In some cases, when you try to update the firmware on your Hikvision NVR, DVR or IP camera, you may get this message: “Upgrading failed, firmware mismatches” or “Language mismatch”. Obliviously, firmware doesn’t go through and you can’t update your recorder.
This issue is caused by using the wrong firmware to update your Hikvision NVR, DVR or IP camera. That’s the reason why it says “mismatches”, the recorder or the camera can’t identify the firmware through its algorithm.
You need to make sure you have the right firmware. For example, if your recorder is an USA Hikvision NVR (or DVR), you can’t use a firmware meant for the Chinese market or for the OEM line (even if the models look the same).
How to fix Hikvision “upgrading failed, firmware mismatches” issue
Hikvision markets its products for various world regions that are locked into their firmware and are not supposed to be compatible. Hikvision Chinese devices are not supposed to be sold in the USA.
You need to buy them from Hikvision USA. If you somehow update using the wrong firmware you will get the “ Upgrading failed, firmware mismatches” error message (or “Language mismatch”).
How to download the correct Hikvision firmware
The proper and safe way to get the firmware for your Hikvision IP camera, NVR, or DVR is by going directly through the seller. Contact them and provide the exact model as shown on the sticker.
They will send you the right firmware which is named “digicap”, paste in a USB stick and update directly via the recorder’s interface. Or you can flash it through the web browser.
If your equipment is Hikvision USA and you’re sure about that, you can go to the Hikvision USA official website, search for the model and download the firmware.
If you’re not sure you can call or email them and usually they’ll reply quickly. From our experience, Hikvision USA provides good technical support.
If there’s no way for you to get the firmware via your reseller, then you can try to google your model and see if you can find something. You can check our Hikvision firmware page as well. Make sure the model number matches the one on the device’s sticker.
The firmware update broke my Hikvision camera/NVR/DVR
Most of the time, if you update the wrong firmware, nothing will happen to your recorder or IP camera. The firmware will simply not go through and usually, you’ll get the message “Upgrade failed”.
However, in some situations and certain equipment, flashing the wrong firmware on your security device may brick the device. In this case, the software will be messed up and the IP camera or the NVR/DVR will not function properly.
For the NVRs or DVRs, they will not be able to start up anymore, the machine will turn on but nothing will show on the screen. For IP cameras, the camera will appear dead and no IP address gets detected.
If that’s what happened to you, there are two possible solutions. First, you can try to reflash the firmware using the TFTP method.
Basically, the method consists of “forcefully” updating the camera/recorder and correcting the damaged internal software. It may work, or it may not, depending on the model. This article has the full instructions: How to reflash the firmware on Hikvision cameras (Hikvision TFTP procedure).
The other method is an easy way, simply return the product to the manufacturer. However, there’s a “dishonest” tip: don’t tell them that you updated the wrong firmware, simply don’t tell them that you tried to update the device.
Just say the camera or the recorder went bad and doesn’t work properly. Many resellers void their warranty if you update the equipment without contacting them first. So, pretend that you didn’t do anything.
How to update the Hikvison firmware
Below, you can find guidance on how to update your system accordingly.
Updating Hikvision IP camera firmware
Download the right firmware for your IP camera. Locate the downloaded firmware file (this typically will be in the default download folder, unless prompted for a download location, then choose Desktop) and extract it by right-clicking on the file and selecting extract all or unzip.
When prompted for an extract location, choose Desktop to extract the final file to. A file labeled DIGICAP will appear on the desktop.
After the file is extracted, log into the camera using Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers. If prompted to install the plugin (or to allow the plugin to run), follow the prompt to proceed with the upgrade procedure.
Log into the camera using the administrator username and password, then go to the Configuration tab. In this tab, go to Basic Configuration then System, and then click on the Maintenance tab.
On the bottom of the page under Remote Upgrade, press the browse button to locate and choose the firmware file, which was previously saved on the Desktop. After selecting the file, click Open, then click Upgrade.
The camera will display a prompt that a reboot is necessary to complete the upgrade. Click OK. The camera will reboot when the firmware is successfully upgraded.
Upgrading Hikvision DVR/NVR firmware
Insert a USB flash drive into the computer’s USB port. Note that the USB flash drive does not need to be empty; it may contain other files and documents.
Locate the right firmware for your Hikvision NVR/DVR. Then locate the downloaded firmware file (this typically will be in the default download folder, unless prompted for a download location, then choose Desktop) and extract it by right-clicking on the file and selecting extract all or unzip.
When prompted for an extract location, choose the USB flash drive (typically labeled by letters E, F, and so on) to extract the final file. A file labeled DIGICAP will appear on the USB flash drive.
After the firmware has been extracted (unzipped), remove the USB flash drive from the computer and insert it into one of the available USB ports on the DVR/NVR unit.
On the DVR/NVR, go to the Main Menu, and then go to Maintenance. From the sub-menus on the left click Upgrade. This will display the content of the USB flash drive.
Choose the DIGICAP file and press Upgrade. An information window will pop up prompting that the unit will reboot after the upgrade is complete. Click YES.
To verify that the firmware has been upgraded, after the DVR/NVR is rebooted, go to the Main Menu, and then go to System Information. The current firmware version will be displayed.