NOTE: This article has been updated and added as a FAQ. Please refer to the updated article here:
FAQ: Garmin Maps | Cloning Method: Install a Map Update Directly to the SD Card.
I posted this over on the GPS Review forum and thought it might be useful to the POI Factory members. This technique was suggested by member Boyd on that forum. I took his idea and tested it with my two nuvis (755T and 855).
You may have already noticed a certain peculiarity in Garmin software. If you have a removable drive on your computer (SD card or thumb drive) and create a \Garmin folder at the root of this drive, then copy the file GarminDevice.xml from your nuvi into this folder, the Garmin programs like POI Loader and my.Garmin.com seem to recognize the removable drive as a nuvi. Boyd speculated that you might be able to use this quirk to fool the map update installer and directly install a map update to a SD card.
It took some experimentation and several tries, but I was able to install the complete map on SD with both of my nuvis. Both nuvis operate correctly with ALL of the NA map data on the SD card. Here is a summary of the steps I used to install maps directly to the SD card:
1) Do a complete backup of your nuvi BEFORE you attempt this procedure. This MAY allow you to recover your nuvi if something goes wrong.
2) Use WebUpdater to make sure you have the latest software on your nuvi before you try this. If you have old software, you will have trouble with the map download because my.Garmin.com will try to do a software update on your (fake nuvi) SD card prior to the map download!
3) Start with a clean SD card in your computer or SD card reader. Make sure it is formatted FAT32. Create the \Garmin folder. Connect your nuvi to the computer in data mode and copy file GarminDevice.xml from the \Garmin folder on the nuvi into the \Garmin folder on the SD card. [Nuvi 8xx series only: Copy the complete ASR folder and its contents from the \Garmin folder on the nuvi into the \Garmin folder of the SD card.]
4) Safely remove the nuvi from the computer, but leave the SD card mounted on the computer. Log into my.Garmin.com. To verify that the SD card is recognized as your nuvi, go to the myDashboard tab and click on "Scan for devices". Your SD card should show up as your nuvi model in the drop down box. (Note: If you didn't remove your real nuvi from the computer as suggested, it will appear twice in the drop down box ... once for the real nuvi and once for your fake nuvi SD card. You won't be able to tell which is which!)
5) On myGarmin, click on the myMaps tab, select the map download link and use option 2 (Map update installer). Proceed to download and install the map files to the SD card. When the map update installer completes, all new map files are on the SD card in the \Garmin folder: gmapprom.img, gmapprom.gma, gmapprom.unl. On some models you will also have files gmaptz.img, gmap3D.img and DnnnnnnnA.JCV (in the \Garmin\JCV folder). Make sure all files are sucessfully downloaded to the SD card before continuing.
6) If your nuvi supports Junction View, this would be a good time to check the DnnnnnnnA.JCV file that was downloaded to the SD card. If you got the small file and want the large one, you may as well replace it now. Use the link provided elsewhere in the forum to download the large JCV file and copy it to the SD card in the \Garmin\JCV folder. Delete the small JCV file that was downloaded by the map update installer.
7) Connect the nuvi to the PC in data mode and delete the following files from the \Garmin folder on the nuvi internal drive: gmapprom.img, gmapprom.gma, and gmapprom.unl. Also delete file GMAP3D.img and the complete \JCV folder and its contents if they are present on your nuvi. [Nuvi 8xx series only: Delete the ASR folder and its contents from the \Garmin folder of your nuvi.]
8) If present, copy file gmaptz.img from the SD card back into the \Garmin folder of the nuvi. [Nuvi 8xx series only: Copy the entire updated ASR folder and its contents from the SD card back into the \Garmin folder of the nuvi.]
9) On the SD card rename the following files gmapprom.img to gmapsupp.img, gmapprom.gma to gmapsupp.gma and gmapprom.unl to gmapsupp.unl. Delete file GarminDevice.xml from the SD card, so it will no longer show up as a fake nuvi in Garmin software.
