Hi. I have the same camcorder and it worked fine for the last 6 out of 7 years, but recently it started to have similar mechanical problems to what you're describing. Finally it just stopped loading the tapes and not playing or recording the tapes either. I took it to BestBuy for an estimate: Beyond Economical Repair. basically, the whole motor transport unit has to be replaced if you start getting problems such as you are describing. I would count my blessings that your tapes haven't been mangled by the machine. have the service center assess the situation, but I can almost guarantee they will send it back to you unrepaired. Since 8mm is a dying format anyway, i borrow/bought one from Radio Shack to tape an event of my son's, then used it to transfer the tapes to my DVD burner and then returned the unit the next week for a full refund. The new 8mm's aren't even worth the money. Get a direct to DVD camcorder if you can swing the money. I hate to abandon 8mm after 7 years and 4 hours of really good family tapes, but burning them to DVD and waiting till we get a new DVD camcorder will just have to do. If you look at what's available now, miniDV seems to be the dominant format for tape camcorders be they analog or digital, but miniDV will probably go the same way that 8mm has, i.e. extinction. anyway, best of luck, but I'd transfer those tapes to DVD as soon as you can. all the best. spike p.