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Could be a problem with the machine; I think there is an optical device that detects the presence of a tape and I hear these sometimes give trouble.
Possibly there is a foreign object inside that is preventing the cassette transport from settling fully into the position where the machine will work.
The cover is usually fairly simple to remove in order to check.
That is exactly what a typical M-Load mechanism is supposed to do. Once the VHS tape cassette is inserted, cassette housing cover will be flipped up and two arms will pull tape out of cassette housing to wrap tape around cylindrical spinning head housing that contains video heads and, if VHS HI-FI, audio heads as well. When stop or eject button is pressed, arms will retract and tape will wind back into cassette housing. What type of problem are you experiencing with unit? It may have nothing to do with M-load engaging tape around head cylinder.
You don't specify the adapter you have, but most load from the top. The main thing here is that VHS and VHS-C are both the same size of tape. Whether they are recorded in SVHS mode or not will not affect the adapter, just whether or not you get a picture. Theadapter only allows you to put a compact cassette (VHS-C) into a standard VHS VCR. The adapter will require batteries to allow it to place the VHS-C cassette tape into the proper position for use in the VCR.
since it's an analogue camera and using a standard tape format, you might as well purchase a VHS-C adapter cassette (GB£10 from several photography stores) and run through your VHS VCR into an analogue video capture card.
I had a similiar problem, or so I thought, but my son has just found that it needs a battery, which I did not even know, so maybe yours just needs a new battery? the cover is near the tab, hope this helps