Beginners Education 2 - Backing Up Your GPS (Garmin)



Well consider what Garmin says:
When updating your maps, if the device is not current on firmware you will be asked to update your unit's software. When updating your firmware there is a possibility of deleting your favorites. Before running any software, firmware, or map updates it is suggested to backup your favorites

Here's how to backup

Verify that Windows Explorer displays file extensions and hidden files. You should have done this in Beginners Exercise 1. If not, do so now.

Note: If you have one of the newer units (as of Apr 2013 these were the Nuvi 2405 series, 2505 series, 2407 series, 2507 series, 3400 series, 3500 series and 3507 series; the zumo 350 and the dezl 760)) that uses something called Media Transfer Protocal (MTP), then you need another step
STEP 1.1: Start NUVI by itself and go to Volume Screen.
STEP 1.2: Press the upper right hand corner of screen for 10 seconds.
STEP 1.3: The Developers Screen will pop up
STEP 1.4: Scroll down to MTP SETTINGS
STEP 1.6: Back Out and shut down the Garmin
[Note: Another method is to, in the map, touch the speed to get to the dashboard screen. Then, touch the speedometer for a few seconds (about 5). Then, scroll down to the MTP setting and select Mass Storage.]

To reconfigure to the traditional mass storage mode:
From the map, select Trip Computer
Hold the speedometer for 30 sec.
Set MTP Settings -> Mass Storage

Attach your GPS to your computer with a USB cable. After a short while, your PC will display a dialog box for the device. Note the drive letter your PC assigned the device - shown in the upper left corner of that dialog box. One of the options given you should be to “Open folder to view files”. Take that option. If you do not see a left pane in Explorer, click on Folders in the Menu bar to show them.
Create a new folder on your PC. You could call it something like C:\Garmin Backup 2014mmdd (where mm and dd are the month and day). To create a new folder in your C:\ drive, right click on a blank space in the right pane of Windows Explorer; select NEW > FOLDER and then enter the name of the folder.
Go to the “Garmin …” drive (let's say it is drive G:\.) Select Drive G:\ in the left pane. Then, click anywhere in the right pane of Explorer and do a CNTL-A to select everything. Still in the right pane with everything highlighted, do a CNTL-C to copy everything.
Navigate to the folder C:\Garmin Backup 2014mmdd. Click in the right pane and CNTL-V to paste everything.

Now, whatever might happen later during new map updates, etc, you have a backup.

NOTE: Now that you have a backup, you may want to consider making a second backup that will also act like your device itself.

How so you say?

Well, if you were to make a complete backup on a REMOVABLE drive (I suggest an 8GB stick) then there are a number of Garmin programs that will treat the "stick" as a Garmin device. POI Loader, Basecamp, etc - when they are started - look for REMOVABLE devices that contain a file named GarminDevice.xml. When they find one, they will then treat it as a Garmin Device.

I often use a stick with POI Loader so I can arrange my Custom POIs in a particular order on my device - say, for a vacation. Then, a week later, I could delete all the Custom POI files on the device - AND THEN IMMEDIATELY RELOAD THEM - in the order I want for everyday use.

updated 11/17/2011
updated 01/28/2013

Related links

Change History

  • jgermann - Jun 27, 2014
    6/27/2014 added comment that you should backup up to a "stick"

  • jgermann - May 3, 2013
    5/3/2013 updated series with MTP

  • jgermann - Jan 28, 2013
    01/26/2013 added new MTP units

  • jgermann - Sep 17, 2012
    9/17/2012 title change