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Maestro 3100 won't boot to main screen with menus and map after trying to upgrade, is it bricked?

albert 0 Points
edited September 2017 in Magellan Vehicle Forum
I think I bricked my Magellan Maestro 3100.

I purchased the 3100 used and don't know much about this GPS. The only other Magellan product I've owned was a Magellan Meridian Gold purchase new years ago. At first the Maestro 3100 wouldn't boot up but I was able to eventually get it to boot and I thought all is well I'll install it into my car and go from there.

However after reading through various discussions I found people were upgrading to a new firmware and map, version 2.18. Looking at my firmware version the screen showed IIRC ver. 1.22, I forgot to write it down but was an earlier version that the latest ver.

During a Google search the new upgrade patch for the firmware and maps showed up, so downloaded and proceeded to install on a laptop running Windows XP.

I was following the upgrade instruction carefully but eventually ran into some problems with the upgrade software being unable to recognize the SD card installed in the Magellan Maestro 3100. I attempted to reboot and re-connect the USB cable but each time the update software could not find the SD card. I can't remember exactly what I did next but after several reformats of the SD card both from the PC and GPS unit the update still wasn't able to recognize the SD card however at some point in time I found the PC was able to recognize the SD card when installed in the 3100.

I think this may when I may have bricked the 3100 as a selected "Finish" to exit the update program and remember reformatting what I thought was the SD card however I think i may have chose instead the internal drive of the 3100 as now all those files are deleted with only empty folders

Empty folders : APP, MAP, SYS and USR

When pressing reset or the power button upon reboot all I get is a blue screen with "Magellan" but no other menus or screens appear.

The Update program now says that it's unable to find the Magellan Maestro 3100 instead of saying it unable to find the SD card.

So I'm assuming It's now bricked?

I did find the post > Steps to unbrick your Magellan Maestro 3100

So I'm thinking of trying to closely follow his instructions how to unbrick.

I'm not certain why the Maestro 3100 wasn't able to recognize the SD card as it was recognized by the PC either with a SD card reader or when installed in the Maestro 3100


  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    I'm looking over the instruction to unbrick the 3100 however some the instructions aren't obvious.

    With the SD card installed into the 3100 and the 3100 plugged into a USB port on the PC I can see TFAT E: with the empty folders and a removable Disk F: that's empty with 1.8 GB free space.
  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    After following the first part of the unbrick instructions I'm getting no where.

    Rebooting the 3100 with SD card installed I'm only getting a blue screen with writing that the USB is connected.

    3100 drive and SD drive with files are recognized by the PC.

    Wasn't able to get past #3.

    3. In the Copy_Group_9 folder there are two files. These files are the operating system for the GPS. Copy them to a BLANK SD card. In the Copy_Group _10 folder is the boot instructions for the GPS. Copy them to the same SD card. In the Copy_Group_11 folder is the USB instruction for the GPS. Copy it to the SD card.

    3100 boots to a blue screen with a title "USB is connected"

    Instructions show

    If you can plug the USB cord in and your computer recognizes the GPS, then skip to step 9.

    My PC recognizes the TFAT drive with empty folders and the SD card.

    I should skip to step 9?
  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    Well, skipped to #9 and created an empty file USBTRANS and also a USBTRANS folder. Not certain if perhaps he meant to create a USBTRANS folder and not a file?

    Followed the rest of the instructions, disconnected the USB and it rebooted to enter time zone and a couple of other selections.

    Map and functions seem to be working normal, product Information shows firmware version 2.28.

    Uncertain why the update program wouldn't recognize the SD card which started the problem of the 3100 becoming bricked in the first place.

    I was hoping the Maestro 3100 would have access to Topo Maps but now vaguely remember from years past, only certain Magellan vehicle units have Topo maps?

    Anyway all seems to be working ok. Big thanks to joester and people before him putting in the time and effort to figure out which files go where, as my TFAT drive was hosed without any backup.
  • Boyd 2045 Points
    edited September 2017
    Sounds like your Maestro is based on Windows CE. I have used a Maestro 5310 and Roadmate 1700 with OziExplorer CE which will let you install topo maps and aerial imagery. This is a real "science project" however and you will probably have to make your own maps. IMO, not worth it in todays world of cheap and powerful Android tablets.

    But here's one of several old threads on the topic if you're interested:

  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    At this point in time I'm not certain if I require a larger screen Maestro or a tablet only to have Topo maps with GPS while driving.

    Yes for other things beside mapping and GPS a tablet I think may be a better choice. As you said their fairly powerful with many features. I really haven't had time to look through the various tablets available on today's market

    Running Delorme Topo USA from a laptop (I have three laptops two have touchscreens) I'm able to have a larger screen than a tablet plus a full blown OS which allows me to run other mapping and GPS programs.

    I have an external gps bluetooth receiver with an external antenna and a gps usb antenna with built-in gps receiver, so the laptop can be position from anywhere in the vehicle.

    However vehicle gps devices such as Maestro and other brands do have some advantages over a laptop with gps mapping software. They easily boot up in several seconds, have more mobility and can be easily moved around or permanently installed taking up little space. Hardly noticeable until they're required for directions with a map, routing, POIs, POI locations, finding addresses, trip planner, etc.

    Of course some newer mapping software may have some of those features, most PC mapping software isn't really designed specifically for vehicle navigation as vehicle GPS devices such as the Maestro that turns on and boots up quickly at the touch of a button.

    I think ultimately for vehicle navigation I would prefer a gps mapping device that's built-into a vehicle and has Topographical Maps for when traveling off-road and to provide a better idea of the surrounding terrain. Street maps are great for streets but don't provide much in the way of off-road and topography details.

    I've read articles that state there has been some decline in tablets.

    Tablets Are Dying. Do You Still Need One?

    As I have three laptops I'm not certain if I need a tablet?

    However in some ways I do prefer a navigation device such as Maestro over a laptop as it's right there in your vehicle and ready to use and designed specifically for vehicle navigation.

    PC mapping programs with their maps from a large screen can't really be duplicated in navigation units built for vehicles and visa versa, i.e. vehicle navigation is difficult to build into mapping software that's design to perform other functions.

    The Swiss GPS giant Garmin purchased mapmaker DeLorme a 40-year-old Yarmouth company. So currently there isn't any Delorme mapping software being developed. However for myself the older Delorme mapping products such as Topo USA, TopoQuads, XMap, etc work just fine for mapping and for vehicle navigation.
  • Boyd 2045 Points
    Looks like you've spent some time considering your options, I have gone that same route in the past. Garmin used to make a Windows program called MobilePC which worked very well on touchscreens and was very similar to their Nuvi series. It was discontinued a number of years ago however. I still have it installed on an 8" HP tablet running Windows 7 but no longer use it.

    Now they have an app called StreetPilot Onboard which is similar but with newer features. The full map is loaded directly on your phone or tablet so it functions just like a dedicated GPS, I have been using it for over a year on my iPhone 6s+ (5.5" screen) and it has replaced my dedicated automotive units. Unfortunately it's only available for iOS and not Android.

    But there are a number of very good Android apps where the map is installed permanently on the tablet and the experience is the same as a dedicated device. TomTom has an app called GoMobile that includes maps of the whole world.

    Garmin has the Navigon app and HERE (formerly NAVTEQ) has the Here WeGo app. For topo maps and imagerly I like OruxMap. I make my own maps, but they also provide them. Lots of other options too. Magellan also has an app called TRX that functions like their dedicated device for off-road use. If you like DeLorme, Garmin now has the Earthmate app that I believe will give you Delorme maps. And there are many others....

    So there really are a lot of choices today. :)
  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    It was years ago so my memory is not fresh but remember creating maps from Magellan's MapSend, for the Meridan. On the PC I remember having other software's to create maps for hand held gps units and an older version of Delorme Xmap which allows more integrate map creation using layering where one could take imagery and incorporate it into a new map that included USGS maps and data from other map database to create maps for use on a PC.

    However to experience and achieve the full potential of Xmap requires a later version and I wasn't really prepared to spend dollars to upgrade to a newer version of Xmap.
    The old version was cumbersome which made map making more difficult, it just didn't have all the features and capabilities of the newer versions of Xmap.

    Recently I was unsuccessful trying to find a POI for a Wal-mart approx. 30 miles away (within 50 mles) from the Maestro 3100 - with NA Software Version 2.18 recently installed.

    I thought it was odd that The the Magellan_Maestro_3100_2_18, exe file date is 11/1/2007 however the download site from Magellan's shows it's Creation Date: 24 Sep 2010 5:40 PM __ Modified: 24 Feb 2011 12:35 AM

    I had to manually install NA Software Version 2.18 as the 3100 won't recognize my SD card even though it's recognized by the PC with the usb cable plugged into the 3100 usb port.

    I have tried finding an upgraded POI file but so far no luck to a download link as there are many broken links or links to forbidden sites.

    The three poi files located in the 3100's "map" directory

    Hi_POI.poi 662 KB
    PR_POI.poi 217 KB
    US48_POI.poi 41,928 KB < (I believe this is the file that requires to be upgraded to increase the POI database to 6 million and possibly higher)

    All of the posts with links to an upgraded POI file are from 2006 - 2007 I've tried have been broken or forbidden.

    I'm still looking around perhaps someone has a copy of an upgraded poi database somewhere on the net.
  • albert 0 Points
    edited September 2017
    If I look for another Vehicle GPS unit it would need to come with it's own Topo map database. I don't really want a gps unit where I need to import and/or create my own Topo maps. This should be an add-on or an additional feature for the unit.

    I own Delorme Topo USA versions 2.0, 3.0 4.0, 5.0 and 9.0 and also 2 or 3 handheld versions and also Magellan Mapsend Topo that came with my Magellan Meridian Gold purchased years ago. I paid around ~$300 new. It still works just fine fine.

    Usually Topo USA comes with the ability to import and export maps to and from handheld devices through a serial or usb port or by saving the maps to memory or memory card in the hand held gps unit.

    In the past I've created my own maps for handhelds and PC software, however I would prefer the GPS unit to initially have it's own topo map database to work from, add on, import maps into, etc.

    I've seen some more recent hand held gps devices that are specifically designed and engineered for off-road use (come with their own top maps) however cost iirc start at around ~$500.00.

    I believe some of the older gps units do come with topo maps but can't remember which ones. Possibly some needed to have an add-on memory card, etc in order to have topo maps.
  • Boyd 2045 Points
    A Meridian Gold was my first handheld GPS. That was a LONG time ago. ;) The quality of those topo maps was really very poor compared to what is available today. If you want a vehicle GPS that is compatible with topo maps, get a Garmin Nuvi. There are lots of free, user-contributed topo's for Garmin devices here:

    You should be able to find a very inexpensive used Nuvi with large screen, or look at a Garmin factory refurb model at places such as gpscity, they have the same warranty as new and will include lifetime updates for the standard City Navigator map. Now the Nuvi will be compatible with the free topo's from GPSFileDepot, but will not have all the menu controls of Garmin's dedicated handheld units so that will limit it somewhat.

    However, once again, I would just skip all of that and use a smartphone or tablet for everything. I have tried just about everything over the years, and that's what I do. :)
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