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Downgrade To A Previous Version of DW Spectrum IPVMS

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Downgrade To A Previous Version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS

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Affected Roles:  Administrator, Owner

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS

Complexity:  High

Last Edit:  February 18, 2021

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Downgrading Versions

While it is never recommended to downgrade the software version of a DW Spectrum® System, there may be certain instances where Administrators may need to downgrade their DW Spectrum® System after an upgrade to the latest release. 

To downgrade the Administrator will need to:

  • Create a copy of the database backup that was created prior to the software upgrade
  • Completely uninstall DW Spectrum® IPVMS from ALL Servers within the System
  • Clean re-install the target version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS on ALL Servers within the System
  • Restore the copy of the database backup

This article will outline how to perform the above steps to successfully downgrade a DW Spectrum® System to a previous version.  Please be sure to read all notes in their entirety to avoid encountering issues during this process.

**NOTE:  If there are multiple Servers merged within the System, all Servers must be downgraded as well to maintain a uniform and functioning System.

**NOTE:  It is highly recommended to copy/extract the recording licenses of your DW Spectrum® System prior to beginning this process in the even that they need to be manually re-added to your downgraded System.

**NOTE:  Any changes that were made to the System between upgrades may need to be performed again as you will be restoring the System to an older copy of its database.

**DISCLAIMER:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS does not have a dedicated software rollback function.  Please be aware that you will be performing this process at your own risk.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Servers

Part 1:  Make A Copy of the System Database

Whenever the DW Spectrum® IPVMS Server software is updated, a backup of the previous version’s database will be automatically created prior to the upgrade.  The Administrator will need to copy this previous database backup to a safe location (USB drive, desktop, etc.) in order to restore the System to a previous version.  This is a different process from simply creating a database backup through the DW Spectrum® IPVMS Client.

To make a copy of the System database file:

  1. Stop the DW Spectrum® Server service.
    • In Windows

Right-click on the mediaserver icon in the Service Tray, then select Stop Server.

  • In Linux

Open the Command Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and use the following commands:

Log in as the root Administrator:

sudo su

Then enter the root admin password (will not display):

admin

Then stop the mediaserver with:

service digitalwatchdog-mediaserver stop

  1. Locate the Digital Watchdog Media Server folder and copy the ecs.sqlite database file to a safe location.  This file is a copy of the current version of the software and will not be used for the database restoration, but should be copied just-in-case.
    • In Windows (use the File Explorer)

C:\Windows\System32\Config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server

  • In Linux (use the Files Explorer)

/opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var

  1. Next, open the backup folder and copy the last backup file to a safe location.
  • Downgrading from version 4.1: depending on whether the last backup was automatically created or manually triggered, it will be named in one of the following formats: 

ecs_<buildnumber>_<timestamp>_timer.db

or

ecs_<buildnumber>_<timestamp>_manual.db

For example:  ecs_31768_1600913446096_timer

  • Downgrading from versions 3.0-4.0: ecs.sqlite.<version number>.<build number>

For example:  ecs.sqlite.3.0.0.15297

  • Downgrading from versions 2.6 and earlier: ecs_0.backup

Part 2:  Clean Uninstall DW Spectrum® IPVMS

After copying the files outlined in Part 1 (above) to a safe location, the Administrator will then have to completely uninstall all DW Spectrum® data from the Server.

DW Spectrum® Clean Uninstall (Windows OS)

To completely uninstall DW Spectrum® on a Windows OS:

  1. Prompt the uninstallation of the software by opening the Programs and Features application in the Windows Control Panel.

Select DW Spectrum Server, then select Uninstall.

**NOTE:  Retaining DW Spectrum Client will not be an issue for Windows OS.  If the computer has the Full Software Bundle of DW Spectrum® installed, uninstall DW Spectrum Bundle.

  1. To remove any remnants of the DW Spectrum® Server program, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local and delete the Digital Watchdog folder.

  1. The DW Spectrum® Server program will then be completely removed from the computer.  You may now proceed with installing the target version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS on the Server.

