Affected Roles: Administrator
Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps: Pivot CMS, C3CMS, Mobile applications
Complexity: Medium to High
Software Version: v18.104.22.168 or later
Last Edit: April 13, 2020
Sometimes sudden power loss, power surges, or system (hardware or software) failures can cause a DVR to cease its recording function. If you suspect that the DVR should still be recording camera footage, some troubleshooting steps can be taken.
This article will outline basic troubleshooting for recording errors or if the VMAX A1 Plus has stopped recording completely.
Note: It is recommended to troubleshoot recording issues directly at the DVR with a connected display monitor and USB mouse.
At the DVR, Log in as the admin.
From the Live Mode view, Right-click with the mouse and select Playback.
Select 10sec to review video that was recorded ten seconds ago.
If video plays back successfully, then the DVR is presently recording.
If video fails to play back or the End of Data message appears during this step, it is possible that the DVR has stopped recording.
Proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
Ensure that you know the login for your unit, because you will be logged out during this process.
To reboot the DVR, move the mouse cursor (the arrow) to the bottom portion of the screen where the Toolbar is located. Click on the power icon, then select Reboot.
If needed, to “hard reboot” your DVR, disconnect the power cable and wait five seconds before reconnecting power to the VMAX A1 Plus.
Once the DVR has completed rebooting, log in as the admin and perform another recent Playback test. If the DVR plays back footage, then the DVR has begun to record again. If the issue persists, continue to the next troubleshooting step.
From the Live Mode view, right-click with your mouse, then select Menu to prompt the Setup Menu.
Select System, then select Information. The System Information menu will display.
Confirm that the currently installed firmware Version is up to date. If the firmware is out of date, please upgrade the current firmware version.
Proceed to the next troubleshooting step if the DVR firmware is up to date.
Note: To update firmware, please read Upgrading Firmware For A VMAX A1 Plus.
From the Setup Menu, select System, then select the Settings tab.
Enable the Except Network Settings checkbox to exclude the network settings of the VMAX A1 Plus from the default process.
Click the Default button to Factory Default the DVR. This will reset all settings of the DVR (excluding Network settings, if the checkbox is enabled).
Once the VMAX A1 Plus has completed the Factory Default, perform another Playback test. If the DVR plays back footage, then the DVR has begun to record again. If the issue persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
It is important that the DVR is able to detect its internal hard drive to record and archive video footage.
From the Setup Menu, select System, then select the HDD tab.
From the HDD Menu, check the Capacity and Free Space of the hard drive.
Click the Check button to prompt the HDD Health Check window. Check for any Bad Blocks or if the drive Temperature is exceeding 65o C
If the HDD temperature is exceeding 65o C, shut down the VMAX A1 Plus and allow ample time for the unit to cool. Ensure that none of the cooling vents are blocked.
It is recommended to guarantee that the unit will be able to properly ventilate to prevent the unit form overheating.
If there are any Bad Blocks, the HDD is not detected, or if the HDD information is unavailable, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
There is a possibility that there is data corruption within the hard drive.
Note: Formatting (clearing) the hard drive will permanently delete all archived footage from the DVR. This may be a necessary step to resolve the unit’s recording issues. It is recommended to export the available footage that you may want for later.
To format the HDD, check the box to the left of the hard drive model. If there is more than one hard drive installed, select only one hard drive for now.
Click the Format button. The VMAX A1 Plus will ask you to confirm the format.
This process may take a few minutes to complete the HDD format, depending on the capacity of the drive, level of corruption, and system resources that are currently being used.
Repeat this step for any additional hard drives of the VMAX A1 Plus.
Note: There will always be a small portion of the HDD Free Space reserved for archiving information for the DVR.
Perform another Playback test to confirm that the DVR is recording again. If issues persist and you have performed all of the listed troubleshooting steps, please contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.
The VMAX A1 Plus’s Model Number and Serial Number (located on the unit’s sticker, on top of the DVR), and your contact information will be requested upon your call.