Sentry Mode recording on 2TB External Hard Drive?

Sentry Mode recording on 2TB External Hard Drive?

I was wondering if plugging my 2TB external hard drive would work for sentry mode or dash cam recording. I bought it as a backup for photos but I have barely used 50 Gb so I was wondering if plugging a an external hard drive would work.

(The photos are also on my laptop at home so if it gets stolen it’s not a disaster)

vincelorto | 10 oktober 2019

The question I have is why? I have a 32 GB card and it saves a little over a weeks worth of video. It's a pain to go through them too and mostly for nothing. I'd say you will know on the day you have some damage to your car so you can extract the video right then. I cant imagine going through terabytes of video. That's just my opinion of course.

Orthopod | 10 oktober 2019

Because I don’t have any USB sticks
Only a hard drive I barely ever use

CS96 | 10 oktober 2019

Why not. If you aren't using it all. I have a 500GB Samsung SSD in mine. Love the write speeds. Never had the "write speeds to low" message. Got the same SSD for the other two Teslas in the family.

rehutton777 | 10 oktober 2019

I don't think the problem is storage space, it's write speed. If the drive has sufficient write speed, it should work. I agree that I would hate to have to review 2 years worth of sentry clips. I use a 128 GB SD card, and it fills up about 10% in 3-4 days.

CS96 | 11 oktober 2019

Just because you have more storage then needed doesn’t mean you wouldn’t remove the storage device every so often to review or delete footage.

hokiegir1 | 11 oktober 2019

The bigger problem is that you will likely have to reformat it to FAT32, as this won't be the default for a 2TB drive. Will it work? Yes (though you may need to use some other software to accomplish it). Is it ideal? Maybe.

EVRider | 11 oktober 2019

Check the drive specs for operating temperature range. Chances are it’s not designed to work in the extreme hot or cold temps your car might experience.

vincelorto | 11 oktober 2019

Fair enough. Those USB drives are pretty cheap these days. On your external hard drive, make sure you have good padding under it as it is a mechanical drive. I'm certain it'll bounce around a lot and mechanical drives don't like that and will probably fail sooner than later bouncing around like that. Probably just when you'll need the video. Also, like everyone said, Fat32.

gmr6415 | 11 oktober 2019

I just went with a 500 GB portable SSD G Drive by Western Digital. It's built for rugged service. Although there are no published specs for temperature when I called Western Digital the assured me it's designed for abuse which includes be left in glove boxes and such in vehicles. Whatever that's worth.

I've had it for about 2 weeks now in Central FL heat, and I've had no problems (so far). I've got three partitions on it. One for sentry/dash cam, one for music and one for audio books. It's designed for video, so it has fast write speeds.

From Western Digital:

Durable, fast and portable
Featuring IP67 water and dust resistance, 3-meter drop protection, and a 1000lb crushproof rating, the G-DRIVE mobile SSD provides rugged storage you can trust. Transfer speeds up to 560MB/s let you quickly save, edit and archive large photos, videos and source files, while a versatile USB-CTM port with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface keeps this device ready for laptops and desktops both old and new. With the G-DRIVE mobile SSD, you get exceptionally durable storage to handle your big picture.

Shamrk1 | 11 oktober 2019

That’s exactly what I use and it works great. Had one laying around so was able to put it to good use. God tired of the 120 g filling up and stopping recording, although they say it deletes the old files that never worked for me. As mentioned just format it correctly

rxlawdude | 11 oktober 2019

I think the micro-SD card with USB adapter is the most cost-effective and reliable solution. | 11 oktober 2019

@rxlawdude +1

Also the power budget on the USB 2 connector is quite low. It's unlikely to power a hard disk and can't even power some SSD drives. More details here:

Pg3ibew | 11 oktober 2019

I don’t want to hijack this thread. But I take delivery next week. After reading this post, What is the best option for recording in Sentry.

rehutton777 | 11 oktober 2019

Pg3ibew: See TeslaTap's posting above.

Rodo | 11 oktober 2019

@Pg3ibew: I have a 128GB microSD card and adapter like the link above suggests. I think even a 64GB would do since now v10 of the software will overwrite sentry mode events if they take up more than 5GB. The teslaCam is on a one hour loop so it always overwrite its files. You can format32 the drive yourself or buy "ready to use" like the link below:

johnw | 11 oktober 2019

I've got a portable hard drive, usb drive and 2 iphones charging all happily sharing in an unpowered USB hub- one iphone is in a USB port by itself.

johnw | 11 oktober 2019

I suspect the iPhone plugged into the hub isn't getting as much juice as the stand-alone one, but it shows charging.

Pg3ibew | 11 oktober 2019

Thanks All!!!

daddy88 | 12 oktober 2019
cjellan | 6 april 2020

This is a really useful thread. For the bouncing issue people have mentioned with the external drives, I solved this by putting a really small piece of velcro - it works well and goes 100% unnoticeable.

bjrosen | 6 april 2020

A mechanical drive is not a great choice in a car, they are very delicate. Disk drives are designed for stationary operation not for a moving car. An uSD card is the best choice, they aren't that expensive. I bought a 256GB SanDisk card for $50 and a USB-A reader so that I could plug it in.

SanDisk 256GB Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA