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My Garmin eTrex Venture (software 1999-2002) won't boot.

My Garmin eTrex Venture doesn't boot properly. It's been stored quite a while with batteries in it, and had a lot of trouble booting up, but did so eventually. Changed batteries for fresh ones, and now it won't boot up and stay on at all. Tried to reset it but couldn't get the screen to do much more than scramble a bunch of lines and stripes. Turned off the GPS (using it inside to get used to the unit and explore the manual before taking it into the field), but that was as far as I could get. It is stalled at stripes. This unit was acquired in 2005 and used extensively by the non-profit volunteers of our organization. Then it was stored for a year or so, and recently relocated and reactivated. We can't get it to do much. Can you help?

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The screen of the Etrex looks like the unit might have sustained a lightning strike, or been exposed to moisture. I tried several resets. Never could get it to the 'white screen' or the instructions I was to follow (even after pressing screen and on button 5 minutes). Took it to a meeting the next day ready to explain to the board that their expensive piece of equipment needs replacement. Except it worked. Sort of. It's needed to deliver WAAS readings on well sites. It sort of does that, in between flipping screens and scrambling screens. My theory is if I can try again (after my thumb and finger recover) to reset, maybe I can restore the thing, which was apparently lost under the seat of a car that was very near a fireball lightning strike or two, in a remote rural (read humid) salt waterfront community. Electronics hate surges, water, salt and battery corrosion, but it was found again after about a year, with the batteries still in place, not corroded, and still functional. Don't mess with these early Garmins. They're tough!!

Posted on Apr 17, 2009


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