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Replacing a Hard Drive for a DW Blackjack P-RACK

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Replacing a Hard Drive for a DW Blackjack® P-RACK

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Affected Roles:  Administrator, Owner

Complexity:  High

Last Edit:  January 14, 2022

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Hard Drive Replacement

Over time, the hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) storage inside of the DW Blackjack P-RACK may sustain excessive use and will need to be replaced due to wear. In the event that an internal storage drive must be replaced, it is recommended to contact Digital Watchdog to schedule a hard drive replacement. However, if an Installer or a customer of equivalent capability must replace a storage drive in the field, they may request that the hardware component be shipped to them, where they can make the replacement onsite.

This article will outline the process of opening a DW Blackjack P-RACK and replacing an internal hard drive.

**DISCLAIMER:  It is recommended to work with DW Support and RMA for shipping faulty hardware for the direct repair by Digital Watchdog personnel. By forgoing this option and instead opening the DW Blackjack P-RACK to replace the pre-installed storage hardware yourself, you will be waiving all claims of liability for Digital Watchdog and will be assuming responsibility for the condition of the unit. Digital Watchdog and its affiliates will not be held liable for the loss of any data or consequential damages (including without limitation, damage to recording media) resulting from this process.

**NOTE:  The stock SATA controller does not support Serial ATA port multipliers (SATA PM). Do not attempt to connect multiple SATA devices to a single SATA host port. Do not attempt to exceed the recommended maximum storage or drive count.


HDD Replacement Guide Contents

The HDD Replacement Guide is organized as follows:

     Supported/Affected Devices

     Necessary Equipment

     Approved HDD Model List

     Additional Recommended Information

Create a Database Backup

Replacing Local Disk (C:) in a RAID 5 System

     Part 1: Identifying the Physical Drive

            Windows Option 1: Identifying Storage Drive with Disk Management

            Windows Option 2: Identifying Storage Drive with Command Prompt

            Ubuntu/Linux Option: Identifying Storage Drive with Command Terminal

     Part 2: Replacing the Physical Drive

               Part 2-1: Locating HDD Hardware

            Part 2-2: Removing an Internal Hard Drive

            Part 2-3: Installing the Replacement Hard Drive

     Part 3: (Optional) Run Recovery Program

     Part 4: Initialization and Partition Creation

     Part 5: Restore RAID 5 Configuration

     Part 6: (Optional) Update DW Spectrum IPVMS

     Part 7: (Optional) Restore the Database and License Keys


Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack® P-RACK Server Series
    • DW-BJP1U, DW-BJP1U-LX
    • DW-BJP2U, DW-BJP2U-LX
    • DW-BJPR2U, DW-BJPR2U-LX

Necessary Equipment

In addition to an approved HDD model, you will also need:

  • Phillips head screwdriver (required)
  • Compressed air (recommended)
  • Replacement, compatible hard drive (required)

Approved HDD Model List

When replacing hard drives for the DW Blackjack P-RACK, Digital Watchdog will provide the replacement component to ensure that the hardware is compatible. For example, when using a RAID configuration, it is best to use the same hard drive model for all enclosures to ensure that the read/write speed has uniformity and is not bottlenecked by any single, particular drive.

The approved hard drive models used for the DW Blackjack P-RACK can be found below.

**NOTE:  The approved HDD models are subject to change at Digital Watchdog’s discretion, depending on vendor availability and any changes to the DW Blackjack system standards over time.

DW Blackjack P-RACK 1U & 2U without RAID

(DW-BJP1U, DW-BJP2U, DW-BJP1U-LX, DW-BJP2U-LX)

HDD Part Number

Storage Capacity

Hard Drive Description

HDSG-ST1000VX005

1 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 1TB 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST2000VX015

2 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 2TB 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST3000VX009

3 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 3TB 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST4000VX013

4 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 4TB 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST6000VX001

6 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 6TB 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST8000VE001

8 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 8TB 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST12000VE001

12 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 12TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST16000VE002

16 TB

Seagate Skyhawk 16TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

DW Blackjack P-RACK 2U with RAID

(DW-BJPR2U, DW-BJPR2U-LX)

