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Risk of downloading updates and maps to 2597LMT

A new to me 2597LMT which is still using 2013 maps.
I downloaded Garmin express to my WIN 7 and
it said I have available to download 15 updates,
including system files.

The last time I downloaded updates to a 7xx nuvi
several years ago I wound up with a dead system,
not even good for a paperweight.

As a result, I haven't downloaded ever again. I believe that the
7xx had a very poor battery and the express program
made me unplug the nuvi as the finish reboot sequence . The 7xx
never turned on again. (Can't even talk through the USB

The battery in the 2597lmt runs on navigation
for about 1 1/4 hours. which I assume is good.

What pitfalls await a 15 file update?
Any file I should avoid updating?
Any precautions I should take?

Thanks for any help.


  • Boyd 2035 Points
    I'm also reluctant to update, but have never had a problem like you describe. I suspect you will be fine though. There is no requirement to run on battery power while applying a firmware update. You could plug the Nuvi into a power adapter.
  • I can't get any other power as it is being supplied
    over the USB port. Perhaps I and disconnect and then
    quickly plug in an ac power adapter transformer.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    The way the firmware update process works is to simply copy a file named gupdate.gcd to the .System folder on the GPS. The GPS then needs to completely shutdown. When it powers up again, it detects that the update is present and loads it. After you unplug the GPS, just plug it into an AC adapter. I imagine it would also work if you plugged it back into the computer.

    But with a decent battery, it probably will be fine anyway.
  • After waiting for a number of minutes and
    noticing that there was no activity on the 7xx
    or the computer.
    I plugged it into a car power cord and could
    not get any operation.
    I then tried to communicate via USB and
    could get no activity.


    Maybe after 2 years of down time i'll try again.

    Still debating about updating the 2597LMT
  • privet01 231 Points
    edited December 2019
    Is this a recent purchase sold as new or factory refurbished? Then absolutely don't worry about it. You have a warranty and Garmin will give you another if they can't resolve the issue over the phone. At least in North America they will. Can't speak for other regions.

    Even if it's not under warranty, at worst you might just need to delete a file from you device after a really botched update attempt. And that might be the same for you old 2597lmt if it will give you file access via your computer when connected via usb. I've never ever known anyone or had a Garmin device that really and truly bricked itself. Not saying yours isn't, just saying I've not experienced it with any I could touch and feel myself.

    As for win 7..... get rid of it. Win 10 for me has been better from the get go even though my current desktop PC is one I built in 2008. Although for me, I use Garmin Express on a macbook to do updates. For whatever reason, I found that Garmin Express worked better on a macbook about three years or so ago and never installed Garmin Express on my windows machines since.

    As much as I used to bad mouth Garmin Express for map updates, it is now actually decent and I've had no real issues in the last two years using it for over a dozen Garmin devices used by me and my family. I use it now on an old nuvi 205W, through various cycling devices and newer Garmin Drive Assists and Garmin Drivesmart devices for Automobile.

    Garmin map updates do take a long time though. I've had quite a few stalled downloads that I had to abandon when I was using a wifi connection through my macbook. However when I connect my mac to an ethernet cable the downloads go much quicker and have not stalled.

    Part of that issue might be on my end. There is a overabundance of wifi overlap from houses in my neigborhood. Luckily I wired most of the house for ethernet back before wifi was common so I can plug in easily.

  • alanb 557 Points
    edited December 2019
    I agree with Boyd. If your 2597 is fully charged and will run over an hour on a full charge, you should be able to update without any problems. You could always install a few updates at a time by selecting those you want, and then install the map update separately. The map update will take a long time (from several minutes to an hour or more depending on your Internet connection), but you will have your device plugged in during the process so it should remain charged.

    Note: When you reboot after the software update or voice file update download step, wait a few minutes and don't shut the device down right away. The device will perform the second stage of the update by applying the downloaded files, and that may take a minute or more.
  • Both units were used, no guarantees.
    7xx will show GARMIN on plug in.
    only other thing is I can hold screen and it will PRE BOOT screen but not go any further.
    NO USB connected when plugged in.

    2597LMT seems like GE is working ok.
    May attempt partial updates

    do i need sd card or will GE know
    not to download additional update.

    Any safe removal of languages/maps/voices?
    to get additional space?
  • alanb 557 Points
    edited December 2019
    The latest map will probably not fit in internal memory, so you should have a SD (formatted FAT32) of 8 GB up to 32 GB installed just in case. Garmin Express will use the SD card if necessary. If you don't have the SD card installed and there is insufficient room in internal memory, Express will prompt you to install a smaller region, like the lower 49 states.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    edited December 2019
    privet01 said:

    I've never ever known anyone or had a Garmin device that really and truly bricked itself.

    I'd say you haven't followed this (or other) forums very closely. The "bricked" syndrome is real and there have been many posts about it. However we need to separate the apples from oranges here. It's a bad firmware update that is most likely to "brick" your device, not the map updates. That's because the device is "vulnerable" while updating firmware since it's actually flashing protected memory that you cannot directly access. So if something interrupts that process, the device really can become a "brick", without the "brains" that are needed to even detect a USB connection.

    Now, a corrupted map update might cause problems, but (generally speaking) they won't prevent you from accessing the device over USB. So these problems can usually be fixed.

    For your old Nuvi 700, you could always try this approach to repair, but I have no personal experience with it.

    They were great devices back in 2007, but personally, a working Nuvi 700 would be less useful than a brick for me. At least a brick is heavy enough to prop a door open. :))
  • So
    I should not install what type of updates FIRMWARE?
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    edited December 2019
    As I said, the firmware update is what's most likely to brick the Nuvi.

    Problem is, Garmin's software will probably force you to install it whether you want to or not. Now there's a technique someone else can probably explain for tricking express to install updates to a USB flash drive instead of the Nuvi itself. That would allow you to only install the map update without the firmware. Just be sure NOT to copy the gupdate.gcd file to the Nuvi.

    Really though, you'll probably be fine. But nobody can tell you for sure, since there are so many variables.
  • privet01 231 Points
    Well let me re-phrase that....... "I've never ever personally known anyone or had a Garmin device that really and truly bricked itself."

    I'm aware of all the post claiming bricked devices. However I don't consider an author of a post to a bulletin board site a personal acquaintance.

    As for worrying about installing firmware, I wouldn't worry. IMHO....The incidences of such actually happening are going to be very low. To me, not to install firmware updates would be much like not wearing your seat belt or turning off the passenger airbag because of the outlier incidents that gain hype despite the overwhelming numbers saved by their use.
  • alanb 557 Points
    Doing a software (firmware) update with a weak battery is definitely a formula for bricking a nuvi. The device has to stay powered up during the second stage of the update, and this step is usually done with battery power because the device needs to boot in normal operation mode rather than mass storage or MTP mode. It is possible to avoid this problem even with a weak battery if you boot under USB power with the Garmin power supply or a wall charger that doesn't put the device in mass storage/MTP mode.

    That said, it sounds like your 2597 has a good battery, so the likelihood of bricking the device with a software update is relatively low.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    edited December 2019
    privet01 said:

    To me, not to install firmware updates would be much like not wearing your seat belt or turning off the passenger airbag because of the outlier incidents that gain hype despite the overwhelming numbers saved by their use.

    First of all, I agree that the risk of bricking your Nuvi with a firmware update is very low.

    That being said, your analogy doesn't make sense to me. A new version of the system software is not intrinsically better - let alone "safer" - than the previous versions. Sorry, but Garmin doesn't have a very good track record in this regard.

    There's a lot of wisdom in the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" saying when it comes to Garmin. That has been my motto since my first Nuvi in 2006, right through the DriveTrack 71 I bought 9 months ago, which is still running the original pre-loaded software and map.

    Have a look at the software changelog and see what kinds of problems it's supposed to remedy. More often than not, they are things completely unrelated to my own usage, such as fixes for regionalized issues in foreign countries. If the new software addresses an issue such as unexpected shutdowns, and you are experiencing this exact problem, then it makes sense to update. Otherwise......

  • alanb 557 Points
    edited December 2019
    Your point is well taken Boyd, but if you do regular map updates, Garmin Express will force the software update before it will update the map. Sure there are some hacks you can do to get around this, but in my opinion not worth the hassle on most newer devices.

