing the case against JVC. This process will take some
    time, but it will get JVC's attention. As part of their investigation, they
    have asked me to ask you to consider lending your camera to a mechanical
    engineer who is looking at the problems that affect us all.

    Your camcorder would be shipped via Fedex, free of charge, insured, and
    returned to you a few weeks later. I for one am sending mine in, since I own
    the GR-DVM90, the model with the most complaints, and there is particular
    interest in looking at models with the highest number of complaints.

    I realize the uneasiness you might feel in lending your camera to strangers,
    but this is a key step in the lawsuit. The lawyers need to present the case
    in court with a solid, convincing argument that JVC has done a poor job of
    designing and manufacturing their cameras, so the more cameras they can look
    at, the better. If your camera is, due to its problems, virtually unusable
    at this point, you would help the lawsuit and possibly get a clear diagnosis
    of the problem with your particular unit if you agree to lend it in.

    If you have not joined this lawsuit, join now, and you will help yourself,
    us, and future camcorder buyers. These problems have been known to JVC for
    years; they affect multiple product lines, and have cost us time and money.
    Worse, we have lost opportunities to tape our family and other things that
    are important to us. Together, we have great power and cannot be ignored by
    JVC or asked to pay for repairs that do not work. There is no cost to you or
    any obligation on your part if you decide to join.

    To join, send your name, address, phone number, camera model, and a
    description of your losses, and any horror stories to

    Here is additional information about the camcorder problems. For most of us
    this information arrives too late to do anything about our cameras, but
    maybe it will help you understand your particular situation better.

    Here is some information about the UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE and REATTACH
    BATTERY problems that your JVC camera is having. Everything here has to do
    with those errors and those errors only. I hope at the end you will
    understand your particular situation and be in a better position to decide
    what to do about your broken unit.

    First of all, you should know that I am not a camcorder technician, but a
    consumer just like you. The Internet is full of "solutions" but often they
    are more rumor, coincidence, and temporary workarounds than real solutions.
    I will try to sort through these too. I am not responsible for anything that
    happens to your camera as a result of your reading this document. Whatever
    you do is your decision and thus you are responsible for the consequences.

    THE PROBLEMS

    When the little motor that pulls the videotape through the camera detects
    that the tape is not moving at the right speed, you get the SAFEGUARD MODE
    error. The principle here is that the camcorder detects a problem and shuts
    down in order to avoid doing additional damage to the unit. This is a
    legitimate way of protecting itself.

    The problem is that there are many reasons why the unit might not be able to
    move the tape, and obviously the question is: Why it is happening to my unit
    in particular? If your unit is still under warranty, then by all means run
    to JVC and have it diagnosed and repaired for free as soon as possible. Once
    your warranty runs out, if you start getting these errors again, it can cost
    over $150 just to have JVC look at it. Then possibly several hundred more to
    repair the unit.

    THE SOLUTIONS

    Solution #1: Cold Reset
    The reason it tells you to REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY is not that the
    battery is bad, but that removing all sources of energy (battery and power
    cord) causes a COLD RESET. When you use the unit's on/off switch, parts of
    the camera are still receiving power and so you do not get the benefits of a
    COLD RESET. Just like your car; turning the ignition off will still power
    the clock and radio. You have to completely remove all power. If you are
    lucky, the camera will reset itself and start working again.

    Solution #2: Awareness of Humidity
    It seems older units would issue the same SAFEGUARD MODE error message for
    more than one problem. For example, older units do not tell you that they
    are shutting down for an hour because they detected high condensation, or
    moisture. So you play with the camera, remove the battery, reattach it,
    remove the tape, reinsert it, stand on your head, pray to your god, go to
    the bathroom, and voila! The camera is working again. It was nothing you
    did, just that the humidity went down enough for the unit to start working
    again. So consider high humidity as a possible source of the problem. If it
    is a rainy day, or you are near the sea, you might never get it to work that
    day in that location.

    Solution #3: Head Cleaning
    If you have never used a head-cleaning tape on your camcorder, you might
    give that a try. Mine has come back to life a few times by doing just that.
    Just don't do it too many times in a row because you can permanently damage
    the head. Read the instructions.

    So we have covered a few reasons why these errors come and go as if by
    magic. They are intermittent and recurring. The camera will appear to work
    at times, and the next minute it shuts down.