HDD Part Number

Storage Capacity

Hard Drive Description

HDSG-ST4000NM002A

4 TB

Seagate Exos 4TB SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST6000NM021A

6 TB

Seagate Exos 6TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST8000NM000A

8 TB

Seagate Exos 8TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST12000NM001G

12 TB

Seagate Exos 12TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST14000NM001G

14 TB

Seagate Exos 14TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST16000NM001G

16 TB

Seagate Exos 16TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

HDSG-ST18000NM000J

18 TB

Seagate Exos 18TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5"

Additional Recommended Information

Create a Database Backup

As a precaution, you must create a Database Backup copy of the DW Spectrum System before making any major changes to the affiliated DW Spectrum Server or its hardware. By doing so, recording licenses, user configurations, etc. of the DW Spectrum Server can be restored from the Database Backup if it becomes necessary.

Replacing Local Disk (C:) Storage Drive

Be aware that if you are replacing the (C:) Drive (Disk 0), the operating system files will be removed from the system. You will then need to use system recovery (USB or integrated) to restore operability to the DW Blackjack unit, regardless of RAID capability.

For more information, you may refer to:

Replacing Storage Drives in a RAID 5 System

When using a DW Blackjack P-RACK with RAID, the two SSDs are copies (RAID 1) of the same storage partition (Local Drive C:).  Meanwhile, the multiple HDDs share the data storage across all of the HDDs (RAID 5) in their own group.

As the P-RACK storage drives are not hot-swappable, replacing a hard drive in a P-RACK that is equipped with RAID will require that RAID configuration be rebuilt after replacing the storage drive. In the system’s RAID manager, the SSD RAID group will be “Drive Group 0” and the HDD RAID group will be “Drive Group 1”.

For more information, you may refer to:


Part 1: Identifying the Physical Drive

When replacing an HDD for a system that has multiple hard drives installed, you will need to know which physical SATA port on the motherboard the problematic hard drive is connected to. This can be done with a combination of knowing which disk is bad beforehand and physically looking at the motherboard.

You may use one of the methods below to identify the related SATA connector without having to open the case chassis of the DW Blackjack P-RACK.

Windows Option 1: Identifying Storage Drive with Disk Management

To identify which SATA connector the target hard drive is connected to:

  1. Launch the Disk Management program on the computer. To do so you may:
  • Click on the Start W menu, then search for the “Disk Management” tool. The search result will label this as “Create and format hard disk partitions”
  • Click on the Start W menu, then search for the “Computer Management” application. Launch the application, then (under Storage) select “Disk Management”.

  1. The Disk Management tool will allow you to view and manage hard drive partitions of internal hard drives.

From the list of Disks, right-click on the target drive and select “Properties”.

In the Properties window, click on the “Details” tab, then select “Location Information” from the dropdown. The resulting “Bus Number” is the associated SATA connector for the selected drive.

Windows Option 2: Identifying Storage Drive with Command Prompt

To identify which SATA connector the target hard drive is connected to:

  1. Click on the Start W menu, then search for “Command Prompt”.

Select “Run as Administrator”. You may alternatively, right-click on the application, then select “Run as Administrator” to launch the program as an Administrator.

  1. In the Command Prompt, enter the command:

diskpart.exe

Press the “Enter” key to run the action. The DiskPart command will become active. Next, enter the command:

list disk

  1. The DiskPart will list all detected disk drives belonging to the P-RACK system.

To identify the associated SATA connector, select the target disk and use the command:

select disk #

For example, to identify Disk 2, replace the “#” in the command with “2”.

  1. After selecting the target disk, use the command:

detail disk

The resulting “Path” and “Location Path” information will indicate the associated SATA connector for the selected drive.

Hard Disk

PCB Port No.

Path ID

Location Path

Local Disk (C:)

0

0

C00T00L00

Local Disk (D:)

1

1

C01T00L00

Additional Storage

2

2

C02T00L00

Additional Storage

3

3

C03T00L00

For example, “Path: 3” or “…#ATA(C03…)” indicates that Disk 2 is connected to the SATA4 port of the motherboard.

