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You can charge the garmin satnav with either the car charger when the car is running, an optional mains charger or you can charge it through the USB port of a computer. It takes around 8 hours to charge through a computer or 4 from a car or mains charger.
Plugging your Nuvi into a computer's USB port will charge it. You can also use a powered usb hub that has a wall-power plug to act as a charging station for your nuvi without needing a computer at all.
I had the same problem. What caused it was the cable I bought at Radio Shack. I fit into the slot at the back of the device and into a usb outlet. But it was not a usb cable despite this. It was a battery charger. My computer did not detect the device though it recharged its battery. As soon as I purchased a usb cable at Radio Shack that connected to the same outlets as the charger, I was able to register.
It sounds like your battery is defective. They can be replaced. The Motorola phone cable is not wired exactly like the Garmin, and your Nuvi thinks it's connected to a PC. Radio Shack carries a charger for the Nuvi. I have one myself.
Let me know if you need additional help with your battery problem.
As no information is given in the booklet nor with the charger, I visited Halfords locally. My family had purchased the SatNav as a present in one of their main shops in Bristol. A young man showed me an identical system and said that the charger had to be disconnected before I could see the battery in the right hand corner. This seems to be an absurb arrangement as how do you know when the charge is completed. He said that it should take about 4 hours, I have yet to confirm this in the future.