Troubleshoot problems with sending a movie to DV tape

Here are solutions to some common problems with sending a movie to a digital video (DV) tape.

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My computer doesn't find my digital video (DV) camera when I plug the camera in. Why not?

This can occur for the following reasons:

  • The DV camera is not powered on.

  • The DV camera went into standby mode. Some DV cameras will go into standby mode if the DV camera is in the record (Camera) mode with a tape in it and no video or audio is sent to or from the camera.

To fix the problem, do one or more of the following, and then try again:

  • Verify that the DV device is connected properly to your computer with an IEEE 1394 cable or a USB 2.0 cable. An IEEE 1394 cable is a standard way to connect a DV camera to a computer. USB 2.0 connections are less common.

  • Verify that the DV camera is powered on and in VCR (playback) mode.

  • Switch off the DV camera for a few seconds and then switch it on again in VCR (playback/edit) mode. If this doesn't work the first time, try leaving the device turned off longer before turning it back on again to allow time for your computer to register the change.

  • Verify that the DV camera is connected properly to your computer, and that any necessary software drivers for the DV camera are installed. You can check your hardware settings in the Device Manager by doing the following:

    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

    2. Click Hardware and Sound.

    3. Click Device Manager.

I'm not sure if my DV camera supports DV In. What if it doesn't?

Some cameras do not support DV In, which means that a published movie cannot be sent from a computer or other device to the DV camera. To see if your camera supports DV In, check the documentation that came with your DV camera or go to the manufacturer's website.

I can't get the camera and computer to connect. Which mode should the camera be in?

The DV camera must be in playback mode to record your movie from your computer to DV tape. Playback mode is usually labeled VCR or VTR on the camera.

To fix the problem, do one or more of the following, and then try again:

  • Verify that the DV camera is powered on and in VCR (playback) mode.

  • Verify that the DV device is connected properly to your computer with an IEEE 1394 cable or a USB 2.0 cable. Devices that use both IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 connectors typically use the IEEE 1394 connection to import video.

  • Switch off the DV camera for a few seconds and then switch it on again in VCR (playback) mode. If this doesn't work the first time, try leaving the device turned off longer before turning it back on again to allow time for your computer to register the change.

I can't send my movie to my camera. What is wrong?

There may be no tape in your DV camera. To fix this problem, insert a writeable DV tape into the camera, and then try to record your movie to tape again.

I can't record my movie to tape in my camera because Windows Movie Maker says that my DV tape is write-protected. What does that mean, and how can I fix it?

Many DV tape cassettes come with a write-protect tab that you can slide so that no one can record new video on the tape. You can use the tabs to protect video that has already been recorded.

The following picture shows a DV tape with write-protection removed so a movie can be recorded to the tape:

Picture of DV tape with write protection removed
DV tape with write protection removed

To fix the problem and record your movie to tape, do the following:

  1. Make sure that the tape does not contain any video that you want to save by reviewing the tape in the camera in VCR mode.

  2. Eject the tape from your DV camera.

  3. Move the write-protect tab on the tape from SAVE to REC.

  4. Insert the tape back into the DV camera, and then try recording to tape again.

After I record my movie to tape and play it in the camera or on TV from the camera, I see that the first few seconds of the movie are missing. How do I fix that?

This problem occurs because some cameras do not begin recording back to tape fast enough to record the first few seconds of the movie.

To fix this problem, you can add a title to the beginning of your film whose text color and background color are the same. To learn more about adding titles, see Add movie titles and credits.

I can't get all of my Windows Movie Maker movie on the DV tape when I record in SP mode. What do I do?

For recording a movie to DV tape, there are two basic recording modes that you can use that determine the amount of video you can record to the DV tape: Standard Play (SP) and Long Play (LP). If you record in SP mode, the tape speed is faster than when you record in LP mode. Though the quality of the recorded video is better in SP mode, the amount of video and audio that can be recorded to the tape is decreased.

To fix the problem, do one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the length of your movie by removing items from the storyboard/timeline in Windows Movie Maker.

  • On the DV camera, set the record mode to LP. For more information about switching the recording mode on your DV camera to LP, see the documentation that came with your DV camera or go to the manufacturer's website.

I get an error message that says that my temporary movie file exceeds the FAT32 4-gigabyte size limit. What does that mean and how do I fix it?

This message occurs if you publish a longer movie file to tape, and the specified temporary storage location is on a volume or partition that uses the FAT32 file system. The FAT32 file system is used by MS‑DOS and some Windows-based operating systems to organize and manage files.

To fix this problem, do one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the length of your movie by removing items from the storyboard/timeline in Windows Movie Maker.

  • Convert your file system to use the NTFS file system, which does not have a file size limit. Save your current project in Windows Movie Maker, close any open applications, and then convert your file system to use the NTFS system. To learn more, see Convert a volume to NTFS format.

  • If you have multiple partitions on your hard disk, and if one partition is formatted using the NTFS file system, do the following:

    1. Click Tools, and then click Options.

    2. On the General tab, in the Temporary storage box, choose the partition that is formatted using the NTFS file system.