Question about Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Receiver

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Garmin etrex legend

Etrex legend shuts down leaving a thin vertical line on the screen. batteries are good. unit will not turn back on unless battery is removed and reinstalled.

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  • Anonymous Mar 03, 2008

    Same thing has been happending to me! Are you sure its WAAS? I remember turning it off and it happened again.

  • Oldvillage Apr 21, 2008

    I have a garmin etrex Legend purchased in 2003. For the last 6 months, the display is very erratic. Sometimes nothing but a line down the middle. Sometimes text/graphics appear however faint and not full - much like an ink jet printer when the cartidge is low. Other times (less often lately) the screen is OK. I've found that twisting the unit by holding top and bottom helps sometimes.

    I am very disapointed, as this same problem happened to my previous unit, the Garmin etrex (which Garmin repaired for $75). Garmin is a leader in features, functions and user interface. Now that two units have failed, I'm thinking I have to look elsewhere. Yes, the unit is 5 years old, but it has had little use, always been well cared for, and never abused.

    I suspect faulty assembly of the LCD screen. My next step is to contact REI where I purchased the unit and see if they can help with replacement, or reasonable repair costs. I rely on this unit for my navigation back-up, and will need to make some arrangement for repair, replacement or buy another brand.

  • pahasapa Apr 28, 2008

    Identical issue with my Etrex which is a 2003 and less than 50 hours on it. It just started doing the vertical line "of death"after various durations (2-15 mins) of use on our last kayak trip. The only thing I can do is pull the batteries out to remove the line and shut the unit off and power up again. It works for abit and then goes vertical once again. Its become chronic and sounds commonplace with these units.

  • Sat Garcia Sep 29, 2008

    The same exact thing just started happening to our eTrex Legend this weekend. We've been using it fairly frequently since we got it in December so it's a little odd that this WAAS thing would just show up out of the blue. I wasn't able to update the unit because I am running Linux (BOO to Garmin for ignoring Linux users) so I'll have to find a Windows based computer to do the update. Hopefully that helps.

  • Anonymous Oct 03, 2008

    The screen goes blank except for 2 tiny lines down one side...remove and replace the batteries and it works for about 2 or 3 minutes...Sometimes the screen looks like a low ink cartridge...blank lines scanned across the screen....I like this little unit...and it is only 3 years old, but has only been used about 10 hours altogether!! I have an ancient Garmin38 that STILL works like a champ...even with older software....

  • johnfalc Oct 04, 2008

    eTrex Legend approximately five years old - same exact problem.

    1) Turn it on - works fine for about 2-5 minutes

    2) Then screen goes blank except for a thin vertical line

    3) GPS is unresponsive to any button pushes, including turning off

    4) Remove batteries and reinstall - then this cycle will repeat.

  • Anonymous Oct 04, 2008

    Same as:

    johnfalc, posted on Oct 04, 2008

  • Anonymous Oct 04, 2008

    Just a note to say that my GPS works fine now. I thought it was toast.

  • 1c9u5b3 Oct 08, 2008

    I have the exact same problem unit comes on for about a minute and then shuts down leaving a very thin blue line down the screen. Only way to restart it is to remove the batteries and start over.

  • Anonymous Oct 08, 2008

    I have both an etrex vista and an etrex legend. Both have the same problem with the blue line. I am looking for the garmin download site now, if I can just find the connecting cables etc. etc.

  • Anonymous Oct 14, 2008

    How is it fixed?

  • Anonymous Oct 14, 2008

    I have the exact same problem unit comes on for about a minute and then shuts down leaving a very thin blue line down the screen. Only way to restart it is to remove the batteries and start over.

  • Anonymous Oct 16, 2008

    I have a eTrex vista with the same problem. I disabled WAAS and it seems to be working. I plan on looking for a software update.

  • ford1962 Jan 06, 2009

    SAme thin blue line on screen

  • chuck2810 Jan 12, 2009

    With brand new batteries, as soon as satellites are read (in about 5 minutes) screen goes blank except for a very thin single line about 1/4 of the way across, extending vertically the entire length of the screen. No buttons work at that point and I have to remove and reinstall the batteries, and it all repeats...

  • Ron Frederick Feb 11, 2009

    My problem with the Etrex Legend are exactly the same as described above. It shuts down leaving a thin vertical line. It doesn't seem to respond a shutdown. The only way to get rid of the line is to pull the batteries. I've tried replacing batteries with what I know to be good ones but I still have the problem. It's a non functioning unit. Ron



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I had this problem today, updated the software, now the unit seems to be working perfectly. The unit "crashes" (single line down screen center) as soon as it get enough satelites to work with WAAS.

Go to Garmin site for software updates. Download and install the WebUpdater. Once or unit is hooked up to your computer and you have internet access, the software will download and update your GPS with the latest software fixes. I had software Version 3.7. For the Legend, Version 3.9 fixes the problems with WAAS.

Posted on Sep 26, 2008

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This fixed it! eTrex Legend® Part Number: 010-00256-00

Updates & Downloads

  1. Update Unit Software with WebUpdater
    • Use WebUpdater to automatically keep your operating software current.
    Unit Software
    • eTrex Legend Ver. 3.90 as of Mar 18, 2008 | Download

Posted on Jan 12, 2009

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The newest updates work, OR if you cannot get to those updates for whatever reason, simply turning off WAAS solved the problem for me for about a week until I got a serial-usb converter.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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  • Garmin Master
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Got to the Garmin site and download the GPS unit software update. Apparently this fixes the WAAS problem.

Posted on Apr 03, 2008

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I have the same problem, and on maps it shows all the lines where I have been now. Would like to get rid of these

Posted on Jan 13, 2009

I had the exact same problem. It only occurs on mine when I have the WAAS enabled under setup.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008

Garmin as probleme with WAAS, go in setting turn WAAS off, gps will work fine.

Posted on Jan 27, 2008

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Have the exact same thing happening with my unit that I just purchased.

Posted on Jan 20, 2008

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1 Answer

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Firmware needs to be upgraded on these units because the atellites are changing every so often so does the programming in these units, check to see if there is a firmware upgrade to fix these problems, the line in the middle of the screen is because it either hung during the process or the units lcd is going bad.

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Mar 03, 2009 | Garmin eTrex Legend GPS Receiver

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