One of the most crucial components to a security camera system is the hard drive, the device in which security footage is stored. It allows a user to access recorded video from their security cameras, whether it be by accessing a DVR or NVR directly using a monitor or mouse, or accessing the recorder remotely over the internet. There are several practices that every security camera user should keep to ensure their security video recorder is functioning and recording properly.




This post provides a complete guide on how to maintain the security DVR hard drive inside a security camera system purchased from CCTV Camera World.


How to install a Hard Drive inside your DVR or NVR

Sometimes it may be necessary to replace the hard drive inside your surveillance video recorder, or if you don't have a hard drive and would like to install one yourself, the videos below will be helpful. Installing hard drives inside the recorders can be tricky for the novice user. The steps outline for the videos below should be followed carefully to ensure you do not damage the hard drive or the DVR or NVR.


Caution: be sure to have the DVR turned off, and be on a static free surface like a concrete floor when working on the DVR. Do not use a motorized screwdriver or drill on the unit as it may strip the screws on the recorder and cause incidental damage to the recorder. The recorder's limited warranty does not cover user incurred damage.

Step 1: Disconnect your video recorder from power

The first step in adding or removing a hard drive in a security camera recorder is to completely power it down and unplug it from the outlet or surge suppressor. This can be done by flipping the switch on the back of the unit then pulling the cable (by the connector) from the power port. Once this is complete the user needs to remove the screws from the casing to be able to remove the top cover from the recorder.

Step 2: Disconnect your hard drive(s)

This applies only to scenarios where you are replacing hard drives.  Once inside the unit, the user will be able to see all the inner workings of the DVR/NVR. The hard drive will have two cables connected to it: a power cable and a data (SATA) cable. Remove these from the hard drive by pushing down the metal tab on each cable and pulling them away from the hard drive. The two cables can remain connected to the main board.

Step 3: Remove/Add your hard drive(s)

You will need to remove any screws that are securing it to the mounts inside the recorder. Once this is complete the hard drive will be able to be removed from the main chassis of the recorder. From here it's as simple as reversing the steps to install the new or additional drive.  New hard drives will not need to be formatted once they are installed in the DVR. If a used hard drive is being added, it's a very good idea to format the drive. This can be done by navigating through the on-screen menus of the recorder as shown in the next section.





How to format DVR or NVR hard drive

Sometimes a format of the hard drive may be needed for your security video recorder. The following video demonstrates how to format the hard drive inside your DVR or NVR without having to remove the hard drive from the device.

The first step in formatting a hard drive is to right-click on the main screen and scrolling down to Main Menu. The user will then be prompted to log in. Once this is complete the user must click on Advanced then click on HDD Manage. In roughly the middle of the screen, the user will see HDD No., Set, and a button labeled Execute. Using the drop down menu next to HDD No. the user must select which hard drive they want to format. In the Set field, the user must select Format from the drop down menu. Once this is all set, the user must hit Execute. A pop-up will then be displayed notifying the user that the DVR/NVR will reboot in order for the changes to take effect.

Checking hard drive status

From time to time, or when a HDD error is reported, it is a good idea to run a hard drive health check as demonstrated in the video below.

Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.

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