10) Safely remove the SD card and nuvi from the computer. Install the SD card in the nuvi.
11) Boot the nuvi, go to Tools > Settings > map > map info and make sure the full NA map (and 3D map if your model supports it) show up and are checked.
12) Test the nuvi to make sure all map detail is working.
On the 755T, the detail NA maps, 3D map, and JCV file all work correctly from the SD card. The only file from the map download that has to be on the internal drive is the gmaptz.img time zone file. After completing this procedure with CN NA 2012.30, I had 3.5 GB of free space on the 755T's 4 GB internal drive.
On the 855, the speech recognition files are updated as part of the map update. The easiest way I found to handle this was to copy the ASR folder to the SD card, perform the map install, then copy the updated ASR folder back to the nuvi. These steps are included in the above procedure.
This procedure worked well for me, but be aware that you are removing your detail map files from the internal storage of your nuvi. TRY IT AT YOUR OWN RISK! Note that these steps are for the older 7x5 and 8x5 nuvis that do not have the hidden .system folder and enhanced map naming features. It seems likely that the procedure can be easily adapted to the other nuvi models of this generation like the 2xx, 7xx and 8xx. I am not sure what additional considerations there are for the newer 1xxx, 2xxx and 3xxx models that have the .system folder. If anyone tries this, please post your results here.
Old age setting in. On my first 2018.2 download to the cloning SD card for the 855 the GPS would not recognize the map.
Reloaded, same result. Then my feeble brain realized I had to add ****SUMM.*** to replace ****PROM.***. No problem after that
It pays to pay attention to the destruction's !!!.
'Sup? Oh wait, I meant to say did you mean to say ****SUPP**** for the 855?
It appears with the 2018.20 CN NA map update that Garmin is no longer supporting Garmin MapUpdater. Because of this I have removed all references to MapUpdater from the cloning FAQ. I have kept a backup copy of the original so I can restore that content if Garmin ever changes their position on MapUpdater.
That's interesting. About 1-3 map updates ago, I found that folks still running a PC with Windows XP, when trying to download Garmin Express, were instead sent to a page saying Garmin Express can't run on XP, then directed folks to a Garmin page to download and install GarminMapUpdater. If GMU no longer offers map updates, XP users will be out of luck without going for a new PC or Mac.
This isn't news to alandb given the thread below, but it may be news to other readers of this thread:
It appears that Garmin has now re-enabled their servers for MapUpdater on CN NA 2018.20. I have therefore restored the original content in the cloning FAQ.
Just updated my DriveLuxe 50 to 2019.20 using the Cloning method. In the .system folder on the SD card a MAP folder has been created with 3 files installed:
D4919140A.img - 119.698 KB
D4919149A.gma - 3 KB
D4919140A.unl - 1 KB
I believe this folder was also created for the 2019.11 map update but I'm not sure if it was for any map updates prior to that. In any event I have 2 questions:
- does anyone know what is in the .img file?
- can the files be moved from the .system/Map folder to the Map folder in the root of the SD card or the storage area of the GPS?
Rick, I believe those files are the support files for either the onboard FourSquare feature or the driver alert features. My D50 had comparable files from the 2019.11 map that were replaced. I will post a full list of the downloaded/replaced files for the DriveLuxe 50 in the map update thread in a few minutes.
I have tried to find some information (through google searches) about what this supplemental map is for, and have found some inconstant information, but the consensus seems to be one of the features stated above.
Can they be moved. I'd like to clear out the SD card's .system folder as you suggest in your Cloning procedures but I'm not sure if they can be moved to SDcard/Map, GPS/Map, or GPS/.system/Map.
I guess the other question would be - can I have a Map folder in the root of the GPS and the SD card at the same time?
Yes to the latter, not sure about the former , although Map shouldn't be in the .system folder.
I don't have an answer either, but my bet (guess) is that they can be moved. I have experimented with moving quite a few of the feature files (like .ASR and .SID) to SD card and it seems many of these can exist on the SD card. That said, I will probably just leave them where they are in internal storage.
