raintheory

Raintheory's TOC Cloning Guide and FAQ's - MZ-R700 Modification Guide

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The basics behind TOC Cloning are fairly simple.. Legacy MiniDisc audio data is stored in such a way that when a track or disc is erased, the audio data remains on the disc until it is rewritten. Only the TOC has been altered and no longer references the files.

TOC Cloning Procedure (Using a modified R700/G750 or other portable recorder):

- Create a "source disc", which is a disc with 1 long track (entire length of disc) recorded in whatever format your lost recording is in. This will be your "Source TOC". DO NOT use your disc that you want to rescue to do this!

- Insert your "source disc" into your TOC-Cloning recorder, and after the "source TOC" is read into memory, you eject the "source disc" without the unit knowing (tricky part).

- Insert your "victim disc" (again, without unit knowing the disc has been swapped).

- Make a small edit.. such as naming the track or adding a track mark, and then have the unit write the "source TOC" to the "victim disc" by pressing STOP.

The resulting recovered disc will need to be trackmarked again, and works best if there hasn't been extensive deleting/moving tracks around on the disc.

If you are using a deck for TOC-Cloning, the exact method for allowing the deck to write the TOC may vary (see vore's posts below).

---

Modifying the MZ-R700/MZ-G750 to enable cloning:

(Please note that although this has worked fine for me, I cannot guarantee this method. There is an inherent risk of breaking your unit any time you try a modification such as the one described here.)

The R700/G750 contains two switches that need to be bypassed in order to eject/replace a disc whilst keeping the unit powered on and unaware that the eject/replace has taken place.

The first of the two switches (as shown in the photos below) is located near the unit's eject machanism. When the eject mechanism is used, the switch is moved to the side and power is cut-off from the unit. Press the eject button in a few times with the unit open to see where the switch is/how it moves.

post-1817-1190761685_thumb.jpgpost-1817-1190761701_thumb.jpg

This "eject mechanism" switch can be bypassed without taking the unit apart. Unfortunately I have not found a way to gracefully bypass this switch, so I have physically removed (broken) the switch with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Please note this is the only non-reversible modification that will be done to the unit.

The second switch is located inside the bottom half of the unit, between the headphone/remote jack and the Mic-In. To access this switch you will need a small phillips-head screwdriver. An eyeglass repair kit works perfectly.

Remove the battery and the 4 screws (don't lose them!) from the bottom half of the unit (battery side). The hardest part of the procedure is removing the casing from the bottom half of the unit. See page 7 of the service manual for help, available in the downloads section (hint: you need to press the eject button in the whole way and remove that side first).

With the bottom half of the casing removed, locate the small black switch between the headphone and mic jacks. There is a metal "foot" that holds this switch down when the unit is closed. In the following photo I have bypassed this switch using simply a small piece of cardstock paper wedged in on top of it, holding it down.

post-1817-1190761939_thumb.jpg

Both switches are now bypassed, and your R700/G750 is now capable of TOC Cloning following the instructions above!

For other portables, the second switch should be in the same place, you may need to find out how to bypass the eject switch though, as it is most likely different. Browse the Service Manuals in the downloads section for help.

If you are hesitant and/or unable to perform TOC Cloning yourself, feel free to drop me a PM.

---

More TOC Cloning info cane be found here:

Sony Decks: http://www.minidisc.org/cloning_procedure.html

Sharp MD-MS701: http://www-public.tu-bs.de:8080/~y0001729/...lone/index.html

Edited by raintheory

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Hey raintheory,

I restored 4 mini discs so far. The amended procedure for my deck MDS-JE470 is as follows:

Disc A A blank disc that you record nothing on. See below

Disc B The original disc that was accidentally erased

Take a blank disc and Record (in the same format) "nothing" for the length of the disc."

Turn off the deck and let the TOC write to the disc.

Lets call it Disc A

This disc can be used for future restores so hold onto it.

1. Insert Disc A into the deck.

2. Cut power to the deck (pull the plug or use a switchable outlet on your amp)

3. Press AMS knob and restore power to the deck at the same time.

.....Your in Service mode TEMP CHECK is on the display (don't touch any other controls).

4. Eject Disc A

5. Insert Disc B (The original disc you accidentally erased)

6. Cut power to the deck. (pull the plug or use a switchable outlet on your amp)

7. Turn the deck back on

.....You will see that the counter will read one full track.

