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Author Topic: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.  (Read 18916 times)

Dickfoster

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A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« on: December 29, 2011, 11:31:06 AM »
My wife got me a Garmin Lifetime map update for my Garmin Nuvi 500 this Christmas.
 
For those you don't know, the 500 is somewhat of a compromise product in that it has some functionality for use for street and highway navigation along with POI location and some topo functionality as well. For a four wheeler such as myself it is however the perfect unit.
 
There a little wrinkle however stemming from the unique nature of the product that you need to be aware of. Since Garmin isn't telling you up front, I will.
 
At least when they came out, or so I've been told, the Nuvi 500 used map files that supposedly contained combined street map data along with POI and 100K topo data but I'm pretty sure the 100K topo was separate. Later on my wife purchased (as a gift) 24 K tops DVDs from which I made segment limited files for my microSD card from which I could choose the areas I wanted.
 
Everything worked well except for the fact that when I wanted to change the 24K topo map to other areas/states I had to rename files using a PC. It was a clumsy but workable workaround.
 
The trouble started when I began to active the lifetime update. After searching their site I found and installed their lifetime updater program.
After performing the update however my unit became mostly dysfunctional in that only the base map data was showing on the map display. That is street and highway data down to only the 5mi scale along with the 100K topo date. When retrying the update the maps, assuming something had gone wrong, the program now complained that there was insufficient room. After enduring some hassle with there product support, not fun as you probably know,  I was told to delete all the map data from the unit manually, which I did.

After that the update installed properly and worked well for street data. However my 100K topo was gone and the ability of my 24K topo maps to display contour lines was gone with it as I expected it would be. After all they told me to take out all the map files. What good is a topo with no contour data? I was then supplied a download/install on their website for a new and separate 100K topo. However when I attempted the install the program complained that there was now insufficient room. I then, prompted by product support, removed some help files and other extraneous stuff in order to free up some more room, freeing up to over half the capacity of the unit about 1.4GB. I then reattempted the install but found the install program required over 3GB of space to be available on the unit. How could this be? The Nuvi only came with 2.7GB total in which it had street, POI and 100K topo data and the memory for program code, help files voices etc.  Along with the new street update, appx 1.3GB and now another 3GB for the 100K topo that would be about four times the capacity of the device but for the map files alone.

Therefore if you own a Nuvi 500, DO NOT purchase a Garmin Lifetime update for it as it will be completely useless for you.

I am now arguing with Garmin for a refund for the Lifetime update and an install DVD that will restore my 500 to the way it was before they broke it.

Buyer beware.
 
 

Indrid Cold

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 01:07:13 PM »
Is there some reason you are unable to restore the maps on your nüvi 500 from a backup archive?

Does this model have a GarminDevice.xml file in it's Garmin folder?

Dickfoster

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 02:21:16 PM »
Yes I think I did see an XML file somewhere but I'm no programmer and have no intention of trying to be one. I get frustrated very easily with buggy half baked software such as that which Garmin apparently is more than willing to foist upon an unsuspecting public.

Actually it really should not be necessary for me to be a programmer and do what is their job as I paid for the privilege. This is clearly Garmin's responsibility as they assumed total control over the upgrade process and the unit with their web updater program. It queried the unit's model and serial number up front so it should have known well ahead not to proceed and not to lock the upgrade to what is clearly an incompatible product. Then to deny a refund.
 
All I am trying to do now is to get the unit back to were it was before it was broken which they say they will do with a DVD. And then to receive a full refund for the useless to me lifetime upgrade product which is obviously incompatible with Nuvi 500s. At least is is with mine.

As I said, while it may indeed be a great thing for some, as I thought it was going to be,  it is most definitely incompatible with Nuvi 500's. Not if you want to retain the full functionality you had when you bought the unit. If you want to turn your 500 into a rather crappy, very limited and feature poor street only unit then fell free to forge ahead. 
 
Offhand I don't know how many other models it affects but if you want street maps, currently running at about 1.3 GB for the lower 48 and 100K topos, apparently now at 3+ GB of memory, as their program indicates and unless your unit has at least that much free memory available, I would advise you to steer well clear of Garmin's Lifetime update.

While I suppose you could put the 100K topo on an SD card, that would then occupy the one SD slot I'm now using to 24K topo data away, which I do not intend and simply will not do. Plus as I said to see contour lines on your 24K topo maps you also need to have the 100K topo map installed too. Not very cool IMHO.   

At the rate they are going, if your unit isn't incompatible now, it may well be in the future . As I said the total data space required has now increased to be about four times the size it was in my original unit.

I suppose lifetime means different things to different people. To them it seems to be a limited amount of time indeed. All I am saying is to have a good hard look before you take that leap. 

BTW I just tried it in street navigation, as that's all I have right now and if anything IMO the voice guidance is now worse than it was. There is a lot of useless chatter without anything meaningful to say. Lots of repeated instructions but none of the approach to turn guidance "in 300ft. turn left" as the old software provided.

Forewarned is forearmed. I'm just sayin that if you have a 500 you really do need to watch out here. 

 
Is there some reason you are unable to restore the maps on your nüvi 500 from a backup archive?

Does this model have a GarminDevice.xml file in it's Garmin folder?

Boyd

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 02:36:02 PM »
This issue first surfaced a couple years ago and has been discussed on other sites. The original Nuvi 500 was preloaded with topo 100k and City Navigator, but for some odd reason Garmin didn't do this using two files (ie: gmapprom + gmapsupp). What they did was to bundle both maps into a single gmapprom.img file, like you might do with multiple maps on an older Garmin handheld.

At some point, they decided they weren't going to provide updates for this unusual mapset. Now if you got a regular lifetime update, it would replace the gmapprom.img file with one that only contained City Navigator, and you would lose the topo.

The fix for this would be very simple - Garmin could just give Nuvi 500 owners a separate copy of topo 100k in the form of a gmapsupp.img file. That would allow normal updating of the City Navigator maps. Maybe you could persuade them to do this if you were insistent enough, yet also nice.  :)

Otherwise, you could install some of the free topo maps from this site and use them with City Navigator.

Dickfoster

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 03:52:07 PM »
I agree but the separate 100K topo they offer as a replacement is over 3GB in size which is totally ludicrous as the 500 only has something like 2.7GB of memory in total.
 
I have just recovered the packaging the card came it for possible use in a legal action. Lucky for me that garbage pickup is tomorrow morning so it wasn't too late.

The wording on the package specifically states only that you will have a limited memory problem with a Nuvi 200, 205 and 1200 series but it says nothing about the Nuvi 500. That is other than the wording which clearly states that it is compatible with the entire  Nuvi series and some of their other stuff like Zumo, Street Pilot series, etc. except for the Nuvi 200 series mentioned. 

In my mind taking half the functionality of the unit away, the reason I wanted this one in the first place, simply does not rate up there as being compatible in any sense of the word.

I think they could could easily fix it too, if they really wanted to however I think the real problem here is that they just don't want to and don't care. In essence they want to keep the money we paid for nothing In simple contract law, which a purchase like this is, that simply can't happen and no court in this country is likely to tolerate it. It's pretty simple cut and dry stuff really so their fighting it is really stupid IMHO. 

In short Garmin seems to suffer from a real attitude problem and it seems that someone needs straighten them out and take em down a peg or two. I'm retired and have nothing else to do, so what to heck. It's not so much the hundred bucks, it's the principles involved here.

This issue first surfaced a couple years ago and has been discussed on other sites. The original Nuvi 500 was preloaded with topo 100k and City Navigator, but for some odd reason Garmin didn't do this using two files (ie: gmapprom + gmapsupp). What they did was to bundle both maps into a single gmapprom.img file, like you might do with multiple maps on an older Garmin handheld.

