SD Card Viewing and recording

I have recently started having issues with my cameras not playing back off of the SD cards correctly. It shows it has recorded during the time periods I am looking but when I go back to a certain time when I want to view the event and record it, it stops after a few seconds and freezes.

I have probably 20 cameras or so and I haven’t tried all of them but I have specifically had the same issue on 3 of them during events times that I wanted to record.

Has anyone else started experiencing this issue? I just noticed the issue starting in the past few days. I have reset my network multiple times, checked camera software versions and updated any down level ones, etc.

I do not have Cam + but I never have had in the years I have been supporting these Wyze products. I am worried Wyze is trying to drive us to buy CAM + but limiting current functionality.

Thanks for any input/suggestions you may have.

UPDATE: I did some more testing last evening. On multiple cameras, I can only playback for 30seconds and it freezes. If I hit 30 second forward button, it goes forward and then again, only plays for 30 seconds.

I counted and I have 27 cameras active. I also have MANY smart switches, outlet plugs, bulbs, door sensors, hubs, etc. from Wyze. I have been a big supporter since the early days… I am now convinced they have changed the functionality to force people to use CAM +.

Somebody from WYZE… Please respond and tell me what is going on!!!

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Weird.

As head of subscription growth, I can promise you this isn’t a tactic from our side. Though… I’d LOVE to have you as a Cam Plus Unlimited customer. 27 cameras! WOW!

I’ll get someone else at Wyze who understand the SD card side of things to take a look.

I started another thread, I’m having the same problem. 16 cameras here. All are CAM+ subscribed. This needs a solution. I have no doubt you’d like an unlimited customer, but kidding about that subject is in rather poor taste in light of this issue. Add most of my 16 to the list of Steven’s 27.

I have re-formatted my SD cards and still doesn’t work. 30 seconds of viewing from SD card and they all freeze.

Does anyone know if it would it fix the issue if I bought CAM+? If so, I would do the unlimited camera package.

WyzeMatt - Have you been able to get someone to look into my issue?

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Sounds like an issue with how the hardware is saving to the SD card or how the app is playing back the media from the SD card. This has nothing to do with your network, home setup, etc. However, this seems like a pretty massive issue. I hope it gets resolved sooner than later.

Just to keep this thread updated as well as the other one - I have on order the sandisk “high endurance” SD cards which are supposedly more suited for continuous video recording. To put it simply, the theory is that the regular type “wear out” from too much access. I’ve gone from 14~16 cameras with working playback, down to 3 or 4, within the span of a couple weeks or months. In theory (and this might be a bit of a stretch), all of my cards may have started to degrade around the same time. I don’t know. I just know I’d rather find a fix that involves changing cards rather than changing 16 cameras, so I’m willing to explore it… I’ll report back to the forum my findings after letting the “high endurance” cards run for a good while. Hoping for the best!

I have been using high endurance cards for a couple of years in my V3 cams and the V3Pro all recording continuous and playback without issue, Different flavor than SanDisk but same concept.

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Thank you for the suggestion. I have been using the same cards for 4-5 years now. (Original Wyze cams I purchased.) Since then, I have many cameras from each generation. I always immediately load with the same level, and brand, SD card. (Gigastone 16g or 32g). 27 cameras total now.

I struggle to think that all of a sudden, all of the SD cards went bad.

I have had few different events happening over the past couple weeks that I am having my cameras watch. (Grand babies, pesty neighborhood pets, construction in front, etc.) I always have them on continuous play. I have been taking snippets from each camera for various reasons over the years. Starting last Thursday, those cameras will no longer show playback for more than 30 secs.

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Someone is taking a look, but a lot of these issues (honestly) are usually chalked up to not having a Wyze SD card.

Do you have a Wyze branded SD card in your cameras?

No, I do not have Wyze branded SD cards and haven’t had since the first WYZE cam I bought. This is a new mass issue that happened simultaneously to a large population of cameras that were acting fine. These were purchased and implemented over a multi year period.

After doing more testing, I may have at least a little info that might help determine a root cause for this issue.

I have the following cameras hooked up currently and I tested them:

(6) V2 cameras - all work fine
(15) OG cameras - they exhibit the problem with playback
(2) Pan cameras - work fine
(1) outdoor cameras - Sucks and always has. after hours on the phone with Wyze, I gave up a year ago on this one.
(5) Original versions - I have in a pile and haven’t tested and don’t care about them

It seems OG Version is the problem. I bought them in phases over a few month period so each has different SD cards from different time frames but they all died together for playback correctly.

I assume now that is was probably a software update that caused the issue?

Any thoughts? Hopefully WYZE will chime in?

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Actually it is not that hard to believe that they all went bad around the same time. Flash memory has a certain endurance and with similar wear, will die around the same time. Sort of like when one headlight goes out in your car, the other is about to also.

