DashCam & USB storage issues

DashCam & USB storage issues

DashCam and USB storage work intermittently. Long post follows.

Since I got the SR+ in early Sep2019, DashCam has become unreliable - wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences and - especially - any known fix?

The car came with v9 software. Seeing DashCam as A Good Thing, I bought a high endurance 256Gb micro USB and reader.

Win10 formats FAT32 only up to 4Gb (exFAT on bigger media), so I used "Fat32format" which seemed generally recommended. DashCam worked exactly as expected, all well.

So after an hour or so I took the reader out and moved the files to a backup HDD, leaving the "TeslaCam" folder as it was - all well. Put the reader back - DashCam still worked fine. Somewhat oddly, every time I plugged the reader into the PC, the PC moaned about something wrong with the media - I ignored it the first few times but then gave in and let the PC do its thing. The next time I put the reader in the car, DashCam icon did not show. So I did a full FAT32 reformat with "FAT32format", but no dice.

Called Tesla Support who said I should do a scroll wheel reboot, which made no difference. Support then said there was a known issue with DashCam that would be fixed in the next update. Support also said to try a different drive - I had a 4Gb USB stick free, so tried that, and it worked, but 4Gb doesn't go very far, so not a permanent solution. Fair enough, I could wait.

Got v10 a few days ago, and tried DashCam again - still no dice. Reformatted the microSD, put the TeslaCam folder in, and tried again. Worked as before. :)

But now, after running for a few days, the DashCam icon no longer appears. :( The reader was warm when I took it out to investigate, and I'd seen a Reddit post where they said that could cause a problem, so I let it cool. I could still get at the files, and moved them to my backup drive again - so it seemed the car hadn't cooked the microUSB.

Popped the now cool reader back - no DashCam icon. Reader out, back to PC, reformatted FAT32, put TeslaCam back, popped reader back in car - still no DashCam icon.

I know I plugged the reader into the correct USB socket, because that's the socket that worked before, and anyway the phone's USB is plugged into the other one.

Am I doing something wrong?

Magic 8 Ball | 18 november 2019

I just cleaned my USB up by deleting all files in TeslaCam and the other folders with files. I popped the USB back in and the led on the drive started flashing and after a few seconds the camera icon popped up. I touch the camera icon and then the little red dot appears. This has been normal operation for me all along. If I were you I would try a different drive. | 18 november 2019

@anton - Likely the #1 thing being done wrong is pulling the drive without first turning off dashcam. It's in the middle of writing, so it corrupts the file system (if lucky) or worse in some rarer cases will trash the drive. It's not a Tesla issue, and the same thing happens on a PC if you are writing to the drive and pull it out.

In addition, going from V9 to V10, the dashcam now writes 4 video streams instead of 3. This means a faster write speed is required. If the drive was marginal before, adding that 4th video stream may exceed the drive's write abilities.

My site: explains far more about the dashcam drives, speeds, and troubleshooting.

rob | 18 november 2019

Just curious, what drives to you use in your cars? I've read your recommendations but wondered if you deviate at all.

I'm thinking about ditching my Samsung FIT Plus 128GB drives and going to SD cards because I've been getting some unreadable files in the RecentClips. Other folders are okay.

rob | 18 november 2019

...drives you use...

I should proof before save. ha ha

anton.mans | 18 november 2019

The microSD is a high quality endurance SanDisk that set me back £80 -
The reader is also good -

Clearly the microSD stiill works, if i can get files off it, and reformat it. The car just does not see it.

I can't unmount it from DashCam if there is no DashCam Icon!

If I cant format it in my PC (using "FAT32foirmat" to get past the PC's FAT32 size limit), what are my other options?

When It last worked (a few days ago), I simply left it plugged in, in the expectation that it would carry on working and delete/overwrite older files as time went on. But it just stopped today, and the DashCam icon was no longer showing.

