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Garmin Updating: Step by Step by a Non Tech-ie

Updated on March 9, 2019


Updating Garmin

Every once in a while, I need to update my GPS for my car. It is supposed to be fairly straightforward. I will have to google the procedure so I do it right. The last time I tried, I had dialup internet and I was not successful. Since I now have 4G network wireless, the process should be smoother. Wish me luck.

Famous last words Should be smoother. So far, I have had to restart my computer and unplug the cords leading to my phone and my Garmin.

Device Information

I'm sure my Garmin unit will do the work automatically once I plug it in to my laptop, but, just so I'm on the same page, this is the information that I know about my unit. It's the Nuvi 42 with software verson 4.00.

Website for Questions with Online Technician

I googled my answer and found a page that, as you stare blankly at the screen, a chat windows opens up and a seemingly kindly technician asks if they can help you. Well. I'll click out of that page and go back if my Garmin doesn't respond to my laptop.

Plug in the Garmin

Ok. Here goes. I'm plugging in my Garmin with the USB cable that came with the unit. Wish me luck. Cool. First my Garmin responds with a green loading bar. Then it goes to a screen that shows a computer and the Garmin unit. Plus an advertising url.

Updating Mode

It's 4:35 a.m. and the screen is busy. I started this process at 4 a.m. and it took me 20 minutes just to turn on my computer, plus a restart.

So. Hopefully, something will occur. I have approximately 20 minutes before I have to turn off my computer and leave my house. I do not leave my computer on during the day, so it better work its magic soon.

15 Minutes Later

Well. I'm not impressed by how unproductive my morning went with the unit. As I write, it's the next day, and as I proverbially start over, I notice what I have gained as of yesterday.

I plug the unit in, and the Garmin icon shows up on my tool bar. If I click on it, I get the Garmin screen for updating my unit. Yesterday, it showed two updates were available. One for updating the maps of the contiguous states, and one for updating something else. Yesterday, it broke it down into two separate downloads Today, one download. Yesterday, 2 hours 30 minutes. Today 3 hours.

Yesterday, when I plugged in my unit, it started out estimating that it would take 24 minutes to complete. After a few minutes my transfer rate had dropped to half its speed, so the entire project was going to take 40 minutes. I didn't have time to complete the task.

So, now...I have it plugged in again.

Device Only

I selected that the update would go to my device only. I don't use Garmin maps on my computer, as I have Google maps and Mapquest. My question, now, is whether my unit has enough memory to complete the update.

There's nothing more frustrating, than going through three hours of updating, just to find that you don't have enough space in the unit to complete the task. I suppose that then, you get some random error message that explains the dilemma.

I suppose that I cannot just throw the unit in the trash heap, because the inner electronics will harm my environment, so I'll be stuck with a partially changed unit. My smart phone has maps on it, that sometimes work a lot better than the GPS unit.

Ah, well. I guess I won't know until I try, so, here goes. Select update. Go.

Install Updates - Comparing Yesterday to Today

It's progressing, but slowly.
It's progressing, but slowly.

Updating Time Frame

Notice on the first photo above, that the estimated download time is 39 minutes. Then, today, I started strong, and then, the transfer rate dropped, so the time got longer. I don't know how to improve that situation. It's 3:44 a.m. as I begin this endeavor, again.

According to the time, it's supposed to be complete by 4:11 a.m.

We shall see.

It's Now 3:54 a.m.

Well, I left my computer to go let my dog back into the house. Our current temperature is 32 degrees. We're supposed to get a major snowstorm today. It feels coldly warm and slightly humid. There is a slight amount of wind. The kind of wind that you can hear in the trees. A roaring kind of wind.

The kind of wind that has lots of random power. The low whistle as it presses around through the trees. The


It's 4:05 a.m.

Isn't this exciting? What more important things did you have to do today, besides being supportive for me. Thank you for that, by the way. It's nice to have a friend by your side when you try something you are not sure of. Smile.

It's a Minute Later or 4:06 a.m.

I forgot to look at the progress. Sorry.

I'm gaining...
I'm gaining...

4:09 A.m.

It's almost zooming, it's downloading so quickly. It compares to watching paint dry, or clothes go around in a dryer, or, maybe grass growing.


Some Music as I Wait

For some reason, must be the lyrics, this song came to mind.,,,

This Video Comes to Mind as I Wait

It's 4:14 a.m.

It's 4:16 a.m

So, it's done.



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