8. Press play (you original recording will play)

9. Divide the 1 track or write to the disc

10. Press stop

11. Turn off the deck for the "write" to take effect

12. Turn on the deck to see if the TOC wrote to the disc.

.....Your disc should be restored.

I'm a bit crazy with this. I've held on to discs for over a year that were accidentally erased and I thought were lost. After 2 restores I got it down to a science and it takes about 4 seconds for the 12 steps once you get the hang of it.

What I'd like to do is write the original author who over complicated the instructions and offer our revised instructions after your comments.

REVISED PROCEDURE 09/17/07 10:17 PM

REVISED AGAIN 09/18/07 2:56 AM

Every time I restore an original disc it seems that a different procedure is required for it to work on my deck. Please verify the above and let me know if the instructions I wrote are OK.

Revised 09/25/07

The above procedure does work BUT...if the original disc that's to be restored was one full long track, you might have TOC write problems trying to edit it after the restoration. If your original recording had more than on track or if there was room on the disc for additional recordings, the method as outlined will work for the decks as described.

All I want to do is sleep....lol

Edited by vore

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This thread will be developed over time, but I think this deserves to be pinned already.

* Thread Pinned

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Thanks Aaron (Raintheory) for this great tutorial! :ok:

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The basics behind TOC Cloning are fairly simple.. Legacy MiniDisc audio data is stored in such a way that when a track or disc is erased, the audio data remains on the disc until it is rewritten. Only the TOC has been altered and no longer references the files.

TOC Cloning Procedure (Using a modified R700/G750 or other portable recorder):

- Create a "source disc", which is a disc with 1 long track (entire length of disc) recorded in whatever format your lost recording is in. This will be your "Source TOC". DO NOT use your disc that you want to rescue to do this!

- Insert your "source disc" into your TOC-Cloning recorder, and after the "source TOC" is read into memory, you eject the "source disc" without the unit knowing (tricky part).

- Insert your "victim disc" (again, without unit knowing the disc has been swapped).

- Make a small edit.. such as naming the track or adding a track mark, and then have the unit write the "source TOC" to the "victim disc" by pressing STOP.

The resulting recovered disc will need to be trackmarked again, and works best if there hasn't been extensive deleting/moving tracks around on the disc.

If you are using a deck for TOC-Cloning, the exact method for allowing the deck to write the TOC may vary (see vore's posts below).

---

Modifying the MZ-R700/MZ-G750 to enable cloning:

(Please note that although this has worked fine for me, I cannot guarantee this method. There is an inherent risk of breaking your unit any time you try a modification such as the one described here.)

The R700/G750 contains two switches that need to be bypassed in order to eject/replace a disc whilst keeping the unit powered on and unaware that the eject/replace has taken place.

The first of the two switches (as shown in the photos below) is located near the unit's eject machanism. When the eject mechanism is used, the switch is moved to the side and power is cut-off from the unit. Press the eject button in a few times with the unit open to see where the switch is/how it moves.

post-74987-1241375785.jpgpost-74987-1241375798.jpg

This "eject mechanism" switch can be bypassed without taking the unit apart. Unfortunately I have not found a way to gracefully bypass this switch, so I have physically removed (broken) the switch with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Please note this is the only non-reversible modification that will be done to the unit.

The second switch is located inside the bottom half of the unit, between the headphone/remote jack and the Mic-In. To access this switch you will need a small phillips-head screwdriver. An eyeglass repair kit works perfectly.

Remove the battery and the 4 screws (don't lose them!) from the bottom half of the unit (battery side). The hardest part of the procedure is removing the casing from the bottom half of the unit. See page 7 of the service manual for help, available in the downloads section (hint: you need to press the eject button in the whole way and remove that side first).

With the bottom half of the casing removed, locate the small black switch between the headphone and mic jacks. There is a metal "foot" that holds this switch down when the unit is closed. In the following photo I have bypassed this switch using simply a small piece of cardstock paper wedged in on top of it, holding it down.

post-33150-1241436414.png

Both switches are now bypassed, and your R700/G750 is now capable of TOC Cloning following the instructions above!

For other portables, the second switch should be in the same place, you may need to find out how to bypass the eject switch though, as it is most likely different. Browse the Service Manuals in the downloads section for help.

If you are hesitant and/or unable to perform TOC Cloning yourself, feel free to drop me a PM.

