how to install hard drive in amcrest nvr

Don’t know how to install hard drive in Amcrest NVR? Keep reading!

This is the easiest guide to follow that will help you remove your old hard drive and install the new HDD in your Amcrest NVR.

We’ll also check how to install a second or external hard drive to boost your NVR storage even further.

Let’s learn more!

The installation of an Amcrest NVR hard drive includes removing the old HDD by opening the device, unplugging the calves, and undoing the screws. The new HDD has to be screwed to the NVR panel and connected via the SATA (data) and power cables.

About Amcrest NVR Hard Drive Installation

When your Amcrest NVR hard drive is full or not working, you can easily replace the unit by disassembling the NVR and inserting the new data storage.

The new hard drive should be empty since ALL data will be lost after the initialization.

Let’s learn more about what you’ll need for the process!


To install a new internal hard drive in your Amcrest NVR, you’ll need some tools and items to help you with the process.

Here is everything that you’ll need:

  • A screwdriver or a power drill
  • A new hard drive HDD (less than 4TB)
  • Flat surface to position the Amcrest NVR

How To Install Hard Drive In Amcrest NVR?

The installation process involves opening the Amcrest NVR top cover and taking out the old hard drive.

install hard drive in amcrest nvr

We made sure to include everything in the steps guide below so make sure not to skip anything to guarantee smooth operation.

Let’s start by unplugging the cables:

Step #1 Unplug ALL Cables

There should be two general cables that go into your Amcrest NVR. The Power cable and VGA or HDMI cable, based on your connection type.

  • The VGA cable has to be unscrewed to be plugged out
  • The Power Cable goes out easily by pulling out

When you’re finished you can remove the top cover of your Amcrest NVR, so let’s learn how?

Step #2 Remove The Top NVR Cover

The top NVR cover panel includes 5 skewers that you’ll need to undo. There are 2 screws on the left and on the right side of the NVR and one on the back.

Use the screwdriver or the power drill to undo the 5 screws and slide the plate back for the top cover panel to open.

Then carefully remove the cover from the NVR device. Now you’ll be able to see the old hard drive next to the motherboard.

Step #3 Uninstall The Old Hard Drive

uninstall old drive

Removing the old hard drive is a necessary step in which you’ll learn which cables connect the HDD and how to install the new one.

You’ll be able to see two groups of cables entering your hard drive in the Amcrest NVR so here is how to uninstall the old hard drive:

  1. Disconnect the power cable.
  2. Disconnect the SATA cable (for file transfer).
  3. Turn the DVR upside down.
  4. Undo the two screws holding the HDD in place.
  5. Take out the DVR from the Amcrest NVR.

Both of the cables can be disconnected by pulling them towards you. You don’t need to disconnect both sides of the cables, only the entries plugged into the hard drive.

Tip: Hard drives are positioned facing up, to prevent damaging the circuit on the front side.

Step #4 Prepare The New Hard Drive

In the previous step, when you unscrew the old hard drive there should be 4 screws that you’ll need to use to prepare the new HDD.

You’ll need to take the screws and install the ⅓ of the way into the new HDD before inserting the device into the Amcrest NVR.

It’s important for the screws to be loose so they can only fit the holes and later when the HDD is positioned, you’ll have to screw them tightly.

Tip: The screws go into the larger opening of the holes and then move down to embed in the smaller openings.

Step #5 Install The New Hard Drive

install new drive

To install the new hard drive you’ll need to position the NVR face up again and insert the HDD aligning the screws in the 4 holes.

When the hard drive is positioned, you’ll need to turn the NVR upside down again, and using your hand you’ll need to support the HDD in place.

In this manner, using your other hand you need to tightly screw the hard drive from behind.

Note: Make sure that your HDD is stationary by attempting to move the unit.

Step #6 Connect The Cables

When the new hard drive is secured inside the NVR you’ll need to turn the device face up again and plug in both cables.

The SATA cable goes on the left and the power cable plugs on the right of the hard drive.

Make sure that both cables are tightly connected before you proceed. Any misalignment can cause your NVR not to start so in the next step we’ll test the machine before closing the panel.

Step #7 Initialize The New Hard Drive

Now when the new hard drive is installed, you need to format the space from the Live View.

This should be done because the system won’t start to utilize the free space before the hard drive has been initialized from the settings.

Here is how to format and complete the HDD installation:

  1. Plug the VGA or HDMI cable on the back of your NVR.
  2. Insert the power cable.
  3. On the Live View, screen,open the Menu.
  4. Log in using your credentials.
  5. In the Main Menu press on Device.
  6. Check the Capacity and Free Space.
  7. Click on the Initialize button.
  8. Confirm to begin the formatting.

This will erase everything from the HDD and this initializing is always recommended even when the hard drive is brand new.

Once the formatting is complete you can install the cover back.

Tip: In case the capacity appears to be “0” you’ll need to tick the checkbox under the “Label”.

How To Install External Hard Drive In Amcrest NVR?

In case you need even more storage on your Amcrest NVR, there is a way to add more.

Sadly, the Amcrest DVR and NVR can’t have a USB hard drive connected on the front, instead, you’ll need to open the device top-cover.

install external hard drive

The original hard drive connects to the device via two cables – the power cable and the SATA (data) cable.

In case your NVR model does have 1 more of each entry, that means that you can install another hard drive to the NVR.

Some models include only one pair, limiting the device’s storage.

How To Add A Second Hard Drive?

To install the second hard drive into your DVR you’ll need 4 more screws which won’t be included in the setup.

Some users take off 2 of the 4 screws from the old hard drive to attach the second one.

When the hard drive is held by only 2 screws they need to be in diagonal.

When you secure the second hard drive you only need to plug the cables and format the unit from the Live View Main Menu. When you’re ready you’ll have more storage to work with.

Tip: Don’t close the NVR device before testing the second hard drive.

Quick Recap:

To install a new hard drive in Amcrest NVR users need to unplug ALL cables and open the top cover of the device. Next, disconnect the old HDD from the motherboard and secure the new one into place. Lastly, format the device from the Live View Menu.

Read Next: Amcrest Camera Setup Failed To Connect?

Last Thoughts:

Now when we’ve learned how to install hard drive in Amcrest NVR you can increase the storage of your NVR.

It’s important to keep the device disconnected from the power while interacting with the hardware and make sure that power and SATA cables are secured.

We hope that this post was helpful and if you’re looking for more posts such as this one make sure to check our online blog.

Nicole B