DW Spectrum® Clean Uninstall (Ubuntu/Linux)

To completely uninstall DW Spectrum on an Ubuntu/Linux OS:

  1. Prompt the uninstallation of DW Spectrum by opening the Command Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and log in as the root Administrator using the following commands:
sudo su

            Then enter the root admin password (will not display):

admin
  1. To prompt the removal of DW Spectrum Server, use the command:
apt-get remove --purge digitalwatchdog-mediaserver

When asked “Do you want to continue [Y/N]”, use:

Y
  1. Use the Arrow Keys on your keyboard to navigate and highlight Remove the Database.  Press the Enter key to confirm the selection.
  1. To prompt the removal of DW Spectrum Client, use the command:
apt-get remove --purge digitalwatchdog-client

When asked “Do you want to continue [Y/N]”, use:

Y
  1. Next, to complete the removal of DW Spectrum Server, use the command:
echo PURGE | sudo debconf-communicate digitalwatchdog-mediaserver

To complete the removal of DW Spectrum Client, use the command:

echo PURGE | sudo debconf-communicate digitalwatchdog-mediaserver
  1. The DW Spectrum® Server program and DW Spectrum® Client program will then be completely removed from the computer.  You may now proceed with installing the target version of DW Spectrum IPVMS on the Server.

Part 3:  Install the Desired Version of DW® Spectrum IPVMS

After completely removing the DW Spectrum® data from the Server, the Administrator can clean reinstall the desired target version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS.  After installation has completed, create a new system.  Feel free to use a new System Name or the same System Name as before; this will not matter as the system will be restored from the database backup file.

If you do not yet have the installation file(s) for the target version, it can be obtained from the DW Spectrum Product Page under the Software tab.

For instructions on clean installing DW Spectrum, you may use the following articles:

Part 4:  Stop Server, Restore Database, Restart Server

After installation has been completed and a new system has been created, the Administrator can apply the database backup file.

To apply the database backup file:

  1. Stop the DW Spectrum® Server service.
    • In Windows –

Right-click on the mediaserver icon in the Service Tray, then select Stop Server.

  • In Linux –

Open the Command Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and use the following commands:

Log in as the root Administrator:

sudo su

Then enter the root admin password (will not display):

admin

Then stop the mediaserver with:

service digitalwatchdog-mediaserver stop

  1. Locate the Digital Watchdog Media Server folder and delete the ecs.sqlite database file that is currently in the folder, so that it can be replaced.
    • In Windows (use the file explorer)

C:\Windows\System32\Config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server

  • In Linux (use the file explorer)

/opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var

  1. Find the backup file that was copied back in Part 1 of this guide.  The file that you are looking for will have the same date as when the System was upgraded (prior to this downgrade process).  For example, if the System was upgraded to v3.1 on November 28, 2017, the backup file will hve been created and labeled with the same date.
    • In version 2.6 and before, the files were called “ecs_x.backup
    • In version 3.0 and upward, the files will have a version number included, making them easier to identify (e.g. ecs.sqlite.3.0.0.15297)
  2. Rename this file as “ecs.sqlite”, then move the renamed file to the Digital Watchdog Media Server to replace the recently deleted file.
    • In Windows (use the file explorer)

C:\Windows\System32\Config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Digital Watchdog\Digital Watchdog Media Server

  • In Linux (use the file explorer)

/opt/digitalwatchdog/mediaserver/var

  1. After renaming and copying the file, start the DW Spectrum® Server service.
    • In Windows –

Right-click on the mediaserver icon in the Service Tray, then select Start Server.

    • In Linux –

Open the Command Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and use the following commands:

Log in as the root Administrator:

sudo su

Then enter the root admin password (will not display):

admin

Then start the mediaserver with:

service digitalwatchdog-mediaserver start

Part 5:  Log In to the Restored, Downgraded System

After completing the downgrade process and database restoration process listed above:

  1. Launch the DW Spectrum application using the Owner/Administrator password or DW Cloud™ account.
  2. After restoring the database, make sure that all registered devices/cameras are accurate.  Keep in mind that any changes made to the System in the time between the last time this DW Spectrum version was used and the upgrade to the newest version (that the System has been now been downgraded from) will not be present as you are now operating from a copy.

This concludes how to downgrade a DW Spectrum® System.  If you are using a DW Spectrum® System that consists of multiple Servers merged into a single DW Spectrum® System, this entire process must be performed on all of the merged Servers for the merged System to work.

**NOTE:  If your recording licenses must be reactivated for the downgraded System, you can use the article Activating License Keys for instructions.

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  • 19-Feb-2021
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