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Can I install the Garmin 100k TOPO to Etrex30 memory ?

Started by 30xuser, March 01, 2017, 07:29:28 AM

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Greetings  :)

I purchased an Etrex 30x bundle that came with the Garmin TOPO US 100K on a micro SD card.

I also bought a 32g micro SD card to store these files from GPSFileDepot.

I would like to use the Etrex 30x internal memory to store the TOPO 100k map,
and have the GPSFileDepot maps on the 32g SD card, so I don't have to switch
SD cards. Is that possible ?

Also, this is my first GPS  and would appreciate any tips or links that you would suggest.
Mainly planning to use this GPS for hiking, running, and geocaching. Any other free maps
besides GPSFileDepot



The old US Topo map that was distributed on DVD was not locked and could be used as desired. But Garmin no longer offers DVD versions, and all of their downloadable and pre-loaded maps are copy protected. You must use it on the original card, it is tied to the hardware ID and won't work if you move it somewhere else unfortunately.

I also think you will run into problems with your plan to use 32gb of GPSFileDepot maps because of limits Garmin has placed on the number of map segments that can be accessed. Rather than explain it all again, see my earlier post here:


Thanks, I'll try to get a copy of that Mapsource to check the number of segments I need...good advice

Here's another question....Can I install maps on the TOPO 100k SD card ?

Thought I'd ask first in case it trashes the  TOPO 100k SD card.

Looks like there is about 4.5g left on the TOPO 100k SD card and 3.8g on the Etrex 30.

I read your post about the 4000 segment limit and it probably limiting you to about
~ 4-8g,

so I think I would first try to add maps to the 30x internal memory and then,

if it's possible and needed then put maps on the TOPO 100k card, but would try to avoid that.


Personally I think it's a very bad idea to add anything to a pre-loaded Garmin card. If you damage it, you are out of luck, Garmin will not replace. I'm surprised there's that much free space, in the past they were very stingy with card size, leaving only a few hundred MB free. Sounds like they gave you an 8gb card, because the 100K topo should be about 3gb. If you do decide to install anything on the card, be sure to do a backup of the original map first.

It's tough to generalize about segment numbers, there are no standard segment sizes. The 100k topo is an interesting case in point. The DVD version had about 6500 segments, so you couldn't install the whole US on a GPS. Later, they introduced a version that was pre-loaded on the Oregon 400T. The shrunk the same map down to about 500 segments for that, and AFAIK, that is similar to the pre-loaded SD card version as well.

Mapsource is available here:

You will probably need to use this program to get it working however:

QuoteNew PC? Use JaVaWa GMTK first, then install MapSource

When you use JaVaWa GMTK to transfer maps to a new PC it is higly recommended to do this before installing MapSource. The downloadable version of MapSource is an update version, that refuses to install when no older version exists. JaVaWa GMTK prepares, when necessary, automatically your PC so that MapSource will install properly.


Thanks for the info Boyd...and you're right it's a 8g card. I'll make a backup

I got Mapsource loaded and I can see the "Map(s)" count, which I guess is the number of "segments"  on the free maps I downloaded.  Is that correct ?

However,  I can't bring up the Garmin 100k topo map with Mapsource to check the segment count . I'd like to know how many segments it has.  I can see the Garmin 100k topo with Basecamp though.

Not obvious to me how to open the SD card based Garmin topo 100k in Mapsource. When I do a File \ Open - and select gmapsupp.img which is the 100k topo, I get an error msg saying " gmapsupp.img is not a valid Mapsource file and could not be opened. Anyone ?


Mapsource cannot access maps on external devices. That was a new feature introduced with Basecamp. However, in the past I know the pre-loaded version of the 100k topo had about 500 segments. I would be surprised if this has changed much, they deliberately used large segments to keep the count small, so as not to max out the segment limit.

Not clear what you are saying about the "maps" count. To see the number of segments, zoom way out so you can see the entire map, then use the map too l(looks like a little polygon) to select the entire map. It will then show the total number of segments in the Maps tab. Is that what you did?


Have a look at GMTK, it's free:

It will list all your maps and clicking the info button will show the number of segments and other info. Not sure if it will access maps on a card however. But the same authors other program, JDM might be able to do that:


Yes, JAVAWA Device manager will report the number of segments in a map (on a USB stick, in my case)


Not clear what you are saying about the "maps" count. To see the number of segments, zoom way out so you can see the entire map, then use the map too l(looks like a little polygon) to select the entire map. It will then show the total number of segments in the Maps tab. Is that what you did?
Yes, that's what I did. Look like "maps" count in Mapsource is the same as segments.
Yes, those JAVAWA are great apps. US 100K TOPO is 553 segments using the JAVAWA apps.

Also, and with this related link:   I got a the Virtual Device working
where I setup up a Virtual Garmin on SD card that I loaded US TOPO100K so now I can work
with the 100K TOPO map in Basecamp without having to plug in the Etrex 30x. It was a little tricky
to do and it takes Basecamp about 5 minutes before TOPO 100k shows up as a map, but that also
takes about 5 minutes with the Etrex 30x. Guess it takes a while to load when Basecamp starts.

Thanks for all the help Boyd, you've been a great help getting me started