At some point, they decided they weren't going to provide updates for this unusual mapset. Now if you got a regular lifetime update, it would replace the gmapprom.img file with one that only contained City Navigator, and you would lose the topo.

The fix for this would be very simple - Garmin could just give Nuvi 500 owners a separate copy of topo 100k in the form of a gmapsupp.img file. That would allow normal updating of the City Navigator maps. Maybe you could persuade them to do this if you were insistent enough, yet also nice.  :)

Otherwise, you could install some of the free topo maps from this site and use them with City Navigator.

Seldom

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 03:56:15 PM »
The fix for this would be very simple - Garmin could just give Nuvi 500 owners a separate copy of topo 100k in the form of a gmapsupp.img file. That would allow normal updating of the City Navigator maps. Maybe you could persuade them to do this if you were insistent enough, yet also nice.  :)

If I understand his first post correctly, this is what Garmin did.  His problem is that it took 3+GB to install and he had 1.5+GB on his Nuvi.  If he has a card slot, he should be able to get a 4GB card for around 4USD, and load the gmapsupp.img onto that. 

Any idea how big the 500 card can be, or if it supports Birdseye?

Indrid Cold

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 04:54:34 PM »
First off, I believe that there was an error in the compatibility list for the nüMaps Lifetime subscription that says the nüvi 500 where it should have said nüvi 550.

That being said, the unit should be restoreable from a backup had the OP made one, or from the data from GARMIN, with a refund issued on the nüMaps Lifetime subscription.

Thanks making this known to our users but I think you will need to clear this up with GARMIN, there isn't a lot we can do to help you with this.

Boyd

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 04:55:18 PM »
No raster support on the Nuvi 500, but I agree... get a card and live happily ever after. :)

Dickfoster

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 07:20:27 PM »
That is incorrect. The packaging mentioned neither the 500 or the 550 only the 200 series units as having a potential compatibility problem. And my wife also checked this before the purchase was made.

The incompatibility the 500 was discovered only after the damage was already done.
 
Secondly they, Garmin support, had me delete the ALL of the original map files in order to make room for the new stuff, that was to essentially unbrick my unit as it were at that point.

After the street maps were finally upgraded and the unit was functional again beyond the base maps, only then did they offer the 100K replacement topo map file which now requires was well over 3GB in memory space to install. More space than the Nuvi 500 has in total. If anyone knows this, Garmin should.
 
Of course it would not fit in my unit leaving me without Topo contour displays even from the 24K topos that I have, also paid for directly from Garmin, on my SD card.   

The package I have, also bought directly from Garmin BTW, says nothing at all about any of the 500 series units and memory space or compatibility problems, only the 200 stuff and that is all it says other that it is indeed compatible with the rest of the Nuvi series units which of course would include the 500.

IMHO Garmin is responsible for restoring my unit to the way it was and for refunding the money paid for the, useless to me ,Lifetime Upgrade which is obviously incompatible with the Nuvi 500.

I do fully intend to clear things up with Garmin, in the courts if need be, my only intention here was to warn other Nuvi 500 owners against purchasing what in all likely hood will prove to be a worthless to them product.

IMHO it's what we all should do if we care at all about one another. Regardless of what anyone may feel about Garmin and their business practices, technical prowess or their support or any other of the products that they may own.

Being an original member of The Defence Mapping Agency (the creators of GPS in large part) it should be known that GPS is a subject that is near and dear to my heart, so of course I care a just bit more than most as to how the technology is distributed and represented today. I suppose you could say I'm like an old mother hen with anything GPS.

First off, I believe that there was an error in the compatibility list for the nüMaps Lifetime subscription that says the nüvi 500 where it should have said nüvi 550.

That being said, the unit should be restoreable from a backup had the OP made one, or from the data from GARMIN, with a refund issued on the nüMaps Lifetime subscription.

Thanks making this known to our users but I think you will need to clear this up with GARMIN, there isn't a lot we can do to help you with this.

