How to backup your Nuvi
  • Hi. I purchassed recently a Garmin Nuvi 1410. This is my first GPS, and I am quite pleased with it's performance and it's man-machine interface.
    Have one question: Is there a way to backup all software in the unit to my home computer? If possible, how is it done ?
    Thanks,
  • sussamb
    Posts: 4,355
    If you look further down the posts there are various threads that show you how to do what you want 😀
  • t923347
    Posts: 2,589
    Welcome barelij. To back up your Nuvi you can simply copy all the files on it to your PC. There is one VERY IMPORTANT thing you need to do first however. The most important files on the Nuvi are in a folder called .system (that is DOT system). This is a hidden folder so you will need to go to Folder Options in Windows and select the View tab.

    From the View Tab select to Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives and also uncheck Hide protected operating system files (recommended). You should then be able to see the .system folder and be able to back it up.
  • sussamb
    Posts: 4,355
    Wonder if it's worth making this a sticky as it seems to keep cropping up?
  • t923347
    Posts: 2,589
    Good point.
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    Good idea - this thread is now "stuck" and I gave it a more generic name as well.
  • cuc tu
    Posts: 430
    My 765T backup folder does not have a .system folder, so I guess I blew my backup...

    But why? My explorer is already set to show hidden and sys files?
  • SergZak
    Posts: 2,778
    cuc tu said:

    My 765T backup folder does not have a .system folder, so I guess I blew my backup...


    Only the newer nuvis beginning with the 1xxx and including 37xx series (and likely the upcoming 2xxx series) will have a .System folder. The older units like the 7x0 and 7x5 series do not.
  • wbport
    Posts: 126
    The MapSource program available from Garmin can read from or write to your GPS directly. It can save your data in many formats (it's default is GDB) as well as display your tracks and waypoints on the same map your GPS has.
  • Lilla
    Posts: 105
    I have written a step-by-step tutorial (with screenshots) that I hope will be helpful.

    1490T Tutorial. Step-by-Step How to make a full backup of your device to DVD-or-CD

    http://cid-c6483e8a197b8356.office.live.com/browse.aspx/.Public/nuvi1490T/Tutorials

    Click the link above, then click on the name of the tutorial to open it.

    Hope this helps,
    Lilla
  • pradoa
    Posts: 21
    Good post Lilla,now i can back up my 1490T. Thank you.

    Regards Peter.
    Cairns Australia
  • hjr007
    Posts: 1
    Thanks Lilla. Iam in the process of buying this model and Iam home that I will be able to backup my old data and restore it to the new unit.

    Once again from all of us thanks :lol:
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    I think it's time to update this thread. First, for anyone who isn't familiar with the Windows control panels, these are the settings which must be changed to reveal the hidden .System folder on the new Nuvi's

    image

    Second, the Nuvi 2012 models are treated as MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) devices by Windows Vista and Windows 7, and will not mount as lettered drives like the older Nuvi's. Thanks to members popej, jondough and iggy for their explanation of how to backup these new models.

    iggy said:

    I just received my received my 2595 today and did the backup of the NUVI when I received it. Here is the procedure I used.

    Make NUVI DIR & Files visible for Backup
    1. To make all of Nuvi files visible you must unhide protected files via Win7 like any other HD.
    2. Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
    3. Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
    4. The Developers Screen will pop up
    5. Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
    6. Change from AUTO DETECT to MASS STORAGE
    7. Shut down NUVI and hookup to Computer USB cable
    8. Start NUVI and it should recognize it is hooked up to the computer.
    9. Explorer will now see all files in ROOT directory and the .System directories.



    Note: as an alternative to step 3 above, you can bring up the Nuvi's "dashboard" screen, then press and hold the speedometer for about 10 seconds to access the developer screen.
  • jimirb
    Posts: 34
    I can read Lilla's SkyDrive files in my browser but when I print them I get ONLY the page headers.

    Can someone help??
  • Billw439
    Posts: 179
    Just click on the header which brings up a window with the PDF file in it and select print. If you don't get the pdf window you need to install the latest PDF reader and add on. If you have everything in the world blocked on your computer you may have to change some of them.
  • Hi,
    Yes i know that it is in Dutch but you can use google or word to translate.
    This site is very usefull.

    http://javawa.nl/garminbackup.html

    Ronald
  • For an Apple computer can anyone advise me if this is accurate?

    I simply created a folder on the desktop (NUVI backup) and then opened the Nuvi on the desktop then ⌘ a to select all the items, then dragged them to the new folder.
  • t923347
    Posts: 2,589
    Depends on the model Nuvi you have. If it's a newer model then there maybe a folder on the GPS called .system (that's DOT System). This folder is a hidden systems folder which on a Windows PC will not be visible by default. To make it visible you need to alter the default values of the Folder View Options so that all hidden Systems files are visible. Not sure what the process is for a MAC however.

    The point is that the .system folder contains all the maps files and other important files which should be backed up but if hidden by the operating system then simply selecting all the files and folders you can see will not get you a backup of those critical files.

    So to simply select all the files and drag them to a new folder to create a backup you'll first need to insure that you can see the .system folder and it contents when looking at the list of files.

    Older units like the 3xx, 6xx, 7xx, and possibly the 8xx don't have the hidden .system file so a straight select all files and copy will work fine there.
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    t923347 said:

    Not sure what the process is for a MAC however.



    There are other ways, but this is pretty simple. Connect the Nuvi to your Mac and click on it to show the contents


    image


    In the Finder, choose Go > Go to Folder...


    image


    Type .system and click Go


    image


    You should now see the hidden folder and the files that it contains.


    image
  • Excellent, thanks Boyd and t923347,

    Amazing amount of wasted space with the foreign languages in the invisible file.
  • FredC
    Posts: 2
    Hi guys,


    I have bought a 2555LT. Have been "searching" in the internet sea for 2 days now.

    I am using win7 and have set the 2 "show hidden files" options showing hidden files, I have even typed the full path in the windows explorer and command prompt but win just return: file/folder not found.

    Did garmin have some new "mechanism"? Below is from my garmindevice.xml:

    - <DataType>
    <Name>PreProgrammedMaps</Name>
    - <File>
    - <Specification>
    <Identifier>IMG</Identifier>
    </Specification>
    - <Location>
    <Path>.System</Path>
    <BaseName>gmapprom</BaseName>
    <FileExtension>img</FileExtension>
    - <Extensions>
    - <dtlx:DataTypeLocationExtension>
    <dtlx:ExternalPath>Garmin/</dtlx:ExternalPath>
    </dtlx:DataTypeLocationExtension>
    </Extensions>

    I have put the 2012.30 img into the micro SD card and the new map shows ok in map information. But JCV is missing so I cannot see/read/backup/replace the JCV imgage file.


    Thank you very much guys, any help would be appreciated.
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    Did you read the post a few above yours which explains that the 2012 models do not behave like USB disks, but are MTP devices instead?

    iggy said:

    I just received my received my 2595 today and did the backup of the NUVI when I received it. Here is the procedure I used.

    Make NUVI DIR & Files visible for Backup
    1. To make all of Nuvi files visible you must unhide protected files via Win7 like any other HD.
    2. Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
    3. Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
    4. The Developers Screen will pop up
    5. Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
    6. Change from AUTO DETECT to MASS STORAGE

    7. Shut down NUVI and hookup to Computer USB cable
    8. Start NUVI and it should recognize it is hooked up to the computer.
    9. Explorer will now see all files in ROOT directory and the .System directories.

  • FredC
    Posts: 2
    Thank you SO MUCH!! Boyd!! Your my savior!!

    I was so desperate digging into my mind, figuring: How do I solve this mess?? And I totally missed what was stated above!!