I thought pretty much the same thing so to clean up the .system folder on the SD card I moved the files to a Map folder in the .system folder on the GPS.
Never tried a Map folder in .system, normally it would be in the root of either the device or the card.
/.system/Map is where Express installs the FourSquare map. I think if you install a supplemental map or install the primary map to SD card when there is insufficient space internally, it goes to /Map. Why? ... only Garmin knows how to be this inconsistant
Sorry, my bad, didn't realise we were talking about the FourSquare map.
In another thread, I was wondering about adding the full City Navigator 2019.30 to my:
Garmin Nuvi 350
Garmin Nuvi 360
Garmin Nuvi 500
I am wondering if anybody has done the cloning method with 2019.30 yet?
You could try but I think you would still butt your head on the 2gb limit on the 350/60.
I always used to use the cloning method but since the last few times GE has always directly installed the total map to my 2555's card.
Works well and the new map is totally loaded to my SD card. No problems!
Since the last few YEARS GE has always worked well for me ….. I don't understand how some people are still afraid of using GE!
Cloning done rightin the 855 Garmin GPS
Posted this elsewhere too.
A bit different and unorthodox too !
As I had mentioned elsewhere I have my old unreliable 855 with me in Mexico. I have a micro SD card in the unit withe the cloned 2019.20 maps.
I do not have a card adapter with me but wanted to update to 2019.30 and neede to come up with a solution.
So I plugged the 855 into my laptop, SD card and all. Then I renamed the 855 xml file which has the GPS info.
Have the same file on the SD card. Now GE recognized my SD card and let me download 2019.30.
When I was done I renamed the 3 files to "supp, moved the ASR files and voila I have 2019.30 in my 855.
Re-renamed the xml file in the GPS and also on the SD card and all is well. Sorry I cannot remember the correct file names but they are in the cloning instructions.
Great but it's still showing only 2019.20 : (
Great but it's still showing only 2019.20 : (
But then, the aland post you reference was made Tue, 05/30/2017!
But then, the aland post you reference was made Tue, 05/30/2017!
I was just making it known ; )
Since Garmin has removed all references for the download of the MapUpdater program, it is possible (likely?) that they do not intend to enable their servers to allow MapUpdater for 2019.30 or any future updates. Give it another week or so, then if MapUpdater still doesn't work, you are probably SOL.
Frustrated, I cant get GE to work either!
Probably your best course of action is to call Garmin and complain. They can probably help you get Express to work. If they can't make the case for them to enable MapUpdater.
Have being doing the same for my good old 260.
I have the GarminDevice.xml file exists both in the 260 internal memory and the SD card. The 260 works just fine.
For map updates, I just unplug the SD from the 260, plug it into my Win7 PC and run GE. When done, rename the three files (gmapprom.img, gmapprom.unl and gmapprom.gma) in the SD card's Garmin directory to gmapsupp.img, gmapsupp.unl and gmapsupp.gma). Plug the SD back to the 260. Done. Much faster than updating with the 260 connected to the PC through the USB 1.x interface.
260 does not support advanced features that use the ASR files, so I do not have those files to be shuttled around.
260 supports files >2GB, thus no needs to segment the map to several regions.
Hi, I am new here. Had an account years ago but wasn't very active so I registered again.
I just followed steps 1-8 and then followed instructions for the Zumo 665, but after 5 attempts I still can't get the Zumo to read the maps off the sd card.
I downloaded the SE region to the Zumo itself and the rest of NA to the sd card. But whenever I check the maps with the sd inserted, it still shows lower SE region.
Any Idea as to what I can be doing wrong?
Here are the steps I took.
1. Format the sd card (on Mac, high sierra) 16 gig (used previously and confirmed working).
2. Copied garmindevice.xml from Zumo to new Garmin folder on SD card.
3. Downloaded maps via Garmin Express to sd card
4. copied the 3 map files from .System folder to the created Map folder on sd card.
