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This is caused by a corrupted file on the Nuvi. To fix this issue, a special version of firmware has to be flashed on the unit, telling it to not look for the corrupted files. The unit will boot normally, then using the PC, the corrupted files need to be replaced and then finally the special firmware needs to be replaced (reflashed) with a standard firmware.
You will need to reset your Nuvi as it is locked into computer mode. To reset it - depending on your version see below.
On some Nuvis there is a recessed master reset button on the body of the unit which you need to access with a nib of a pen or bent paper clip.
For Nuvi 660/680 series
Power off Garmin unit. Press and hold the upper top left corner of screen and then power on the unit by pressing once on the Power button. You should be prompted to clear all user data, or asked if do you really want to start up in maintenance mode. Press “Yes” to reset (warning: all data will be erased and lost, so backup before proceeding) or enter maintenance mode.
For nuvi 200, 250, 360 750, 760 series
Turn off Garmin device. Press down on bottom right corner of the touchscreen, and while holding it power on the GPS unit. You should be prompted whether do you really want to erase all user data, or asked if do you really want to start up in maintenance mode. Press “Yes” to reset (warning: all data will be erased and lost, so backup before proceeding) or enter maintenance mode.
If the above fails it is likely that the problem is not with the Nuvi but the charging unit which is not signalling the unit properly and the Nuvi is recognising it as a USB cable instead of a charger.
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"Will not turn off, stuck on with display saying 'pre boot mode'. Does nothing but this - please help!"
This indicates that the on/off switch is shorted out. You can duplicate this problem by taking a working Nuvi and keep holding down the on/off button when turning it on. It will stay in this mode until you let off on the power on/off button.