If you have a video tape which has snapped, don't despair! It is usually possible to mend video tapes. The method for such repair is detailed here, with instructions carefully explained. The results of this are usually quite good, but not perfect. Plus, the same method with a few small variations works for audio cassettes and other kinds of tapes too. Yet I have seen people mourn and throw out broken videotapes which have been mangled by a videorecorder, as if they had no idea they could be fixed. But now I'll explain how to mend a videotape, so you need not have the same problem.
First, you need to have both broken ends of the tape available outside the cassette. If you already have this, then luck has been on your side to the extent that you don't need to follow the next part of the explanation, so just continue onto the bit about joining the ends together.
With repairing VHS videocassettes, it helps to know that the flap on the front of the tape can be opened manually by touching a small catch on the right of the flap (right as viewed from the back). Videorecorders have a way of pressing the catch to allow the flap to be opened, but you too can do this even without being a videorecorder!
Another thing worth knowing about VHS cassettes is that the ratchet mechanism which allows the tape to be reeled in but stops it being pulled out can be released by inserting something into a small hole in the base of the cassette. There was a time when I had a specially customised little fingernail which I could use for this purpose, simultaneously being able to release the catch and the ratchet at the same time. In absence of such an adaption, a small screwdriver will do the same thing!
If the tape ends are not visible and have ended up spun onto the reels inside the cassette, they can be retrieved by using a set of mini screwdrivers of the type available from the shops that happen to stock all kinds of useful stuff. Open the cassette by undoing all five screws, and then very carefully take the cassette apart. Be careful as bits can sometimes fall out. A newspaper laid out on the table helps to avoid this being a problem.
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