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Garmin Fixes for XTs and Zumos

I’m the guy who wants to make everything work for as long as possible. Even if the manufacturer says to give up. Laptops used to have an average lifespan of just a few years. But I found if you buy them with the highest level of technology, it’s possible to get 8-12 years out them. When an OS is no longer upgradeable or supported, that’s when it’s time to take it to the recycler.

Garmin GPS units are a little different. I’ve got a 60CSx unit from 2005 that still runs – quite well in fact. 17 years later the real problem is my eyes struggle to read that small screen. It still navigates at a decent speed and the internal storage has the room I need for the maps in places I want to travel to. I can feed it updates through Basecamp and even run third party maps in it.

Zumo XT Breakdown and Fix

But recently I installed a map update in the latest and greatest Zumo XT. About 90% of the way through the update, the process froze without completing and turned the XT into a $500 brick. I’d turn it on and get error messages about how it couldn’t unlock the maps and it wouldn’t navigate either.

Initially, using Garmin Express, I uninstalled all the map sets - CN, Topo, and National Parks. Then reinstalled them all. Nada. Still a brick. Assuming most of the navigational action operated through CN, I uninstalled that alone and then reinstalled it. That was the fix. The XT is running nicely again.

Zumo 660 Overload and Fix

Another GPS in our family is a Zumo 660 that dates back to 2010. It has 4GB internal storage and accepts external SD Micro cards. No matter how much capacity the external card is, the Zumo will only work with 4GB of it, bringing your max capacity for the device to 8GB.

So, I went and tried to install the latest map updates for North America and in came the error message. Something about how the file is big, really big, and there’s not enough room on the device to install it. This time I picked up the phone and called Garmin support. The rep told me my device is too out of date to take the update and I needed to buy a newer model, which he would happily discount at 20%.

Zumo owners – do not fall for this ploy, there’s a way around it. I’ll save you $400 right now, and perhaps you have a Zumo or two you’d like to take out of the closet and revive.

In Basecamp, I downloaded the latest map sets to my laptop. Next, I selected the regions I wanted to fly into the Zumo 660. In my case that was all of OR, WA, ID, and lower BC. I fired them in and in they went. Now the 660 is as good as new with all the latest map sets for the regions I need. A bonus is that with less maps installed, the unit will boot faster.

Happy navigating!

TM/October 2022

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