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Large Storage Backup from a DW Spectrum Server

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Large Storage Backup from a DW Spectrum® Server

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Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS

Complexity:  High

Last Edit:  September 27, 2021

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Large Storage Backup

For security installations that require a large amount of data, it is recommended that the use of redundant storage be implemented in the form of added internal storage or through the use of an external device. A good proactive method for preventing data loss during an unexpected system failure is to utilize a DW Blackjack® NAS as a form of redundant storage.

However for situations where there is no automatic data backup, the DW Spectrum® media archives will need to be manually copied to external storage in order to back up the data.

This article will outline how to copy the raw data of the DW Spectrum Media Server when moving video archives from a DW Spectrum Server to external storage.

**NOTE:  This is not the recommended method of exporting video footage, but is being made available as some circumstances (OS failure, damaged hardware, etc.) may not allow use of the DW Spectrum Client for video export.  It is always advised to use redundant storage for DW Spectrum Systems that cannot afford any data loss.

**NOTE:  The amount of time for files to transfer will vary depending on the total size of the transfer.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Bolt™
  • DW Blackjack® Cube™
  • DW Blackjack® P-Rack™
  • DW Blackjack® E-Rack™
  • DW Blackjack® Rack™
  • DW Blackjack® Mid-Tower™
  • DW Blackjack® Tower™

Manually Backing up DW Spectrum® Server Archives

Copying a Single Media Drive

If the DW Spectrum Server uses only a single drive for storage, you can copy its “DW Spectrum Media” folder to create a system backup.

**NOTE:  You must STOP the DW Spectrum Server program before performing the manual backup to avoid allowing the system to actively record and overwrite data while files are being transferred.  The DW Spectrum Server program must remain stopped for the duration of the manual backup process.

To copy a single media drive:

  1. At the server, open the File Explorer application and navigate to the folder’s default location:

PC > DW Media (D:)

  1. Copy the entire “DW Spectrum Media” folder to an external storage device (USB stick, external HDD, mobile databank, etc.). 

The raw data in the folder can then be saved to use as a backup of the DW Spectrum System if it ever encounters an unexpected OS or hardware issue.

Copying Multi-Media Drives

If the DW Spectrum System uses two or more media drives for storage, separate file directories will need to be created for each DW Spectrum Media drive.  Because of the way that DW Spectrum writes data when archiving footage, copying all database files and recorded media into a single folder would further complicate this process.

**NOTE:  You must STOP the DW Spectrum Server program before performing the manual backup to avoid allowing the system to actively record and overwrite data while files are being transferred.  The DW Spectrum Server program must remain stopped for the duration of the manual backup process.

An example of using separate file directories:

  1. After attaching an external storage device (USB stick, external hard drive, mobile databank, etc.) to the server, open the File Explorer application.

Locate and access the external storage device, then create a folder for EACH DW Spectrum Media folder that will be copied.

  1. Next, copy each “DW Spectrum Media” folder to its matching folder on the external storage device.

For example, the DW Spectrum Media folder located at PC > DW Media (D:) would be move to a folder just for the contents of the (D:) drive.

PC > DW Media (D:) à “D Drive” folder

  1. After moving all data has been copied and organized on the external storage device, video will be viewable with any media player that supports .mkv format files.  A specific data archive file can be found in the DW Spectrum Media folders by the file name.  You may need to check more than one of the saved drive files to find the specified data.

These files are named by:

DW Spectrum Media > Camera ID/MAC > Year > Month > Day > Hour

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