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What To Do When Garmin USB GPS Stops Working

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  • What To Do When Garmin USB GPS Stops Working

    I had an interesting problem which at first made me believe the Garmin GPS18 I had purchased was defective. However, after calling Garmin tech support (who were extremely good at their job) I learned that the culprit was in the Windows Vista/Windows 7 power management.

    The problem:
    Garmin Mobile PC would lose connectivity to the GPS receiver. The only way to fix it was to unplug the receiver and plug it back in.

    The solution:
    Open the Windows Power Management control panel. Select Advanced power options. Expand the USB item, then disable the automatic USB sleep mode.


  • #2
    Thanks for sharing!

    I have used Garmin Mobile PC with Globalsat USB GPS BU-353 for almost a year now, 6 days a week / 12 hours a day, but I haven't noticed the issue you have described. I use the default Windows Vista power management settings:

    • USB selective suspend settings:
    • On battery: Enabled
    • Plugged in: Disabled
    Perhaps the reason why I experienced no problems is due to the fact that my laptop is always plugged in.
    Laptop GPS World


    • #3
      It's entirely possible that your GPS unit is not susceptible to the issue and may not go into sleep mode because the OS detects that the device is in use. As I said, it's a problem known to Garmin and may be unique to their USB drivers and/or design of the units.


      • #4
        That could be the case, too. Garmin USB GPS receivers are in some respect different than the rest of USB GPS receivers on the market.
        Laptop GPS World


        • #5
          Well, I'm beginning to think either there's a bug in Windows 7 Beta concerning power management of USB ports, or this unit really is defective. I found a way to reset the USB port with software and hopefully that'll work (I'm going to try it when I get home). If it works I'll just add it as an icon to my Win7 task bar.

          BTW, Windows 7 is awesome for a CarPC, especially using Centrafuse and Garmin Mobile PC or any other application that doesn't embed (well) with Centrafuse. The way that the Win7 task bar works allows it to function identically and be the same size regardless of which edge of the screen it is attached to. I'm using 1280x768 resolution so I put the task bar on the right side edge and that leaves plenty of space for both Centrafuse and GMPC to work really well, and you get more vertical space to boot!


          • #6
            I'm having problems with Garmin 18 GPS and Windows 7. THis unit had been working for years with no issues with XP sp3.

            Windows 7 came with pre-installed drivers for the Garmin USB. I knew it was there for a couple of days, but never had a chance to test it, as I was still configuring the computer. After a few days, I downloaded an update for Garmin USB via Windows Update. I did that and immediately after I started getting BSODs: grmnusb.sys was the culprit. I dual booted to WinXP and it was working fine, so apparently it had enough juice and bandwidth. But the only way I could stop the BDOD was routing another USB cable directly to the computer (it was plugged to a powered USB hub before).

            However I still lose connectivity, after hibernating it never goes back to work, and after a restart once in every 5/6 times the device is not even recognized. A restart solves the issue.

            That's very frustrating.
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