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Thread: Accidently formatted my garmin Nuvi 255W!!

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    Junior Member layedback's Avatar
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    Default Accidently formatted my garmin Nuvi 255W!!

    I have a Garmin nuvi 255w that I gave to my son and he accidently formatted the unit itself instead of the SD card and now it won't work properly. Stupid me, I never thought of backing it up and now it's just a useless paperweight.
    I searched everywhere (even here!!) to see if I can recover the missing files to no avail. I called the Garmin company and they were no help, they basically told me to toss it in the trash and buy a new one. If anyone can help with this I'll greatly appreciate it!!

    Thanks!!

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    You should be able to connect it to your computer with Garmin software and reload it.

    Sent from my BLA-L29 using Tapatalk



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    Quote Originally Posted by hoe View Post
    You should be able to connect it to your computer with Garmin software and reload it.

    Sent from my BLA-L29 using Tapatalk
    I'm not so sure of that; as if it truly formatted the device memory, there will be no ID to attach to.



    Surething will know for sure, there goes another cup of coffee.
    Last edited by Tiny; 09-02-18 at 06:34 PM.
    Cheers, Tiny
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    Try putting in pre-boot mode and flash the firmware using Garmin's UPDATER.EXE program, not WebUpdater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by layedback View Post
    I have a Garmin nuvi 255w that I gave to my son and he accidently formatted the unit .......
    Bit light on info so i'd take a guess, by not working properly you mean it's stuck on Garmin logo splash screen and won't boot up? If so, this should be a relatively easy fix however i might need to know which HWID it is because if the wrong firmware is flashed to it it may be hard-bricked forever. Presently it's only 'soft-bricked' due to inappropriate formatting of the file system. Even if he did it in FAT32 using the built-in Windows tool it is sometimes not acceptable to Garmin's proprietary OS but we can do it later if necessary using a third-party tool if necessary. Baby steps, one at a time.

    So layedback, some things for you to try/give more info please:
    Check if it's recognised in Mass Storage Mode when you connect it by USB to PC.
    If it isn't recognised in Windows Explorer but it is in Disk Management check that it's had a drive letter assigned, if not assign one.
    If you can see it in Explorer, create a folder named Garmin in the root, safely remove it from the PC and see if it'll boot.

    Report back and we'll know how to proceed. If it's not recognised at all by the PC don't panic, it just means well need to load a modified 'cure' firmware in preboot mode (using Updater.exe to load as mentioned by Hoe).

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    Default Accidently formatted my garmin Nuvi 255W!!

    Here are some photos that'll give you an idea on what I'm dealing with.

    I connected the USB cable to the computer and I turn it on, I get the Logo splash screen.


    After the splash screen I get this screen.


    When I put my finger on the screen to clear the message I get the main screen.


    From the main screen I can access all the menus, so I when to get the info on the maps an the map info button is grayed out!!! I left the GPS connected for 10-15 mins and the satellite indicator will not find any satellites.


    I unconnected the USB cable and reconnected the GPS and the computer is connected to the GSP (I hope!!).


    The computer does see the GPS main memory and the SD card, but when I went in to read the files, there was no files on either the GPS main memory or the SD card.


    I tried a few format recovery tools hopefully I can recover the files, but came out unsuccessful.
    And that's where I'm stuck at the moment. If someone has a better solution, I'm all ears.

    Thanks for all your help!!!

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    Thanks for the pics, they speak a thousand words. It's clear now what's occurred which is simply that the device as been successfully reformated in a way that allows the Garmin OS to boot but of course it cannot operate properly without the vital files on-board.

    Follow this:

    • Remove the SD card.
    • Connect the 255W to PC, create a folder named Garmin in the root of the device's internal memory.
    • Safely remove it from PC and let it boot up once.
    • Start Garmin Express and re-connect to PC and follow GE's prompts to get back your official detail map and other updates such as voice, vehicles etc.

    If you need GE get it here: .

    You'll need a basemap which GE won't supply, you can get the latest V5.1 DEM Woldwide basemap from here: . Note that after you extract that RAR file (use WinRar, 7-Zip or Universal Extractor) you must have the naming as gmapbmap.img only and place it inside the Garmin folder.

    When you've replaced all the necessary files place the device outside with a good view of the sky to get a satellite fix. It might take a while to do that because it's starting again from scratch and could take anything up to 20 or even 30 minutes but it depends on how many sats are in range immediately.

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