I recently bought the Garmin MapSource TOPO CDs from Amazon. Why? So I could add maps to my GPS and manipulate paths, waypoints, and other cool stuff on my computer. But the installer is really stupid

First, check out this picture. I'm being asked to choose from a list of exactly one. Why? That's retarded.

Second, there's no way to say "I have a big hard disk, so please put all 3 CDs worth of data on my laptop instead of making me carry 'em around with me." Granted, Garmin isn't the only who doesn't get it. But this isn't rocket science. Garmin builds portable navigation devices. Don't you think that someone interested in portable navigation might like the option of not dragging CDs around with 'em?

I think so.

Posted by jzawodn at April 19, 2003 05:18 PM

Reader Comments
# Ask Bjoern Hansen said:

Copy the maps from the CD to the harddrive and install from there, then you don't need the CDs.

Do you run it with VirtualPC?

I am MS-Windows free; and thus Garmin free :-/ I guess it could run in VMWare on a linux box with display on Apple's X11, huh?


- ask

on April 19, 2003 06:25 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Yeah, I know I can just copy it to my hard disk. But I shouldn't have to. It's should be an option.

Interestingly, I also have Microsoft's Streets & Trips (http://www.microsoft.com/streets/) and it gave me the option to put all the maps on my hard disk.

Anyway, I'm running it on my Thinkpad T23. It runs Win2k and VMWare so that I can use Linux on it too.

Yes, I have too many notebooks.

on April 20, 2003 06:52 PM
# Michael Slater said:

Here is what you can do to copy over the MapSource data locally:



Mapsource sucks.
Garmin sucks.

on June 22, 2003 05:26 AM
# jawdat said:

Mapsource sucks.
Garmin sucks.

i got a mapsource and it is not showing me the details on the map simplay because i do not have a garmin gps connected to my laptop .i dont know what to do !i have a fortuna GPS it is nmea

on September 7, 2004 10:04 AM
# Nym said:

Garmin does suck, but for other reasons than their mapsource CD installation.


Q: Do you consider Garmin a company that embraces the community?
A: We embrace technology.

Q: What efforts have Garmin made to get the GIS community to define an open standard?
A: I can't comment on that because Garmin is a publicly traded company.

on November 7, 2004 02:12 PM
# David said:

Garmin sucks!!
I have had my StreetPilot unit for over two years and every update, every support call, and every purchase has been a complete nightmare.

The data was out of date and incorrect from the moment I bought my unit (brand new) and they've been forcing me to pay every time. Now they sold me the most recent MapSource update but came only on DVD...I don't have a DVD drive and don't intend to but one for this computer. It is a useless update and they will not give me my money back - that I consider fraud.

The customer service reps are rude and the least bit customer-friendly.

I've had it with them...

on December 30, 2005 08:44 AM
# Nomore Garmin said:

A quick(?) product review for the Garmin Etrex Legend C

If you are made of money and don’t care that Garmin is ripping you off, you don’t need this review! Their product will work fine for you.

For the rest of us…

The Etrex legend C is planned obsolescence at it’s best.

If you owned the Etrex Legend-
You (like I) may want the Legend C for the color screen, the higher memory (24MB) or the auto-routing features. You may have bought the Metroguide software (post version 4) and you think you can use it on the Legend C . Well it won’t work!

The auto-routing is the key to this disaster. The Metroguides used to (version 4) have auto-routing but Garmin removed it from future versions. This means you will have to fork out another 100.00 or so to buy maps you already own (City Select they call it this time).

Maybe you (like me) think you can just do your routing on your computer and download it to the Legend C and skip the auto-routing on the hand held. You can’t! When you try to navigate your downloaded route, the Legend C will recalculate it using its base map (because it does not recognize the Metroguide streets you downloaded to it) Your route will be lost. It does this even though the Metroguide streets DO appear on the Legend C. Don’t forget that for no particular reason garmin redesigned the power socket in the back of the unit so you will also need a new power cable!

Even if this is your first GPS it’s still is no good-

Because the Legend C reroutes every time you navigate, will have to program every map needed between point A and point B, or the Legend C will use its worthless basemap for any gaps. 24MB memory may seem like a lot, but not when you have to put all those maps in.

When I use my Etrex Legend (black and white) I program my routes on the computer, then download them and program only the destination maps and that works well for the price (160.00) But don’t waste your money on Garmin. Try instead to find a company that does not treat its customer like cash machines!

