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Update 855 Map or Purchase Newer Nuvi?

You can buy a Lifetime map update subscription for $54. That will give you 4 map updates per year for the life of your nuvi. I still use my nuvi 855 as my main navigation device and I have purchased the lifetime map subscription for it. I am sometimes tempted to buy a newer nuvi, but the 855 still does everything I need it to do. I regularly use the Custom Routes functions on the 855, and don't think I would like the Trip Planner that is on the newer units as well as the legacy Custom Routes on the 855.

That is my rationale, but I think you are the only one who can answer whether or not it is "worth it" to buy a map update for an older unit like the 855.

Comments

  • Thanks, alanb. I respect your opinion because you have helped me on various aspects of the 855. Does it have enough memory for the new map or do I need a separate SD card?
  • alanb 556 Points
    The 855 is a 4GB device and has enough space for the new maps if you delete unused voice and text files. Garmin does install a scaled back JCV (junction view) file on the 855 with a map update because there is insufficient room for the large full coverage JCV file. However, if you have an SD card, you can download the full coverage JCV to the micro SD as a separate step after the map update. That is what I do. I have a 8 GB micro SD in my 855 that cost me less than $10. It has plenty of room for the large JCV file and several audio books.
  • "unused voice and text files" -- How do I know if I have these? I haven't added anything so are there files that would have come with the original device that I need to delete? I'm okay without the full JCV.
  • Oh, just checked and cost is $70 for lifetime update and $50 for a one time.
  • alanb 556 Points
    I deleted all of the non-English voice and text files and folders. They were easy to recognize by the file/folder names and were in the following folders:
    \Garmin\Help
    \Garmin\Voice

    If you look in these folders, you will see by the file names which files are for languages other than English, and those can be safely deleted. If there are files that you can't identify by the names, you can leave them just to be safe.

    You may also find some non-English files in folder \Garmin\ASR. This folder contains the files used for speech recognition. If you see non-English files in this folder, they can be deleted too.

    It is always a good idea to make a backup of all the files on your nuvi before you delete anything.
  • alanb 556 Points
    You can get the Lifetime Map Update subscription on Amazon for $54.
  • t923347 532 Points
    Oh, just checked and cost is $70 for lifetime update and $50 for a one time.
    Do a search on Amazon for "Garmin nüMaps Lifetime North America Map Updates". As alanb says, it' $54 there.
  • :D Thanks for the tip of getting the lifetime updates via Amazon.

    Now, as for deleting those unused files . . . I made a backup of everything right after receiving the device. To delete those files you recommended, alanb, is it pretty simple once I connect the GPS to the computer? What application is used to make the deletions, Windows Explorer?
  • Yes, use Windows Explorer to delete the files.

    You may want to back them up on your hard drive first though.
    Some of the voice files may have been updated with WebUpdater.

    Should there be a problem with any of the voices after using WebUpdater to install the newest versions, they may have bugs.
    This way you will always have working ones to restore.

    You can ALWAYS download all the latest voices that are compatible with your 855 so deleting them is not a problem. You will not be able to downlaod older versions of voices, that is why I say to backup what you have.
  • After some quick addition (and if I did it correctly), it looks like the foreign language deletions will total approx. 330MB. That's about 8.25% of the total capacity of 4GB which seems like a small amount to fool with. So . . . .

    Has anyone tried to update to the current map without deleting the language files?

    Another question: Who owns the map updating software? I thought Garmin did, but obviously that's wrong since we can get it at Amazon.
  • It is Garmin that provides the map update software. When you buy the lifetime maps from Amazon you will receive a credit-card sized card that has an unlock code on it. Then you go to the my.garmin site and type in the unlock code, and you should be go to go.

    At least that's how it worked when I bought the lifetime maps from them several years ago.
  • alanb 556 Points
    Has anyone tried to update to the current map without deleting the language files?
    I removed the unneeded language files a long time ago to make room for the larger JCV file (and now that won't fit even with the language files removed). So I have not tried to install the current map and small JCV with all the language files still on board. It may have enough room, but I don't know for sure and I think it would be pretty tight on space.

    The 2013.20 map file size (file named gmapprom.img) is 1.71 GB (1,839,792,128 bytes). You could compare this to the size of your current 2010.40 map file and see if you have enough free space to accommodate the larger file.

    Note that you need to keep some free space on your nuvi to record the trip log and hold any favorites, POI's or routes you may want to save. I would be uncomfortable with less than 100 MB of free space after the map install.

    Another option you could consider is to not install the full North America map. If you have no need for Canada data, there is an install option for the "lower 49" states, excluding Alaska nd Canada. This should easily fit on your 855 without deleting language files.
  • Thanks, rocket, for that info about the software and how it works when purchasing through Amazon. Since several of you have done this, it sounds like it all works okay.

    alanb, thank you also for the additional detail about file sizes. My current gmapprom.img file is approx. 1.14 GB.

