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License Problem: Server Not Found

License Problem:  Server Not Found


Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  December 3, 2021


Why Does This Problem Happen?

While DW Spectrum Licenses can be shared among servers that have been merged into a single system, the licenses will still be tied specifically to the Server that they were activated on. This is tracked by identifying the Server’s HWID (Hardware ID). If the licenses are no longer available, there is a high probability that the DW Spectrum Server that the licenses belong to has been removed from your merged DW Spectrum System or has gone offline.

Another possibility is that the computer hardware or software that is hosting the Licenses and the DW Spectrum Server application has been modified in some way.

This article will outline the possible causes for licenses becoming unavailable to a DW Spectrum System and the recommended information to collect before contacted DW Support.

**NOTE:  The term “Server” in this article refers to the computer that the DW Spectrum Server software is installed and hosted on.  If you have multiple merged Servers, they are combined into what is referred to as a “System”.

“System” can refer to a group of merged DW Spectrum Servers, or a single server.

**NOTE:  If the DW Spectrum Server has been utilizing a temporary license (Included with DW Spectrum by default), make sure that the time lease has not lapsed. If a temporary license has reached its expiration date, cameras utilizing the temporary license will need a professional license provided to continue recording.

What is a Hardware ID (HWID)?

The HWID (hardware ID) is a unique, 34-digit identifier (ex: 03000102030405060708090a0b0c0d0e0f) that is generated when the DW Spectrum Server software is installed on a Windows, Ubuntu/Linux, or CAAS camera device. The HWID is created based on a combination of the software and hardware components of the computer that is hosting the Server.

The following hardware items are used to generate the unique HWID for each computer that DW Spectrum Server is installed on:

  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Network Interface Card (NIC)
  • MAC Address

After installing the DW Spectrum Server software to the computer, modifying or replacing the hardware items that are listed above will cause the HWID of the Server to change, invalidating the Licenses that are attached to that Server.

To avoid this, it is recommended to DEACTIVATE all DW Spectrum Licenses on any relevant servers BEFORE making any hardware changes or if the server is going to be detached from a merged DW Spectrum System.

Related Articles

Most Common Reasons the HWID Changes

Reason 1

A change in the MAC address of the computer has occurred due to changes to the NIC configuration of the computer.

  • Physical Hardware Changes – the Network Interface Card (NIC) has been replaced. This hardware component is used to connect the computer to its local network, manages its IP address, MAC address, etc.
    • If the Server has more than one Network Interface Card (NIC), it is important to remember that the HWID is based on the configuration of the NICs from when DW Spectrum Server was initially installed.
  • Software Changes – the NIC ports have been enabled or disabled, causing the NIC to no longer be recognized. Improperly configuring NIC teaming/bonding may also cause issues.
    • If NIC hardware configuration is modified after the DW Spectrum Licenses have been activated, the HWID will change and the Licenses will be invalidated.

Reason 2

The Motherboard configuration or other hardware of the Server has changed.

  • Physical Changes – the Motherboard has been replaced.
    • Alterations to the CPU or RAM will also affect the HWID.
  • Software Changes – in very rare cases, updating the Motherboard BIOS may cause the HWID to change.

Reason 3

Windows system updates have caused the HWID to change.

  • Backend Changes – some changes on the backend in Windows may occur through updates that affects how the DW Spectrum Server software registers its hosting hardware’s identifying information, potentially changing the HWID of the computer.
    • DW Spectrum is presently not designed to automatically recognize these alterations. DW Spectrum Licensing information will need to be updated by the system’s Owner or Administrator(s) to accommodate HWID changes.

What Information Do I Need To Send Tech Support?

To investigate a sudden change in the Hardware ID (HWID) of your System, we will need details such as:

  • A description of the issue, including specifically what may have caused the HWID of the System to change (hardware changes, modifications to the System, etc.)
  • An exported CSV copy of the licenses listed in the Licenses list. This can be found in Main Menu ( ≡ ) à System Administration à Licenses menu. Be sure to change the file type to “CSV”.

  • The current Hardware ID of the Server. This can be found in the Main Menu ( ≡ ) à System Administration à Licenses menu, under the “Manual Activation” option.

Requested DW Spectrum Files and Logs

In addition to the licensing information, DW Support requests copies of the following files as well:

Windows-Based Versions of DW Spectrum IPVMS

  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\log\hw_log.txt
  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\update.log
  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\ecs_static.sqlite
  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\ecs.sqlite

Linux-Based Versions of DW Spectrum IPVMS

  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/ecs_static.sqlite
  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/ecs/ecs.sqlite
  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/log/hw_log.txt
  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/log/update.log

The above information can be made available to Digital Watchdog Technical Support after submitting a web ticket through Request For Technical Support.

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  • 14-Jan-2022