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Upgrading Firmware For A VMAX DVR

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How To Upgrade Firmware For A VMAX DVR

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Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Low to Medium

Last Edit:  March 10, 2020

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Firmware Upgrades

Firmware is a type of computing software that is used in the management and operation of nearly all electronics.  The VMAX Series DVRs utilize firmware versions to manage camera communication, user interface controls, display, and recording settings for every interaction by the user.

Periodically, the firmware version may need to be upgraded to apply new features, improvements, and other content to the DVR.

This article will explain the process for upgrading Firmware for the VMAX Series DVRs using either File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a USB stick.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX 480 Series
  • VMAX 960H Series
  • VMAX Flex Series

Upgrading Firmware

Firmware upgrades for the VMAX Series will need to be performed directly at the DVR.  Connect a display monitor and USB mouse to the DVR, so that you can control the user interface of the recording unit.

If you are unsure what type of display (HDMI or VGA) that your DVR supports, please consult the User Manual.

Upgrade Using FTP Function

The FTP upgrade option permits users to upgrade DVR firmware by communicating with an external FTP server over the Internet.  New firmware versions can be downloaded and installed by communicating with the FTP server.

Note:  The FTP function requires a stable network and Internet connection.  If you have not set up the DVR Network settings, please read Network Setup For A VMAX DVR.

To upgrade using FTP:

  1. Log in as the Admin or as a user with Administrator privileges.
  1. Right-click with the mouse and select Setup Menu.  Navigate to the System Information menu.

  1. Click the Upgrade button, located next to the current firmware Version.

  1. Set the Method to FTP and confirm the following:
  • FTP Address:  ftp.dwcc.tv
  • User/Password: (the DVR model – vmax960, vmaxflex, vmax480, etc.)

Click the Check button to check for available updates.

  1. Once a new firmware version is detected, begin the upgrade.  The upgrade progress will display in the Progress bar.  Allow the DVR to download and install the update.  Once the upgrade is complete, the DVR will automatically reboot and begin using the new firmware.

Upgrade Using USB Stick

The USB upgrade option permits users to upgrade DVR firmware by inserting a USB stick and uploading the firmware file directly to the System.

Note:  The USB stick must use FAT or FAT32 format and should not exceed 32 GB.

Note:  It is recommended to avoid the use of Kingston and San Disk brand USB sticks, as the DVR may experience an issue while allocating the firmware file from the USB.

Downloading the Firmware File

If you do not have a copy of the latest firmware file:

  1. Open a web browser and visit https://digital-watchdog.com.
  1. Enter the Model Number of your VMAX unit into the search box (DW-VC, DW-VF, DW-VMAX480etc.).  From the list of models, select the same model as your DVR (same number of channels).

This model information is located on the sticker, physically on top of the DVR.

  1. Scroll down the product page and locate the Software tab.

  1. Locate the latest Version of firmware for your DVR.  You can determine which Version to use, by comparing the current Firmware version of the DVR in the DVR’s System Information menu.

  1. Download the firmware from the web page and copy it to a blank USB stick.

Applying the Firmware Upgrade

  1. Insert the USB stick to the DVR.  There is a USB port on the front panel and on the rear panel of the DVR.
  1. If you have not already done so, log into the DVR as the Admin or as a user with Administrator privileges.
  1. Right-click with the mouse and select Setup Menu.  Navigate to the System Information menu.

  1. Click the Upgrade button, located next to the current firmware Version.

  1. Set the Method to USB, then click on the Scan button.  The DVR will detect the USB and display its model information in the Device box.

  1. Click the Start button.  The upgrade progress will display in the Progress bar.  Allow the DVR to download and install the update.  Once the upgrade is complete, the DVR will automatically reboot and begin using the new firmware.

Remove the USB stick once the unit is done rebooting.

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  • 12-Mar-2020
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