    Really nice people and great place to find GPS how to here!! Couldn't find this information anywhere in the web. It's just I "didn't see it"

    Thanks again Boyd : )
  • I am not sure if I have an older Nuvi 760 or not. It was purchased in June 2009. Is that enough info to determine if this is the newer or older one.
    I don't have anything installed on my computer from Garmin, so I need any software from Garmin to make this backup happen?......................
  • t923347
    Posts: 2,589
    Nope, just plug the Nuvi into your PC and it should be found by Windows. Go into My Computer, click on the Nuvi drive , which will probably be called a Removable drive or something like that, and simply copy the full contents of the device to your PC or some other drive. No extra software needed to make a 760 backup.
  • This is what I get when I open up the Garmin folder, and when I click on the gpxfile file, it says windows can't open this file

    There is also a drive next to the above drive, which says Nuvi 760 (G)
    FAT32
    and when I click on that drive, it says G:/ is not accessible,
    access id denied
    Index of file:///F:/Garmin/gpx/

    Up to higher level directory
    Name Size Last Modified
    File:gpxfile1091027231522.gpx 1 KB 11/27/2009 11:15:24 PM
    File:gpxfile109102723853.gpx 1 KB 11/27/2009 11:08:54 PM
    File:gpxfile109924114935.gpx 1 KB 10/24/2009 12:49:38 PM
    File:gpxfile11009131742.gpx 1 KB 1/9/2010 1:17:44 PM
    File:gpxfile110117184512.gpx 1 KB 2/17/2010 6:45:14 PM
    File:gpxfile11012122042.gpx 1 KB 2/21/2010 10:00:44 PM
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    Drive G: is the memory card slot. If you don't have a card in the slot, you will get an error like this. You'd think Windows would be able to figure out that no drive is actually mounted unless a card is present.

    .gpx files are actually .xml files. You could view them in a text editor like Notepad or probably your web browser as well. But really, you should use software that knows how to interpret them, such as Basecamp.

    What were you trying to do with the .gpx files? You seem to have posted a list of archived tracklogs (most of the Nuvi's do this automatically). If you just want to back the files up, simply drag them to a folder on your computer.
  • I do have a memory card in the Nuvi, but the G drive evidently didn't recognize it

    I guess I am not sure what a gpx file really is. I have many location/waypoints saved to my gps, which is confusing when I only see about 6 of these gpx files, and then I can't open them to see what is actually in the gpx files. I guess I am really a novice here, but I'm sure you can tell that, and I do appreciate all that you are trying to do for me..............Mike
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    .gpx files can contain a combination of waypoints (aka favorites), tracks and routes. Everytime you turn on your Nuvi, a file named current.gpx is automatically created. This file will contain the following data:

    1. All of your favorites (the locations that you have saved)
    2. Your current track (a line that shows everywhere you've been
    3. Any routes that you have saved

    I'm not really sure what all those files little like 1091027231522.gpx are, but there aren't anything you need. The file named current.gpx will contain all of your favorites (saved locations).

    If you want to backup your favorites, just copy the current.gpx file to your computer. If you want to backup everything on your Nuvi, just copy ALL the files on the device to a folder on your hard drive.

    Beyond that, I really don't understand what you're trying to do... sorry.
  • meeeach
    Posts: 5
    I just got the 3590LMT and want to back it up. Im not a computer wiz/geek , so go easy on me.. I did what you said, with 60 seconds left till the end of the copy and paste of the files, I get this message.Thanks for any help image
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    May be a corrupt file on the device. I don't think it will be an issue however, you could just click on the "skip" button. When finished, look in the backup folder and confirm that all files have been copied.
  • class3
    Posts: 223
    meeeach said:

    I just got the 3590LMT and want to back it up. Im not a computer wiz/geek , so go easy on me.. I did what you said, with 60 seconds left till the end of the copy and paste of the files, I get this message.Thanks for any help image



    I got this exact same message when I backed up my 3590LMT. I tried different ways to manually copy this file but it was a no go. I eventually just gave up and figured the other nearly identical .bin file would probably work in a restore.

    When I backed up a 3490LMT, this strange .bin file was not in that unit.

    Incidentally, I did have a weird problem with several of these Garmin units shutting down on their own while doing the backup. I resorted to copying groups of files and then it stopped shutting down on its own. Then I tried copying the entire unit again and it didn't shut down that time. Not sure why it did this, but it happened on at least two brand new units.
  • foxicon
    Posts: 4
    I have some alternative way to backup my storage devices using "HDD RAW Copy Tool" from hddguru.com

    It makes an exact duplicate image of a SATA, IDE, SAS, SCSI or SSD hard disk drive, any USB and FIREWIRE external drive enclosures as well as SD, MMC, MemoryStick and CompactFlash media, on a sector-by-sector basis.

