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Garmin 66 STILL Crashing

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I've had my new Garmin 66st for just over a month now and really like it...when it isn't crashing!  

 

I check for updates very often and it is running 3.1 and all the latest optional updates, including the chipset.

 

But, it experiences a "soft crash" about once every hour.  This is usually during a "Find" operation.  The screen slowly fades away and then I have to turn the unit back on.  Very annoying, but not too serious.

 

Much worse are the "hard crashes".  Yesterday, I powered the unit back on (after using it for about an hour).  Nothing but a blank screen, and then some sort of "Resetting" message flashed by.  Many minutes later, it came up, factory fresh.  All my settings and files were gone.  This was right in the middle of a cache run, which I had to cancel.

 

Are these still common issues?  A friend with the same unit is experiencing very similar problems.

 

It's too late to send it back to Amazon!  I'm sort of tempted to return to my solid 64 and try the 66 again in a few months to see if there have been any more updates.  But...I really like it in almost every other respect!

 

I'm using a Garmin rechargeable battery pack (new), which seems to hold the charge well.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 

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I would be calling Garmin customer support direct. Talk through the problem with them.  

I had a problem after  6-8 weeks and the unit was replaced. That was 9 months ago 

Since then all OK 

I guess you have a12 month warranty anyway 

 

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I have the exact same issue and this is a replacement unit, no better than my first. Garmin acts like I'm the only one so please do contact them. They have not been very helpful in solving any of my issues. I do love the unit and will keep plugging away... but those hard crashes are very destructive!

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My GPSMAP 66 almost never crashes... What are you doing different than me?

 

How are you loading geocache data to the device?

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I use GSAK.  The exact same file in my 64 works great, in fact the 64 hasn't crashed for a very long time.

 

Today, I saved a waypoint using the 66, then tried to select it to navigate back to on the return trip.  Crash!  The screen slowly dims and the power goes off.  It comes right back up, though.  Then, could select the point and navigate, no problem.  It very routinely crashes about once an hour, but only after running for about that long - never early on during a session.

 

It's the crashes where everything is wiped that are the worst, and those are rare, but can ruin an entire day!

 

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It would be interesting to see if removing all geocaches restored stable operation for other functions.

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Have you tried a different set of batteries? Do you use the same battery pack in your  64 as well?

 

My 66s only crashed two or three times in nine months now, quite randomly. I never had any problems.

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Just adding to and expanding Atlas Cached's point...

Using tips from this and other forums.,

I NEVER NEVER load caches or  third party maps on to the device, always onto an SD card 

 

Inter alia it gives you another avenue to recovery if the device fails?

It has always worked for me and the  66 runs well ( as did my previous 6x series units)

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I started out with my usual PQs (which are duplicated on my eTrex 20 - that doesn't crash with the same files) on the internal memory, and had plenty of soft and hard crashes, and for a long time I have only loaded maps and PQs to the SD card. It continues to crash with the same files that doesn't give the eTrex 20 a problem. I used regular batteries, then Eneloops, and now the Garmin internal battery - none affected the rate of crashes.

 

I have multiple friends, some using GSAK to load a GGZ file rather than GPZ, with the 66s, and they have the exact crashes that I do. I try to get them to contact Garmin, but I think they see me wasting my time on that and don't feel compelled to do the same. 

 

I'm glad I can take out the SD card, reboot, and reindex those files on the road, but it takes serious time, and I despise having to remove a tiny SD card with wet/dirty hands in the middle of the woods or a river. If I don't have caches in the device, it isn't much use to me, so I don't care too much if it runs smoothly that way. The fact that the eTrex 20 can handle the same exact files tells me that the 66s should have no issue either.

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3 hours ago, RecipeForDisaster said:

I started out with my usual PQs (which are duplicated on my eTrex 20 - that doesn't crash with the same files) on the internal memory, and had plenty of soft and hard crashes, and for a long time I have only loaded maps and PQs to the SD card. It continues to crash with the same files that doesn't give the eTrex 20 a problem. I used regular batteries, then Eneloops, and now the Garmin internal battery - none affected the rate of crashes.

 

I have multiple friends, some using GSAK to load a GGZ file rather than GPZ, with the 66s, and they have the exact crashes that I do. I try to get them to contact Garmin, but I think they see me wasting my time on that and don't feel compelled to do the same. 

 

I'm glad I can take out the SD card, reboot, and reindex those files on the road, but it takes serious time, and I despise having to remove a tiny SD card with wet/dirty hands in the middle of the woods or a river. If I don't have caches in the device, it isn't much use to me, so I don't care too much if it runs smoothly that way. The fact that the eTrex 20 can handle the same exact files tells me that the 66s should have no issue either.

 

Can you share one or more of those GPX files for testing?

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I ran the Garmin Updater this morning on the 66st.  It showed a Chipset update to 2.70, which was not there two days ago.  When I first got the unit a month ago, I ran a chipset update.  I'm wondering if this is a new update, or if the last hard crash/factory reset of the unit erased the original update.

 

Update applied and I plan to test the unit again today.  Here's hoping!

 

Regarding the GGZ files, I load the exact same files to the 64, which has never crashed that I can remember, and has many hundreds of hours of use.

 

 

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I took the 66 out for an extensive test run yesterday - 18 caches and some waypoints in very challenging signal conditions (heavy tree cover and canyon walls).

 

It went three hours of flawless operation and then crashed just minutes from the end.  That was, by far, the longest it has gone without crashing in over a month of heavy use.

 

Two things were different:  First, the chipset update, and second, an operational change.  With the 64, I'm used to flying over the buttons when moving from one cache to the next and never wait for the device.  I was doing the same with the 66, but noticed there is a 2-3 second "Calculating" step with each new cache selection.  This time, I gave it plenty of time to complete that step before continuing to the next screen (the Compass screen, which is what I navigate with).

 

When it did finally crash, the "Calculating" message did not display.  Rather, it froze and then the screen very slowly faded out until the unit was off.  I turned it back on and was able to continue with no evident damage.

 

As a programmer, this behavior looks to me very much like the unit is building up overhead, either in memory or a file, then reaches a point of capacity, and crashes.  It has never crashed within the first hour of use, but only after one to three hours of heavy use.

 

An encouraging session, in any case.

 

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I can often get mine to crash hard while navigating on road with guidance, when I deviate from the route. I get frequent crashes when searching for a POI by name, too. Sometimes, it's seemingly for no reason,

 

I always give it time to "think" before pressing more buttons. I'm very gentle with it because I'm hoping to avoid crashes as much as possible. I have no mobile internet, so losing data really stinks, even if I can reindex the files from the SD card. Doing that in the woods or on the river, especially since it takes so long, is no fun.

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Others have said the 2.70 GPS chipset update was bad. Maybe it’s specifically bad if Expedition mode is used.

 

It’s a shame there have been no updates at all for a couple of months now. I guess they are busy with the even newer models.

 

 

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9 hours ago, _Art_ said:

Others have said the 2.70 GPS chipset update was bad. Maybe it’s specifically bad if Expedition mode is used.

 

It’s a shame there have been no updates at all for a couple of months now. I guess they are busy with the even newer models.

 

 

 

They are very busy producing ten thousand different watch variations for..... I dont know who.

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