The bottom line it this- All Garmin had to do to make the Legend C and winner and keep my loyalty (now lost) was to leave the auto-routing feature in Metro Guide, give the user the option of turning the Auto Routing off on the Legend C, and leave the power hook up as it was for the Legend. All would have been great.

They decided instead to try to force people to repurchase maps they already own.

Yes, I could have easily rebought the maps but where does it end? No compatibility = No business from me.

on May 13, 2006 03:23 PM
# Mohammad Salaymeh said:

I live in the UAE, I got the Garmin Pilto C330 as a gift from Canada. The GPS doesn't come with mapsource and it is being preloaded with North America maps only. Now I am unable to upload any maps to the GPS, it becomes idle.
I agree with you on the subject of your blog.
Any help guys?

on June 11, 2006 01:21 PM
# king kong said:

Garmin suck allright ! Some consumer protection institution should look into their software selling practices and FORCED re-purchasing of same or similair software with updates.
Agree with above , if you dont mind being ripped or are made of cash and like to give it to Garmin go right ahead for others stay clear of the little G.

on July 17, 2006 10:04 PM
# Andrew Froom said:

Well I recently bought the eTrex Vista CX and I like it and also have loaded the mapsource US topo onto it. My dad bought the city select v6 for his iQue 3600, which is supposed to be compatibile with the Vista CX. But can i install it noooooo. I tried everything including reinstalling mapsource and the trip and waypoint manager. ARRRRRRG. Any help would be nice.

on August 1, 2006 04:15 PM
# John Minnesota said:

The Garmin product ( Garmin Forerunner 305 ) I purchased caused my computer motherboard to fail. They are refusing to acknowledge the problem with their product or give me any kind of compensation for the motherboard or my time. After repeated emails with Jeff Johnson at Garmin, I am left frustrated and feeling like a beta tester for their product. I have sent them the crash dumps from my Windows XP system showing that their product was causing my machine to blue screen and they have no interest in making this right. They sent me another unit which appears to have no problem, which is great, but I am now out a lot of time and money. Below is my original email to Garmin.

> Product: Forerunner 305
> Serial Number: 10141602
> Software Version: 2.40
> Problem:
> I just purchased this unit a few days ago - when I plugged it into my
> computer's USB plug, the computer froze up. When I restarted my computer
> and
> tried to plug it in again, nothing happened. My USB bus no longer works!

on September 26, 2006 09:58 AM
# Rose said:

I'm glad I found this site. I complained to Garmin that my Vista C would no longer auto navigate using MetroGuide. I thought my Vista C needed repaired. I was told that the unit does not auto navigate and never did. What?? Was I imagining all those beeps to remind me that my turn was coming up?!?

So now I see that it was planned obsolesence. I was told to buy City Select to be able to navigate. Beware! I read that City Select does not work with the Vista Cx. I need City Navigator if I ever want to get a Cx.

Why does this have to be so complicated? Is it possible to downgrade to the older version of MetroGuide from the DVD and be able to navigate again?


on January 1, 2007 09:01 AM
# Tom Ryals said:

I have had no problems whatsoever with my GPS eTrex Legend and now the eTrex Legend CX and the Mapsource software (Topo and Street).

No map ever accurate. As soon as a new map comes out it is already obsolete. My understanding is Garmin, Magellen, etc. all get their map data from DeLorme. Not sure what the lag time is, but I suspect it can be many years.

Come on guys! You sound like you come from a text book world. Even the experts say you should have a paper map in addition to your gps anyway (backpacking).

Just remember what you are getting for your $120 - a map of the entire United States, that is a huge area. - Tom

on January 1, 2007 07:22 PM
# John Gardiner said:

I have just bought a Garmin Etrex Vista Cx with TOPO GB mapping. I was SO excited at setting it up to go walking with over this weekend!!!! However my excitement was soon to wain and eventually disappear completely.

After EVENTUALLY loading an enforced update of Mapsource onto my (nearly new) PC though broadband (took an hour for 44 MB), I needed to unlock it with a code. I filled in the necessary documentation and every time a very basic number appeared as the code I was told that it was incorrect!

I tried to load the TOPO software and that too required an unlock code that couldn't be used! I sent 8 emails to Tech Support last night and recived NOT ONE reply! I was at it for over 2 hours last night and eventually had to give up!

