Cloning method Discussion Thread: How to install a map update directly to a SD card.

 

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.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon
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Nuvi 855 ... cloning still works for CN NA 2022.20

As a follow up to the two previous posts, POI Factory member Melaqueman has successfully used cloning on the CN NA 2022.20 with a nuvi 855. At this time, I have no explanation for why Melaqueman has been successful and I have not, but I have apparently made a mistake in the procedure or my particular nuvi 855 has a problem. So if you own a nuvi 8xx model, don't be discouraged ... give cloning a try and let us know your results.

I am going to give this another try with my nuvi 855 and will post the results.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Cloning nuvi 855 ... more troubles with 2022.25

Has anyone had any luck installing the FULL CN NA 2022.25 map version on a nuvi 8x5 series. I had problems with 2022.20 but was able to get them resolved with Melaqueman's help. But this time, I can't get Garmin Express to offer anything but the lower 49 map version when doing a clone update of my 855. And when I proceed with that, I do not get new files for the ASR and SRX voice recognition files that should download with the map. I of course also just get the puny JCV junction view file, so I doubt whether the large JCV file that comes with my nuvi 755 full NA map will work either (haven't tried that yet though).

At this point I think I will just stick with the 2022.20 map on my 855, and forget the update to 2022.25. I rarely use the 855 any more, so it isn't a big deal if it doesn't have the newest map. It is more just a case of curiosity to see if this old unit is still updatable.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Update 855

As I am writing this I am doing the full 2022.25 SD clone update to an 8 GB SD card. This download is HUGE.
I'm wondering what I may run into with my 2797 or the DriveSmart 50 as far as size is concerned. A new cloning method???
I want/need the full NA version i.e Canada, USA and Mexico though this year as last year I am flying south.

Might I suggest that you use an older version of the
GarminDevice. x m l file.

My thought is that there may be something in the GarminDevice file limiting the map file download.

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

Worth a try ... thanks.

Melaqueman wrote:

Might I suggest that you use an older version of the
GarminDevice. x m l file.

My thought is that there may be something in the GarminDevice file limiting the map file download.

That's a good thought. I will have to look at some of my old backups to see if I can find an older version of Garmindevice.xml. My thumb drive that I use for cloning has plenty of free space, so I know that isn't causing my problem.

I don't think cloning will be required for your 2797 or DriveSmart. Garmin Express should handle it natively and use the SD card only if needed.

If the CN NA map ever exceeds the 4 GB file size and starts being delivered in two files as the CN EU map currently is, I am guessing cloning will no longer be viable. I have not heard if anyone has ever tried cloning with the full CN EU map since it has been delivered in two files.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

installing map on SD card

thanks for the information

Thanks again Melaqueman!

alandb wrote:
Melaqueman wrote:

Might I suggest that you use an older version of the
GarminDevice. x m l file.

My thought is that there may be something in the GarminDevice file limiting the map file download.

That's a good thought. I will have to look at some of my old backups to see if I can find an older version of Garmindevice.xml. My thumb drive that I use for cloning has plenty of free space, so I know that isn't causing my problem.

Well Melaqueman, once again you nailed it! I found a 2018 version of my nuvi 855 GarminDevice.XML file, and sure enough ... that enabled Garmin Express to install the full CN NA 2022.25 map to the clone including the associated .ASR and .SRX speech recognition files. I was able to copy these files along with the large JCV file from my nuvi 755 to the 855 and it seems to be working as well as can be expected. I tested in simulation mode on a long route and was getting correct routing, map display and junction views, although the 855 did crash part way through the route simulation. It rebooted and continued the route from where the simulation left off.

With my map update issues, your recent 855 problems requiring a device reformat, and some of the flaky performance history with the 855 (even in its better days) I will not be surprised if the time will come sooner rather than later that this device is no longer workable with new maps. As I indicated in my earlier post, keeping the 855 going is mostly a curiosity for me these days. It served me well when it was my main driver and probably deserves a respectful retirement. grin

Thanks again for your advice.

Edit: Here is another interesting quirk about the 855. After doing the successful map install of CN NA 2022.25 using cloning, when I bring up Garmin Express with the 855 plugged in, Express still says that I need the 2022.25 map update. It is apparently not recognizing the updated map from the GarminDevice.xml file. I have the gmapsupp.* files on the SD card, and the .ASR, .SRX, and .JCV files on the internal memory. I suspect this is somehow what has caused my map update issues on the last two updates. Maybe I should never let Garmin Express see my "real" nuvi 855.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Interesting

Interesting Alan. I was doing a long simulation on my Smartdrive 60 with 2022.25 maps and it crashed like you had happen with your 855. Wonder if it an update issue with this new map..

--
Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.
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