The GPS Blues: My Zumo 450 is Trying to Kill Me

The GPS Blues: My Zumo 450 is Trying to Kill Me

Preface: I generally do not use my GPS to navigate on my motorcycle. For the most part I use it to just log my ride and be there as a backup if I am looking for something specific like gas or a hotel. It is a rare occasion that I ever leave the house with a route programmed in to it to go somewhere. I still prefer to use paper maps and scribbles on paper. It’s my system, it works for me.

A few nights ago I decided to buy the Roadside America Attractions and Oddities POI download for GPS. At $20, it seemed like a good investment in finding the goofy stuff I love.

Garmin Zumo 450But, here I sit… a sad panda. I think my Zumo 450 GPS has moved beyond being an irritant. It is now trying to kill me.

I went through the simple and straightforward process of buying the Roadside America download. I plugged the GPS unit in to my computer, clicked download and… nothing. No error messages, no nothing. I went through the motions like a lunatic (expecting a different result) about 10 times.

So, after poking around on the device, restoring it to factory settings and ultimately downloading the POI file to my car Nuvi instead, it turns out the the Zumo 450 does not have enough space to download the 52MB .gbi file.

I looked around the web to see if I could find something that would allow me to convert the Roadside America .gbi to another format which could then be “massaged”. I tried GPSBabel but got no joy. Sonofa!

Patience isn’t my strong suit. I took a deep breath and tried to put all thoughts of punching a hole in my iMac away. There had to be a way to make this work, right? I mean, it isn’t rocket science.

I grabbed a 16GB SD card off my desk and using Spot it Out’s instructions loaded the files on there. Surely this had to be the answer! I popped the card into the Zumo and… my Zumo doesn’t recognize the data. I got nothing but an infuriating “No Extras Loaded” message when I went to the Extras option on the GPS.

Aaaaaarrrgh! You have got to be flippin’ kidding me!

Just for giggles, I tried another SD card. This time a 2GB version. Same result. No Extras Found.

Mr Rooney Screaming

For cryin’ out loud! I realize that the Zumo 450 is an older now retired unit, but c’mon. At this point I was pretty well incensed and ready to meltdown. I may or may not have let out a scream like Mr. Rooney did when they towed his car away.

I broke down and sent an email to the retailer Spot It Out to see if they would supply me with a different file format. ::crosses fingers::

If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em!

8 Replies to “The GPS Blues: My Zumo 450 is Trying to Kill Me”

  1. That’s typical of computer users, click on the same thing and expect it to work on the second try LOL
    You have no idea how many times I see 10 print jobs (all the same) on the printer queue because the user cliked 10 times always expecting it to print, OH, the life of an IT guy LOL
    Zumos are more trouble then they are worth.

  2. No suggestions here but I feel your pain with that unit. I have the same one and I use it to map routes out whenever I do longer street rides. Thank god for google maps on my phone it is such a better GPS. One day i’ll wire it into the bike and just use the phone by itself.

      1. I got a response from Spot it Out. they suggested i drop the main map .img from the zumo and DL the file on to the device from their page, then pull the POI files off onto a card then put the .img back on. so i gave that a try –

        but… once again, it fails to download on to the device at all.

        Then even after disco-ing the unit and replugging it in to my computer, I cant put the .img file BACK on to the Zumo. Says there isnt enough space. W T F?!?!?!?!?!

        I’m going to smash the f’n thing :-/

  3. Thanks, Rich-
    I actually got it sorted out last night after much headache. It became a matter of principle to make it work.

    I’ll post my notes just in case anyone else has the trouble~

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