Formatting micro SD card for Tesla Cam

Formatting micro SD card for Tesla Cam

After many failures at finding a flash drive that can consistently work for TeslaCam recordings, I have opted to go with a SanDisk 32GB micro SD card which is promoted as being "for dash cams & home security cameras". With this, I purchased an Anker USB 3.0 card reader. Now that I have what I think I need for consistent recording, how do I format the 32GB card &/or card reader? Thanks for your guidance Tesla community!

calvin940 | 13. august 2019

1. Plug SD card into said Anker USB 3.0 card reader.
2. Plug Anker USB 3.0 card reader into the computer USB slot
3a. Windows use: to format it as FAT32
3b. Mac OSX - Use Disk Utility to format FAT32

M3D | 13. august 2019

It needs to be formatted for FAT32. (the card, not the reader). What computer are you using? Mac or Windows? Google can tell you how to do it

EVRider | 13. august 2019

A 32GB card isn’t really big enough if you plan to use Sentry Mode. You should go with 128GB or larger.

jcjoseph | 13. august 2019

Thanks for the info. The 32GB card literature claims up to 2500 hours of continuous video recording. How will I know when card is full?

legna_fo_htaed | 13. august 2019

Update recently will let you know if your drive is full. Also if the drive is too slow, although I wouldn't think that's going to be an issue if the micro SD is made for dash cams. 32 gig will need a lot of cleaning out though. Sentry mode captures a lot. | 13. august 2019

@ jcjoseph - For FAT32, you can use the standard Windows format or Mac format - nothing special needed for 32 GB. Beyond that in Windows will need an alternative tool, as Windows will not do it with the default utility. I wrote up step-by-step with photos here to format any drive on Windows here:

32 GB will not record 2500 hours of 3 channels of HD 720p video at 38 fps. In the Tesla, figure about 3 GB per hour, so a 32 GB will hold less than 11 hours. With sentry mode, it could fill in less than day if triggered a lot. I consider 128 GB the bare minimum, and many owners go to 250-500 GB range. The key test for your specific use is how fast it fills up and stops recording. Perhaps it will be a few days before it fills. If you drive the car very little and have sentry turn off at home - maybe a few weeks.

The claim of 2500 hours of video must be a joke. Maybe 240p (320x240) at 5 fps. | 13. august 2019

I also recommend using a micro SD card. They have a wider temp range and are available in high-endurance versions. Here's more on adapters and SD cards that work:

These adapters can also plug into your phone so you can immediately look at a video. Pick the adapter that matches your phone connection.

bjrosen | 13. august 2019

I wish they would make Sentry mode more selective, it records way to much stuff. My 128G card was filled after a couple of weeks and there is no way to figure out if anything is interesting. The other thing they should do is allow in car formatting, automatic deletion of old videos as room is needed for new ones, and in car viewing. Having to pull the stick out and put it into your computer to see anything make no sense, neither does the requirement that you pull the stick out to erase old videos.

To the OP, after you format it to FAT32 create a directory called TeslaCam, the car doesn't do that on it's own although it does create the subdirectories.

EVRider | 13. august 2019

@bjrosen: I agree. It would be good if Sentry Mode events were generated only when someone or something might have actually made contact with the car, not just walked/drove by it. I assume we’ll get the ability to view and manage videos on the car’s touchscreen someday.

calvin940 | 13. august 2019

"For FAT32, you can use the standard Windows format or Mac format - nothing special needed for 32 GB"

ya I keep forgetting it's above 32 rather than 32 and above.. sheesh. :D