---

More TOC Cloning info cane be found here:

Sony Decks: http://www.minidisc.org/cloning_procedure.html

Sharp MD-MS701: http://www-public.tu-bs.de:8080/~y0001729/...lone/index.html

Hey raintheory,

I'm extremely impressed with your detailed instructions on TOC cloning using the R700 and G750 portables. My one comment would be the practicality of opening up and modifying a perfectly good mini disc player. Even if the average person in here had some sort of skills to perform the 'mini'(micro)-surgery the harm that might happen to the unit concerns me.

I love taking things apart and putting them back together. I have a box full of all the spare parts I had left over from all the re-assemblies of computers, carburetor, hard drives, vacuum cleaners, keyboards, refrigerators, belt sanders, clocks and TV's I fixed.

I found it amazing that after all the repairs I performed, my appliances and computer gear worked fairly well (if not almost as well) as the manufacturer originally intended. I assumed that most manufacturers overcompensate in their designs by giving the consumer more screws and springs and things that are actually needed for the appliance to work. As a mater of fact, I'm utilizing all the spare parts I collected over the years to build a vacuum computer that can sand floors, tell you what time it is so you can watch a TV program on time as you make coffee and keep cool while getting really great gas mileage. Patents are pending.

I would like to think that Sony or Sharp would include this 'overcompensation of parts' in their production of portable mini-disc recorders but because the parts are so microscopically small for everything to fit into one of these things, I find it highly unlikely.

Would it be a silly idea to just buy an inexpensive mini disc deck to use not only for an additional recording source but to restore the TOC? These decks can be had for about $120.00 now.

As I posted, I use my deck to restore TOC in erased discs with minor problems. It must be that my deck needs some adjustments...wheres my screwdriver?

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Hey raintheory,

I'm extremely impressed with your detailed instructions on TOC cloning using the R700 and G750 portables. My one comment would be the practicality of opening up and modifying a perfectly good mini disc player. Even if the average person in here had some sort of skills to perform the 'mini'(micro)-surgery the harm that might happen to the unit concerns me.

True, it isn't something I would recommend doing if you only own one unit and use it extensively. However, for anyone such as myself who has upgraded to Hi-MD, and/or happens to have an extra unit sitting around collecting dust it might be worth a shot.

Personally I did not initially modify the R700 out of a need for TOC Cloning myself, but rather as an experiment to see if it could be done. I had seen instructions for sony decks and older sharp portables, but nothing for any sony portables.

Would it be a silly idea to just buy an inexpensive mini disc deck to use not only for an additional recording source but to restore the TOC? These decks can be had for about $120.00 now.

I think it's definitely more reasonable to get a deck that needs no physical modifications performed in order to be capable of TOC Cloning, it's not silly at all. Plus decks are awesome, I've owned a couple myself. However at this time the deck that I own (MXD-D40) cannot perform TOC cloning AFAIK... As I cannot find a way to get into service mode. Oddly enough, I did own the same deck as you around the same time that I did the R700 mod, though I never tested or tried TOC cloning with it. I am very glad that you tested and confirmed that it is indeed possible.

The R700 mod is moreso a project for one to consider if they do not have access/need for a deck, or happen to have an unused R700 lying around, as I stated before.

The first portion of my post, that details the basics of the TOC cloning "theory" (or practice, one might say), is really the main point of the post. The R700 mod is just a little extra on my part. I did include a disclaimer stating that there is a risk of breaking your unit. :)

Edited by raintheory

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from raintheory:

However at this time the deck that I own (MXD-D40) cannot perform TOC cloning AFAIK... As I cannot find a way to get into service mode.

I can fix your deck if you like... :pleasantry:

Edited by vore

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Great!! Now if only I could find all of the discs that I thought needed cloning...why didn't I mark them? Ugh. I gave up long ago I guess...the recordings were from 2002 :-)

Interesting read!

minispecs

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The basics behind TOC Cloning are fairly simple.. Legacy MiniDisc audio data is stored in such a way that when a track or disc is erased, the audio data. remains on the disc until it is rewritten. Only the TOC has been altered and no longer references the files.

TOC Cloning Procedure (Using a modified R700/G750 or other portable recorder):

- Create a "source disc", which is a disc with 1 long track (entire length of disc) recorded in whatever format your lost recording is in. This will be your "Source TOC". DO NOT use your disc that you want to rescue to do this!

- Insert your "source disc" into your TOC-Cloning recorder, and after the "source TOC" is read into memory, you eject the "source disc" without the unit knowing (tricky part).