This was purchased from a Bona Fide dealer so it's not an Ebay scam of any sort. What are Garmin up to?


on January 13, 2007 12:16 AM
# Robert said:

I bought a MetroGuide Europe v8 DVD to put map of Paris on my Garmin Legend. I can't even get my computer to run the software let alone put maps on my Legend. There is a DVD drive on my computer but all I get is the message "disk is corrupted or is in a language not supported by window xp, so what gives?? Garmin already sent me a new DVD, it didn't work any better than the old one. Somebody please help me.


on March 17, 2007 02:28 PM
# kevin said:

does anyone know how to mount the c330 ?

on April 5, 2007 05:58 AM
# said:

I have the Garmin C530 and it is dead no power cant reset it just a blank screen purchased it about 7 days ago any ideas?

on April 9, 2007 04:27 AM
# Mike said:

I have been through (a) a Legend and eMap, (b) a Legend C and now have a Vista Cx with a 1Gb card. I agree with the comments above. I used to take my Legend on holiday to the US (from GB) and once held coverage of Yellowstone, Salt Lake and Bryce in its 8Mb memory. I could store routes from my PC too.

I bought the Legend C thinking it would cope better with the larger maps in the later versions of Metroguide/City Select. Well, it did for one version, but then in the next version the chunks were so enormous I couldn't even get adequate coverage of a modest route in the UK. Plus, routing was impossible in the older metroguide. I complained to Garmin and they just gave the old "march of technology" argument.

By this time I had a considerable investment in Garmin maps, so bought a Vista Cx and sold a year old Legend C at considerable loss. Things have settled down now. 1Gb gives coverage of half of Europe and routing is fairly good, though with the latest maps I was told to turn right in Harrogate the other day even though there was a forced left turn. (Suddenly 1.3 miles were added to my route!) Last year's coverage of Mallorca was risible too, though this year's is better.

If you really want ripping off, buy an in-car dealer installed system and pay £300 for updates!

on April 14, 2007 06:19 AM
# Stick Monkey said:

Disassemble the C530. That is what I did with my 6 month old Vista. It is a piece of crap and poorly made. Found that the power switch is faulty. As soon as I figure out how to take the switch out and jumper the power it will work.

Of course you could just send it back for warranty service.

on August 8, 2007 09:43 PM
# Christian Dailloux said:

I have ordered an update DVD City Navigator Europe v.9 for my Nüvi.
After many attemps to update (drowning in codes, unlockcodes, id's and so on), I received this «support» from Garmin:

"any codes that you see printed on the box or the case of the DVD is not
relevant to the unlock process. However your second attachment shows the
unlock information that you need for unlocking map updates of additional
map products. There is not a version 9 unlock code associated with the
Nuvi 350, with the serial number 67714017. The map update 'City
Navigator Europe NT V9' has been discontinued as of 1st November 2007.
It is not possible for Garmin or yourself to now generate the unlock
code for this product. However we are anticipating a map update to be
released within the first quater of the year."

OoH, I love Garmin!....

on November 7, 2007 12:26 AM
# Martin Dack said:

I have just had a similar response from Garmin to that of Christian Dailloux above. I ordered the Europe NT V9 DVD update DVD back in August 2008 - it arrived promptly. It was not until my return to Europe recently that I tried to install and unlock the maps. No go! Garmin cannot/will not give me an unlock code for the DVD they happily mailed me. They advise me that I should wait for a "new map update", "sometime" in 2008. Apparently it is not actually an update this time - its a complete new set of maps - which will have to be purchased by anyone who needs/wants it. Owning V8 or V9 maps will not qualify one for an unlock code for the new package.

Do these guys want people to buy their products in the future?

on January 3, 2008 08:20 AM
# Justin Coutts said:

I had a very similar experience (UK). originally requested an update (Euro Nav V8) waited so long phoned and was told there was a back log. after some more months phoned back and complained and said its a disgraceful approach. They offered me then (Euro Nav V9 update). Finally got the DVD after some weeks I decided I'd have a go. Totally rendered the unit uselss and had no maps at all after my attempt as they did not supply the right "Unlock Code". Phoned and through a wobbly they would not supply an unlock code (Unless I paid) I argued that the support should come for a short time and I would expect an update at least once in a new products liftie but NOT forever agreed. They wouldn't budge. In the end sent me a manually prepared disc with a map image on which put my unit sort of back to normal but not quite (e.g. different voice). Don't think my c510 will ever be the same!

