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CCTV Data Recovery

Our CCTV data recovery services have been useful to many companies that rely on their security equipment to provide 24/7 security of their premises.


The successful identification of a criminal and their resulting prosecution means that our CCTV recovery and enhancement procedures are highly valued by many organizations, both commercial and public that are keen to reduce crime and protect people and property.



The data recovery of footage from CCTV DVR systems poses some unique challenges not found with other cases. For example:


1) The file systems used will often be Ext2 or Ext3.


2) The encoding of video footage will often not be standard. It is extremely seldom that CCTV systems use formats such as .AVI or .MOV. The encoding of footage will often be in a proprietary format.


3) The time-stamp on recovered files is often crucial. The data recovery technician must use a recovery technique which endeavours to keep all file/folder time-stamps intact. Moreover, the data recovery technician must ascertain the time/date settings on the DVR device itself. If the time on the host device is not correct or has not been adjusted for DST (daylight saving time) the timestamps of the recovered folders/files will also be wrong.


We look delivery of the DVR system. Our technicians checked the sequence of warning lights on the device to double-check that there was not a problem with the device itself. The time and date were also checked on the DVR. Once these had been verified, the hard drive (a 2TB Seagate Barracuda S-ATA drive) was removed from the DVR’s motherboard. Our diagnostics revealed that the drive had numerous bad sectors and corrupt firmware on the Service Area.


Our technicians first imaged the drive. This is merely a routine safety procedure to make sure that the data is recovered in the safest way possible. Once this had been completed, our data recovery technicians restored the Service Area firmware modules on the drive. After this had been completed, a surface scan was performed. All the bad sectors were relocated and the drives defect tables (the G-List) were then updated.


This brought us to a point where we now had an imaged drive which was functioning properly. The video footage was appearing in .stream format (with all timestamps intact) but, alas, it was completely unreadable to our systems. We contacted the European headquarters of CCTV manufacturer who very kindly emailed us their proprietary codec-pack for reading the video footage. This was installed after a quick reboot all of their files became readable on our system. All of the recovered footage was delivered to the client on a USB drive. Big Brother is watching you but he might not be backing up his data…


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