5. Moved .JCV folder from .system to Garmin folder
6. Moved additional files from .system folder to zumo .system folder, then deleted empty folder from sd card.
7.reinsert sd card to zumo and boot up.
8. Verified maps in settings and STILL showing SE region Lower 48.
I have been at this since yesterday (till 3am) downloaded, installed, format, repeat. Still nothing.
I am at my wits end. any help will be greatly appreciated.
Desperate for some assistance.
Are you certain your SD card is formatted as FAT32?
Thanks for posting and comments. Very interesting. I've archived it and will make it a winter day project at home.
Been away a while. Last map upload was 2018.30 so I had to relearn it all over again. Fortunately, AlanB's instructions are still quite clear. Garmin Express 6.10 worked quite well for me. I got 3 map files, 3 3D files, and a JVC file. After renaming and moving only the 3 map files I installed the sd card and powered up the Zumo 660 to check the Map Info. 2019.30 map found. 3D version was still 2018. So it appears that I *do* have to move the 3D files to the internal storage. (I did try moving all but the img file but that still did not work). So my post of Fri, 11/20/2015 - 5:44pm seems incorrect. And Step #12 might need an edit.
In addition to the 3D files, here is what else I have in internal storage along with file date year:
gmapbmap .img(2009) and .sum(1999)
gmapprom .uni(2016) and .sum(1999)
gmaptz .img(2018) and .sum(1999)
I am assuming that gmapbmap is the "base map".
What are the .uni files?
Thanks again for this GREAT RESOURCE!
This is helpful information.
Actually they are .unl (L) files and contain unlock codes for specific maps on your device. It looks as though you have an orphaned gmapprom.unl in internal storage (the 2016 one) that can be deleted. Make a backup though, just in case.
The .sum files are checksum files created by the diagnostic utilities. You can delete any and all .sum files you find on your device.
I don't seem to 'see' the full map or all of its resources. I may only be seeing California data.
I try Go To Address - if I start to type a Colorado zip code, as soon as I type "8" I get a single choice - 89508 (which is Reno, NV). If I type "9" and done, I get a list of the 9xxxx zips to choose from. If I type any other full or partial zip code I get "Search All Postal Codes".
If I type "Ren" in City I get Reno, CA as the only selection (there is no Reno, CA; there is a Reno Junction, CA, but it is zip code 96109.) If instead I type "Las" in the city and press Done I get Las Flores, CA as the only choice. If I try for Philadelphia, after "Phi" I get Phelan, Phillipsville, Philo CA as the only choices. If I type a city whose initial characters do not match any city in CA I get "Search All Cities".
Really looks like I'm only seeing CA data.
So I am going to restore the old internal and sd card images and start again. Any suggestions?
(I certainly hope this is operator error)
More later (sigh)
I don't seem to 'see' the full map or all of its resources. I may only be seeing California data...
Since this is the cloning technique thread, can we assume that's your update procedure: clone full map directly to SD card? Or could you have installed the map with Garmin Express letting GE choose which files to install internally and which to the SD card?
When you go to your zumo's Map Info (or myMaps) page, what map(s) are shown and are they checked? I hope you see North America 2019.30.
If it appears that you don't have all of North America, is it possible that you chose to download less than North America when using Garmin Express?
Other than that, and assuming you've cloned earlier maps with success, my guess is that an overlooked file move or file rename could be the cause.
OK, maybe I just came across something that has always been there and I never encountered it before. Cut to chase ...
I removed SD card.
I 'restored' a back up from 2017 to the internal storage; when I power on I get the message: Your map is over a year old ..."
I installed 2019.30 directly to the device using Garmin Express.
It fits -
I go to Tools|System|Map|Map Info and find 2019.30 and 3D for North America (Canada and US). I go to map and zoom in on my home. Detail all there. I WhereTo|Points of Interest|Gas and it shows my local stations; likewise food stores nearby.