Garmin, avoid like the plague... Go Tom tom next!

on January 10, 2008 02:36 AM
# Ed H. said:

I have had the nuvi 660 since it first came out. I travel almost every week of the year due to my job as a computer consultant for a large worldwide software company. I have a few issues with this unit: (1) the Auto-Zooming feature while driving is very very annoying and a feature that can not be turned off. I miss many turns while driving due to this feature changing the map size by zooming out on me when I do not want this to happen. (2) The map data is old and the updates come out in frequently. (3) There is a cost to get the map updates, this should not be the case. Plus all of the map update issue mentioned here sounds like its very painful and sometimes destructive.

on March 10, 2008 09:06 PM
# G.H. said:

I too have difficulty with Garmin. 2 Update discs received would not unlock. The first one said code was out of date.
2nd one pc says all is installed and unlocked. But maps remain locked. I am fed up with Garmin and feel they give no help whatsoever. Any one can help would be appreciated.
Have done the wizard several times.

on April 10, 2008 06:50 AM
# nuvi350za said:

I think Garmin Nuvi 350 is the best GPS navigation system in my opinion.

on July 16, 2008 05:48 AM
# jim l said:

bought a rino530hcx. works fine. but the north american topo and city street maps i bought seperately were a frustrating nightmrare. the topo map prompted me for an unlock code. i spent a couple hours trying everything, finally called tech support and found out that topo doesn't require an unlock code. but the city streets does. unfortunately i can't find the unlock code. 2 hours later i called tech support but they are closed on the weekend.
the maps divide the into 7500 regions and only a third can be downloaded at a time.device will not recognize more than a two gig ram card.so 2500 "regions" have to be shared in memory amongst 2 mapset =15000 regions. would not have gotten it had i known.

on January 17, 2009 01:46 PM
# kiki said:

ha ha nice header, i thought you bought from wrong place, but you can make refund from Amazon.

on February 28, 2009 02:53 PM
# tom said:

this blog popped up when i searched for a resolution to an issue I WAS having with my legend (fixed today, myself, for free)
I am surprised to see this. all these people complaining about garmin...
actually, i too think their software needs work, and it did suck buying it again, marked for the new gps, but thats the end of my complaints, but the new software came on memory card, which installs directly in the back of the 60csx- very cool/convenient/easy.
I have personally logged 26,492 miles on my garmin legend before the crashing issue started mid08. at that time i bought a new garmin gpsmap 60csx- yep, the expensive one because i was that happy with the legend.
what happened mid08 was garmin launched a new satellite- which required a firmware update.. (and i didnt get the memo)
Either way, i now have 2 units from garmin, both function perfectly, and i would recommend them to anyone and everyone.
Love the legend for its small size and battery life- its super accurate, and i never hit the trail without it.
the 60csx definitely shows the advancements garmin has made in the 8 years since i got my legend. It is perfect in the car with its larger, external antenna- gets a lock much quicker, and keeps a stronger signal. The color screen and auto routing features are helpful, and work just the way they should...
the legend i bought while in high school, and certainly didnt have much money at the time... and im not real sure what you guys are talking about either- i bought the unit and a mapsource cd... updates were all free to me.. what are your other charges???
I have had it approx 9 years now- still functions as perfectly as it did the day i took it out of the box
now, i dont mean to sound like i work for garmin P.A, but i have been nothing but impressed with all the garmin products i have owned and used through the years, and i will continue to support the company in the future.

thanks garmin, for always getting me where im headed!

on May 25, 2009 08:34 PM
# said:

every time i try to install topo2008 and cnnant2009 it asks me where i want to install it.
it defaults to F:\.
i change it to "D:\program files\gps & mapping\garmin" and it goes on its merry way installing it on F:\

how do i beat this into submission????????????????

on August 12, 2009 08:26 AM
# Paul said:

I have the same problem w/ Topo 2009 v4. It insists on
installing to F, which does not have enough space; I have 3 other partitions with plenty, but it won't listen



on December 12, 2009 11:04 AM
# KH said:

Hi, I recently got a Garmin GPSmap 60cx and want beefier maps, without paying any money of course.

I downloaded the Jetmouse keygen, inserted my serial number, made the appropriate file in the directory, but I don't know what to do from there. I am looking for the western canada topographical and the City Navigator.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

on December 29, 2009 04:10 AM
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