    My advice FWIW … do a full backup of your device, make sure the battery is fully charged, check the free space in internal storage and make sure you have at least a few MB of free space, put in a properly formatted and sized SD card, then let Garmin Express do its thing. Your chances of having problems are very small, and most problems you may encounter will be recoverable.
  • I would install the updates (with so many updates the 700 might be out of memory and that could be the reason why it could brick itself?) I would unplug it and run to the car and plug it in. Problem solved as far as battery issues are concerned.

    But with so many updates I would probably do one by one in such an old device that storage is surely going to be an issue.
  • sussamb 954 Points
    edited December 2019
    Most folks who bricked their devices did so in the 'olden days' when devices worked on mass storage mode and folks didn't use the 'safe eject' procedure so disconnected their nuvi while Windows was still transferring data, resulting in corrupt files. I know of no recent updates that have found to be so flawed that 'in themselves' have bricked a device, and certainly the latest (and very old) software for the 700 and also the 2500 series is well proven.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    edited December 2019
    alanb said:

    My advice FWIW … do a full backup of your device

    That is excellent advice, and could save you a lot of grief in case you do have a problem. See this thread if you don't already know how to do this:

    But note that you do not need to change the Windows control panel settings as described there. Do this instead.

  • privet01 231 Points
    Boyd said:

    There's a lot of wisdom in the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" saying when it comes to Garmin...........

    Have a look at the software changelog and see what kinds of problems it's supposed to remedy............

    I won't disagree with that at all and it used to be my mantra too. I think I espoused that here in other posts years ago when I was on the out's with Garmin Express because it worked so poorly. Likely that was a combination of the much older devices I had at the time. At first there was even one version of G.E. that disavowed the existence of my Nuvi 205w but a subsequent version recognized it but still did poorly updating the map. Perhaps keeping my pc on the bleeding edge with beta windows versions had something to do with G.E. not working well too.

    However between family members, there is quite a bit of Garmin Cycling devices in my household and the devices newer than my Edge 500 tend to have a lot of touch screen issues and other idiosyncrasies. So firmware updates are a necessity.

    Maybe it's because I shunned G.E. and refused to use it for several years, but Garmin, from my perspective made it really hard to find out if there was a firmware update available for a particular device. They had a good thing going, I thought with the myGarmin site, but that seemed to get hard to find and even hard to log into when they pushed big on the Garmin Express as the one stop do all.

    At any rate, I now use G.E. for all my devices..... except my Edge 500 (it doesn't use maps) and my very old GPSmap 76CSx which it tells me it's not compatible with. Even my circa 2008 or 2009 Nuvi 205w does well with it now.

    So I guess to sum up what I think I really am getting at.....

    Although I agree with if "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" it takes being familiar and confident with the old original ways of updating Garmin devices and knowing how to find the links to the actual downloads that Garmin has in the last five or so years made very hard for the average person to find. They push G.E. everywhere.

    So I now say just let Garmin Express take care of most everything. I've drank the kool aid................ Also, re-furbs are inexpensive if disaster strikes.
  • Boyd 2035 Points
    I agree with the refurb point.... I'd say it almost makes it not worth the trouble to buy a older, used device in most cases. The basic 5" refurbs are very inexpensive these days and include the full one year Garmin warranty.

    But how about this for a Garmin software update? Basecamp nags you forever to download updates and it's so annoying that most people will just do it. But if you gave into that back in May 2018, you would have ended up with a broken version of Basecamp that couldn't send 3rd party maps to your GPS for a year and a half... Garmin finally fixed this in November 2019.

    That created a lot of grief for many people, and downgrading Basecamp is not simple or intuitive at all. See this thread:

    Just sayin'.... ;)
  • privet01 231 Points
    That one year warranty is something most should really be aware of and think about. For me, any issues I had with most everything, Garmin or anything show themselves in the first year. Although I'm fondly frustrated of the times it seemed like everything was great till one day after the warranty expired.

    To their credit, Garmin hasn't ever seemed to be a stickler on exactly when, to the day a warranty expired. Nor have they ever balked at giving support over the phone for devices that are way out of warranty. At least that has been my experience, and I think it true for others that call them in the USA and North America in general.
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