Users Corrupted After Hikvision Firmware Update?

Updating a Hikvision DS-7604NI-E1/4P NVR today, the NVR uploaded firmware and updated just fine, or so I thought...

When it had rebooted, I tried to log in and it rejected my password, my first indication something was wrong:

We got on the local interface and tried to log in next, and it seemed to randomly accept or reject the password. Finally, we managed to log in. But looking at the user list, it was filled with gibberish users. Unfortunately, I don't have a screenshot of that. Essentially, they were very long strings of Unicode characters, with many simply showing as empty boxes, like ▢▢▢▢▢▢▢▢

We were finally able to factory default it and it seemed to work fine, but I ended up downgrading the firmware to be sure, for now.

Anyone have any similar experiences?


What was the previous firmware version? Was it the version prior to strong password requirement? Wondering if your previous user accounts weren't valid under new policies.

I have seen this similar problem on other brands of NVRs.

if you have a machine with a default password and data in it and you upgrade to a firmware version with a single-use default password it will throw this kinda error out.

My "BEST GUESS" is that the way the new "no default firmware are coded is for the first logon to the NVR is the default password and its immediately removed for use after you login to it for the first time (like a Samsung camera).

I am guessing the code checks the number of logins on the machine and if its not NULL or 0 its deletes the default password. so you cant login.

when you down grade the firmware ( or factory default )then upgrade you are simply reloading the default password back into the machine and starting over.

I have seen this with passwords that dont meet the new requirements as well.

Had this exact same issue today. Hikvision said that the firmware I used was a baseline firmware and not for North American NVR's. They recommended that I follow there firmware flush procedure and downgrade the firmware. It blows my mind that this could happen. They need to work on the firmware upgrade process to prevent issues like this from happening as it causes a huge waste of time on the integrators end and hikvisions tech support end. Most other products would never let you upload an incorrect firmware to a product.

I've had the same issue and it bricked the device, TFTP upload of firmware wouldnt work because is asked for the wrong file (some Avigilon camera driver rather than the .dav file) - at least half my attempts at upgrading Hikvision firmware end up in disaster, their whole firmware process needs an overhaul, so many versions, you have to do them sequentially and you still dont know if its going to actually work.. Issues like you had are common but should not be like that. I avoid updating Hikvision firmware at all costs, but then new cameras wont work unless you do and its a security/performance issue if you do not. Its horrible

I've rarely had issues with Dahua Cameras/NVR's or Axis Cameras

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: I Avoid Updating Hikvision Firmware At All Costs, But Then New Cameras Wont Work Unless You Do And Its A Security/Performance Issue If You Do Not

I've seen this issue at least a dozen times over the past few years. It's one of the only firmware issues that may brick your NVR/DVR. Everything else has a firmware check that tells you if the file mismatches/upgrade failed.

For example, if you have a 7608NI-E2 USA version (Green Interface) and upgrade using a firmware from the European portal site (Red Interface) it will cause the same issue you're having.

TFTP will work but may take a few different attempts with the correct firmware version.

I've heard HIK say that cameras with non-North America firmware will behave poorly because that's there mechanism to stop illicit vendors from selling imports. Now giving you a gibberish user list doesn't sound reasonable, and by the way that awful importing vendor they referenced was Amazon.

IF they clearly documented that I would then say it's no more outrageous than other physical security manufacture upgrade attitudes. If it's a secret then that'd be rude.

Last I checked you could look on the HIK website and find authorized resellers (and find that Amazon's not there.)