Garmin nüvi 255W: Hidden Track Log - Unable to Create gps.bin files

Discussion in 'Garmin GPS' started by EddyCurr, Dec 17, 2023.

  1. EddyCurr

    EddyCurr

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    How do I command the creation of a gps.bin file in the Garmin/Logs directory of a nüvi 255W ?

    I have owned my 255W device since new. The UI of the original firmware ( <= Ver 2.30) included a feature for logging raw track data. User Access to the track logging feature was eliminated from the UI when I made the mistake of updating the firmware (Ver 7.80) in 2021.

    I subsequently discovered that the track logging feature remains and that it can be activated by using hidden buttons in the "Save Location" screen. Activating the feature results in the display of a menu with "Start Playback" and "Start Recording". Selecting "Start Recording" returns me to the "Ready to Navigate" screen where a transparent [Stop] button is visible.

    After a long interval of not using the 255W, I have a need to create log files again, but am not succeeding. Activating the feature creates a new sub-directory under Garmin/Logs, but populates it only with nav.bin and traffic.bin files. I no longer recall w/ certainty whether I was initially successful in using this "Hidden Track Log" procedure to actually create gps.bin files in the logs directory - I THINK I might have.

    Garmin nüvi 255W
    • Software: Ver 7.80
    • Audio: Ver 1.20
    • GPS SW: Ver 4.10b
     
    EddyCurr, Dec 17, 2023
    #1
  2. EddyCurr

    EddyCurr

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    Supplemental:

    I am aware that Settings/Map/Trip_Log: "Show / Hide" will cause track logs written in the Garmin/GPX/current.gpx file to be visible or not.

    My understanding is that this is known as the "breadcrumbs method" and that it is said to be subject to inaccuracy in a manner that the "raw data method" does not experience.
     
    EddyCurr, Dec 17, 2023
    #2
  3. EddyCurr

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    Maybe you could roll back to a previous version of software :-
    https://archive.org/download/Garmin_Nuvi_Firmware_Archive_Perry_Mirror

    760 and 770 appear to be available, please note that there is some risk when installing these files as installing the wrong file or the install not completing successfully can render the satnav completely inoperable
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Dec 18, 2023
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  4. EddyCurr

    EddyCurr

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    Thank you for the link to the archive.

    If there is any prospect of assistance in overcoming the failure to create gps.bin files, I sense that there is less danger of bricking my obsolete but functional nüvi. However, I HAD wondered whether rolling back to Ver 2.30 or earlier was possible. The Garmin site has not helpful.

    Now I need to make my way up the learning curve. I see .exe and .gcd files in the archive. Research tells me that .gcd's are collections of binary files. The file naming convention is opaque, but examination of the archive's contents steered attention to series of files that seemed promising. Such as:

    nuvi200_290.exe through to nuvi200_340.exe

    nuvi250_290.exe through to nuvi250_340.exe​

    and

    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__760.gcd through to nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__780.gcd

    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__760.gcd through to nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__780.gcd​

    Any assistance regarding file identification and selection will be most welcome.

    Once an appropriate firmware file is identified, my next challenge will be figuring out what to do with the file.

    I have read that from a cold boot/power-cycle, the nüvi 255W looks at the Version reported by "GCUPDATE.GCD" in its /Garmin dir. If the version is older than currently installed, there is a prompt to ask whether to flash the BIOS with the old version.

    If that's the case, then does one a) download the chosen firmware file from the archive; b) rename it to "GCUPDATE.GCD"; c) upload the renamed copy to the "/Garmin" dir; d) perform a cold boot and e) respond affirmatively when prompted whether to reflash the BIOS?
     
    EddyCurr, Dec 18, 2023
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  5. EddyCurr

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    Nuvi-Nebie, Dec 19, 2023
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  6. EddyCurr

    EddyCurr

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    1) Thank you. Your remarks posted to the linked thread tell me what I wanted to know (and confirm scraps of initial knowledge picked up elsewhere.)

    2) With regard to files in the archive

    - Any idea what distinguishes an "MTK" file from a non-"MTK" file ??

    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__760.gcd

    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__760.gcd

    - the .exe files are believed to be compressed self-extracting archives, rather than compiled executable "programs", correct??

    3) If the "260" in "nuvi250W_260.exe" denotes the Ver# within, this is beyond release 2.30 which is said to be the last one that included the means to log raw data.

    I see V2.30 for Nuvi 3x0 and 7x0 series devices. Without some awareness of compatibility, it seems unwise to consider loading any of those to a 255W

    Thanks again for the assistance
     
    EddyCurr, Dec 19, 2023
    #6
  7. EddyCurr

    Nuvi-Nebie Moderator

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    1) OK

    2a) MTK are a manufacture of GPS modules (Mediatek), I'm guessing Garmin have used 2 different manufacture's modules

    2b) At least some of the EXE files are programs that search for a Garmin Device on the computer's USB ports and write a GUPDATE.GCD file to the /Garmin Folder (not the .System folder)

    3) I would not try to install any file that does not start with nuvi2x5W, these file are for other Garmin models NOT the Nuvi 255W

    If you are certain that you need version 2.30 then there is no point in going any further as the link supplied only holds versions 760, 770 and 780, however if you want to use 760 or 770 I would start by examining your 255W folders to determine where the GUPDATE.GCD is (/.System or /Garmin), having found this file I would copy it to your computer and run a sha1sum check on it and compare it to the 2 versions of 7.80 available in the link, if for example the GUPDATE.GCD on your 255W matches to :-

    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__780.gcd

    Then you will know you have Version 7.80 in the link that is for MTK modules and you would be able to install either the 760 or 770 MTK from the link

    Code:
    SHA1SUM                                    SIZE      NAME
    9d204acd4c89244c1c0bf787e87b019e82e8f6a0   9659KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__760.gcd
    c4f5fa6ac4152ed5cada824d4d1c5d301fd71b24   9664KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__770.gcd
    ad21d9f7608c47cbf2f4a080b42744990e4863ad   9664KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile-MTK__780.gcd
    
    fad68ce918658c19dd7c443abe2fc7055387ffe7   8705KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__760.gcd
    a696deab032949eaca2267201c972eb087c22df0   8710KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__770.gcd
    894d3530358fc00c422b334a2316576fb43a8a6e   8710KB    nuvi2x5W_GCDFile__780.gcd
    
    NOTE :- All 6 files above are different
     
    Nuvi-Nebie, Dec 20, 2023
    #7
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