How I Survived My Zumo 450 GPS

How I Survived My Zumo 450 GPS

The Battle of the Zumo 450 was hard fought… and won!

I am posting this in case there are other new Mac/Zumo 450 users who may have run into the same issue and didn’t know what to do.

To recap: I wanted to download the Roadside America Attractions and Oddities POI set from Spot it Out on to the Zumo.

My Hardware:

  • iMac
  • Garmin Zumo 450

The download process from didn’t error, per se. It didn’t actually do anything, it just halted with no messaging. I was on my own to try to figure out why.

I poked around the Zumo’s folders and found that there just wasn’t enough free space to download the 52MB file. I tried several things, including downloading the POI set to a different GPS device, putting the files on an SD card and trying to read it from there. (Which also did not work.)

Does Anyone Know?
Do POI files from Spot It Out get flagged for use with a device ID or something? Why would it not read from the SD card if it was downloaded from another device?

Fed up, I sent an email to Spot it Out.

The instructions I received from Spot It Out were:

You could do the following:

– insert an SD or microSD card into the unit

– connect the unit to the PC, temporarily remove the map database from the device (a file sometimes called gmapprom.img – or a very large file, about 1GB), download our title, then move our title from the /garmin/POI directory to an SD card, then write the database file back to the unit, the unplug the unit and restart. The title will now be read directly from the SD card.

Which I did and… it didn’t work.

Even after dumping that HUGE .img file off of the Zumo there was no additional free space. How is that f’n possible? The answer could only be one thing. Deleting the file didn’t really delete the file.

The following day, Kenny gem that he is figured he would “fix” things for me. Using his Windows laptop, he plugged in the Zumo and started looking through the directories.

What he found was that there is a folder on the Zumo that was not visible when I was looking at the GPS in OSX Finder called:  “.trashed”. In it was over 1GB of data.

When I moved the .img file to my desktop based on the instructions from Spot, I copied and pasted the file instead of cutting and pasting. I then deleted the .img file from the Garmin folder. The Zumo put the .img file into its (unknown to me) “.trashed” folder.

Ah. Ha.

Once the .trashed folder was cleared on the Zumo, the POIs downloaded without issue from the Spot It Out site. The newly downloaded POIs were moved off of the Zumo and onto an SD card. Then I moved the .img file back on to the Zumo, unplugged it, restarted it and prayed.

In the Extras on the GPS was the sweetest sight in the whole world – My Roadside America POIs being read from the SD card.

I wept.

3 Replies to “How I Survived My Zumo 450 GPS”

  1. Fuzzy,

    Anytime you delete a file on a Mac or a “drive” being read by a Mac the files are put in the trash on the drive in question. They do not actually leave until you empty the trash. Always make sure you empty your macs trash BEFORE disconnecting the drive (in this case your zumo) in question. You should also know that sometimes stuff doesn’t actually get removed from the trash without doing a forced empty trash. Hold down the option key and context(right) click on the trash bin. While still holding option click empty trash. This should solve future issues..

    There is also another way to deal with the zumo lines lack of ram. You can create a smaller gmapprom.img file (iow it has less of the country- say Minnesota and east only) or you can split the image file so that half of the country lives on the internal mem and the other half on the sd card. The latter is what I’ve done. Needless to say I’ve run into a number of issues with the zumo. Given the price of memory today it’s a total insult that garmin couldn’t be bothered to put 2gb of ram ($10) in a $600 box.

    1. Thanks, Kevin 🙂 That is incredibly helpful to know!

      I had no idea that was necessary. I’m a totally uneducated Mac user. What a pain to have to learn that the hard way!

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