    Solution #4 : Fake Solutions
    Another reason why the problems come and go is that, as several technicians
    have reported, the problem can be a loose connector inside. That is why some
    people report that tapping the camera gently or rocking it side to side has
    brought it back to life. Some have gone as far as putting cardboard between
    the tape door and the tape mechanism in order to exert pressure and keep the
    camera working. I can only warn you that these kinds of "repairs" are
    temporary and likely to damage the unit further. Control your anger!

    Solution #5: Compressed Air
    On some models, there is no shield covering the many delicate electronic and
    moving parts in the tape mechanism when you open it to replace the tape. A
    piece of dirt, grain of sand, or other debris can get caught in the tiny
    gears and stop movement or throw them off alignment. You can explore this
    possibility by getting a can of compressed air at any computer shop and
    blowing it into the inside of the camera. Follow the instructions, keeping
    the air nozzle however many inches away from the target as they say.
    Practice on some other object first, because if you tilt the can or hold it
    too close to the target you can freeze the target and do more damage than
    good. This applies to fingers too!

    Solution #6: Tape Age, Brand, and Type

    Have you tried using a brand new tape? Or only your really old ones? Try a
    new tape.

    Now for the controversial issue of what brand of tape to use. Controversial
    because JVC's own Stacy Sample, Service Coordinator for JVC in Houston, TX
    says that "TDK and Maxell tapes tend to be two brands that are very
    problematic in our digital line wherein Panasonic, JVC and Fuji seem fine.
    We just find that TDK has the most problems, Maxell is a close second and
    Sony is 50% of the time. The others I mention rarely have a problem." Why
    JVC does not make this information available when you purchase the unit or
    visit their many websites is beyond me.

    A different point of view I ran into is. Yes, there is an issue, but it has
    nothing to do with the brand, but with the tape type. There are MP and ME
    tapes. These two types use different particles, and different lubrication.
    The two lubricating materials form some sort of goo when mixed together, if
    you use both types of tape in the same unit. So as long as you don't mix
    tapes of different types, they will work just fine in your camcorder. Some
    refer to these types as "dry" and "wet", but I don't know which is which. In
    any case, it is not known (to me) how accurate this point of view of not
    mixing tape types is.

    Solution #7: Do not store tape in unit
    Because of the delicate nature of the miniDV mechanism, do not store the
    unit with a tape inside. The theory is that a loaded tape will put pressure
    on parts of the mechanism and increase the chance that parts will stick
    together, making the tape harder to be pulled by the motor, causing the
    SAFEGUARD error.

    Solution #8: Send in for Service
    Let us say you have tried all of the above and your camera still will not
    work. Now you have to decide whether to send the camera in for repair or
    not. My JVC camcorder, model GR-DVM90, turns out to be the model that most
    frequently suffers from these problems. For that reason, I am not having the
    camera serviced and instead taking JVC to court in a class-action lawsuit,
    which you are welcome to join free of charge and with no obligation.

    If you find your model on the list I provided above, and there are a lot of
    complaints, I would interpret that as meaning that the problem you have is
    not with your individual unit but a design problem. Fixing it will probably
    result in the problem coming back. But you will have to make up you own
    mind. JVC will take your money over and over again to make the same repair
    over and over. If you can afford to do that, great. I cannot, so we are
    going to court.

    Juan Carrera
    11021 N Snapper Creek, Miami, FL 33173-2020
    Best way to reach me:
    email to
    and also
    Or at 305-815-2081 (cell)
    Or at 305-279-8270 (home)
    NO MARKETING CALLS, MAIL or EMAIL PLEASE!
    Juan Carrera, Jun 22, 2004
    #1
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  2. Juan Carrera

    mtcrawford

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    what happened with solving this issue?

    I just found this because my old JVC video camera is now giving me this same error. What happened? Is there a solution?
    mtcrawford, Jul 5, 2011
    #2
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  3. Juan Carrera

    gm32801

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    juan, i need to join the suit,glenn
    gm32801, Feb 13, 2012
    #3
  4. Juan Carrera

    Cyberbear50

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Juan, thanks for the post have had to take JVC GR-DVP3 back for servicing every time I have tried to use the unit!! Still charged service fee even under the 30day return period. Was not aware that the E01 was an inbuilt money making glitch. Would love the join the suit if not to late. Bobby
    Cyberbear50, Mar 21, 2012
    #4
  5. Juan Carrera

    Dlhandy

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    I also have been having this issue but on a different model listed. My model is GR-SXM520U with constant error E03.

    I would like to join as well if possible.
    Dlhandy, Oct 3, 2012
    #5
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