I did exactly the same thing!. This is how I fixed it. Use Updater.exe NOT WebUpdate. Download the latest firmware for your unit (the rgn file), then connect your nuvi via usb. Turn it on and hold the power button left, at the same time drag and drop the rgn file onto the Updater,exe. It will start automatically and reload the firmware over the corrupt one.
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Same happened to my Garmin Nuvi 760, power failed during upload. Files corrupted. Garmin could not locate it with Sat. Told me to trash it and they would give me $70 towards purchase of a new one, which would not fit in my cars receiver. My solution was to purchase a used one that had a good Garmin File folder. I copied the folder to my pc. It was important to remove the device file from the copied folder. I then formatted my corrupted 760. Then copied the folder from my pc into the formatted 760. Next step was to use Garmin Express to replace the missing device file, do the updates, and reinstall the maps. Product code to unlock maps was inside the rear plastic housing to unlock the maps. Whole process took about 4 hours and it works like new now.
If the unit indicates "software/firmware missing", then you can only try to re-install firmware by running WebUpdater again. If it doesn't work, then the unit has to be sent to service to have it re-flashed.
There is no easy solution for this except to return your unit to the nearest Garmin outlet. You need to have very special equipment called an E-Prom burner or writer which only Garmin have. With this equipment they re-programmed (restore) the operating system back on your specific Garmin unit and model.
The problem why anybody can't do it is because there is no way you can access your Garmin unit from a pc or mac if the operating system is lost or damage on your Garmin, for the simple reason your pc or mac can't reconize the device that is pluged in, because there are no communication platform between the two devices.
As simple as that, life with it or send your Garmin gps to an autherized professional Garmin dealer.
BEFORE you connect the Garmin to your computer you must download the free Garmin program on your computer called UPDATER. Did you do that?
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To download the latest unit
software visit Garmin website: www.garmin.com/webupdaterAFTER installing WebUpdater once from the Garmin
website, perform all future software updates from your computer. Simply connect
your compatible Garmin device to your computer, then run WebUpdater from your
computer's "Start Menu" by selecting "Start",
"Programs", "Garmin", and finally "WebUpdater"
REMEMBER: It takes hours to do a complete a map update.
Unless you bought the Lifetime maps you may have to pay for current maps. Does this help? Let us know. Thanks.