    Decided to take the time and add up all file sizes and it came to about 2.1 GB -- give or take a few MBs. :wink: With the info learned here that full capacity is 4 GB, and the new map size is about 690 MB larger, that puts my total up to about 2.8 GB. Unless I've made a huge error in adding or missed a large file, I think I've got enough room without having to delete anything. :mrgreen:
  • alanb 556 Points
    The actual "usable" capacity of the 855 storage is ~3.52 GB, so if you are currently using 2.8 GB that should give you about 750 - 800 MB of free space. You don't get the full 4 GB because Garmin uses some of it for the nuvi operating system.

    If you are using a Windows computer, click on "Computer", then right-click on your nuvi drive and select "Properties". This will show you the amount of used space and free space.

    When you get your Lifetime Update card, let us know if you have any problems with the map update.
  • Thanks, alanb! I always forget about that method of checking space on a device. :roll:

    Used: 2.18 GB
    Free: 1.30 GB

    I'll be ordering the lifetime map update card tomorrow.

    Thanks to everyone here for helping me make this decision. (It's interesting that no one recommended getting a newer GPS.)
  • Atlee 81 Points
    Less than a month ago, I bought the Life Time map update from Amazon for $54. For that price, I thought it was worth buying.

    My 855 is still working fine. I see no need to replace it as long as it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.

    One thing I noticed on my recent trip from the Richmond area to Blacksburg, VA was how plentiful the Junction Views are.

    I had already eliminated all the non English speaking voices. I have a micro SD card which I put in my Garmin before I started downloading. Don't know if I needed it or not, but I didn't do anything to note the existence of the SD card.

    From the time I started, to the time it was finished being installed, it only took an hour.
  • Thanks, Atlee, for the additional support for my decision.

    It brings up another question: How large is the current JCV file? Mine from 2010.40 is 37.5MB.
  • alanb 556 Points
    The JCV file that downloads with the 2013.20 map update for the nuvi 855 is 43.9 MB. The optional full coverage JCV file you can download separately is 756 MB.

    If you like juncton views (some people don't and disable them altogether), I would really encourage you to get a micro SD card and install the larger file. Not only does it contain views for MANY more interchanges, the views are much more photo realistic and less cartoonish than the default file.

    If you do decide to install the large file, it goes in folder \Garmin\JCV. You need to delete or rename the smaller .jcv file that you get with the map update.
  • Thanks, alanb. That info helps a lot in making the decision. I think I'll go with the smaller jcv file for now since everything will fit in my existing free space, and maybe down the road consider getting an SD card as the map file gets larger.

    If I have any problem with installation, I know where to go for help . . .
  • My 855 shows 3.42 GB used and 59.6 MB available. I have the large (756 MB) JCV file. I did delete all unneeded Help and Voice files.

    So, it is still possible to do the large JCV without the microSD card.

    This is with the latest NA maps (I have the lifetime updates subscription).

    By the way, if I did add a mSD card, will that add to the size of the Garmin drive? Or show up as an additional drive on my PC?

    Will I have to take special steps to install part of the mapset to the mSD card? or will the installer take care of that automatically if/when it runs out of RAM on the device?

    Aloke
  • alanb 556 Points
    edited September 2012
    Aloke, the SD card will show up as a separate drive. Since the large JCV install needs to be done as a separate step anyway, your easiest option is to move the large JCV file to the SD and keep the entire map on the internal storage. That will probably get you by for several more map updates.

    Garmin has been improving the map update installer. On certain nuvi models it will now recognize that you have insufficient storage and give you the option to install the entire map or a portion of the map on the SD card. With some other nuvi models, it apparently doesn't do this (based on user reports in another forum). I am not sure if it does this with the 855, as I haven't had to do it that way yet.

    On my 855, I have experimented with putting the entire map and JCV file on the micro SD. I have also tested it with the map on internal storage and the JCV file on SD. Both of those methods work just fine, although it seems to me that the map drawing on the nuvi display is a little slower when the map is on SD.
  • Thanks.

    What directory structure will I need to create on the mSD card to copy the JCV file into?
  • alanb 556 Points
    All you need to do is create the folder \Garmin\JCV on the SD, copy the .JCV file to that folder and remove it from the same folder in internal storage.