Ubuntu/Linux Option: Identifying Storage Drive with Command Terminal

To identify which SATA connector the target hard drive is connected to:

  1. Open the Terminal program on the Linux computer.
    • Simultaneously press the CTRL + ALT + T keys on the keyboard to launch the program
    • Alternatively, use the Unity menu search option to locate and launch the program
  1. The Terminal program window will display.

To display the system attached storage information, use the command:

sudo lshw –c storage –c disk

  1. The DW Blackjack P-RACK will request the submission of the dwuser (System Administrator) password. The keystrokes will be hidden and will not display as you type.

Use the passcode:

Dw5pectrum

**NOTE:  DW Blackjack units that were purchased prior to June 18, 2021 may still use the old (14.04, 16.04) super user login of “admin/admin” INSTEAD of the newer (18.04) “dwuser/Dw5pectrum” login.

  1. The resulting output will display similar to the example image below. Use the following to identify the hard drive as it physically appears and the affiliated SATA connection:
  • description – “ATA Disk” will indicate that it is a Serial ATA (SATA) connected storage device, in this case a hard drive
  • product – indicates the actual model number of the HDD product; this model number will also appear physically on the hard drive
  • vendor – additional HDD model information; the manufacturer name will also appear physically on the hard drive
  • bus info – this indicates the SATA port number that the HDD is attached to; The SATA port labeling, managed by the SATA controller, does not translate directly across.
    • To get the SATA port number, take the bus info number of the connector and add +1. For example, bus info: [email protected] indicates that the hard drive is connected to the SATA-1 port (as labeled on the motherboard).
  • serial – additional HDD model information; the serial number (S/N) will also appear physically on the hard drive

Part 2: Replacing the Physical Drive

Part 2-1: Locating HDD Hardware

Before handling any internal hardware components, discharge any static electricity that may have built up on your person. Be sure that you are working on a surface that is free of static electricity. When you are ready to replace the drive, please follow the steps below.

To locate an HDD storage drive in a DW Blackjack P-RACK:

  1. If you have not already done so, shut down the unit completely, then disconnect the power cable and network cable(s) from the DW Blackjack P-RACK.

For easier physical access, disconnect all peripherals (mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc.) from the unit that may obstruct physical access.

Place the DW Blackjack P-RACK in a clean, flat area where you may easily work in and around the hardware.

**NOTE:  To avoid damage, do not open the P-RACK hardware case in areas where dust, particulates, or moisture are present.

  1. The hardware case of the P-RACK is secured by three (3) screws and one (1) press-fit retractable spring plunger.

Use a screwdriver to remove the three (3) screws from the top of the DW Blackjack P-RACK unit.

Loosen and retract the press-fit retractable spring plunger from the rear of the DW Blackjack P-RACK unit.

Once the screws and spring plunger no longer affix the case cover to the DW Blackjack P-RACK, carefully slide-back the case cover, then lift to remove it from the unit.

**NOTE:  The press-fit retractable spring plunger cannot be completely detached from the case cover. Please only tighten or loosen this device to secure the case cover to the unit.

   3.With the case cover off, locate the HDD Storage Drives and identify the target HDD that must be replaced.

   4. On the motherboard, the SATA ports are labeled for each SATA connector. You may use the SATA Input Ports as a reference to identify the target HDD storage drive.

By default, the DW Blackjack P-RACK storage drives are mounted and organized as follows.

Part 2-2: Removing an Internal Hard Drive

To remove and replace a hard drive:

  1. Remove the three (3) mounting screws that affix the drive bracket to the DW Blackjack P-RACK case chassis.

Once loosened, carefully lift the entire drive bracket up and out of the drive enclosure.

  1. For easier access, carefully disconnect the SATA and power supply cables from the hard drive.

If you are replacing multiple storage drives, be sure to keep track of which pair of cables belong to each specific drive.

  1. Remove the four (4) mounting screws that secure the HDD to the mounting bracket, then carefully remove the HDD from the mounting bracket.

