3 Ways to Recover Deleted CCTV Footage

CCTV cameras have become almost indispensable when it comes to ensuring the security of a building or for carrying on monitoring activities at a place. From houses to shops and even the traffic signals on the street, CCTV surveillance is everywhere.

With wireless CCTV systems in place, monitoring and recording all ongoing activities becomes easier, and these can also be stored and accessed in the future as and when required. But what happens if you lose an important part of the footage due to any unforeseen event? In such cases, is it possible to recover the deleted video?

Fortunately, the answer is yes! You can use several methods to recover any lost, overwritten, or deleted CCTV surveillance video. But before we dive into those, let's first go through the reasons why you may end up losing your CCTV camera footage in the first place.

How Can CCTV Footage Get Deleted?

There are several reasons why your CCTV footage might get deleted. For instance, the old footage may get overwritten with fresh data after a month by default. It may also depend on the CCTV storage capacity - lack of space can lead to deletion of old data. Or you may also lose recorded footage if someone manually deletes it - either accidentally or deliberately.

In addition to this, you may also lose your CCTV footage due to any of the following reasons.

  • Failure of DVR or hard drive
  • Fire or water damage
  • Corrupted or damaged SD cards
  • Virus or malware attacks


How Can You Recover Deleted CCTV Footage?

Now that you are aware of why your CCTV footage gets deleted, let's move on to how you can try to get it back. Below are three effective methods that you can try out.

Recover The Deleted Footage from Backups

If you have a backup storage system set up for your CCTV camera, getting back the deleted files won't be too difficult. You can get back the required footage by following the steps mentioned below.

  • Locate the CCTV footage backup folder and open it.
  • Search for the erased files and transfer them back to the original storage disk or SD card.


Use Data Recovery Software

In case you don't have a backup system in place, you would need to use third-party data recovery software to retrieve your deleted or damaged files. It's best to stick to reputable software for the task to ensure data privacy and device security. To recover your deleted footage using this method, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Download and install the data recovery software on your computer.
  • Run the program to scan for recoverable files.
  • Locate the required files from the list and transfer them to your desired storage location.


Recover The Deleted CCTV Camera Footage Using CMD

It is also possible to retrieve your deleted CCTV footage using Control Prompt Command or CMD. For this method, you need to follow the below steps.

  • Open CMD or Command Prompt.
  • Right-click on the start menu and select ‘Run’. Next, type ‘cmd’ and press the enter key.
  • In the command prompt, type chkdsk (space) Drive Letter /f. The ‘/f’ parameter helps resolve any detected errors in the disk. Wait till the command finishes its actions.
  • Next, use the parameters mentioned below to fix issues and restore the data.
    • -h: To show hidden attributes
    • -r: For locating bad sectors and recovering read-only information
    • /s: For commanding the system to look for a specific path location


Things To Keep In Mind Before Using CMD For Data Recovery

Although you don't need any additional software or devices for retrieving lost CCTV footage using CMD, there are a few things to be aware of before you try this method.

  • The Command Prompt method is best suited for professionals with in-depth technological knowledge. Inexperienced users should refrain from using this.
  • Recovering permanently deleted files can be an arduous process. Unless you have the required skill, there is a high chance of the data getting corrupted or permanently lost.
  • The chances of retrieving a bug-infected file are quite low.

Summing Up

To summarize; there are several methods by which you can recover deleted CCTV footage. These can range from simple methods like retrieving the files from the backup folder to more complex methods like using Command Prompt. But in case you are unfamiliar with the underlying technology, it's best to avoid trying to recover the deleted CCTV footage by yourself. Instead, you can get an expert to do it on your behalf to minimize chances of data corruption or loss.