- Insert your "victim disc" (again, without unit knowing the disc has been swapped).

- Make a small edit.. such as naming the track or adding a track mark, and then have the unit write the "source TOC" to the "victim disc" by pressing STOP.

The resulting recovered disc will need to be trackmarked again, and works best if there hasn't been extensive deleting/moving tracks around on the disc.

If you are using a deck for TOC-Cloning, the exact method for allowing the deck to write the TOC may vary (see vore's posts below).

---

Modifying the MZ-R700/MZ-G750 to enable cloning:

(Please note that although this has worked fine for me, I cannot guarantee this method. There is an inherent risk of breaking your unit any time you try a modification such as the one described here.)

The R700/G750 contains two switches that need to be bypassed in order to eject/replace a disc whilst keeping the unit powered on and unaware that the eject/replace has taken place.

The first of the two switches (as shown in the photos below) is located near the unit's eject machanism. When the eject mechanism is used, the switch is moved to the side and power is cut-off from the unit. Press the eject button in a few times with the unit open to see where the switch is/how it moves.

post-74987-1241375785.jpgpost-74987-1241375798.jpg

This "eject mechanism" switch can be bypassed without taking the unit apart. Unfortunately I have not found a way to gracefully bypass this switch, so I have physically removed (broken) the switch with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Please note this is the only non-reversible modification that will be done to the unit.

The second switch is located inside the bottom half of the unit, between the headphone/remote jack and the Mic-In. To access this switch you will need a small phillips-head screwdriver. An eyeglass repair kit works perfectly.

Remove the battery and the 4 screws (don't lose them!) from the bottom half of the unit (battery side). The hardest part of the procedure is removing the casing from the bottom half of the unit. See page 7 of the service manual for help, available in the downloads section (hint: you need to press the eject button in the whole way and remove that side first).

With the bottom half of the casing removed, locate the small black switch between the headphone and mic jacks. There is a metal "foot" that holds this switch down when the unit is closed. In the following photo I have bypassed this switch using simply a small piece of cardstock paper wedged in on top of it, holding it down.

post-33150-1241436414.png

Both switches are now bypassed, and your R700/G750 is now capable of TOC Cloning following the instructions above!

For other portables, the second switch should be in the same place, you may need to find out how to bypass the eject switch though, as it is most likely different. Browse the Service Manuals in the downloads section for help.

If you are hesitant and/or unable to perform TOC Cloning yourself, feel free to drop me a PM.

---

More TOC Cloning info cane be found here:

Sony Decks: http://www.minidisc.org/cloning_procedure.html

Sharp MD-MS701: http://www-public.tu-bs.de:8080/~y0001729/...lone/index.html

This has saved me I hope, my Sony deck JE510 has started not recording or editing correctly, I had put a very important MD in to edit titles and then ejected and the disc then showed as being blank or in the portable showed a disc error. I really hope this works and will it work for the MZ-R70? Also, what could be the problem with my deck as to why it no longer works for recording or editing? Thanks so much for any ideas! Pablo

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Hi Raintheory and All who are into TOC cloning with the G750 and R700,

There is a way to elegantly and "gracefully bypass" the first switch connected to the opening button without breaking anything. Furthermore, it's reversible if you should ever want to turn you unit back into one that shuts off when you open it.

Looking at Raintheory's two photographs of the mechanism, (enlarge them on you screen), you see what looks like a piece of sheet metal in front of the black tab. The tab sticks up slightly above the notch in the piece of sheet metal. This piece of sheet metal moves forward when the "open" button is pushed in and slides over the black tab forcing it down. Pushing down that black tab is what has to be avoided.

This following procedure should be performed only after removing the lower portion of the outer casing, which is also necessary to modify the other "second" switch. This gives you full access to the part that needs to be adjusted. Here goes:

Rather than removing the tab by breaking it off, leave it completely alone. Instead, using very thin meddle nose pliers, grab the piece of sheet metal refered to above and gently turn it upwards to the left so that it is in a standing position instead of laying flat. Thereafter it will slide past the left side of the black tab instead if engaging it. Note: You twist / turn up only the portion of the piece of sheet metal up to the spot where it has a notch for the black tab to stick up, Once it is turned / twisted upward, make sure it does no rub against the bottom side of the deck that is just above it. A very slight downward adjustment will cure that.

I will try to photograph my result and post it here so you can see exactly what it looks like when finished.

jmsla

James

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