Part 2-3: Installing the Replacement Hard Drive

The process of reinstalling the mounting bracket and replacement hard drive is the same set of steps for removing the drive, but in reverse order.

After removing the old/faulty hard drive:

  1. Place the replacement/new HDD into the mounting bracket.

Use the four (4) mounting screws to secure the new HDD to the mounting bracket.

  1. Connect the SATA and power supply cables to the new HDD. Be sure to use the same set of cables that were removed from the old hard drive.

  1. Carefully reinsert the mounting bracket and its affixed HDDs into the DW Blackjack P-RACK hard drive enclosure.

Use the three (3) mounting screws to secure the mounting bracket to the case chassis.

  1. Replace the case cover of the DW-Blackjack P-RACK on top of the unit, then carefully slide-forward the case cover until it is flush with the rest of the hardware case.

Insert and tighten the press-fit retractable spring plunger at the rear of the DW Blackjack P-RACK unit.

Use a screwdriver to insert the three (3) screws into the top of the DW Blackjack P-RACK unit to secure the cover to the case.

  1. Place the DW Blackjack P-RACK into its regular location and reconnect all power cables and necessary peripherals.

Part 3: (Optional) Run Recovery Program

If the hard drive that was replace was hosting the OS (Local Disk C:), then you will need to run the USB Recovery Program to restore the operating system and the integrated recovery partition to the unit. This will completely default the DW Blackjack P-RACK.

If needed, you may refer to the following guides:

**NOTE:  If the main HDD (Local Disk C:) was NOT replaced, but an additional storage drive was replaced instead, you do not need to run the recovery program to restore the system operability.

**IMPORTANT:  Do not use different ISO versions of the USB recovery program for different DW Blackjack models. For example, if the USB recovery that is meant for a DW Blackjack Cube is applied to a DW Blackjack P-RACK 2U with RAID, the LSI RAID Manager software program will not be included in the recovered system as the DW Blackjack CUBE model does not come equipped for a RAID configuration.

Part 4: Intialization and Partition Creation

The replacement HDD will act as the storage location for DW Spectrum video archives, which represent the recorded camera video from the security system. After physically mounting the replacement hard drive, the new drive will need to be initialized and a new volume partition must be created. Once this has been performed, the affiliated DW Spectrum Server may begin to use the new drive for its regular media storage.

For further guidance, you may refer to the related KB articles:

Part 5: Restore RAID 5 Configuration

The variety of DW Blackjack P-RACK 2U models includes an option for building a server that comes equipped with a RAID controller and RAID manager software. Through this, the DW Blackjack P-RACK can utilize a RAID 5 configuration to create storage redundancies to mitigate data loss in the event of drive failure.

Please note that not all DW Blackjack models are sold with RAID capability. If your DW Blackjack P-RACK is equipped for a RAID configuration, you may refer to the following guides:

Part 6: (Optional) Update DW Spectrum IPVMS

The DW Spectrum IPVMS Server and Client software will come installed on the DW Blackjack P-RACK’s main HDD (Local Disk C:) by default. If the main HDD has been replaced and the recovery program has been used, the DW Spectrum IPVMS software version may be outdated, depending on the age of the USB recovery ISO version that was used.

In this scenario, it is recommended to update the DW Spectrum IPVMS software at least up to the same software build version that was used by the system prior to replacing the main HDD. If the Server is not updated and uses an outdated software version, older than the build that was used prior to the HDD replacement or system recovery, there may be issues when attempting to restore the DW Spectrum Database.

If needed, you may refer to the guide:

**NOTE:  If the main HDD (Local Disk C:) was NOT replaced, but an additional storage drive was replaced instead, you do not need to update the DW Spectrum IPVMS software to restore the IPVMS database.

Part 7: (Optional) Restore the Database and License Keys

If the main HDD (Local Disk C:) was replaced, you can restore the DW Spectrum Database and Recording License Key(s) to the DW Spectrum System  by using a Database Backup that was created prior to replacing the main HDD.

If it was an additional storage drive that was replaced instead, the database of the DW Spectrum System should still be intact on the main HDD.

For instructions on restoring a database, please refer to the “Restoring From a Database Backup” section of the guide: