Question about Garmin eTrex Vista GPS Receiver

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Garmin Etrex Vista Date problem

I have a Garmin Etrex Vista, and the date that appears (17-AUG-25) cannot be changed. Today's date is 17-NOV-07. How can I fix this problem? Thank you.

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  • julianh Nov 18, 2007

    I have experienced the same problem - with two separate Vista units!

    About 5 weeks ago, I purchased a Garmin eTrex Vista. Within a couple of days, I had to return it because it started showing the wrong date – out by many years. In all other respects, the unit seemed to be working fine (acquired a satellite fix quickly, compass and barometer work OK, etc).

    The unit was replaced with a new Vista unit, which was working fine – until today! Now my new replacement unit is showing exactly the same symptoms. Today (17 November 2007) it is showing the date on the Main menu screen as 02-Oct-66. (There is nothing I can see which shows whether this is 1966 or 2066, but either way, the date is wrong.) It shows the correct time of day, however, and manages to get a satellite fix quickly, even though it appears it believes that it is living 59 years in the future (or possible 41 years in the past.) I have checked that I am running the latest system firmware (version 3.70), and have tried a full hard reset, changed the batteries, etc, but nothing I have tried will correct the date problem.

    Interestingly, the downloaded track-log file shows the dates for the latest track-log points as being 24-Aug-30 to 27-Aug-30, whereas the unit itself is currently showing the date as 02-Oct-66!

    Another critical issue is that I can’t download track-logs into MapSouce – the MapSource software attempts to download the current track from the unit, but then at the end of the download seems to recognize that the data is corrupt, and rejects the whole track-log.

    Is there a known PERMANENT fix for this problem?

  • shawnf Mar 23, 2008

    I have the same problem. Didn't notice it at first, with so many options. But once I did it drove me crazy. Great FIX Perfect

  • abirbarel Mar 28, 2008

    i have the problem i swiched to a new product but the problem apeare again

  • Anonymous Apr 23, 2008

    today is 4/23/08. the garmin etrex vista says that it is 3/9/67, presumably 2067. i've tried fixing via the manual, but no information is in the manual. i've tried to change it through the accessories page, both calendar and the sun & moon sections to no avail. i've called the US garmin # on the back of the manual, spoken with a garmin representative - to no avail. i've downloaded the webupdater, all the while being kicked offline (dial-up) 6x. this is the 5th garmin etrex vista that i know of having problems, one of which i turned back into our agency because the screen became garbled (also on 2 others & one w/ a malfunctioning toggle). good grief, how i miss the summit.

  • sarahhenders Jul 26, 2008

    I also am unable to correct the date on my Garmin Etrex Vista. Very annoying, and disappointing that after all the complaints on this website that no solution has been offered. Date shown is 19 Jan 25

    Barazani, 26 July 2008

  • Anonymous Jul 30, 2008

    date wrong, won't aquire

  • Anonymous Aug 20, 2008

    Yup same problem, two units.

  • andrea196 Mar 30, 2009

    Same problem



7 Answers

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Thanks to a hint from a user on another web forum, I have found a fix, at least for now.

Specifically, a normal "master rest" on the eTrex Vista is accomplished by holding down the "Page" button and "Enter" (i.e. the click stick) while powering up. You are prompted that a full reset will occur, and after confirming, the machine is reset. However, in my case, this achieved a full reset, but did not fix the date problem.

However, the undocumented "super master reset" on the eTrex Vista is achieved by simultaneously holding down the "Page, "Enter" and "Find" buttons while powering up. You have to hold all buttons in for about 5 to 7 seconds, and you DON'T get the warning message, but when the machine finally restarts, it is fully reset. After acquiring a satellite fix (took several minutes) - lo and behold - my time AND date both seem to be correct!

Oddly, neither Garmin tech support nor the local reseller seemed to know about this method of REALLY resetting the machine - I will pass on the information to them, for future reference.

The link which documents the "super master reset" procedure is here:

Hope this might also help other eTrex Vista owners who are experiencing the same date problem.

Posted on Nov 21, 2007

  • Captain H Mar 19, 2011

    My etrex vista was stuck trying to find itself, the clock was about 15 minutes off. The super master reset worked! Within 5 minutes it was up and running perfectly.

    Thanks for the info!


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Garmin has a utility to reset the time and date:
garmin_timeset.exe it's about 271Kb
It will work until the next time the unit gets out of sync.
I can't find it anywhere on their web site, a tech sent it to me.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009

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Currently the only permanent fix for this problem is to make sure WAAS is not enable otherwise you will be doing the master rest on a regular basis.span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; } span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }

Posted on Jun 20, 2009

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I bought this very new condition eTrek Vista from someone on craigslist, with case, with DC power car adapter, with Data Cable for 45 bucks 2 nights ago. I checked it out fine on site, but didn't notice or know there was a date/year issue. I almost gave up today after hours of trying to go through the menus and find a solution. Googled "etrex vista date set wrong" and found this thread. Thank goodness.
This solution of reset and then master reset worked fine first time through. Trick on master reset is to keep the keys held down for the 5-10 seconds it takes to complete the reset. You will see very slightly the screen LCD come on bit darker than when it is off. Keep hold all three buttons until it power cycles. Finally, turn on and check date. Let sit under open skies as much as you can for 3-5 mins as it gathers satellite data. The date if not already correct will likely correct with time as the satellites get recognized/found.

Posted on May 29, 2009

Same prob here, date&time way out of bounce, wouldn't get sat signal (asked me if I was indoors and all), then reseted my etrex like described on
first I thought it didn't work since no signal again but then the secret - let it sit under the sky for some time (about 5 min worked with mine) and there it is! back on track!!! thanks guys!

Posted on Jul 09, 2008

I dont use it now but i have exactly the same problem that made me very angry!
Im so thanks you.

Posted on Jan 05, 2008

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I dont use this right now but i have exactly that problem wich made me so angry!
Im so thanks to you.

Posted on Jan 05, 2008

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You will need to backup all of your tracks, waypoints and routes to your PC. With the unit off, hold down the page, enter (joystick), and find buttons for 5 to 7 seconds while power up at the same time. Then go outside and let the unit get a fix on the satellites. This will fix the date problem. Once done go to the main menu and select setup and the system. Make sure WAAS is disabled. If you enable this option the date will get messed up again and you will have to do this all over. There was supposed to be a firmware upgrade that fixed this problem, however I found after flashing the firmware update, the date problem still occurs if WAAS is enabled.span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }

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