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Nuvi thinks its downloading

Started by caninelaw, September 03, 2016, 01:34:26 PM

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I have an old Garmin Nuvi 200 and when I plug it into the built-in USB port in my truck, or a non-Garmin charger in the cigarette lighter, it gives me a screen indicating that it thinks its plugged into a computer and is awaiting a download.  That's all it will do.  If I plug in the factory charger it works fine but any other mini-USB cable seems to make it think its plugged into a computer.  I can get away with the factory charged but it sticks way out of the cigarette lighter and the cable is about 2 1/2 times longer then I need so that lays coiled on the center console around the cup holders and such.  I wanted to use a nice short coiled USB / mini-USB cable to keep things neat. 

Why won't these other cables work correctly?  Also, is there either a factory or aftermarket coiled cable that will work plugging into the trucks USB port or that other charger?  Is there some type of setting on the Nuvi that will prevent it from thinking its plugged into a computer?

(I know, I should get get a new one since this one's so old but it does what I want it to...usually).



There are two types of USB cables. One type supllies data and power and the other only supplies power. The data cables have extra wires and can confuse the nuvi into thinking it's connected to a computer. I have a whole milk crates full of USB cables, some of them will do what you describe, others work properly.

So you just need to find the correct kind of cable. You might try searching for USB power cables on Amazon. Unless there is something wrong with the Nuvi, that is most likely the problem. You could also go to a store like Best Buy, get a power adapter, take it out to the car and try it, then immediately exchange it if it doesn't work.

I got one at Radio Shack a number of years ago and it worked, but that won't be an option any more. Also got one from Staples, they were cheap.


It is even more complicated. Mini-USB socket has 5 pins, 2 for power, 2 for data and 1 ID pin. Resistance between ID pin and ground determine cable type. On standard USB cable ID pin is unconnected, which trigger PC mode on nuvi. For power supply cable, resistance should be about 18kOhm, see:

You can make cable yourself, using mini-USB plug with 5 connectors.


The gist of the discussion is that Garmin uses a custom wiring for their power cables to let the device know it is not connected to a computer.  On a Nuvi, there are not settings to get around this.  You are best to just get a new proper cable.