I go back to Map, zoom way, way out, then 'pan' across the U.S. to Atlanta where I zoom in. I select a spot and press GO. It calculates a route. I can do the same and save the location as a favorite.
If I WhereTo|Points of Interest|Near I can pick 'Different City' and when I type in that city name it searches and finds it across the U.S. If I type in 'Las' I don't automatically get the city in CA. I can find Las Vegas, then look for Gas or Food and it gives me a list.
IF YOU PICK ADDRESS, then evidently "Nearby" defaults to the country/state that the GPS is in at that moment. From what I can tell, Address Search only works By State. (Because a directory of all street addresses in the US would be too big to search) At the top of the page it says Search In California, USA (or whatever State you have set). And at the bottom it says Change State or Country.
I just happened to pick Address as the first thing to test the new map. And evidently I hardly ever use it. (I do most stuff in Basecamp) And when I do search addresses on the Zumo, I am searching for an address 'nearby' to where I am at the time. When I searched by Zip code and put in an '8', there is only one zip code starting with an 8 in CA, so it showed it to me before I could type more digits. All the rest start with 9, which is why if I type a '9' I get a huge list starting with 9001, 9002, etc. When I typed "Las" in the City it immediately showed me the only city starting with LAS in CA.
SO IT WAS OPERATOR ERROR AFTER ALL. (tester error)
OK, maybe I just came across something that has always been there and I never encountered it before. Cut to chase ...
Thanks for the report and good reminder to use Change State, etc.
I bought a new Windows 10 laptop in early 2020. I haven't updated the maps on my old nuvi 660 in a long time so I decided to use the cloning method like I used to do --> http://www.poi-factory.com/node/39231
I installed the latest version of GE (22.214.171.124) and BaseCamp (4.7.2). I was able to install the entire 2021.2 NA on the PC for BaseCamp, but of course, the whole map won't fit on the 660 main unit.
Using GE, I installed the East region on to the main 660, no problem. Following the steps in the cloning FAQ, I attempted to change the existing map on the SD card to the West region following the instructions in this Garmin Support article:
(Click on the heading "To change the map on Windows or Mac" to expand the steps). My problem starts in step 4, which says to click on "Map Details" in order to change the the maps. However, "Map Details" is NOT displayed, only "View Details."
It says "Map Details is only available if the maps on the device are up-to-date." There is an up to date map file on the SD card! (I copied the East region files from the main unit to the SD card).
Without "Map Details" to click on, I can't go any further. Has anyone else tried this and been able to make it work?
You need to install the missing part of your Map using BaseCamp, not by using Express
... and please don't tell me using MapInstall.
I hate that POS and try to avoid it like coronavirus. It is so difficult to select the exact maps without gaps or overlaps.
Additional note - I found out that when I plug in the 660 main unit without an SD card installed, "Map Details" IS displayed as described in the Garmin Support article. When I connect just the SD card, "Map Details" is NOT displayed. Somehow, GE knows the difference between the main 660 and the "tricked out" SD card.
... BaseCamp launches MapInstall
I have always hated that program. Too hard to control the maps selected with the mouse. At least it is for me.
Anyway, I have another idea that I'm going to try. I'll post the results.
Must say I've never found it an issue. You can group select/delete or do it one map tile at a time.
I got the result I wanted without using MapInstall.
Since GE would only let me install the East region directly on the SD card, fine, that's what I let it do.
I then connected the Nuvi Main unit and changed the GE install options to the West region and installed it.
I renamed the 3 files on the SD card and deleted the GarminDevice.xml file in the Garmin folder as per the Cloning instructions.
I put the SD card back in the Nuvi Main unit, powered it up and voila, both maps were there. Each file is under 2GB.
SD Card: US & Canada - East (1,580,544)
Nuvi Main: US & Canada - West (1,577,376)
The maps are now current at version 2021.20.
Good result then
Got what I wanted installed, just had to do it within Garmin's limitations.
I used to use Garmin Map Updater, which I still have, but it no longer installs.
