Formatting MicroSD Cards For Dashcams

Formatting MicroSD Cards For Dashcams

One of the best things about dashcams is that they don’t actually require a lot of maintenance. Once you set up your dashcam, you’re probably not going to have to touch it for a while unless you’re checking out your footage. Having said that, there is one task that you’d have to do every once in a while: formatting your microSD card.

A lot of the most common issues with dashcams originate from the microSD card installed. Depending on the dashcam unit that you purchased, they’re actually a lot more durable than you’d expect. If you ever do encounter an issue with your dashcam, you should run some tests on your microSD to make sure that the source of the problem does not originate from there.

Some of the most common symptoms of a microSD card with issues includes:

  • Freezing
  • Not recording
  • Restarting on its own
  • Breaks in recording

More often than not, a simple format of your microSD card can solve it.

What Is Formatting?

When you format your microSD card, you’re clearing your card for any file corruption and resetting your microSD card. You come out with a clean slate to work with. All of the files and settings stored in your microSD card is deleted and you’re left with the default, factory format.

Why Do We Need To Format The MicroSD Card?

There’s a reason why formatting your microSD card is recommended. Each microSD card has a number of reliable re-write cycles before they eventually fail. This number depends on the make and brand of the card. By formatting your card, you can extend the card’s life.

You also have to consider the conditions that your microSD card will face. They’ll be left in your dashcam, where it’ll be exposed to varying temperatures and humidity. It’ll constantly be vibrating and shaken as your car moves. The stress of turning it on and off while you drive is also an added factor. Formatting your microSD card regularly is something you can do to stave off the after-effects.

When you first install your microSD to your dashcam, be sure to format through your camera’s menu. After that, we’d recommend formatting your microSD card every month or so. This will ensure the maximum use out of your card, regardless of what brand you have.

What’s The Best Way Of Formatting A MicroSD Card?

The easiest and most convenient way of formatting your microSD card is in the dashcam itself. Most dashcams will come with a built-in format function through your dashcam’s menu. The formatting process should not take very long. At most, it should take around 10 seconds. This is one of the best ways to format your card because it ensures your microSD’s format and setting is correct.

You should be looking for a FAT32 format in your microSD cards. While you’re not going to want your computer’s hard drive to run on FAT32, external memory cards and USB drives will do fine with FAT32. It’s widely compatible with various machines and it’s commonly chosen as the format of choice for dashcams.

If your dashcam refuses to start up or you’re unable to figure out how to format a microSD from your dashcam’s menu, you can do it through your computer.

Apple/Mac

For Apple computers, insert your microSD card to an SD adapter and connect it to your computer. Open up DISK UTILITY. You can open this by using the Spotlight function (CMD + SPACE) in Mac and typing in Disk Utility.

Highlight your microSD card from the devices list on the left. If you’ve never used your microSD before, it’ll probably have “no name” or “untitled” as its name. Once you’ve selected it, click on the Erase button at the top of Disk Utility.

Set the name to whatever value you’d like, and make sure the format shows as MS-DOS (FAT). Then click Erase and it should show that you’ve completed the process!

Windows/PC

For Windows users, you can also easily format your microSD card through your computer. First off, insert your microSD card into your adapter and place it into your computer. Open up your My Documents folder. On the left side of your folder, you’ll see a list of all the drives in your computer. Right click on your microSD card near the bottom of the list. It should be titled something like “no name” or “untitled” if you’ve never used it before. Click on the Format button.

A pop-up window will open. Make sure you change the File system to FAT32 (Default). Click Start and if it’s successful, you’re done!

Linux

For Linux users, the process is a little more involved (unless you have something specifically for hard drives and disks). Connect your microSD to your computer through an adapter and SD slot. Open your terminal and type in the command “lsblk”.

The output of this command should show you a list of all your specified block devices. Your removable flash storage should read as ‘sdb’. Be sure to check whether this is the correct drive or not!

Once you’ve done this, run this command “sudo parted /dev/sdb”. This will use the ‘parted’ utility to format your card. It will ask you for your password, so enter that into the field.

Now that you’re in the parted utility, you can create a partition table by running the command “mklabel msdos”.

Then you’re going to create partitions on your drive. Type “mkpart primary fat32 1MiB 100%”, and then set your boot flag by using “set 1 boot on”. Enter “quit”.

Now that you’ve done this, you’ll want to format your partition as fat32. Check your partition by running the “lsblk” command again to verify that there’s a new partition on ‘sdb’.

Now you can format it into fat32 by running “sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1”, where you would replace “sdb1” with the name of the partition of your drive. Make sure you format the partition, not the actual “sdb” itself! Once that’s done, you should have a microSD that’s ready to go!