Dash Cam recording USB Question

Dash Cam recording USB Question


I see that sentry mode videos and side camera videos are not getting deleted on the usb drive. when the usb drive is full, it stops recording videos rather then over writing the 1st video. before it used to overwrite st video and then save the latest one
how can i overcome this problem

gmr6415 | April 10, 2019

How big is the drive? I think Sentry Mode video is saved every time it's activated. Since they are saved files they won't be overwritten (I'm assuming). As far as I know there hasn't been a manual update fully explaining Sentry Mode, so it seems to be all guessing right now. I've got a 200GB drive, and I just clean it up once a week or so.

With the dash cam "recent" files are considered temporary and are overwritten after a collective hour of recording, and only the files you manually save aren't overwritten. If I remember correctly with the dash cam the "recent" files are all deleted after the car goes to sleep for X amount of time.

EVRider | April 10, 2019

I think you need a bigger USB drive. Although the dashcam feature is supposed to overwrite old recordings, it apparently doesn’t do that if the drive becomes completely full, which can happen when using Sentry Mode. Sentry Mode doesn’t overwrite old recordings.

srikarv | April 10, 2019

right now i am using 16 gb usb drive. i think i need to upgrade it at this point

jjgunn | April 10, 2019

If you're using Sentry Mode regularly - definitely get a larger USB stick.

I also went from 16GB to 128GB

Sentry Mode doesn't over write older videos.

You'll need to stop TeslaCam (long press camera icon) then WAIT about 30-45 seconds before pulling the drive. Then insert drive in your computer & delete older Sentry videos.

Hopefully in the future Tesla will delete older video folders automagically or we can access the drive via our touch screens to delete.

Electric_Sheeple | April 10, 2019

I wish sentry mode vids would save to a separate file folder... I'd also like to see a time/date stamp on the video itself (not just the file name).

[2019 TM3 SR+ w/ AP, San Antonio, TX]

Jiver | April 10, 2019

My solution was to buy a second USB drive. When one fills up, I pull it and plug the other one in. That gives me a few weeks to clean the full one and to put it back in the car. Good 32gb drives are $10. My 32gb drive lasts about two weeks with Sentry Mode on every day at work. For $20 you'd be set.

My second drive is 128 gb ($30) which simply means that it will take it longer to fill up but the removal and clean process would be the same. Between the two drives I should have coverage with few gaps.

I spent $40 to third parties for DashCam and Security video recordings that were not features when I bought the car in September of 2018. Seems like a good deal.

jball | April 10, 2019

I had an old 1TB SSD that I formatted half for Dashcam / Sentry and the other for music based on another post. Seems to work fine. | April 10, 2019

I recommend 128 GB or larger - the cost is really quite minimal now. Be aware there are fake drives that are crap and/or far less memory than they say. I wrote this up last week on how to avoid being taken:

For those new to dashcam, it also shows step-by-step with screen shots on how to format and set it up.

rhj | April 10, 2019

TeslaTap nice write up
I have had good success with the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive in 128GB
Small fast and disappears in the usb slot

Brian B | April 10, 2019


I bought the 128GB SanDisk Extreme Go. After creating partitions and formatting with GUIformat, it works, but for the music, i get pauses every now and then. I also get random failed recordings, maybe 1 out of every 12-18. Any idea what causes that? Music partition is 31.2GB, TESLACAM is 86.6

Frank99 | April 10, 2019

I would guess contention for the drive - the car is trying to write 100MB of dashcam data when the music player asks for the next chunk of song, and the music player has to wait. Or, the music player is reading a chunk of song when the dashcam needs to write 100MB of video, so it fails and closes the file without writing much.

There's a reason that Tesla doesn't support putting dashcam and music on the same USB stick.

billlake2000 | April 10, 2019

Play slower songs. Enough of this devil rock and roll.

jjgunn | April 10, 2019

Running with the Devil, Shout at the Devil, Shoot to Thrill & Devil's Child. Play them on a loop

SwindlerCave | April 11, 2019

I bought a 64GB drive, but the manual said it had to be formatted FAT32 so the partition I created is only half the drive size. For those of you using bigger drives, what file system are you using?

EVRider | April 11, 2019

@SwindlerCave: FAT32 supports drives tp to 2TB. Maybe the formatting utility you're using is old -- try using something else.

Carl Thompson | April 11, 2019


The built in Windows formatting utility will not format FAT32 drives greater than 32GB. You need to use a 3rd party format utility (the drive will still be usable in Windows).

Frank99 | April 11, 2019

SwindlerCave -
TeslaTap has a link a few posts above yours with a writeup he did on how to do that.

SwindlerCave | April 11, 2019

Thanks all! Ended up using GUIFormat from said article, worked like a charm.

rdejong14 | July 20, 2019

It is stunning that there's not a circular buffer with new files overwriting the oldest files. I think the video could be some 10 GB on a long drive day, so you need enormous disks to ensure you can capture something that matters.

EVRider | July 20, 2019

@rdejong14: The dashcam does use a circular buffer and only saves the last hour of video. Sentry Mode does not overwrite old video but it's only used when parked.