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Recovery Firmware For VMAX 960H & 960HFlex

Recovery Firmware For VMAX® 960H & 960HFlex


Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  October 5, 2020


System Recovery

In the event of system errors, software corruption, or display issues, recovery firmware can be used as a final troubleshooting step.  By running the recovery program, the VMAX® 960H/960HFlex will be defaulted and reverted to an older version of its firmware, resolving most operational issues.  Once the recovery is complete, the system can be upgraded back to the latest release.

This article will outline the recovery process for the VMAX® 960H/960HFlex recorder series.

**Note:  System display differs between the VMAX® 960H and the VMAX® 960HFlex models.  However, the recovery firmware file provided through this article can be utilized for both the VMAX® 960H recorder and the VMAX® 960HFlex recorder.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • VMAX® 960H Series
  • VMAX® 960HFlex Series

Required Equipment

  • USB Stick (FAT32 format; should not exceed 32 GB)
  • Display Monitor (connected to the DVR)
  • USB Mouse (connected to the DVR)

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

Downloading Recovery Files

Click Here to download the recovery file for your VMAX® 960H/960HFlex from DropBox to your computer.

Recovering the System

To perform a firmware recovery:

  1. Download the recovery firmware from the link above.

  1. Extract the recovery file (fwimage.bin) to a blank USB stick (FAT32 format).

Make sure that the file is not placed into a folder.  If the files are not placed directly into the root directory of the USB stick, the system will not be able to run the recovery program.

Once the files are copied to the USB stick, you may eject the USB from the computer.

  1. Power off the VMAX® 960H/960HFlex recording unit.

If you are still able to access the user interface of the DVR, you can shutdown the unit from the Default menu.  Otherwise, use the power switch on the back of the recording unit (both models) or disconnect the power cable from the unit.

**Note:  Only VMAX® 960H recorder can be powered off by right-clicking in the Live View, then selecting Shutdown from the context menu.

  1. Insert the USB to a vacant USB port in the unit.

The VMAX® 960H only features USB ports at the front of the unit, while the VMAX® 960HFlex has one (1) USB port in the front and one (1) USB port in the back.

  1. Power on the DVR.

There is no physical power button for either unit, however reconnecting the power cable and setting the power switch to the ON position will prompt the recording unit to boot.

  1. As it boots, the unit will begin to run the recovery program from the USB stick automatically.

Once the system has completed the recovery, the system will reboot.

Please disconnect the USB stick from the DVR at this time.

**Note:  Recovery time can range from 5 – 8 minutes.

Upgrading Firmware

Following running the firmware recovery, the system will be using an outdated firmware version.

Follow the instructions below to update the VMAX® 960H/960HFlex to the latest firmware build:

  1. Open a web browser and visit

Enter the model number of the DVR (located on the sticker, physically on top of the unit) in the search box, then select your model.

  1. Scroll down the product page of your unit and locate the Software tab.

Locate the latest version of firmware for your DVR, then click the Download button to obtain the firmware update.

  1. Copy the firmware update to a blank USB stick (FAT32 format).

Feel free to clear the USB stick that was used for the firmware recovery.  Make sure that there are no other files on the USB other than the firmware update file.

  1. Insert the USB to the rear USB port of the DVR.

If you have not already done so, log in as the Administrator.

  • Default User:  admin
  • Default Password:  <no password>
  1. Right-click with the mouse and select Setup Menu.

Select System Info, then click the Upgrade button (located next to the current version).

  1. The Upgrade window will display.

Set the Method to USB, then click the Scan button.  The DVR will detect the inserted USB and display the firmware and USB device information.

Click the OK button to confirm any detection messages, then click the Start button to begin the upgrade.

  1. Allow the DVR to download and install the update.  Once the upgrade is complete, the DVR will automatically reboot and begin to use the new firmware.

Remove the USB stick once the unit is done rebooting.

This complete the firmware recovery process for the VMAX® 960H/960HFlex models.  User and System settings will have been defaulted as a result of recovering the system.

If operational or system issues persist, please contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.

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  • 27-Aug-2021