I accept that that the PC may have knackered it in some way by "fixing" a non-existent error. I hoped that would be resolved by doing a full FAT32 reformat, but obviously it did not. However, since doing that I still got the offer to "fix" it from the PC, which I ignored. Is there any other way I could restore it to a pristine state, and start over?

EVRider | 18 november 2019

I use a Lexar Jumpdrive S75 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive in our Model 3, and haven’t had any issues except for one “USB drive too slow” message (just recently). I use a SanDisk 128GB microSD card with a SanDisk MobileMate USB adapter in our Model S, and that’s been working fine too.

Sarah R | 18 november 2019

I'm wondering if something has gone wrong in the way the car's USBFS driver is loading and unloading. About the only thing you could do is to try to reboot the car with the SD card installed in the USB port.

If that doesn't cause the file system to load, then you're really beyond what you can do by yourself. At that point it's "bug report" ...

- Always start troubleshooting from a known state.
- Every wire has two ends.

anton.mans | 19 november 2019

@Sarah R - thanks, I'll try that.

anton.mans | 19 november 2019

@Sarah R - is that a scroll-wheel reboot or a power off reboot?

Sarah R | 19 november 2019


(Try one. If it doesn't work, try the other)

Corsaropaul | 23 november 2019

I used on two Model 3s:
Samsung Fit Plus, must be 300MB/s and I use 128GB
Have to format on my PC and than format again using 3rd party FAT format program.
sometimes need to repeat the two formatting.
Than label TeslaCAM directory
Always works and never had to take it out.

Corsaropaul | 23 november 2019

Spelling error

Luv212dance | 24 november 2019

I have just formatted 64gb flash drive to FAT32 using above software but when I insert it I get an error saying "USB drive is not accessible by dashcam. reformatthe drive to supported format. So now I'm confused, it is FAT32?
Can anyone help

EVRider | 24 november 2019

If you plug the USB into your computer you should be able to find out the format. Sounds like it’s not FAT32. | 24 november 2019

@rob - I'm constantly switching and testing drives. Currently using SanDisk Extreme Plus 128 GB micro SD card.

@Luv212dance - Likely you are using eFAT or sometimes called FAT32e. Here's step-by-step instructions for Windows or Mac:

Luv212dance | 25 november 2019

Nice one thanks, will try.

DAlexModel3 | 26 november 2019

Since the last update I have intermittently been receiving the "USB drive too slow" message and the red exclamation point; it used to work fine. I have the 128 GB Transcend USB drive recommended by TeslaTap. I reformatted it on my computer. Not sure what else to do at this point.

stevehendler | 26 november 2019

I have the Samsung Fit also (256 gb) and it worked fine for a few months and just started giving errors for being too slow. I find it hard to believe it degraded already. I have a micro SD Sandisk Extreme card on order but...where does this end.. ? I'm on my 4th drive..

Corsaropaul | November 23, 2019
I used on two Model 3s:
Samsung Fit Plus, must be 300MB/s and I use 128GB
Have to format on my PC and than format again using 3rd party FAT format program.
sometimes need to repeat the two formatting.
Than label TeslaCAM directory
Always works and never had to take it out.

brscpo | 26 november 2019

I have a SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External SSD, partitioned into 2 equal size drives, both formatted FAT32.
One partition is TESLACAM and the other MUSIC.

So far, it is working flawlessly. Dashcam and Sentry are recording properly, and I can listen to music. | 26 november 2019

@DAlexModel3 & @stevehendler - Too slow is likely due to the increased speed needed to handle 4 video streams rather than the 3 in older software versions. In addition, I've found many drives slow down as they fill up. In a few cases, I saw write speeds slow 50 times from when the drive was empty!

I now recommend high endurance micro SD cards (with an adapter). These are the only ones really rated to be used with dashcams. In addition, they are rated for wide temperature ranges typically encountered in your car. Here's the new recommended list:

texxx | 26 november 2019

Was getting "USB too slow" issues. Installed one of these and haven't seen it since: