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Sentry Mode + USB > 32GB

raviman8

Member
May 15, 2019
94
16
Ajax
Folks,

I was recently using a 32GB USB (3.0 -- not that it matters, Model is is USB 2.0).. anyways. I got tired of deleting and reformatting the USB Key, so I purchased a 256GB 3.1 USB key.

As we all know, Windows by default does not format FAT32 where the disk is greater than 32GB.

I was able to format the 256GB USB to FAT32, however, after driving a few minutes. I got an error indicating the write speed on the USB is less than 4MB/sec.

Has anyone else experienced this? What was your work around to have a large USB, formatting to FAT32 and maintaining the write speed at 4MB/s and greater...?
 

RTPEV

Member
Mar 21, 2016
921
1,001
Durham, NC
My workaround was to abandon my "cheap" 128GB USB stick and get a MicroSD card (with an adapter) specifically designed for dashcams (that is able to withstand the heat).

My 128G USB stick worked reasonably well (although I would get some corrupted files) until a recent software update pretty much rendered it useless with these write speed errors. The theory is that these USB sticks are not really designed to operate outside of room temperature, and when exposed to the hot environs of a car cabin they tend to crap out.

I perused this site: USB Flash Drives for Tesla Dashcam | TeslaTap and decided to go with one of the MicroSD solutions. My drive only arrived last night so I can't tell you how well it works (or doesn't), but I'm afraid the problem is with your drive, not a formatting or size issue.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,476
1,860
Utah
Folks,

I was recently using a 32GB USB (3.0 -- not that it matters, Model is is USB 2.0).. anyways. I got tired of deleting and reformatting the USB Key, so I purchased a 256GB 3.1 USB key.

As we all know, Windows by default does not format FAT32 where the disk is greater than 32GB.

I was able to format the 256GB USB to FAT32, however, after driving a few minutes. I got an error indicating the write speed on the USB is less than 4MB/sec.

Has anyone else experienced this? What was your work around to have a large USB, formatting to FAT32 and maintaining the write speed at 4MB/s and greater...?
You could also try doing this: Anyone still rocking a Pi Zero W smart drive for TeslaCam on Sentry Mode?

I did it, and love it.

But if you're not going to do the Raspberry Pi setup, I highly recommend getting an actual SSD drive. Much more robust than a USB stick. There are a lot of threads around on which one to get and how to set them up. You might want to consider getting a JEDA USB Hub, too, although I've heard a lot of bad things about long shipping times and poor customer service with them lately. Personally, I'm waiting for them to get past all of their CS issues before I buy one, but I am planning on getting one eventually.

The plan is to hide my Raspberry Pi (for the sentry cam files) in the Jeda hub, then just sticking a USB stick in one of the external USB slots on the Jeda hub so a potential thief will see the USB stick, and grab it thinking they have the sentry cam files.
 

Kdblondie

Member
Sep 11, 2019
41
10
Bay Area
I'm a newbie, only had my M3 a week. I was going to buy a SSD drive to set up for the sentry and dash cam. My question is will it fit behind the rubber place mat that sits on top of the USB ports that holds your phone? Also, can you use a "splitter" so that you can also plug in a phone charger & the SSD?
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,062
1,289
SF Bay Area, CA
Folks,

I was recently using a 32GB USB (3.0 -- not that it matters, Model is is USB 2.0).. anyways. I got tired of deleting and reformatting the USB Key, so I purchased a 256GB 3.1 USB key.

As we all know, Windows by default does not format FAT32 where the disk is greater than 32GB.

I was able to format the 256GB USB to FAT32, however, after driving a few minutes. I got an error indicating the write speed on the USB is less than 4MB/sec.

Has anyone else experienced this? What was your work around to have a large USB, formatting to FAT32 and maintaining the write speed at 4MB/s and greater...?

