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Any truth to this?


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So I joined one of the Geocaching groups on Facebook tonight. One of the first post I read was this:

 

"To anyone with a Garmin GPS. Do not use the webupdater on garmins web page it has the posibilty of killing your GPS. I downloaded the updater last night to my GPS and now it will not turn on. I have looked on the web an found that other people are having the same problem. I am wating to hear back from garmin as to what to do next. Stay away from the updater."

 

Is there any truth to this, or is it isolated to a few unlucky folks. The poster may be a member here, so I'll leave them anonymous for now, and if they want to chip in that's great.

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So I joined one of the Geocaching groups on Facebook tonight. One of the first post I read was this:

 

"To anyone with a Garmin GPS. Do not use the webupdater on garmins web page it has the posibilty of killing your GPS. I downloaded the updater last night to my GPS and now it will not turn on. I have looked on the web an found that other people are having the same problem. I am wating to hear back from garmin as to what to do next. Stay away from the updater."

 

Is there any truth to this, or is it isolated to a few unlucky folks. The poster may be a member here, so I'll leave them anonymous for now, and if they want to chip in that's great.

Sounds like he might have somehow interrupted the firmware update before it was done.

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Yes it is possible to brick your gps with the webupdater, though unlikely if you follow a few simple steps. First remove any SD/Micro SD card you have installed. Next never use the front USB port on your PC or any type of USB hub, you can run into issues when doing it this way.

 

You may not have any issues using a USB hub or the front PC USB ports, but why run the risk?

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Yes it is possible to brick your gps with the webupdater, though unlikely if you follow a few simple steps. First remove any SD/Micro SD card you have installed. Next never use the front USB port on your PC or any type of USB hub, you can run into issues when doing it this way.

 

You may not have any issues using a USB hub or the front PC USB ports, but why run the risk?

 

What's the deal with the front USB ports on a PC? I never knew there was any issue with those?
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What's the deal with the front USB ports on a PC? I never knew there was any issue with those?

 

The front USB ports on a PC works like a USB hub, hence the issue. I had my 60Cx get messed up during an upgrade using my front USB port on my old PC. After checking on the forum to see what I might have done wrong everyone pointed me to this as being the possible issue.

 

I stopped using the front USB ports, or any USB hubs, and have never had an issue since.

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I did it for my eTrex Venture HC, from 2.7 to 2.8 and 2.8 to 2.9. There's a thread here, however, by posters who said their units got bricked when running the WebUpdater when going from 2.9 to 3.0.

The problem was that the software version 3.00 was itself buggy. It didn't make any difference whether you installed automatically using WebUpdater, or downloaded and manually installed the software update; i.e. that particular problem was nothing to do with WebUpdater as such.

 

There was a workaround (as I found out), and this particular issue has since been rectified by the later software version 3.10 (just released).

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The front USB ports on a PC works like a USB hub, hence the issue.

That is not true for the vast majority of machines. The front USB ports are usually just like an extension cord (i.e. no electronics components) to a USB header on the motherboard. A hub has active electronics in it. Theoretically, there should be no difference, but it may be more susceptible to noise, and may be less reliable due to poor electrical connection.

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The front USB ports on a PC works like a USB hub, hence the issue.

That is not true for the vast majority of machines. The front USB ports are usually just like an extension cord (i.e. no electronics components) to a USB header on the motherboard. A hub has active electronics in it. Theoretically, there should be no difference, but it may be more susceptible to noise, and may be less reliable due to poor electrical connection.

All the USB ports on your computer act as if they were on a hub, which is part of the USB host circuitry on the motherboard. However, there generally shouldn't be any difference between the front and rear ports. For a while, though, Dell laptops had a problem where they weren't supplying sufficient power to the USB ports and some devices wouldn't work or would randomly fail. In some cases you might do better using an external, powered hub to ensure sufficient current is available for your devices.

Edited by SiliconFiend
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The front USB ports on a PC works like a USB hub, hence the issue.

That is not true for the vast majority of machines. The front USB ports are usually just like an extension cord (i.e. no electronics components) to a USB header on the motherboard. A hub has active electronics in it. Theoretically, there should be no difference, but it may be more susceptible to noise, and may be less reliable due to poor electrical connection.

All the USB ports on your computer act as if they were on a hub, which is part of the USB host circuitry on the motherboard. However, there generally shouldn't be any difference between the front and rear ports. For a while, though, Dell laptops had a problem where they weren't supplying sufficient power to the USB ports and some devices wouldn't work or would randomly fail. In some cases you might do better using an external, powered[/i] hub to ensure sufficient current is available for your devices.

I've heard that if you are driving a bunch of USB devices then the current is split too much that it can't support enough current for one or more of the USB devices.

 

Also my Dell PC periodically won't boot up and I have to unplug USB devices just to be able to bootup.

Edited by TrailGators
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I've heard that if you are driving a bunch of USB devices then the current is split too much that it can't support enough current for one or more of the USB devices.

 

As the post above yours says, use a powered USB hub. You'll have lots less problems.

My PC is USB 2.0. Evidently it can't support too many devices because the PC power supply current limits.
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I've heard that if you are driving a bunch of USB devices then the current is split too much that it can't support enough current for one or more of the USB devices.

 

As the post above yours says, use a powered USB hub. You'll have lots less problems.

My PC is USB 2.0. Evidently it can't support too many devices because the PC power supply current limits.

Hang a powered hub off that USB port and it'll solve the problem.

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I've heard that if you are driving a bunch of USB devices then the current is split too much that it can't support enough current for one or more of the USB devices.

 

As the post above yours says, use a powered USB hub. You'll have lots less problems.

My PC is USB 2.0. Evidently it can't support too many devices because the PC power supply current limits.

Hang a powered hub off that USB port and it'll solve the problem.

Thanks! I'll add stopping by Fry's to my todo list.
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In no way possible can faulty firmware destroy hardware, it doesn't even make sense

 

I have written firmware that blew all the fuses in the device (not GPS). It can be done if you know what you are doing and the hardware designers didn't.

Edited by fourbeer
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