Often the Hikvision cameras go bad or the software gets corrupted. You may have heard the terms bricked or dead camera which another way of saying that the camera’s firmware is messed up.
If your camera gets powered on but you don’t see the camera’s IP address, or it doesn’t get detected by the recorder, or you see the IP address but cannot access the camera, then you may try to reflash the firmware.
This guide shows how to reflash or reformat a Hikvision IP camera or NVR/DVR. In other words, you can inject the firmware and revive the camera or recorder. All the settings will be erased and the software will be installed from the scratch. This procedure is done via the TFTP method and the steps are shown below.
What do you need to reflash the firmware?
- The TFTP software (download here). Make sure to unzip it.
- The right firmware for the camera (or recorder). This is the tricky part, you need to get the right firmware version for your camera, otherwise, the reflash procedure won’t go through. For the Hikvision USA equipment, the firmware can be found on the Hikvision US website, for the OEM versions you need to contact your supplier/reseller. You can check this page containing the firmware for Hikvision IP cameras.
- A switch/router. The computer and the camera will hook up to this switch. The scheme will be: laptop/computer and the camera goes to the switch. The camera can be powered via PoE or on a separate power adapter.
Which IP camera models and recorders can be reflashed?
By using the TFTP procedure you can inject the firmware on a bricked or dead camera and eventually revive the device. The procedure discussed here works for Hikvision USA cameras and the OEMs as well.
In North America, the Hikvision OEMs include these brand names: 3xLogic, ABUS, Acegear, Activecam, ADJ, Advidia, Alarm.com, Alibi, Allnet, Alula, Anaveo, Annke, Arcdyn, Armix, Aukoo Technology, Aventura Technologies, Avue, Cantek, CCTVStar, ClearWay, Covert Security, Dax Networks, DMP, Dodwell BMS, DSS, Dunlop, DVR Unlimited, Ellipse Security, Epcom, Esypop, Ezviz, Gess Technologies, Global Network Security, GovComm, Grundig, GVS Security, Hinovision, Hitachi, Hitosino, Honeywell, Hunt CCTV, Hyundai Security, Infinite Pixels, Inkovideo, Innekt, Interlogix, Invidtech, JFL, Jlinks, LaView, LTS, Mercury Security, MicroView, Nelly’s Security, Norelco SafeCam, Northern Cameras, Novicam, NTT, Oculur, Onix. Power Technology, Protect Group, Raster, Remark Thermal, RVi, Safety Vision, Safire, Scati, SecurityTronix, Sentry CCTV, Sharp, Siqura, Smart CT Solutions, SnapAV / Luma, Space Technology, Syscom, Technomate, Toshiba, Trendnet, Vantage Security, Vezco CCTV, Videoteknika, Winic CCTV, Zicom.
If the brand of your camera is included on the list above, you can try to reflash the firmware using the method shown here. Make sure to get the right firmware from the seller/dealer.
Additionally, this TFTP re-flash procedure works on certain NVRs and DVRs. On some models, the TFTP channel is closed in purpose by the manufacturer, however, it’s worth giving a shot since the recorder is already bricked/dead. There’s nothing to lose.
How to reflash the firmware on a Hikvision IP camera or DVR/NVR?
Step 1. After you download and unzip the TFTP files, place the folder on your z. In this example, we labeled our folder “TFTP-Update”.
Step 2. Place the firmware file inside the TFT-Update folder. The firmware is named: digicap.dav. Don’t paste the firmware as a zip file, otherwise, the procedure will fail.
Step 3. Change the IP address of your computer/ laptop. You can do this on the TCP/IP section of your Network Settings.
- Open Network Connections by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type adapter, and then, under Network and Sharing Center, click View network connections.
- Right-click the connection that you want to change, and then click Properties. At the same time make sure there’s no internet connection to the computer (turn off the Wifi or disconnect the internet cable from the computer)
Step 4. Click the Networking tab. Go to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click Properties.
Step 5. Modify the computer’s IP address to 22.214.171.124, Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0. This step is crucial.
Step 6. Go to the TFTP folder and double click tftpserv.exe.
Step 7. You should see the same screen as shown below. If you see there 126.96.36.199 it means you’re on the right path.
Step 8. Plug the Ethernet cable on the camera, then the power cable. If your switch is PoE, then there’s no need to power the camera separately (via a power adapter). Note: The camera should be plugged in the router or in any other switch. It must be on the same network as the computer.
This step is quite important and many people get confused. Let’s take a look at the diagram below. If you’re using a router, you need to disconnect the internet cable from the router. Basically, the router needs to behave like a switch where the bricked camera gets plugged at one of the LAN ports at the back of the router. Don’t plug the camera into the WAN port!
The camera should be the last device to be connected to the setup. You need to power up the camera via a 12V DC power adapter, or if the switch supports the PoE feature, then just plug the Ethernet cabled. The PoE allows the camera to get powered via the same cable that the data is transmitted.
Now, let’s assume you’re trying to reflash the firmware on a recorder (NVR or DVR). The diagram is shown below. Instead of the camera, you have to hook up the bricked recorder. Turn it off before you connect it (via the Ethernet cable) to the router/switch then when the diagram is completed, turn it on using the power switch at the back.
Step 9. The TFTP tool will automatically detect the camera’s IP address and it will start with the update process. Be patient as this will take about 2 or 5 min. No additional operation is needed.
Step 10. “System Update Completed“ message will show up when the procedure is done. Close the TFTP window, unplug the camera, and then plug it back on. Go to SADP and the camera will show up there inactive. You can modify the IP and access the camera via a web browser.
Important note: If you’re flashing the firmware on an NVR or DVR, the Hikvision TFTP Server will look frozen, meaning no information will be displayed there, even though the firmware is being injected. This process may take 5-15 minutes. When it’s done, you’ll hear a long beep and the machine will auto reboot.
Note: Don’t forget to remove the 188.8.131.52 IP address you assigned to your PC/laptop, otherwise the internet may not work.
Questions and Answers
Nothing shows on the TFTP software screen
If you did follow all the steps and it appears that the firmware is no reflashing or not going through, it’s possible the firmware you’re trying to flash is the wrong one. If that’s the case, the firmware can’t be injected since it doesn’t match with the information o the camera’s motherboard. Double-check with the seller/dealer and ensure that you’re using the correct firmware.
Another suggestion is to disable any firewall or anti-virus on the computer/laptop. It has been reported that sometimes these softwares prevent the TFTP procedure.
The firmware is the correct one but still no success
Let’s explain something, this method works if the software/firmware on the camera/NVR/DVR is corrupted, it won’t do anything if there’s a physical problem with the camera. If the water goes inside the camera and burns the motherboard, the camera is simply dead, you can’t make it work by reflashing the firmware.
Hardware problems on the camera such as bad components, unsoldered connections, bad image sensor, faulty pigtail, burned RJ45 connector, etc, can’t be fixed by formatting the camera. If that’s the case, replace the camera.
Do I need a power supply for the camera?
Not necessary. There are two ways to power up the camera; you use a 12V DC power adapter that gets connected to the camera’s pigtail.; or you can use the PoE. PoE means Power over Ethernet, the camera gets powered via the Ethernet cable (same cable for data and power). You have to make sure that the switch or the router’s ports support PoE (there should be a PoE symbol above the port).
The camera is dead, what to do?
If you think that the camera is dead and beyond repair, try to contact the seller/dealer about the warranty. If under the warranty, you can get it fixed or replace it with a new one. Keep in mind that many issues with the cameras such as burned connectors or water on the RJ45 jack are considered improper installation and void the warranty. If you need a new CCTV system, take a look at our IP camera systems recommendations.