Dickfoster

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 07:31:26 PM »
I do indeed have a card. An 8GB one to be exact. However I am currently using that for 24K topo data and I do not want to, nor do I intend to, nor should I have to give that up to regain the original functionally of the unit. PERIOD!

The unit now has over half of the original memory space available with the street maps installed, about 1.4GB free memory total. That should be more than ample should Garmin choose to make the effort to make the 100K topo file fit. After all, they did it before so it can most definitely be done again if they want to. That much should be undisputed fact and clearly evident to anyone.

While some may feel comfortale which having their pockets picked, I do not. For those that do, please send me your address. LOL   

No raster support on the Nuvi 500, but I agree... get a card and live happily ever after. :)

Dickfoster

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 07:36:10 PM »
Read it again but more carefully this time.

Essentially what Garmin did or is tying to do is screw me but I do not intend to let them get away with it.

Basically all I am trying to do here is to warn other Nuvi 500 owners and why they should be concerned about signing up for Garmin's lifetime upgrade. 

I should hope that any of the rest of you would do the same.

The fix for this would be very simple - Garmin could just give Nuvi 500 owners a separate copy of topo 100k in the form of a gmapsupp.img file. That would allow normal updating of the City Navigator maps. Maybe you could persuade them to do this if you were insistent enough, yet also nice.  :)

If I understand his first post correctly, this is what Garmin did.  His problem is that it took 3+GB to install and he had 1.5+GB on his Nuvi.  If he has a card slot, he should be able to get a 4GB card for around 4USD, and load the gmapsupp.img onto that. 

Any idea how big the 500 card can be, or if it supports Birdseye?

Indrid Cold

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 07:47:17 PM »
Slow down slim, I checked the compatibility here before I posted: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=33379

My comments stand. Please take your issues to Garmin's forum. Neither the GPS or the maps came from here.

That is incorrect. The packaging mentioned neither the 500 or the 550 only the 200 series units as having a potential compatibility problem. And my wife also checked this before the purchase was made.

First off, I believe that there was an error in the compatibility list for the nüMaps Lifetime subscription that says the nüvi 500 where it should have said nüvi 550.

That being said, the unit should be restoreable from a backup had the OP made one, or from the data from GARMIN, with a refund issued on the nüMaps Lifetime subscription.

Thanks making this known to our users but I think you will need to clear this up with GARMIN, there isn't a lot we can do to help you with this.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 07:49:45 PM by Indrid Cold »

Indrid Cold

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 10:44:41 AM »
Seeing that I was the one that said that page listed the 500 in error and that it should have read the 550 you should be aware that you are agreeing with me. Please leave you angst at the door. Warning folks is one think, you were thanked for that. Ranting on and arguing with the regulars here isn't going to win you any brownie points.
Quote from: Dickfoster
Yes and listed bold as day on your link is the Nuvi 500 as being compatible which
most definately IS NOT compatible. Perhaps you're the one that needs to slow down
and look. For pity sake I'm just trying to warn folks. Is Garmin paying you or what?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 10:46:28 AM by Indrid Cold »

-Oz-

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Re: A warning to Nuvi 500 owners.
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2011, 11:10:57 AM »
Dickfoster: this website is around to provide assistance and non-garmin maps for Garmin GPS units.  with that said, this issue is definitely an issue with Garmin directly.  I see that you are trying to remedy this with Garmin directly and that is the correct option; no one here can correct an error they made.  The people at this site have provided the help they could.

This topic was locked because it was turning into a rant with attacks rather than a logical discussion.

This topic will remain on the site as a warning to people who may google it but I think the people above have posted correctly that your only real solution is to put the 100k topo on a card.  Garmin did mess up by combining the maps and they don't seem to have a solution.

Additionally, no one here works for Garmin but with all the time we've put into making our Garmin devices work better we also don't work against Garmin.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 11:13:00 AM by -Oz- »
Dan Blomberg
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