Member Discussion

Factory Reset Good For Various Vendors Camera Health?

On a discussion about an Axis camera we talked about using factory reset to get out of a wedged state ("wedged" being a vague technical term meaning things were not working right.) Does this happen with other vendor's cameras? I'm wondering where the pattern is. Yeah, I've made an Axis camera cough furballs by setting the config to strange values. But I get paid to torture cameras so that's not a fair sample.

Yes. I've seen it remedy issues on Bosch, Dahua, Panasonic, and Hikvision cameras, as well. If I thought really hard about's probably remedied something on pretty much any manufacturer's camera in the time I've been beating on them. But those stand out as "Oh, that's happening? Default it." examples in my mind.

Speculating here, of course. So it could also be the VMS' not being able to cope with non-default configurations. And it's not likely that one dev team flubs it's flash config recording but others get it right. Or a bunch of other things of course. I was trying to see if among us we have a reportable problem where individually we might not see it. I'm asking because I'm trying to see if we have community knowledge about unwedging cameras that merits sharing in this venue. Let me guess, when this happens you tend to shrug your shoulders and move on, you don't burn the time to create a reproducible test case for a bug report...

The Factory Reset approach to solving an issue is a practical aid in the field. Though ironically, when successful, it destroys most of the forensic evidence of the fault in the process. It potentially trades a short-term gain for a long-term liability. But I would do it within the first 15 minutes of troubleshooting, if I was not making progress. Why not, worth a shot, right?

But now I do a little something different.

Before defaulting I save the existing configuration, then reset. Then I test for the issue. Whether it is solved or not I reload the old config. If the problem reappears, then I dive into the differences from the default, and change them one by one until the problem disappears, or I get all the way to the default settings.

If the problem is NOT there after reset AND reloading the config, then I would contact the manufacturer, since it is out of my control. Maybe it was fixed because a corrupt file got re-imaged on reset, or some temp space got freed up, etc. But at least the config is validated. If you don't validate, you end up being superstitious and afraid to change anything!

Though it can be tedious I think it's the best way. Anytime I'm working a problem that is particularly challenging and frustrating, I tell myself that when I finally figure it out, it will be worth it because I'm gonna learn something valuable and interesting. Sometimes I lie, though.

Some brands of IP cameras (and recorders!) have a rolling reboot built into them that will once a week automatically reset them for (roughly translated from chinese) "system stability"

Now I take the view that if you have to reboot a linux device once a week you've got a memory leak. It's not a solution, it's a sticking plaster to a bigger problem.

Heaven the thought that someone with criminal intent figures out that brand X of camera/DVR/NVR will by default reboot at 2am on a tuesday and decides that's the best time to rob the property during that 3min window of opportunity when it's not working.

It's something Hollywood would think of, not what you'd expect to be reality.

...someone with criminal intent figures out that brand X of camera/DVR/NVR will by default reboot at 2am on a tuesday and decides that's the best time to rob the property during that 3minutes.

Last words of bad guy being hauled off: "I cannot believe you are not running NTP!"