A NVR or DVR that is shutting down or rebooting by itself is a major security red flag in your CCTV security system. Many people have this particular issue: My DVR reboots by itself? My NVR is rebooting all the time? My NVR is shutting down and then turning on by itself? My NVR shuts down on its own? How to fix a DVR or NVR that reboots for no reason?
Unfortunately, a recorder (DVR/NVR) that shuts down by itself is a common issue in CCTV systems that requires your immediate attention. In this article we will talk about the reasons that a DVR or NVR reboots or shuts down on it’s own. Also, we will offer suggestions and tips on how to fix the DVR/NVR rebooting issue.
The DVR or NVR is rebooting. How to fix it?
Here we will list all the reasons why a DVR or NVR is shutting down by itself and how to fix each issue. Follow them one by one until you fix the rebooting issue on your recorder.
1. Bad or damaged hard drive
This is one of the most common reasons why a DVR or NVR is shutting down or rebooting randomly. DVRs or NVRs manufactured by various companies will reboot if the hard drive has gone bad or it’s damaged. A damaged hard drive will draw more power than needed from the motherboard and cause the whole recorder to shut down on its own. In a few cases the hard drive may short circuit the board and permanently damage the recorder. Important note: you need to use a surveillance hard drive in your NVR or DVR, don’t use desktop hard drives.
To find out if you got a hard drive issue, turn off the recorder and open up the cover of the unit. Locate the hard drive(s). There are two cables going from the hard drive to the motherboard, one is the data cable and the other one is the power cable. Disconnect both of them. Turn on the recorder and checkout if the unit is rebooting again. Many recorders with the shutting down issue will turn off every 2-5 minutes, in some other cases 30 minutes, either way you have to wait and inspect if the issue is still persistent.
If the recorder doesn’t reboot or doesn’t shut down randomly, then there’s your solution: the hard drive was bad and was choking the DVR or NVR. You need to replace the bad hard drive with a new one. Make sure to get a hard drive rated for CCTV surveillance systems. Regular computer hard drives tend to go bad faster (1-2 years) than the CCTV rated ones (5-10 years).
If you have more than one hard drive installed in your recorder, you need to unplug them one by one until you find out which one is causing the recorder to reboot randomly. Sometimes a bad hard drive will make a weird abnormal scratching noise (listen carefully and pay attention to the noises coming from your hard drive).
2. The fan is broken
In this case the fan that cools down the processor on the motherboard is broken, stuck, burned or damaged. If the fan is not spinning, the CPU will overheat and cause the DVR or NVR to reboot or shut down by itself. Then it will be back online, stay another half hour and start to reboot again (same pattern).
To find out if the fan works properly, keep the machine running and open up the cover of the recorder. Take a look at the fan, if it’s not spinning then it’s broken or damaged. If that’s the case you’ll notice that the motherboard is very hot and has a burned smell. In some rare cases, the dust and dirt may block the blades of the fan.
You need to replace the fan as soon as possible. A broken fan can cause the motherboard to burn down or get fried and you’ll need to replace the whole unit. We’d recommend turning off the machine and waiting until you have a new replacement fan. Fans are sold online on Amazon, or if the unit is under warranty you get one from your dealer/reseller. Make sure to get the same type and size.
3. The power adapter is damaged
In this case the power adapter that powers on the unit is not providing enough power juice. The DVR or NVR is struggling and randomly rebooting. Many cheap power adapters will get compromised after a few months in use. Let’s say they’re supposed to provide 2 Amps for the recorder, however a few months later they’re outputting 1.5 Amps instead. When there’s not enough power juice, the recorder will randomly shut down or reboot.
The solution is to try another power adapter or power cord just to make sure the unit is getting powered properly. If you need to replace it, purchase one that’s recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure the voltage is according to the specs and the amps are the same or higher. This is very important, if the unit needs a voltage of 12VDC you need to get exactly that. However if the unit needs a current of 2A, you can get a power adapter that outputs 3A or 5A, the machine won’t get damaged by the current. The recorder will withdraw as much current as it needs.
4. Bad camera is causing a short circuit
This is the case in many CCTV HD analog systems, the systems that use coaxial cabling. One analog HD camera may be defective or shortened and this will cause the DVR to reboot or shut off randomly. We’ve seen this issue showing up mostly in cheap HD CCTV cameras or the one where the water has gone inside.
To find out which camera is causing the problem, you need to disconnect them one by one, wait and see if the recorder is rebooting. Keep doing this procedure until you have a hit and you’ve located the bad camera. The solution is to re-do the connection one more time, or replace the camera altogether.
Another thing to consider here is the power box that is powering up the cameras. In rare cases the power box will short circuit the connection and cause the DVR to shut off randomly. Inspect your power box, make sure the connections are tight and solid and no wire is making a short circuit.
5. IP conflicts on the network
The DVR or NVR reboots if they have the same IP address as another devices on the local network. Usually both the DVR/NVR and the other device will reboot randomly. Let’s say the IP address of your NVR is 192.168.1.100 and you have a printer (or an IP camera) with the same IP address on the same local network. What happens in this case? They’ll kick each other off the network, this “kicking off” is what you see as a random reboot or shut down.
To avoid an IP conflict, you need to scan all the devices on your local network and make sure that each of them has a unique IP address. If you see the same IP address doubled, change one of the to an unused address. Another suggestion, before assigning any IP address to your devices, ping it from the computer/laptop and make sure it’s available for use.
6. Auto-reboot settings
Many DVRs or NVRs have the so-called rebooting settings. For maintenance reasons the DVR or NVR may be set to auto-reboot on purpose. This is done to keep the system fresh and avoid software freezing. For example the NVR or DVR may be set to auto reboot each Monday at 2AM.
Double check the settings to see if the auto-rebooting schedule is enabled. Not all the recorders support this feature, however, some of them such as Dahua do have an auto-reboot function. (Usually these settings are located under the Maintenance section of each DVR/NVR settings).
7. The recorder has hardware problems
In this case there’s not much to do or to diagnose. You may have tried all the tips above and your recorder is still rebooting. Perhaps the problem is hardware related, perhaps the DVR or NVR is defective and that’s the reason why it’s shutting off on its own (this is common with cheap no-name recorders). We’d recommend contacting the manufacturer or the distributor and ask for their advice. Or update your CCTV security system.
If you have any other suggestions, leave a message in the comment box.