USB drives - suggestions, issues, formatting, partitioning

  • Our merch store is back! Check out our line of quality apparel and accessories featuring the TOO logo. Let us know if you'd like something specific you don't see 👍https://teespring.com/stores/tesla-owners-online-store
  • It's OK to discuss software issues here but please report bugs to Tesla directly at servicehelpna@teslamotors.com if you want things fixed.

What device are you using for TeslaCam?

  • I never set up any drive and don't use local recording for TeslaCam

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    104
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Bay Area, CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
Is anyone else noticing that their USB drives are dying early deaths when being used for dash cam videos?

I'm on my 2nd dead USB now, having only owned the car since November.

The first USB was older, so I wrote off its untimely demise as a fluke.

But I bought a brand new Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive from Amazon on Dec 1st and now this one is dead.

And when I say dead, I mean I put it into a Mac or a PC and neither sees the drive at all.

Is anyone else seeing this?

If you're not having this problem, what brand and size of USB drive are you using?

Thanks!

[MOD EDIT - updated thread title to include more of what thread has become.
original title: "USB drives dying early deaths when used for Tesla dash cam videos"]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JWM3

Active Member
Joined
May 11, 2018
Messages
59
Location
Caifornia
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#5
I’m using a old 8gb Sandisk USB drive once I have the dash cam feature, still working fine.
You might got a fake Kingston drive.
 

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
11,072
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#7
I ordered a SanDisk 64GB UltraFit drive in October and noticed it was dead at the beginning of March. Same thing happened recently to this person and this person and this person. This person and this person and this person report their drives getting very hot. I think there is an issue here with Tesla's implementation.
Well sure. The issue is that standard, cheap USB flash drives are simply not designed to handle constant writes.

A traditional automaker would have specc'd a particular make & model of flash drive, re-branded it as their own, only allow you to use their branded drive, and sell it to you at 10x markup. It kind of sucks that we are on our own to figure out which makes/models of flash drives can handle this load, but I prefer that to being overcharged for a solution.
 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
3,515
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#8
There's something wrong or bogus about this. I've had dashcams in my cars for many years, and I've never had any problems with the sd cards they use. And it's the same kind of memory, at least as far as I know.
Compare apples to apples. You said you don’t have problems with SD Cards. That is not what this thread is about. OP is referral by to cheap USB drives. I will have to do some searching but I think I was one of the first to burn up a cheap USB back at Thanksgiving. It was blazing hot when I went to pull it out and it never worked in any device again.

SD cards are built for video recording. There are references her to some using SD cards in an adapter. YMMV.
 

Frully

Top-Contributor
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
841
Location
Calgary, AB. Canada
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#9
I tends to be not The degradation of the flash tends not to be in the actual writing of the individual files, since they are pseudorandom sequential across the length of the drive...but in fact from the pounding that the file allocation table takes. Every file getting written causes a write to the File Table section of the drive. That part fails = no more drive. Definitely get a better quality drive (not necessarily a higher capacity) because it will have higher write count performance.
Someone on here has suggested using a usb to sata adapter with an SSD which is a great idea because for not a lot of money you can have WAY higher write count in conjunction with proper wear levelling.
 
Last edited:

sduck

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
184
Location
Nashville TN
Country
Country
#11
Compare apples to apples. You said you don’t have problems with SD Cards. That is not what this thread is about. OP is referral by to cheap USB drives.
Yes, could be. I believe the same kind of memory is used, but perhaps the chip or circuit used to write to them is different or in different locations.

SD cards are built for video recording. There are references her to some using SD cards in an adapter. YMMV.
This might also be a good solution - there are dedicated SD card>USB adaptors, has anyone tried one?
 

W.W.

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Ilderton, Ontario
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#12
Go with a Solid State and you should not have an issue I had issues with your standard usb sticks like the author of this thread.

Really happy with this
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB USB 3.1 (MU-PA500B/AM) [Canada Version]


it has been running now for 2 months without 1 issue.

 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#14
Go with a Solid State and you should not have an issue I had issues with your standard usb sticks like the author of this thread.

Really happy with this
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 500GB USB 3.1 (MU-PA500B/AM) [Canada Version]


it has been running now for 2 months without 1 issue.

I assume it's FAT32 already? Or Did you have to format?
 

sduck

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
184
Location
Nashville TN
Country
Country
#15
I'll third the ssd recommendation - they work much better than a flash drive. I got one of these - I set it up by partitioning it with 64gb set up with fat32 for the dashcam, and the rest formatted ext4 for music. And it works great, is tons faster than any of the flash drives I've tried, and doesn't run hot like any of the flash drives (it gets a bit warm, but that's all).
 

GDN

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
3,515
Location
Far North Dallas, TX
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#16
Very nice to see these bigger SSD drives. Hadn't thought of them working truly. Nice options in the $50 range that should hold up for a several years. I've never implemented a wireless charging pad/option of any kind. Need to read the other thread or two and find a nice small USB hub/splitter that will carry data and make a purchase soon. Way too much video being recorded these days now.
 

Sandy

One obsession to the next
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
953
Location
Ontario east of the GTA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#17
Very nice to see these bigger SSD drives. Hadn't thought of them working truly. Nice options in the $50 range that should hold up for a several years. I've never implemented a wireless charging pad/option of any kind. Need to read the other thread or two and find a nice small USB hub/splitter that will carry data and make a purchase soon. Way too much video being recorded these days now.
Great little unit. Anker quality and product support. Data transfer from all 4 ports. Will charge Qi pad and iOs devices as well. I have my iPhone charge cord and a 128gb USB 3 stick for the Tesla Cam plugged into it through the car’s front right port.

 

Kizzy

Top-Contributor
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
904
Location
West Sonoma County, California
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#19
I’ve never had a failure (though I don’t drive that much (7K miles in 6 months). I have a class 10, 128 Gb USB flash drive that I only use for the dashcam. I try to regularly remove files that I save.
 
Last edited:

dburkland

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
149
Location
Minneapolis
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#20
As others have said with the increase of streams (and thus write bandwidth) in the recent firmware it is imperative to pick flash media that not only has write performance but good long term write durability. I recently dumped my previous 8GB sandisk solution (which never failed me, just ran out of capacity) and instead went with this drive -> https://www.microcenter.com/product/482373/sandisk-128gb-sandisk-extreme-go-usb-31-flash-drive. With that said I think the Samsung SSD option (mentioned above) is superior as it has double the write performance over the previous drive I linked to and I’m sure even greater long-term durability when it comes to the flash media inside.