How to Back Up Video from a Q See Security Camera System

How to "Backup" Video from a Q-See Security Camera System "DVR" (other models should be similar). The current consumer systems that Q-See offer do not allow you to backup more than 6 video files at a time. If you own one of these systems you'll discover that there are hundreds of video files created everyday.


  1. 1
    Remove hard drive from the unit, this model has a slide out cartridge containing the hard drive. With other models you may have to take the unit apart.
  2. 2
    Break the Warranty stickers and slide cover off the drive housing (note this will void the warranty on the drive).
  3. 3
    Unscrew drive from housing and remove drive.
  4. 4
    Obtain a USB to SATA converter cable from an electronics store or online.
  5. 5
    Q-See systems are based on Linux so in order to read the drive from the DVR you'll need to install drivers for windows for the ext2/3 file system that the drive is formatted with. Sourceforge has an open source free driver. Ext2 IFS For Windows at
  6. 6
    Plug Drive into your windows machine
  7. 7
    Install PlaybackSetup_2.3.0.4.exe which should be on the setup CD that came with your DVR. In this folder: "C:\Program Files\Playback\" you should find the "NVR Export Tool" along with other helpful files you may need.
  8. 8
    Open the "NVR Export Tool" from "C:\Program Files\Playback\NvrExport.exe" this program came from the setup CD that came with your DVR.
  9. 9
    The drive should show up as a drive on your computer. In my case Drive N: there will also be a drive J: however drive N: is the drive with the goods.
  10. 10
    Open the NvrExport tool and select "Directory" the directory you select should be labeled as the date you want to backup. In my case N:\2010-01-21
  11. 11
    Create a folder on the drive you want to "backup" to. I chose J:\Q-See Backups\2010-01-21 you have to create the subfolder so you don't accidentally put the files in the wrong place.
  12. 12
    Place the folder you created in the "destination" field of the NvrExport tool.
  13. 13
    Click the "Export" button. Depending on how many recordings there are you may have to wait hours for it to complete.
  14. 14
    While it is "Exporting" you will start to files appear with names such as ch00000000000001-100121-000000-000000-12p001000000.264 in the destination folder you created on your hard drive.
  15. 15
    After your export is complete you can load up the "Playback Software" (this software also came on the setup CD that came with your DVR) choose the folder where you exported the files to and you should be able to view and export them again but as *.avi files to send to law enforcement or for other purposes.


  • This will void the warranty on the hard drive of your DVR. You may lose all video data on the drive if you do this. If you don't want to void the warranty never do this.

Article Info

Categories: Hacks | Hardware