How to format your car camera SD card

Nine times out of ten if you are having problems with your in-car camera or digital video recorder (DVR) it can be related to the memory card.

Check your SD Card!

If your car camera is freezing, locking up, randomly turning off, video and audio are out of sync or you have strange artifacts or even the video playback is not smooth then these are ALL symptoms of the SD card being problematic rather than the car camera or the recorder. Memory cards used in vehicle dashcams are exposed to a number of stresses, these include large and rapid variations in temperature and humidity, sudden interruptions, instability and ‘spikes’ in the power supply and constant mechanical vibration, any of which can lead to faults that can result in data loss or corruption. Regularly formatting the SD memory card will not prevent it from happening, but it should alert you to any problems with the card or camera.

Tips for Choosing and Using Memory Cards

  1. Choosing the right SD card; If you’re spending good money on a car camera then we highly advise buying a good quality memory card. If you buy a cheap memory card to put in a new HD camera there is a good chance the card will fail on you. Choose a class 6 or Class 10 card and always buy a quality brand.
  2. It is important to format your memory card on a regular basis. If your camera or recorder has a format function in the menu then this is the best way to format your SD card. REMEMBER: Formatting your SD card will WIPE all the data from it and you will not be able to get that back. Back up your video files BEFORE formatting the SD Card.
  3. Don’t use your SD card in different devices without formatting it first.
  4. If your car camera or device has the capability for formatting the SD card then you should use this facility with the card INSIDE the camera. (most car cameras can do this, please check the user manual)

How to format an SD Card using windows

  1. Go to your Start Button (bottom left of windows) and click on “computer” or “my computer”
  2. Put the SD Card in to your computer either by using a built-in card reader or by connecting your camera/recorder by USB.3: When you plug the card in you will see a drive appear.
  3. Right click on the icon and click on “Format”
  4. Click “Quick Format” and then click “Start”
  5. Wait for the card to finish being formatted and carry on using the card as normal.

If after this process you are still having problems then it *might* be an indication the memory card is starting to fail. SD cards only have a limited amount of read/write cycles and they can go wrong.

How to format an SD Card on a Mac computer

  1. Insert your SD memory card into your computer’s SD slot or SD card reader. Mac OSx should recognize it automatically.
  2. Open up the Disk Utility Application and select the SD card. Select “ERASE” from the sub menu. Choose “FAT” from the re-format menu.

Wait a few minutes for the format process to fully complete. Once finished, a notification will alert you. You can now store files on the memory card from your Mac or an external device such as a camera.

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