My Dash Cam Keeps Saying Format SD Card, How to Fix?

The dash cam never stops, indicating numerous reasons why the dash cam keeps saying format SD card. EaseUS Software will outline the primary causes of this problem in this post and provide step-by-step instructions for fixing it.

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16 May 2024

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Your Dash Cam may keep saying format SD card for one of the reasons:

The SD card's file system requests formatting because it is incompatible with the Dash Cam. However, doing so would delete all of the data on the card, so please make a backup of your important data beforehand. Use a PC rather than the Dash Cam to format your SD card without losing data.

The Dash cam's SD card formatting notice indicates something is wrong. The necessity to format the SD card may arise due to several factors, such as interrupted SD card writing, corrupted data, lost photos and videos, etc.

I received my v3 yesterday and started to try it out. I put an SD card in, and it recorded immediately. No problems. I went to format the 128 GB card, and then the dash cam keeps saying format SD card, and it refused to register. Every time I pressed record, it would say format the card, even though it had been recorded before I selected format within the dash cam.

from DashCamTalk

How to Recover Recordings When Dash Cam Formats SD Card

Formatting will cause file loss on the SD card, but it doesn't completely erase the data. In that case, before further measures to fix the error and you confirm to format the SD card, we advise that you recover the formatted SD card immediately. Formatting affects only the data arrangement on the card; the rest of the device is left "empty". As a result, the data is still available. Thus, you can effectively recover your recording videos on the Dashcam if you have the data recovery program EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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  • It can be used for camera recovery and data recovery from issues such as virus attacks, RAW, OS crashes, unintentional deletion, and partition loss.
  • Videos on a formatted SD card can be recovered. Moreover, this program can locate misplaced digital images, screenshots, documents, music, and more.
  • Support data recovery from various file systems, including NTFS, exFAT, and FAT32.

Here is the 3-step tutorial for formatted SD card data recovery:

Step 1. Select the SD card to scan

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SanDisk/Lexar/Transcend SD card to the computer. 
  • Open EaseUS SD card recovery software and choose SD Card Recovery on the left panel. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card and click "Scan for lost data".
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

  • Wait for the scanning process to complete.
  • Specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures or Videos.
  • Click "Preview" to check if they are the wanted files.
filter the lost photos

Step 3. Recover SD card data

  • Preview the recovered files and click "Recover".
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the original SD card.
Recover lost photos

Many Windows 10/11 users have proven the tool's efficacy. If you want to resolve the file recovery, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms!


How to Fix Dash Cam Keeps Saying Format SD Card

Now that your dash cam's data has been restored, you can proceed to resolve the "Format SD Card" problem. Here are several fixes for SD cards and instructions on how to format them.

  1. Fix 1. Verify the SD Card's Connection to a Dash Cam
  2. Fix 2. Format the Dash Cam's SD Card
  3. Fix 3. Remove the Bad Sectors on the SD Card
  4. Fix 4. Format SD card to FAT32/NTFS

Fix 1. Verify the SD Card's Connection to a Dash Cam

You can first attempt to re-insert your SD card and check if the connection issue persists between the SD card and Dash Cam.

Several things influence the dashcam's ability to connect to your SD card. Make sure your SD card is inserted into your camera correctly first. This indicates that the contact platters are located on the right side of the respective camera components. Also, ensure the dash cam's slot and contact plates are clean.


Fix 2. Format the Dash Cam's SD Card

You can format the SD card to restore everything to normal if it is full or you cannot open it on your Dashcam.

Here's how to format an SD card on Dashcam:

Step 1. Switch on your dash camera.

Step 2. Put an end to the recording. Next, navigate to the "Settings" window.

Step 3. Locate the "Format" option under" Setup".

Step 4. Tap "Format card" to format the SD card and adhere to the prompts.

format the SD card

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What to do when your SD card doesn't work in the camera, and how to eliminate this error without losing any photos or videos. Read more >>

Fix 3. Remove the Bad Sectors on the SD Card

The parts of your storage device that are illegible due to damage are known as bad sectors. You can use the command prompt program CHKDSK to repair bad sectors on SD cards.

Step 1. After removing the SD card from the dash cam, connect it to your computer with a card reader.

Step 2. Execute Command Prompt as administrator.

execute Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 3. Run chkdsk *: /f /r /x in step three. The SD card's drive letter must be substituted for *.

chkdsk f r x

CHKDSK can automatically identify problems, repair them, and block problematic sectors on the SD card for dashcams.


macOS user? Click here to learn about How to Recover SD Card with Bad Sectors on Mac

Fix 4. Format SD Card to FAT32/NTFS

You can now try formatting the SD card to a supported file system on your computer, such as FAT32 or NTFS, using Disk Management once more:

Step 1. Link your computer and SD card properly.

Step 2. Hit the Windows + R keys together, type diskmgmt.msc, then press Enter.


Step 3. Right-click on the SD card in Disk Management and select "Format Volume..."

Format Volume

Step 4. Reset your SD card's file system to NTFS or FAT32, then click OK to finish.

Why the Dash Cam's SD Card Needs to Be Formatted

Some of the possible reasons for the dash camera showing the format of the SD card message are:

  • 📦SD card is complete without too many files: It is observed that the SD card may not contain many files but still show as full. Such cases ask for dedicated formatting to ensure the complete removal of the SD card data.
  • 🛑SD card has stopped working: Any corrupted file or malware can cause the SD card to stop working. Hence, you only need to format it to start using it on your camera.
  • ⚔️SD card is incompatible: It is necessary to go for an SD card compatible with your camera. The mismatch of the file formats may cause incompatibility issues on the device.

Hence, whether the SD card is full, has stopped working, or is incompatible, it calls for dedicated formatting. All you need to ensure is that formatting prevents accidental data loss.

To Sum Up

Video data recovery should not be put off until last. Always have a copy of your precious movies and images on your camera or other storage card devices. A complete backup could provide 100% data recovery during a catastrophic disaster.

You should develop the habit of using your SD card correctly and regularly backing up your content to avoid data loss on the device. For example, you may encounter an SD card RAW issue that requires formatting if you unplug your SD card from your computer instead of deleting it.

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Dash Cam Keeps Saying Format SD Card FAQs

Here are 4 additional questions about recovering data from formatted SD card. Check here for the answers.

1. Why does my dashcam keep saying format SD card?

The following are a few potential explanations for the camera displaying the SD card format message: The SD card is full and doesn't have too many files. It has been noted that an SD card may appear full even though it may not contain many files. Specific formatting is required in these situations to guarantee that all SD card data is deleted.

2. Why does my dash cam keep saying check the SD card?

The formatting warning on memory cards is due to faulty or halted SD card writing procedure. This is due to the loss of computer or camera files needed for writing or reading. As a result, without a format, the SD card cannot be accessed.

3. How do I fix the memory error on my dash cam?

  • 1. Reduce the duration of the "loop recording." 'Loop recording' is a feature found on almost all dash cams. 
  • 2. Decrease the G-sensor's sensitivity. 
  • 3. Format the microSD card in your PC or dash cam.

4. How do I fix a corrupted camera card?

  • Method 1. Switch out the adapter or card reader, or try another USB port.
  • Method 2. Repair a Card by Running the CHKDSK Command to Look for Memory Card Issues.
  • Method 3. Try Using the SD Card on a Different Computer or Device.
  • Method 4. Give Your Drive a New Letter.
  • Updated by

    Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.…
  • Written by

    Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS, who focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.…
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