Fixing A Bricked Garmin GPSmap 60CSx (Part 1)

Last week I had a minor panic attack and bout of depression. After coming back from one of the 10 Year Lost and Found Geocaching events late at night, I dropped my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx on the floor, picked it up and thought nothing of it. The reason being is that the 60CSx is a rugged piece of equipment which can withstand a lot of shock and even full immersion – this one in particular in an unrelated incident has survived being tossed 20-30 feet in a field – hardly a dent on it.

However the next evening I was preparing to load a new pocket query onto the device and powered it up the screen was completely blank! Nothing was loading, I tried banging it, replacing batteries powering up with USB cable but I got nothing. So I did what any guy with insufficient technical gonads to handle this problem, I turned to Google.

My googly friend soon pointed me to this page by Brilliant Corners. Essentially the solution to a similar looking problem was the following method:

  1. Download the latest firmware file.
  2. Double click the .exe and extract the files.
  3. Since the unit won’t be recognized by the firmware updater on its own, use the following key combo: hold down the power button (on the top of the unit) and push the directional button in the up (“^”) position.
  4. While holding those buttons down, double click on the Updater.exe file.
  5. While still holding down the two buttons, make sure your GPS device is selected, and then click the “OK” button to start the firmware update.
  6. During the entire firmware update process you need to hold those buttons down. Then when the update is finished, release and reboot.

Now, this meant I had to boot into Windows Vista and suffer a myriad of updates and other crap until that was finished so I could get to the fix. I had already downloaded the firmware, but I found BC’s link was broken so I went to Garmin direct for 4.00. However, I hardly used Windows for connecting to my Garmin before, so I decided to download the Webupdater to give that a try – turns out the Webupdater worked automatically and using xImage I was able to grab a screenshot of the 60CSx’s ‘desktop’ to confirm it had worked.

But as the discerning amongst you can already tell, if I had to use xImage to take a snapshot of the device – I still couldn’t see past a blank screen. Queue desperate monologuing to my wife as she’s trying to catch up on Lost and reminds me I am speaking over the TV…

So, what did I do next? You’ll have to read Part 2 (coming soon)…