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License Problem:  Server Not Found


Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  April 27, 2020


Why Does This Problem Happen?

DW Spectrum Licenses are tied specifically to the Server that they are activated on by the Server’s HWID (Hardware ID). If your Licenses are no longer available, there is a high probability that the computer that is hosting the Licenses and DW Spectrum Server has been modified in some way.

Note:  “Server” in this article refers to the computer that the DW Spectrum Server software is installed and hosted on.  If you have multiple merged Servers, they are combined into what is referred to as a “System”.

“System” can refer to a merged group of Servers, or a single Server.

What Is A Hardware ID (HWID)?

The HWID is a unique, 34-digit identifier (ex: 03000102030405060708090a0b0c0d0e0f) that is generated when the DW Spectrum Server software is installed on a Windows, Ubuntu/Linux, or CAAS camera device. The HWID is based on a combination of the software and hardware components of the computer that is hosting the Server.

The following hardware items are used to generate the unique HWID for each computer that DW Spectrum Server is installed on:

  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Network Interface Card (NIC)
  • MAC Address

After installing DW Spectrum Server to the computer, modifying or replacing the above hardware items will cause the HWID of the Server to change, invalidating the Licenses that are attached to that Server.

Most Common Reasons the HWID Changes

Reason 1

A change in the MAC address occurred due to changes to the NIC configuration of the computer.

  • Physical Change – the NIC of the Server has been replaced.
    • If the Server has more than one Network Interface Card (NIC), it is important to remember that the HWID is based on the configuration of the NICs when DW Spectrum Server is initially installed.
  • Software Change – the NIC ports have been enabled or disabled, causing the NIC to no longer be recognized. Improperly configuring NIC teaming/bonding may also cause issues.
    • If NIC hardware configuration is modified after the DW Spectrum Licenses have been activated, the HWID will change and the Licenses will be invalidated.

Reason 2

The Motherboard configuration of the Server has changed.

  • Physical Change – the Motherboard has been replaced.
    • Alterations to the CPU or RAM will also affect the HWID.
  • Software Change – in very rare cases, updating the Motherboard BIOS may cause the HWID to change.

What Information Do I Need To Send Tech Support?

To investigate a sudden change in the Hardware ID (HWID) of your System, we will need details such as:

  • A description of the issue, including what may have caused the HWID of the System to change (hardware changes, modifications to the System, etc.)
  • A screenshot of the Licenses tab, found in Main Menu ( ≡ ) à System Administration
  • The current Hardware ID of the Server
  • At least one of the License Keys that were activated on the Server

We will also need copies of the following files:


  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\log\hw_log.txt
  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\ecs_static.sqlite
  • C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server\ecs.sqlite


  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/ecs_static.sqlite
  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/ecs/ecs.sqlite
  • /opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var/log/hw_log.txt

The above information can be made available to Digital Watchdog Technical Support after submitting a web ticket through Request For Technical Support.

  • 278
  • 27-Apr-2020