How to Access DVR Hard Drive – Read DVR HDD in PC ?

Rollins Duke   
Published: May 13th, 2024 • 5 Min Read

All DVR’s store CCTV footage on an internal hard drive. Most of the latest DVR can be accessed by remote over the internet using a computer or mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. They can also be accessed locally by computers on the same network. Users have too many doubts regarding how to access DVR hard drive.

In this blog, we will get to know about DVR, how it works, and the types Of DVRs as well. We’ll also get to know about popular manufactures of DVR and the File system recovered as well.

What is DVR?  

DVR is the acronym for Digital Video Recorder. These systems can record and store surveillance footage digitally captured by CCTV Cameras. The latest DVR and supporting software can capture video of high quality from CCTV Cameras.

DVR doesn’t connect directly to the internet just like other IP cameras.

CCTV video footages are key to investigation and evidence.

How Digital Closed Circuit Surveillance System Works?

A DVR system comprises a set of CCTV cameras that are connected to a DVR device. The DVR is essentially a computer and it stores the security videos/images on a hard drive.

Nowadays security cameras majorly capture analog images. The DVR converts these analog images into digital and stores them on the hard drive after compression. It can handle the inputs of several cameras. Users will be able to view all these images and videos at a time or one by one, according to their preference.

Three types of DVR’s

Before discussing accessing DVR hard drives users must know about different types of DVRs. There are three types of DVRs in the market. It has been categorized by keeping the needs and types of problems of the users in mind.  These are: –

  1. Embedded DVRs – This DVR is a stand-alone device it takes in analog CCTV camera inputs and then stores it in a local HDD after compression. The OS and the software are on a chip and it comes with an HDD to store the images.
    Embedded DVRs use an exclusive embedded operating system that is not open to external networks. This means they are less vulnerable to viruses, hackers, and other malicious attacks, making them highly secure.
  2. Hybrid DVRs – This type of DVR CCTV system can accept video inputs from both CCTV cameras and IP cameras. Users can opt for these to smoothly transition from an analog surveillance system to an IP-based surveillance system.
    It means user can use both CCTV and IP cameras both in their home and without facing any hassle. Users can opt for CCTV cameras in less vulnerable areas and go for high-resolution IP cameras in highly-risky areas.
  3. PC-based DVRs – As the name suggests, a PC-based DVR is used in personal computers. It contains a network card, a video board, a motherboard, a DVR capture card, and a memory drive.
    The benefit of using PC-based DVR is that users can upgrade and expand the memory space easily by adding more hard disk drives to the system.

How to Choose the right DVR System?

While there’s no doubt that DVR systems are highly efficient, finding the right DVR box is important as it is essential to ensure that the user will meet all his security requirements. For this, they must consult a professional.

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

Recover deleted data

CCTV video footages are key to investigation and they are kept in hard drives, SSDs, etc. Sometimes, these crucial videos get lost due to some human errors, technical faults, natural calamities, water, or fire. That data can be recovered by using the software.

 Popular DVR/CCTV & NVR manufacturers

Many manufacturers in the market are producing their DVRs. Every company has a different way to access its DVR. So, users have to follow that process to use the DVR of their company. Some popular manufacturers are:-

  • CP Plus
  • Swann
  • Zmodo
  • Q-see
  • Samsung
  • Bosch
  • Ajuga technologies
  • SONY
  • Godrej
  • Hi- focus

File system recovered from

File systems also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Different manufacturers use different file systems. Some file system supports Windows and some support Linux. Here is the list of some File systems: –

  • WFS {WFS 0.1/ WFS 0.2 / WFS 0.3/ WFS0.4}
  • DHFS(Dahua)
  • IFS
  • Tango Magic
  • EXT {2/3/4}
  • FAT
  • XFS
  • JFS

Can we use DVR hard drive in computer?

A DVR (digital video recorder) contains a hard drive for storing its video. The hard drive, while physically similar to those found in desktop computers, is formatted specifically to use with a DVR. To use a DVR’s hard drive in a computer, we have to reformat the drive to enable the computer’s operating system to access it.

Bottom line

DVR surveillance systems are less expensive and needed little maintenance or repair. Video and surveillance DVRs are built to record data 24×7 from multiple camera streams or channels.