The Write Speed message is a Tesla bug, not your drive. There is some issue with the latest firmware. And FWIW I am seeing it intermittently on V10 as well. I have a big fast video rated USB 3.1 USB drive---it is not the drive.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,141
1,793
SWFL | Vegas
I'm a newbie, only had my M3 a week. I was going to buy a SSD drive to set up for the sentry and dash cam. My question is will it fit behind the rubber place mat that sits on top of the USB ports that holds your phone? Also, can you use a "splitter" so that you can also plug in a phone charger & the SSD?
Depends on the size but there is no space underneath that rubber mat, its the plastic dock base. You can use a USB splitter - I use one with a 32GB FAT32 flash drive.
 

RTPEV

Member
Mar 21, 2016
921
1,001
Durham, NC
The Write Speed message is a Tesla bug, not your drive. There is some issue with the latest firmware. And FWIW I am seeing it intermittently on V10 as well. I have a big fast video rated USB 3.1 USB drive---it is not the drive.

Do you know for certain that your drive does not derate write speeds when exposed to high temps?

I will say that prior to the error message appearing, I would frequently get corrupted or even entirely missing files in my dashcam. I suspect what happened is that after being exposed to high temps (beyond it's rated spec) the drive's performance suffers and it takes longer to write due to erase failures and write errors. In an effort to address complaints over corrupted/missing files, Tesla added the write speed check, and the drives that have been sitting in our hot cars do occasionally (and legitimately) fail the write speed test.

Or it could, as you say, be a bug.

As I stated in an earlier post, I went ahead and bought a MicroSD card (and adapter) specifically designed for dashcam use with much higher temp range spec. So far so good, although it's only been a few days. It didn't work at first, but that's because it was formatted as exFAT and I needed to reformat as FAT32, but it is working fine now.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,476
1,860
Utah
I would frequently get corrupted or even entirely missing files in my dashcam
If you press and hold the dashcam icon for about two seconds, and then wait for about four seconds, the red dot will be removed from the dashcam icon. That means that it is no longer writing an active data stream to the USB drive, and it is safe to remove the drive from the USB port. If you follow this procedure every time you remove your drive, you will stop getting missing/corrupted files.

Removing the drive while an active data stream is being written to it is a very bad idea, especially with FAT32 file system.

If a drive you are using has corrupted/missing files on it, your best course of action is to re-format the drive (FAT32, of course), then return the drive to service, making sure you correctly "eject" the drive with the above procedure every time you remove it.

Or even better, get yourself a Raspberry Pi setup, and don't worry about ever having to take the drive out again. :)
 

RTPEV

Member
Mar 21, 2016
921
1,001
Durham, NC
If you press and hold the dashcam icon for about two seconds, and then wait for about four seconds, the red dot will be removed from the dashcam icon.

Believe me, I tried that. I also tried using the Power Off button in the car. Nothing was 100% effective in helping eliminate corrupted files/filesystem.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,476
1,860
Utah
Yes, and not just one, but two drives (I had been alternating between two: unplug one to take inside to review footage and insert the other one in the car...lather, rinse, repeat)
Have you considered setting up a Raspberry Pi? It's a bit of a pain to initially get set up, but once it is, wow... it's so nice to have all of your saved events just appear on your computer for you to browse at your leisure. And since the files are removed from the Pi after they've been transferred to your computer, you never have to worry about your USB drive filling up, or the wear and tear on constantly inserting/removing the USB device on the Tesla USB port.
 

RTPEV

Member
Mar 21, 2016
921
1,001
Durham, NC
Have you considered setting up a Raspberry Pi? It's a bit of a pain to initially get set up, but once it is, wow... it's so nice to have all of your saved events just appear on your computer for you to browse at your leisure. And since the files are removed from the Pi after they've been transferred to your computer, you never have to worry about your USB drive filling up, or the wear and tear on constantly inserting/removing the USB device on the Tesla USB port.

It's tempting, but no, I barely have enough time these days to do anything. The worst part is that I'm an electrical engineer and have worked with embedded systems, so setting it up would be a piece of cake, but at the moment my life is way too complicated to find a decent chunk of open time.
 
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