    Once you set your device to behave as a Mass Storage Device instead of Media Transfer Protocol -as Boyd explains in his post, then simply launch HDD Raw Copy Tool and follow its simple instructions on how to copy your storage drives.
  • Hi,

    I tried using rsync on my mac to back up the garmin 3590.

    I created a folder on my desktop named "Garmin Backup" then
    I plugged in the gps.

    The command I used is:

    [eagle:~]$ rsync -av --delete /Volumes/GARMIN/ /Users/jerry/Desktop/Garmin\ Backup

    I got one error:
    building file list ... file has vanished: "/Volumes/GARMIN/.System/Diag/sys_log1_A?\#202\#016?\#200\#235\#016Ys.bin"
    done

    The .System folder was copied with the exception of the above
    file. All of the other stuff appeared to be copied with no problems.

    Does anyone know what the mysterious *.bin file's function is?

    Jerry
  • t923347 said:

    . . . Older units like the 3xx, 6xx, 7xx, and possibly the 8xx don't have the hidden .system file so a straight select all files and copy will work fine there.


    As I get ready for updating my map, I came here to be sure I had a good backup, and can confirm that the 8xx (at least the 855) does NOT have a .system folder. Thank you for this thread.
  • DrAlloway
    Posts: 32
    I used the process below on my Zumo 350LM and it worked great. So now I have a complete backup on my laptop - including the whole dot system folder.

    I was mis-lead by Garmin Express - which says it will backup your files - but read carefully - it only backups YOUR data NOT Garmin's - so the dot System file it creates does NOT have any programs, just your routes and favorites and etc.

    Which raises a question:: if my Zumo 350 gets completely befuddled and will not boot - how then - can I transfer dot System Folder (which I backed up) to the Device if plugging it into laptop does not result is valid connection?? Can a microSD card (with backup dot System Folder) be made to boot a 350 device ??

    iggy said:

    I just received my received my 2595 today and did the backup of the NUVI when I received it. Here is the procedure I used.

    Make NUVI DIR & Files visible for Backup
    1. To make all of Nuvi files visible you must unhide protected files via Win7 like any other HD.
    2. Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
    3. Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
    4. The Developers Screen will pop up
    5. Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
    6. Change from AUTO DETECT to MASS STORAGE

    7. Shut down NUVI and hookup to Computer USB cable
    8. Start NUVI and it should recognize it is hooked up to the computer.
    9. Explorer will now see all files in ROOT directory and the .System directories.

  • HyperPete
    Posts: 1
    DrAlloway said:

    I used the process below on my Zumo 350LM and it worked great. So now I have a complete backup on my laptop - including the whole dot system folder.

    I was mis-lead by Garmin Express - which says it will backup your files - but read carefully - it only backups YOUR data NOT Garmin's - so the dot System file it creates does NOT have any programs, just your routes and favorites and etc.

    Which raises a question:: if my Zumo 350 gets completely befuddled and will not boot - how then - can I transfer dot System Folder (which I backed up) to the Device if plugging it into laptop does not result is valid connection?? Can a microSD card (with backup dot System Folder) be made to boot a 350 device ??



    I have a Nuvi 1490T that was corrupted while attempting a WebUpdate. Windows does not recognize it, neither does WebUpdater. I called customer service and was told essentially that it is hosed, and I would have to pay $120 for an exchange.

    In desperation I connected it to a Linux PC, and it was able to read the file system. (There were 32 corrupted folders and 23 corrupted files.)

    In my case, after calling support back with this info and explaining that Garmin's own WebUpdater corrupted my GPS, they agreed to replace it at no charge. (I did NOT have a backup.)

    In your case, with a good backup, you could copy the files over from Linux. Not that it should make any difference, but I am running Lubuntu lxle, a lightweight user friendly distribution that runs well on older hardware.

    Good luck!
  • Boyd
    Posts: 11,629
    Curious as to why the operating system would matter? Usually when a Nuvi is severely damaged it just won't enter mass storage mode, regardless of what you connect it to. There are some hacker tricks that may work to revive it, but I would only try these as a last resort.

    Do a google search for "Garmin Cure"....
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