Several things can make your CCTV DVR lock up. Here are the most common reasons and how to fix them.
When a home CCTV DVR keeps freezing, several reasons could be causing the problem. The most common issues include a corrupted hard drive, incorrect distance between the DVR system and the cameras, power issues or signal interference.
A frozen DVR is frustrating. Find out how to diagnose and fix the problem.
The Reasons Why Your Home CCTV DVR Keeps Freezing
The problem is glaring. There is no mistaking the moment when your DVR stops working as it should. This could be frustrating because no longer can you enjoy a live view of your surroundings or record footage. Several gremlins in the system could be responsible for DVR freezing.
- The distance between the DVR and cameras is too long.
- There is a problem with the system’s power.
- Signal interference can also cause freezing.
- Problems with the hard drive (most likely it became corrupted).
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Is The Distance Between Your DVR And CCTV Cameras Too Far?
If you have a wireless CCTV system, the range between the cameras and DVR needs to be a certain distance to maintain a healthy signal. If it is too far away, then yes, it could very well be the reason why your DVR locks up.
How Do I Fix A DVR And Camera Range Problem?
You can try two things. First off, it is best to read the specifications of your system to see what distance the manufacturer suggests. Once you have the correct range, you can test the system and in all probability, it should work fine from that point on.
If for some reason, the manufacturer gave no range or you cannot get into contact with them, you can always try a more hands-on approach. Simply move the DVR closer to the cameras and adjust the distance in increments until you notice that the freezing problem is gone. If you do not want to - or cannot move your DVR and cameras closer together, you can always opt for a range extender to solve the problem.
What Power Problems Can Cause A DVR To Freeze?
When power issues are behind the freezing of your DVR, the suspects include:
- A faulty electrical outlet.
- Not using a power adaptor.
How Do I Know If The Wall Outlet Is Working Properly?
If you are using an adaptor, then it cannot hurt to assess the outlet that you are using for your DVR.
You can always get an electrician to test the outlets of your home. However, if you have the right equipment, you can test the wall socket yourself. All you need is a device that can give a voltage reading. You can use a multimeter, a voltage detector or a continuity tester.
When a wall outlet is tested, the power will be alive to a degree. Proceed with caution and avoid holding a meter probe in each hand. Rather use one hand to prevent an electrical current from flashing through you.
Step 1: Turn off the wall outlet.
Step 2: Remove the DVR plug from the outlet.
Step 3: Turn the outlet back on.
Step 4: Choose the “voltage” setting on your multimeter.
Step 5: Place the probes in the socket, one in each slot.
Step 6: A healthy voltage reading should be a number between 110 and 120 volts. If that is the case, then your wall socket is fine and the freezing problem is being caused by something else.
Step 7: A faulty wall socket will either give a reading that is too high or low - or no reading at all. If this is the case, then it might be best to call an experienced electrician to check the wiring.
Signal Interference Can Also Cause Freezing
This is a common problem with wireless CCTV systems. Our world is increasingly being filled with wireless technology and interference can cause an overall reduction in performance. In the case of a DVR, it can certainly cause light to serious freezing.
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What Wireless Devices And Other Things Might Interfere With A DVR?
- Baby monitors.
- A neighbour’s Wi-Fi cameras.
- Devices like phones and tablets.
- Two-way radios.
- Satellite services.
- Water (like heavy rain or a large aquarium).
- Metals that were used in the home’s construction.
- Power lines.
- Power stations.
- Tall or bushy trees.
- Solar flares and sunspots.
How Do I Fix Signal Interference To Restore My DVR?
There are a few things that you can do to reduce interference. First, look around your own home to see what you can remove or alter to minimize the effect on your DVR. You can move mirrors, aquariums, cover power cables, and reduce the number of wireless devices that you are using in the house.
Another option is to switch to a channel with less traffic. Most wireless devices use the 2.4 or 5.0 GHz transmission bandwidth.
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The Hard Drive Has A Problem
When the DVR has a hard drive issue it might reboot constantly or even freeze. Sometimes both. The latter happens when the HDD has corrupted segments or data that interferes with the hard drive’s ability to read or write data. Indeed, when the DVR tries to write a recording and encounters a corrupted segment, it might cause the whole thing to lock up.
The good news is that you can most likely solve this problem by yourself. The not-so-good news is that there is no single fix. Different CCTV systems and brands have their own designs and solutions. You might want to contact the manufacturer that produced your DVR to get the steps you need to format the HDD.
But in essence, you will probably have to access its Menu program and go to Settings. There you will look for something that has to do with your Device and HDD. There should be an option to format the HDD and that should solve the problem. Some programs are so user-friendly, the steps are easy to follow even if you are doing this for the first time.
A Quick Summary On Why CCTV DVRs Freeze
- When a DVR freezes, the problem indicates something that needs your attention. The issue will not correct itself.
- The most common things that cause a freezing event are the incorrect distance between the DVR and CCTV cameras, a faulty power point, other wireless devices are interfering with your DVR, and the hard drive might be corrupted.
- Some of the solutions can be done at home if you have the right equipment and technical know-how.
- If you hit a bump, the manufacturer should be able to give you free advice on how to solve a freezing DVR.
- If you want to save time, a technician can always resolve the problem quickly.