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Why regular formatting of the SD card is necessary with a dashcam

The microSD card used for the drive recorder needs to be formatted (initialized) about once every two weeks.

Some people may misunderstand this as, "Does it need to be formatted because it fills up with data?" This is not the case.

The data is constantly being written to the drive recorder under the extremely high temperatures inside the car. This is one of the harshest environments for an electronic recording medium.
Continuous use under such conditions will eventually result in write errors. It will also take longer to read back the data, which may slow down the startup and operation of the DRA RECORDING system.

This means that periodic formatting is necessary to ensure stable recording without write errors.

In addition, the data may become full. A 32GB SD card will usually fill up after a few hours of recording and will be automatically overwritten after that.
Therefore, formatting is not necessary if you are only concerned about file size. Formatting is only to reduce write errors.

The "Mirror Cam" series comes standard with SD cards that are more durable than ordinary SD cards. These cards need to be formatted less frequently than ordinary cards, but the formatting itself is still necessary.

Formatting is simply a matter of selecting "Format" in the Mirror Cam menu, a process that takes less than 30 seconds. The screen is larger and easier to operate than a regular DR-Recorder, so there is no need to bother. It is enough if you do it when you remember, such as before you start driving or when you are waiting at a traffic light.

In fact, neglecting to format for a while does not necessarily mean that trouble will occur immediately. It is just a preventive measure.

"Format Free"

Some manufacturers sell drive recorders that are considered "format-free.
This means that the size of each recorded file is fixed and the space for that file is reserved from the beginning to prevent file fragmentation and reduce the frequency of formatting. (This only reduces the frequency of formatting, but for the reasons mentioned above, it does not mean that formatting is completely unnecessary. (The manufacturer does not state that formatting is completely unnecessary.)

) While this certainly reduces the frequency of formatting, it does have the following disadvantages, since the size of each recorded file is fixed.

  • The length of recordings cannot be changed (fixed to 1 minute in length each)
  • Cannot change the resolution
  • The video file size is originally compressed according to the content and variable length, but the size is fixed, resulting in waste

Despite these disadvantages, it would be helpful to reduce the formatting frequency for ordinary drive recorders (other than mirror cams) if possible.

This is because ordinary drive recorders have small screens and poor operability, and are often installed in places that are difficult for drivers to operate, such as on the passenger seat side or behind the mirror. In addition, unlike mirror cams, drivers rarely look at the camera while driving, so it is not often brought to their attention. Under these circumstances, it may be difficult to remember to format them regularly.

On the other hand, mirror cams are always in view while driving, and the large touch screen panel is easy to operate and within easy reach from the driver's seat.
For this reason, we have not adopted format-free formatting because we believe that the disadvantages of formatting once every two weeks outweigh the hassle of the formatting process.

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