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Newbie Question - Sentry mode and Dashcam


Feb 25, 2020
Harlow, UK
Help! I've read the forum and watched some videos but, thusfar, I can't get Sentry mode or Dashcam to work.

I've got a 500Gb Samsung T5 portable SSD which I was using for file transfers, etc. It works fine!

Initially, I found that I could only re-format this drive as NTFS. I did a search on the Internet and found a program called "guiformat" which claims to be able to re-format my drive as FAT32. I ran this and then created a folder in the root directory called "TeslaCam". However, when I plugged my SSD into one of the USB ports under the dashboard, it came up and said it was the wrong format and disable dashcam mode. Although I've activated Sentry model and it's reported many events, I've got nothing recorded on the drive.

In simple steps please, what have I done wrong and/or what do I need to do to setup Sentry mode and Dashcam mode?


Feb 25, 2020
Harlow, UK
Thanks for your prompt reply, but nope, no change.

I reformatted the drive as exFAT, created the TeslaCam folder again and plugged it in. Then I locked the car, switched on Sentry mode and walked around the car. The indicators flashed and the HAL "eye" came up on the screen, but nothing was recorded on the drive :-(


TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
I used guiformat too.

I can't remember exactly but one of the windows formats wouldn't work with it. I think I formatted first as NTFS in Windows then as FAT32 with guiformat, may have been vice versa.

The latest Tesla update apparently supports exFat but people have reported issues with it.


Active Member
May 8, 2019
It MUST be FAT32 not exFat32. there is nothing here so far in what you have said that is wrong. there is a good set of instructions here:
Preparing your Drive – Tesla Dashcam Advice, Recommendations and more!
including an alternative program to try RMPrep

I suggest trying again and or trying a USB memory stick to see if that will work. At the moment we don't know if the issue is with the drive or the car. if you can get another device to work but not the drive then we have the answer. if not then it may be the car though I doubt it. it is not uncommon for people to have issues with the ports not working at all but yours clearly work if you are getting messages saying the format is no good so I would keep trying for now
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Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
Surrey, UK
I found RMPrep (option 3) to work when guiformat failed

Preparing your Drive – Tesla Dashcam Advice, Recommendations and more!

RMPrep is now my goto method, until the latest software stabilises that supports exfat.

Do remember that TeslaCam was an after thought, so may not work as you expect, ie has its limitations and is not really a finished product.
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Sep 12, 2019
I can't find it right now but I'm sure I read somewhere that drives with GPT partition tables work better too, particularly for the larger capacities with FAT32 formats. Maybe one of the two software packages you tried converted the drive to GPT?


Mar 25, 2020
Seattle, WA

OK, cool... thanks, that was info I did not have.

Looking at it further
  1. The link you included refers to features found by Tesla hacker “green”
  2. Actual release notes make no mention of this
  3. Latest version of M3 manual still says "NTFS and exFAT are not currently supported"
So... it would be cool for someone to try exFAT and see if it works


Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2018
Tacoma, Wa
Here is a simple solution:

You can format and set up the drive from the car. With the drive inserted and no other connections to the 2nd USB port, select Controls > Safety & Security, and then FORMAT USB DEVICE. You may have to scroll the screen up to see the FORMAT option. A format erases the drive contents, formats, and inserts the necessary folder for the dashcam feature.

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