    If maps (all or a portion) need to go on SD, they go in folder \Garmin on the SD. On the 855, the map files on SD need to be named gmapsupp.*. The name gmapprom.img is supported only for the map in internal storage.
  • alanb 556 Points
    Garmin has been improving the map update installer. On certain nuvi models it will now recognize that you have insufficient storage and give you the option to install the entire map or a portion of the map on the SD card. With some other nuvi models, it apparently doesn't do this (based on user reports in another forum). I am not sure if it does this with the 855, as I haven't had to do it that way yet.
    Correction: After reviewing the forum where this was reported, when the current version of the Map Update Installer recognizes that you have insufficient storage, it gives you the option to install a portion of the NA map on internal storage OR install the entire NA map on SD card. It does not give you the option to install a portion in internal memory AND the remaining regions on SD. If you want to do that, you still have run MapInstall to put the remaining regions on SD as a separate step.
  • Thanks to everyone here for helping me make this decision. (It's interesting that no one recommended getting a newer GPS.)
    I'm still going strong with my 765T, which is a real dinosaur by current technology standards. Maybe it's because I drove for 20 years with paper maps, so it doesn't take much to impress me. :D
  • t923347 532 Points
    Could be but I think it's more like you've got the BEST Nuvi that Garmin ever made. :D
  • Could be but I think it's more like you've got the BEST Nuvi that Garmin ever made. :D
    agree 100% !

    Every time when my new 3490LMT resets itself in the middle of navigation I got flashback of my stolen "super reliable" 765T...
    After all my experience with newest Garmin models I am getting a little nervous about my next year trip to Europe.
    I hate it but I am seriously thinking to buy used 765T as a backup. Can't believe I passed on Walmart's $99 deal for 765T(R) just because I thought newer models must be better.
    learned the lesson....
  • susanmsusanm 0 Points
    UPDATE: Successful map update from 2010.40 to 2013.20 with Garmin Lifetime Update Card purchased from Amazon.com! :D

    After realizing the directions on the back of the card are wrong as far as when to plug in the device :evil: , it was smooth sailing from there on. Before the map update, it was necessary to download and install:

    Garmin Communicator Plug-in
    Garmin Map Updater
    Microsoft .NET Framework update

    The above updates took about 20 mins, and the actual map download/install took another 1.5 hrs at 6Mbps DSL.

    Thanks again for everyone's advice!
  • alanb 556 Points
    Glad everything went well susanm! Enjoy your updated maps. The next update is expected some time in early Nov.
  • sviking 141 Points
    You don't need to buy the Lifetime Subscription "card" from Amazon. For just a little more, you can buy a direct download and you get a code to take right to Garmin.com. I've bought two of these type of subscriptions over the years and they worked fine. Saves the waiting time in the mail.
  • t923347 532 Points
    The current price difference is $54 for the card and almost $75 for the code. The code works fine but is it really worth a $20+ difference? :cry:
  • alanb 556 Points
    I have never understood why the code costs more than the card in the first place ... no packaging or shipping cost ... seems like it should be cheaper! I'm sure there's a reason. I just don't get it.
  • sviking 141 Points
    I have never understood why the code costs more than the card in the first place ... no packaging or shipping cost ... seems like it should be cheaper! I'm sure there's a reason. I just don't get it.
    "Gottahaveitnowitis", aka impulse purchase. :wink:
  • sviking 141 Points
    The current price difference is $54 for the card and almost $75 for the code. The code works fine but is it really worth a $20+ difference? :cry:
    Wow, that's a big difference. It was only $10 extra when I bought my "code subscription".
  • alanb 556 Points
    I'll claim the prize for paying too much. :) When Garmin first announced the Lifetime Subscription for $119.95 back in 2008, I jumped right on it and bought it for full price directly from Garmin for my brand new nuvi 755T. A few weeks later, before the first map update had even been released, Amazon started selling the cards at a discount. :oops:
  • susanmsusanm 0 Points
    Are there any other files besides gmapprom.img that would have been updated and that I need to save as backup? (My original factory files are all saved.)
  • sussamb 829 Points
    Simplest thing is just do another complete back up :wink:
  • I'll claim the prize for paying too much. :) When Garmin first announced the Lifetime Subscription for $119.95 back in 2008, I jumped right on it and bought it for full price directly from Garmin for my brand new nuvi 755T. A few weeks later, before the first map update had even been released, Amazon started selling the cards at a discount. :oops:
    Alan, this is exactly why I really enjoy being 'behind the curve'. My wife and I both have dumbphones that basically just text and talk, we just bought our first largish flatscreen HDTV and Blu Ray player in January last year (good post-Christmas sales), and in general I like to let technology run its course and get the bugs out before buying. We got our first GPS, a Garmin 50LM, as a Christmas gift last year and we love it. You can save a lot of money if you are patient and don't have to 'wow' everyone with your possessions. It's all just stuff anyway. :wink:
  • alanb 556 Points
    Are there any other files besides gmapprom.img that would have been updated and that I need to save as backup? (My original factory files are all saved.)
    Yes, there is the junction view file in \garmin\JCV and the voice recognition files in \garmin\ASR.

    But I agree with sussamb; just back up the entire nuvi. The map file is what takes the most time and space for backup. The remaining files copy over in a flash.
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