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eTrex 30x: Remove / restore Garmin maps

My new eTrex 30x has an internal drive of 3.63GB, and comes with a "free" TopoActive map of Western Europe, size 3.56GB. Together with the basemap and other system files, that leaves 9.6MB of free space before I add any personal files at all.

Of course I know I can add a microSD card, but AFAIK that can only be used for maps; my tracks, routes, waypoints and so on must all be stored on the internal memory.

In any case, the "free" map, while it looks nice, has some missing features - in particular, while it knows the names of the roads around me in the UK, and is happy to navigate to POIs in my vicinity, it will only allow me to navigate to an address if it is in Germany or The Netherlands. Also it takes an age to load up, I assume because it is so large.

So, I think it's best for me to remove the TopoActive map, so that I don't fear running out of space for my files. I'm familiar with creating and installing maps from OSM, so that's OK.

However I don't want to give up the ability to reinstall the TopoActive map in the future, for example if I transfer this Garmin to a new owner. If I delete (backup) the gmapprom.img file but leave the .gma, .sum and .unl in place, would I be able to just copy it back in the future? I don't know what all those file types are. I have Garmin Express installed.

Here's what the internal drive looks like:


  • monxton 0 Points
    monxton said:

    Here's what the internal drive looks like:

    Well that was rubbish. Here's a link instead.

  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited May 2016
    You can remove all the files beginning with gmapprom. Note though you can load routes, waypoints etc to a card and they'll work fine. You could also move that map to a card should you wish to,
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    sussamb said:

    You can remove all the files beginning with gmapprom.

    That sounds a little ambiguous to me. I'm sure what you mean is that you can delete gmapprom.img, gmapprom.gma and gmapprom.unl however. :)

    Just copy those three files to your computer and delete them from the gps. The .img file is the map and the .unl and .gma files are used for copy protection (this map will only work on your gps and not on another one).

    Regarding the tracks and waypoints, I know they can be "loaded" on a card, but aren't they always recorded to internal memory? If you are low in internal memory, I think you would need to manually move the files to a card periodically to keep memory from filling up.

    Moving the map to an 8gb or 16gb card would be a good solution though, if you think you might want it sometimes.
  • monxton 0 Points
    Sussamb, thanks for your prompt reply. I thought that the .unl files and so on were Garmin's method for preventing us from moving or copying the licensed maps, but I guess they are just tied to the device, so it doesn't matter which drive they are read from?

    My point about the tracks, routes, waypoints and so on was that the device will only write tracks to the Garmin/GPX directory on the internal drive. I hadn't considered that it would read them from the equivalent directory on a microSD, so thanks for that .. still I don't think much space would be saved.

    Over many years and a few Garmins, I have sometimes experienced shutdowns / loss of map display and similar when the device has been subject to extreme weather or shaking (I'm a cyclist). I'm interested to see if I operate with just a 2GB-or-so OSM map on the internal drive rather than a card then I won't see those problems again. The larger internal drive makes this possible.
  • monxton 0 Points
    edited May 2016
    Also interested to know, what are 820233383.gma, and also the gmapupdate files? This was a reconditioned unit, so they may be left over from the previous owner.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited May 2016
    Not sure what those files are but certainly could be there from previous maps.

    Yes, you're correct ... your Etrex will write only to the internal memory.

    Personally I try to keep the internal memory as 'clean' as possible, preferring to load all my maps, routes etc to a card. That way should anything be corrupted it's easier to rectify, a corrupted file of some sort on the device can prevent it from booting. If I was going to install an OSM map internally I'd test it out on the card first, and only move it to the internal memory when I was happy it worked okay.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    On the older eTrex line battery power went through springs and on a hard bump with the bike could lose power for an instance and shutdown. I don't know if Garmin made a change or if I'm lucky but Iv'e never had that problem with my eTrex 20.