The cloning method worked great for me. I could not get my maps updated. I copied the Garmin directory to an SD card. The Garmin Express program recognized the SD card as my Garmin unit. I selected to Map Install to my computer only. The download was much quicker since the files were being copied to my hard drive. When the program finished I used BaseCamp to install to my DriveSmart 5. I ran Garmin Express again for my nuvi and selected to install to my computer only. Only the unlock files needed to be downloaded. I ran BaseCamp again to install to my Garmin nuvi. Installing the maps to my Garmin units only took 10 minutes each instead of hours. I will be using this method from now on.
If I understand your methodology correctly, you didn't really use cloning. Installing with BaseCamp uses Garmin's MapInstall method. The flaw in that method is that you don't get the feature files like junction view, voice recognition, point addressing, etc. These are the files with names ending in .JCV, .SID, .ASR, .SRX. You might want to look at the files on your device to see if the files with these names have the same date as your .IMG map files. If they don't, you have an incomplete update and some of these features will no longer work correctly.
Well, this method no longer worked when I tried to install version 2021.30. GE doesn't offer me an option for which region to install on the Main Unit. It only allows the West region for both the Main Unit and the SD Card. AARRGGHH!!
I thought I was well versed in the cloning method until I tried it on my new to me 2589 LMT.
Everything seemed to go smoothly during the update to the 16GB microSD card. I took the updated maps out of /.system and placed them in the /Map folder and the JCV folder went into /Garmin
The following directories were also created on the microSD card under /.system:
Am I supposed to be move these directories over to the 2589 and overwrite the existing folders and contents? I ended up doing that and after I booted the unit with the microSD in place the screen displays "CANNOT unlock map" I just clicked OK and was still able to view the map and mymaps displays the new 2021.30. The other issue was that the Foursquare map was still from 2019. Something seems off.
I shutdown the device, removed the microSD card and powered it up. I still get the "CANNOT unlock map" message which tells me that there's something going on with the internal maps. It has to be something in the above directories that I overwrote when I shouldn't have. I backed up all the old folders I overwrote so I copied the old /map directory contents back in along with the new contents.
After typing all of that I just realized that maybe I shouldn't have touched the maps folder because the contents are really for the internal device maps on 2589.
I ended up giving up on cloning this unit and installed directly to the device. I'm hoping that I can figure out how to clone this unit before the next upgrade as I'm running out of space.
Any ideas on the correct technique for the 2589LMT?
Personally with a modern device I'd let Express do it all for you. It'll tell you if there's a space issue and install maps to the sd card if necessary.
For the first time, I have been unable to install the full NA map for 2022.20 on my nuvi 855. Just for reference, the nuvi 855 is one of the models that does not automatically recognize the SD card in Garmin Express. It does handle map files bigger than 2 GB, but the internal storage is only 4 GB. So for many years, cloning has been the only choice on these 8xx models if you want the full NA map.
Well, maybe it is just something kinky with my particular 855 or my SD card, but I have been unable to get the full NA map to be recognized on my 855. The cloning update ran without problems and it looked like the full NA map should be available. But when I install the cloned SD card in the 855, it boots up with no detailed map file.
I will put some more time into this in a couple of days, but my first thought is that the full 2022.20 NA map file is just larger than the 8xx series nuvi can handle.
I would be interested to hear from other nuvi 8xx users who are using cloning.
EDIT 6/26/2021: This issue has been resolved. Please read the next few posts
Well, I have done considerable more trial and error with this and have concluded that cloning will no longer work on the 8xx series nuvis to give access to the full NA map, starting with version 2022.20. The cloning appears to work, but when you boot up the 8xx it will show that no detail map was installed. I was able to get the lower 49 installed using native Garmin Express, but only when installing to the internal storage and not trying to use the large JCV. The lower 49 now also states that no voice recognition service is available.
Well, I no longer use my 855, but unless someone else is able to successfully clone for the full NA, I think this is the end of the line for this series. I loved the 855 in its day, but moved on to newer devices long ago.
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