For continuous recording, you need a card designed for it.

Have you considered that your 2.4ghz wifi may be overloaded with that many IOT devices? Each 30 second clip is a separate file so it will play back fine but then your app sends a command to continue to the next one, but the control connection has been cut off (another device needed the resources and it was seen as inactive), requiring a refresh (hitting the 30 second advance). Just a possible theory.

When SD cards fail, they can’t be written to, but can be read. I assume the cameras are still recording, locally. The SD cards aren’t bad.

Edit:

I’ve experienced SD card failure on a Wyze camera. You actually get an error message. These people aren’t getting that error messgae.

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I’ve had plenty fail over the years that can’t read either, and even if they can still read, the camera is probably locked up attempting to write, the read operation is stuck behind it. Bear in mind SD cards don’t just fail hard always, a lot of times the write just slows way down at first, as it is hitting bad cells and skipping them. So writes back up and eventually stop.

I’ve also had a card fail in one of my cams and it did not give an error, just said it was empty with 0 free space (happened several times before I gave up on the card and replaced it). On another camera it did give an error when it failed but only when going into the SD card under advanced (would be nice if it gave it when you just went to view the camera).

Not saying it is the most likely problem here, just adding color to the comment that it would be uncommon for several cards to fail at the same time, when in fact that isn’t all that unlikely. Same reason running SSDs in RAID for redundancy can be problematic, you actually want to stagger them rather than putting two new ones in at the same time.

That’s not how SD cards are supposed to work. If a failed card fails to read, then something else is wrong. “empty with 0 free space” to me looks like the software, not the hardware screwed up.

“hitting bad cells” shouldn’t be a concern. The hardware substitutes another from the reserve pool and the user doesn’t even notice it.

Edit:

Think about it. If it says 0 free space, then it must have read a good block. It read the card.

There is no guarantee an SD card will fail to read only, and even when it does often something is corrupted and can’t be read, even if most of the stuff is ok. The better the card, the more likely your data will be preserved, but many times have seen data loss.

SD cards are nowhere near as advanced as SSD as far as marking cells bad and substituting new ones in. Some have no spare flash at all, others simply don’t have the code in the controller to remember and skip those cells.

No, the card was definitely bad, it had actually been giving me problems in something else and I just needed it for a little while in the camera until a new one came in. It would hit about 2.5G and then go back to 0 and nothing was recording. Obviously the Wyze software was not interpreting that correctly, but it did not give any error. The card was fine up to about the 2.5G mark where it started having issues, so the camera was able to read and recognize the card but not write once it reached a certain spot.

Stephen, have you tried the obvious test? Change out the SD card for a brand new one. Particularly a Wyze SD? BTW, I have my own suspicions about the OG cameras. I have one that takes forever to beginning viewing live, then freezes only occassionally advancing.

I’ve been using these SD Cards since 2018 in Nest cameras, and transfered to Wyze in 2020. I’ve downloaded over 113 incidents since than from over 20 cameras of different flavors V2, V3, V3Pro, V1 Pan Cam, V3 Pan Cam… while I have had a few hiccups, (mostly internet/mesh related)… they’ve worked the whole time. All of my problems have been related to making sure my internet was stable. Using Spectrum at 360mbs and Orbi 750 wireless.

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Copying my post from the other thread here just to keep this one updated:

I installed one of the high endurance sandisk cards in a camera which would not playback anything, and so far playback is working with the new card. Going to give it a week or so before I jump to the conclusion “solved”.

Someone said that a batch of cards could all go bad within a window of a few weeks/months since they have a limited number of writes they can handle. I had all of them on continuous record. I agree this sounds like a plausible explanation.

Let’s assume that’s the answer… Then there are a couple factors we should consider when selecting cards.

  1. “endurance” is specifically about number of write cycles it can handle, among other things, as stated on the packaging. More write cycles = card lasts longer.
  2. size of the card: a card that’s double the size and being recorded to continuously, would last twice as long as one half it’s size. This is because for the same number of weeks of recording, you’re “using up” fewer of the car’s allowable lifetime of write cycles.

The THREE DOLLAR sd cards I was using are 16 and 32 gb - relatively “small” by todays standards (I can’t believe I’m saying that!), lasted 2 years with continuous recording. That’s really not bad! The new high endurance 64gb cards are $11, so I’m expecting a lot more life out of them, assuming the hypothesis of “used up” is correct. Time will tell.

I know Wyze promotes their own SD cards. Is there anything on the packaging to suggest they “high endurance”? Only the elevated price of the card would hint at that.

Why a Wyze SD? That’s just a rebranded cheap one, you can get a good high endurance one cheaper.

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