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Moving Archived Camera Footage

Recovering Archived Camera Footage


Affected Roles:  Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS

Complexity:  High

Software Version:  v4.0.0.29990 and newer

Last Edit:  July 9, 2021


When replacing a camera, you will find that the DW Spectrum® Server does not retrieve the recorded footage from the old camera automatically.  Even if you reassign the same name and IP address to the new camera, the unique Camera ID of the replaced camera that the DW Spectrum® Media Server generates for each connected device cannot be spoofed.

This unique Camera ID Some units are reported via their MAC addresses and others are reported as a different ID, depending on their ONVIF.

This article will explain how to move old camera archive files so that they can be accessed and are associated with a replacement camera.

**NOTE:  In this article, we explain how to move the archive in a Windows OS.  For a Linux-based Server, everything will work the same way. A full list of storage drives can be found in the Media Server settings dialog in the Spectrum client or in the "Info" tab of a Server's web-page.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Server Series

Locating the Camera IDs

  1. Have both the old camera and the replacement camera added to the DW Spectrum® Server.

Right-click on the old camera, select Camera Settings, and copy the Camera ID of the old camera to a place that you can reference (i.e. Notepad, WordPad, etc.).

Copy the Camera ID of the replacement camera as well.

**NOTE:  Renaming the cameras as "Faulty" and "Replacement" or “Old” and “New” is a good way to stay organized during this process.

  1. Open a web browser and make the following API request to your server by using the following address string:


For Example: 

    • Server Address:
    • TCP Port:  7001
    • Example URL:

This request will provide you a full list parameters of the registered cameras, including their unique Camera IDs.

  1. If you're using Internet Explorer, open the saved file with the WordPad program.  If you are using another browser, the json-formatted list will appear in a web browser tab.

    In the browser tab, you can use the ‘Find’ function (CTRL + F or Command + F) to search for the target cameras by name ("Faulty" and "Replacement" or “Old” and “New”).

    For each search result, a field labeled as "Physical ID" will display.  This is the unique ID that Spectrum Servers use to identify and communicate with the cameras.  Copy this information for later use.

    Perform this for both cameras.

Moving the Video Archives

To move archive files between devices, you must be able to access and manage program files within the hosting server computer.

  1. You will can now find, copy, and move the archived files associated with the old camera to the new camera.  Search for the DW Spectrum Media folder on your computer. 

In a standard installation, the folder is located at:

D:\DW Spectrum Media\hi_quality

  1. Every folder in the (D:) directory is labeled by the associated cameras Physical ID.  Identify and find the folder associated with the old, faulty camera and the folder associated with the replacement camera by referencing the Camera IDs (copied in section above).

  1. Open the old, faulty camera’s folder, select all (CTRL+A), and copy/cut (CTRL + X) all of the subdirectories that appear in the folder (they will be named by year number).
  1. Next, open the replacement camera’s folder and paste/move the copied subdirectory folders into the replacement camera's media folder.

If you are prompted to make a replacement in the event of a conflict, select the "Yes to all" option.

  1. Copy and paste any additional archive files from the old camera that you would like to move to the new camera's media archive folder.

For example, to copy the low-quality files (D:\DW Spectrum Media\low_quality) of the camera, repeat Step 1 through Step 4 for the low quality archive files.

Rebuild the Archive Index

After moving the archive files, you must rebuild the Archive Index. 

To do so in the DW Spectrum® Client:

  1. Right-click on the Server and open the Server Settings menu.
  1. Choose the Storage Management tab, and click on the Reindex Archive button.
  1. Allow the System to reindex the archive.  Once the process is complete, the old camera footage can be viewed through the new camera’s Timeline, alike to typical operation.

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  • 09-Jul-2021