Author Topic: * Saving Cassettes * - THIS WORKED!  (Read 493 times)

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Offline crayzyian

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* Saving Cassettes * - THIS WORKED!
« on: 20:52, 06 May 20 »


The lockdown period we are in has caused a reinvigoration into my Amstrad CPC464 as I think I mentioned on my intro.  I've been on eBay the last few weeks buying and selling, getting some of the games I always wanted as a kid and couldn't afford.  Yes, I know I could get them free and use an emulator, but that doesn't do anything for me.  I love using my original kit and I love the physical media.  Plus I find the process fun, skipping down the stairs to see the postman's latest delivery!

Anyway I had a problem starting to develop - some of the cassettes I was acquiring and also some I'd been given hadn't been looked after that well and basically I couldn't get them to load.  I clean the cassette head, both with methylated spirits and a dry cleaner but to no avail.  I even binned one tape "BMX Freestyle" by Codemasters - more on that later.

Then I thought - hang on; these tapes, they're sure to be dirty.  What can I do about them?  After a bit of searching I hit upon the following; and, in short, it works!  By God it works!

I purchased some WD40 silicone lubricant from Amazon (, gave it a whirl on the recovered-from-the-bin BMX Freestyle and hey-presto loaded first time.  I'm over the moon!

You would not believe the difference to the sound quality and also the crud that came off the tape on to the cotton bud!  I've got some old music tapes I'm hopefully going to sort using this method.  Suddenly the world is a bigger place (alright, I'm getting carried away now, but you get the idea!)...

Give it a go and I think you'll be amazed.


Offline arkive

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Re: * Saving Cassettes * - THIS WORKED!
« Reply #1 on: 21:34, 06 May 20 »
Interesting. I guess it makes sense for the crudded-up tapes.

One trick we've used back in the day is to open up a non-cooperative cassete and take out that little metal-strip-with-bit-of-foam which is in the middle of the top, under the tape itself  (where the head will descend to). Then we'd bend it a little so the foam goes a bit more  upward and re-set it in the cassette. This way the tape would be closer to the head, and the signal stronger. At least it was the rough idea we had.

And, despite sounding completely crazy, it did work in many cases. Mostly for worn-out, really poorly-copied tapes (we had no originals back then in my area).

That was the last resort of course, after the Holy Screwdriver and blow-on-tape rituals failed :D

Offline Bryce

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Re: * Saving Cassettes * - THIS WORKED!
« Reply #2 on: 09:55, 07 May 20 »
There was also the crazy trick of loosening the screws on the tape (at least the ones that had screws). This loosened the two wheels inside the cassette and helped on tapes that were having loading issues.


Offline adam1977

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Re: * Saving Cassettes * - THIS WORKED!
« Reply #3 on: 00:15, 13 May 20 »
I've just tried this on an old tape that always refused to load, although i've used a different WD40 product than you:


Thank you for posting this  :)