Overwrite refers to the interruption of one program recording with another, or the partial erasure of an old program when a new program is recorded. In instances of the former, it is unlike an edit in that it is not performed for creative effect, it is generally disruptive to the program in progress, and it is usually but not exclusively accidental. Overwrite can happen when tape stock is intentionally or unintentionally reused. Depending on how the overwrite is performed, it can be obvious or hidden. Overwriting footage using insert editing functions on professional VTRs or non-linear editors in a studio environment can produce an invisible overwrite, whereas an overwrite that is simply crash-recorded without any kind of preparation may produce a temporary loss of sync in the image, and/or other distortions. Cassettes have record safety tabs that help reduce accidental overwrite in production environments. In preservation facilities, the “record inhibit” function, if available, should always be engaged on playback decks to avoid accidents.
Can it be fixed?
No, once a video or audio program is overwritten, it is effectively erased and cannot be restored.