How to backup video from a Q-See Security Camera

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Here is how to back-up video data from a Q-See Security Camera DVR. Although the functionality is built into the Q-See software it is limited and buggy and won't show you all of the videos.

Backing it up

  • Buy a USB to SATA converter cable, CableDeconn USB to SATA is a good one.
  • Remove the hard drive from the unit. Some models have a slide out cartridge containing the hard drive but some in other models you might have to take the unit apart.
  • Break the Warranty stickers and slide cover off of the hard drive housing. This will void the warranty.
  • Unscrew the hard drive from the housing and remove it.
  • Either hook this up to a Linux machine or download Ext2 IFS for Windows (This software is good: Q-See Security Cameras are based on Linux and use the ext2 (some models use ext3) file systems.
  • Plug the drive into your machine.
  • Install "Playback" if you haven't already which should be on the setup CD that came with your device. Go to C:\Program Files\Playback and you'll find "NVR Export Tool" and a few other useful things.
  • Open the NVR Export Tool (NvrExport.exe)
  • The drive should have come up, so open the drive and use the NvrExport tool to select the date you want to back up. They are labelled like "2019-01-01"
  • Create a folder on the drive you want to backup to. I chose "C:\Q-See Backup\2019-01-01".
  • Place the folder you created in the "destination" field of the NvrExport tool.
  • Click the "Export" button, depending on how many recordings you have it might take a few minutes to several hours.
  • Finally use the Playback Software to open the files, choose the folder where you exported the files. You'll be able to view them but now you'll be able to export them as an "AVI" file.