Model 3

Dash Cam question

edited November -1 in Model 3
Model 3 with latest software, still waiting for updated AP hardware. I am trying to get the Dash Cam to work and having great problems.
I have tried a no-name 16GB (FAT32) flash drive and a Samsung 128GB (exFAT) flash drive, and neither was recognized. I took my car to the Coral Gables (Miami) service center for other things and requested that they check the USB ports. The tech claimed that he used a 32GB drive and that it worked fine. He told me that Tesla only recommends 32 or 64GB. I purchased a Samsung 64GB drive and formatted it as exFAT. It didn't work. I reformatted it as 2 partitions of 32GB (FAT32) and the car didn't recognize it.
I googled and learned that other people are recommending drives as large as 128GB formatted either as FAT or ext4. I then formatted the 64GB drive as ext4 (I'm a Linux user). Plugged it in, still no dice. The USB ports are powered, as I can plug my phone into either port and they charge.
What should I do next? I shouldn't make the flash drive bootable, should I?
Should I trust that the tech really was able to get the Dash Cam to work with his drive?
Thanks in advance for any help.


  • edited January 2020
    It won’t work if it is formatted in exfat.
  • edited January 2020
    Mine is a 256GB drive and it works fine.
  • edited January 2020
    Flash drives have been notoriously problematic. I use a SanDisk 128 GB high endurance micro SD card with a Vanja USB Type C adaptor, and it works great. It has to be formatted to FAT32 (won't be recognized if it is not), and a folder named TeslaCam stored on the disk.
  • edited January 2020
    exFAT won't work, FAT32 works. No need to create a bootable partition.

    Did you create a folder called /TeslaCam ? Thats a a crucial & essential step in activating the Dash Cam feature!

    I have a 500GB SanDisk SSD. Two equal partitions of 250GB, both FAT32. One is for music and the other for Tesla Cam (with the /TeslaCam folder).
  • edited January 2020
    Just to add, you can't have music and TeslaCam on the same partition, hence the need for two partitions. I think others have used a USB hub to connect two dedicated physical drives for music and TeslaCam, but two partitions on one disk is simpler.
  • edited January 2020
    All your questions (and more) are answered here:
  • edited November -1
    I had named a drive TeslaCam, but I will now add a \TeslaCam folder and report back to you.
    Thanks everyone!
  • edited January 2020
    If you are using Windows to format the flash drive and it's bigger than 32Gb, it will select exFat, it does not support formatting as Fat32. There are tools that will allow you to format it as FAT32 (which it has to be).

    Als make sure that it is 'fast' enough, although it will tell you (at least it did me ;)) when it's not.

    @SpeedyEV I will try the 2 partion option, that would be cool if that worked.
  • edited January 2020
    Technically you can do it in windows...Open a powershell window and type "format /FS:FAT32 X:"

    It will probably be excruciatingly slow but it will work. 3rd party apps do it faster.
  • edited January 2020
    I’ve been using this card:

    Lexar Professional 633x 128GB SDXC UHS-I Card

    and this adapter:

    Card Reader,BOMAX SD Micro Card Reader Portable SD Card Reader Tf Card Reader & USB C Micro SD Card Adapter for Computer iPhone iPad GALAXY S8 Android Mac,Micro USB 3.0 Connector

    Working flawlessly for the better part of a year. This setup has the benefit of being able to view activity on your handheld device in the car, without needing a computer due to the integrated Apple (lightning) and USB C connectors.
  • edited January 2020
    @SpeedyEV: You don’t need a USB hub for two separate USB drives unless you need to use the front USB ports for something else.
  • edited January 2020
    I was using two Kingston DataTraveler 32GB USB drives in the Model 3 that worked well but I found that cumbersome. I switched to a Samsung 500GB SSD that works amazingly well and connects using patch cords that come with the SSD. Like @SpeedyEV, I made two partitions, one for Sentry and DashCam, and the other for music, each about 250GB. I have an iMac so partitioning as FAT32 for partitions larger than 32GB is easy with the operating system’s built-in disk utility, cleverly called “Disk Utility.”
  • edited November -1
    My 512GB Samsung SSD works just fine....I am not aware of any limits in terms of drive size.
  • edited January 2020
    yep naming the drive TeslaCam and creating a folder called TeslaCam are not the same. That folder needs to be there in order for the drive to be recognized. The cam has to know where to put the vids.

    I bet when u get that folder created you'll be golden. FAT 32 format, too.

    I myself did a 3 partition SSD (his and hers music and dashcam). works really really well!
  • edited November -1
    The drive name doesn't matter, only the TeslaCam folder and FAT32 format matter.
  • edited January 2020
    It is working for my Sandisk 32 G formatted FAT32 only and create TeslaCam folder. The cheap no name USB does not work for long,,,Good luck!
  • edited January 2020
    Just out of curiosity, you are using the USB ports that are hidden inside the console, correct? The ones accessible from the rear seat provide power only and do not have data wires.
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