    One time I must not have had it locked in the mount good. We were going down a steep hill with our tandem and hit a bump at 50 mph and it fell off. We went back picked it up. It was still on so we put it back on the bike. I now use a safety lanyard so it won't fly off again.
  • monxton 0 Points
    Yeah, I now wrap a strong elastic band (the kind the postie discards on the ground) around the mount and the device. This not only keeps it in the mount, but also dampens the vibrations and rattling.

    Sometimes I have also had the situation where the device keeps going but the map disappears, so the screen has just the route but nothing behind it. Turning the device off and on again fixes it, but this does suggest it had lost its connection to the card.
  • nckumbhkar 0 Points
    edited July 2016
    I recently purchased a brand new Etrex 30x Hand held Gps . I connected it through Garmin Express.
    I get notified that a new update is available and i clicked on it . it has updated to v2.30 . but I lost my base map .
    Now while i click on map setup . it asks for type of map . but the screen is blank . while clicking on blank screen . GPS device goes off.
    pls help me in recoveing my basemap .

    My device Serial No. is xxxxxxxxx

    (serial number removed by moderator)
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Not sure what you mean by base map. In any case a software update doesn't delete your maps. Which map can you no longer see? Have you looked in Setup, Map, MapInfo to see what's listed? It's possible the software update has disabled it and you just need to re enable it.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Well @nckumbhkar already said the map setup menu is empty. I wonder if a hard reset of the unit would help. Not immediately familiar with how to do that, but you can find it at Garmin support if @sussamb doesn't post it here.

    But first you should connect the eTrex to your computer and look inside the \Garmin folder. What files have an .img extension? Basemaps are traditionally named gmapbmap.img and they are usually pretty small, less than 100MB. Do you see a file with that name?

    Not sure what other files would normally be distributed with the eTrex, there may be a small file named gmaptz.img which just contains timezones and allows the GPS to automatically set them.

    If you don't see a gmapbmap.img file, then it's possible that it was somehow deleted. Your best bet is probably to call (not e-mail) Garmin support, they should be able to provide the missing file(s). If you purchased the unit locally and the store permits, you could also just exchange it for another one. Taking you at your word…. Garmin's buggy software caused the problem (if there really is one).

    BTW, do not post serial numbers here - I have removed it. This site has no affiliation with Garmin, it's a user-to-user community. Any "real" tech support needs to come from Garmin:
  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited July 2016
    I wasn't clear what nckumbhkar was referring to earlier when he spoke about 'map setup', if that was referring to Setup, Map, MapInfo being blank then it would certainly imply either no maps are installed or a master reset is required, detail is here:

  • Boyd 1985 Points
    BTW, this is yet another example of how a backup could easily solve a problem. When you get your eTrex working again, do yourself a favor and back it up to your computer. Just drag (or copy/paste) all the files on the GPS to a folder on your computer. It will be quick and won't take much space.
  • Same here, yesterday I purchased a brand new Etrex 30x Hand held Gps . I connected it through Garmin Express.I get notified that a 4 new update is available and i clicked on it . it has updated to v2.30 . but I lost my base map . Now while i click on map setup . it asks for type of map . but the screen is blank . while clicking on blank screen . GPS device goes off. moreover when I turn on my Gps the screen it only show me cursor and pointer but not map. pls help me in recoveing my basemap .
  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited October 2016
    I guess you never backed it up prior to trying to update it? If you did simply copy gmapbmap.img back onto your Etrex.

    If you didn't try googling for it, basemaps aren't locked to units so a copy from anyone should work.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    If it's a new eTrex, I would "cut to the chase" and call (not e-mail) Garmin support. Explain that their software (Garmin Express) has made your GPS unusable. Be sure to have the eTrex and computer handy, they are able to remotely connect and fix many problems on the spot. If something more serious is wrong, they should be able to arrange a swap for a new one.

    Alternately, if you purchased the GPS from a local store, check their policy. You may be able to bring it in and swap for a new one in the store. Whatever you do, be sure to do a full backup when you get the unit working. I would also do one right now if you have saved any personal data like waypoints or tracks.
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