If you’re trying to playback the footage on your Hikvision device you get the message “No Record File” or “Playback Failed. No Match Record Files”. What this error shows up?
It means that the device cannot find any recordings on the microSD card or on the hard drive even though you can watch the cameras live.
It’s a frustrating issue that needs to be solved as soon as possible, otherwise, your security camera system won’t record anything. A not working playback defeats the whole purpose of your security system.
In some other cases, you may see an error message that reads: Playback failed. Error code: HCNetSDK.dll, and the timeline will show an empty spot without recordings. It means the same thing, that the recorder can’t find footage.
This message (“no record file”) shows up on an NVR, DVR, or on a single camera that has a microSD card. The issue is related to incorrect recording settings, corrupt hard drives (or microSD cards), and, in some cases, glitches in the firmware.
In this guide, we will show step by step how to fix the Hikvision issue of playback failed or no record files. First by adjusting the recording settings and then by inspecting the hard drive and updating the firmware.
How to fix Hikvision Playback Failed (No Record Files)
Step 1. Log into your recorder or camera and navigate to Configuration > Storage > Storage Management and select the HDD Management tab. There you should see listed any hard drive or microSD cards installed in the unit.
You need to select the hard drive (or SD card) and click Format. This will format the whole hard disk space. Warning: any footage you may have there will be erased.
If you don’t see any hard drive or microSD listed there, it means the device is not detecting anything. Maybe the hard drive is dead (damaged) or is not hooked up properly, sometimes the MicroSD card may be loose.
Inspect the unit carefully, and make sure the wires are fully plugged in. If you’re using a MicroSD card, ensure that it’s fully inserted in the slot and on the correct side. Keep in mind, always use a surveillance-rated hard drive and reliable MicroSD cards.
Step 2. Once you see the successful format message, go to Configuration > Storage > Schedule Settings and then select the Record Schedule tab (as seen in the picture below).
In this step, you need to erase all the settings already there, click the “Delete All” button, and erase everything. Do it for the Continuous Mode, Event, Motion, etc.
Make sure any settings are erased. Sometimes these settings are done incorrectly or even messed up. You should see the tab empty. Don’t forget to click Save to Apply (the erased) new settings.
Step 3. Now we have to redo the schedule settings one more time. Select the mode you want to record (in our cases it’s “continuous), and copy for all the days. If you have set it in motion detection, the bar should be colored green.
For example, we set our unit to record continuous mode (24/7) for each day of the week. The bars should be blue for all days, starting from 00:00 to 24:00. Click Save to apply the adjusted settings.
Step 4. Next, we need to reboot the unit (camera, NVR, or DVR). Navigate to Configuration > System > Maintenance and click the Reboot button (as shown in the picture below).
The unit will restart and the new settings will take effect.
Step 5. The last step involves going to the Playback and checking if the unit is recording. If it’s in motion detection, make some movement in front of the camera to trigger the recording.
In our case, we searched the footage and we can see (on the red square) that the unit is already recording. Pretty much that’s it.
Inspect the hard drives
If the system is quite old, it may happen that the hard drives have gone bad and are no longer working properly. This is the case if you’re using regular desktop hard drives, and not drives designed to work with surveillance systems. These kinds of drives have lower speeds and are rated for heavy surveillance footage.
Go to the hard drive section of the NVR’s settings and check the status. If it’s Normal, then the hard drives are okay, if you see any errors there (or if the drive is not listed altogether), then the hard drive is bad.
Some firmware’s come with an option to perform an “HDD scan” which you can enable to see if any errors are detected.
Another method is to open up the unit and “listen” to the hard drive for any irregular noises. A damaged drive will generate abnormal noises that serve as a tell for a band unit.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to retrieve any lost data, so simply replace the old drive with a new one, format it and then ensure the recording schedule is set properly.
One more thing: the old hard drive may be corrupted but not broken. In this scenario, all you have to do is format it (the data will be lost), re-set it up, and check if it’s recordings. However, it’s better to replace it with a new one altogether.
Update the firmware
You should also update the recorder and camera’s firmware to the latest version. Hikvision firmware are known for issues that later on get fixed by the manufacturer. Ensure to update using the correct firmware, otherwise, you may brick the unit.
If you’re not sure, contact the seller/dealer or the manufacturer and provide the exact model name. Be careful. OEM firmware are different from the logo ones. Last, you may call the installer or the seller for technical assistance.
As we mentioned earlier, the playback failed, or the “no record files” issue is caused by incorrect schedule settings (sometimes messed up), or a dead/damaged hard drive/micro SD card (in this case you need to replace the hard drives).
In some instances, the issue is related to bad firmware, especially if the unit is quite old. You need to update the firmware on the NVR/DVR or camera to the latest released version. Contact Hikvision USA, or the OEM seller/dealer to get the right firmware.