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storage: computer, device and SD cards

Newbie question on storage. I have a Montana with a 32gb micro SD card. I am running basecamp on my PC. When I conntect my device, I see "My Collection", my device and under my device, I see a directory referencing my SD card.

My goal is to be able to store my maps, tracks, waypoints etc on my PC and them move them as needed to either the internal memory on my Montana or the SD card that is installed inside the Montana.

My challenge is that I am having difficulty moving my maps (birdseye satillite) to my SD card which has a lot more space than the internal storage on the Montana. Do I need to "format" the SD card in the Montana? I was able to copy a track from a different device into the SD card, but can't seem to figure out how to use it to better manage my "devices' internal memory".

I understand that I need to have the device connected to my computer prior to downloading Birdseye imagery but where does the imagery reside, on my PC or on my device (I don't check the box that says download to device) so I am assuming its on my PC. If so, how to I move it to the SD card while it is installed on in ghe Garmin (drag and drop doesn't seem to work).

Finally, how is data "managed" when i connect my Montana to the computer and launch Basecamp? Do the files uploaded from device to PC automatically or do I need to drag and drop. Similarly, how can I confirm that the files are "safe" on my PC so that I can delete them from the device so I have plenty of room for the next trex.

Sorry for all the questions but I couldn't find these answers from my forum search or Youtube videos.



  • SergZak 340 Points
    You may want to post this at the "Garmin Handheld GPS and Fitness GPS Forum" and also have a read over there as your questions are more suited for that forum and will get more exposure to the right audience. Unless one of the mods will move this question over there...
  • Thank you! I thought I had posted it to that Forum but then realized after posting that my previous search had taken me to this Forum. I'll give it a day to see if they will move it as I hate to "spam" multiple forums. Thanks!
  • sussamb 798 Points
    First the card. It needs to be formatted FAT32. Next you should be able to drag/drop, or right click and select Send to, any thing that shows in the bottom left pane to your Montana/sd card.

    Going the other way, ie Montana to Basecamp, do the same. Once data shows in your My Collection in Basecamp then it's there and you're free to delete it from your GPS.

    For maps right click your GPS/card and select 'Install maps' to install any maps that are installed on your PC for use in Basecamp. To manually move map .img files move them to the Garmin folder, either on your GPS or the card.

    Works that way for my Etrex 20 and card. Any problems come back :wink:
  • Tim 1479 Points
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    FWIW, there's a thread on another site where a user reports he could not get a 32gb card to work correctly in his Montana, even though Garmin says they should. He says he tried 4 different cards without any luck. An this was an experienced user, not a "newbie".

    Personally I have used a 16gb class 10 card on my Montana 600 and it worked fine. I had over 14gb of Birdseye imagery on the card, and this resulted in startup times that were completely unacceptable to me. It would take forever to start with that much Birdseye on the card, and this was especially annoying when some bug caused the Montana to crash while navigating. By the time it restarted, I had missed a turn.

    See what you think. Personally I like my Montana "lean and mean" and only load whatever Birdseye I will immediately need on it.
  • Thanks! What is the correct behavior for a memory card so I can determine if mine is working a lot. Although a newbie to GPS I am pretty experienced with electronics and find there are many nuances (read non-intuitive behavior) on my garmin.

    1) I am surprised the garmin "boot" time would be impacted by the amount of data on a uSD card. My thought would be that it would just access the card if I turned a map on that resided on that card (e.g. my iphone boots the same regardless of how many songs I have loaded on it ;-))

    2) The fact that I was able to drag and drop a track created by another program (GPS motion-X) on the uSD card at least means it is seeing it. Should I be able to drag and drop Birdseye files as well? In other words, is Birdseye really "locked" to the internal memory or would an uSD card plugged into the Montana also considered "acceptable" storage. I'll try some experiments using an external card reader to see if I have any different observations. That is where I was wondering if I needed to format a card to create a directory structure that the Montana was expecting to see.

    Thanks again.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    1) Apparently the device creates an index of all maps during boot, so the more maps, the longer the time.

    1a) I love my Montana, but it ain't no iPhone. :lol:

    2) .gpx files containing tracks, routes and waypoints are imported at boot. I thought they needed to be in the GPX folder, but your experience indicates otherwise.

    Maps are stored in the \Garmin folder on either a card or internal memory. BirdsEye needs to be in a subfolder named BirdsEye. My subscriptions expired long ago and I rarely use it now. But there may be subfolders there as well, for different products like satellite and topo.

    Custom maps you make yourself are in another subfolder.

    Maps must have the proper extension - .img for traditional vector based map, .jnx for Birdseye and .kmz for custom maps.

    If you use Garmin's software, it will create the needed directory structure. Mostly I manage my devices manually though, copying files back and forth.
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