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Many Garmin GPS units that only get powered by the car charger / cradle suffer from this problem eventually. The fix is pretty simple. You didn't include your model GPS, but I think this may help just the same:
Connect the GPS to a computer's USB port, or AC adapter that has a USB port and leave on for 8 hours (or over night). Disconnect and and turn on again. If you have a Nuvi that has a spring return sliding power switch - slide and hold it in the on position for 15 seconds before letting go. It should power up just fine. You do not need to hold the power switch like this again to turn it on.
If the GPS starts acting like this again, simply repeat the process as often as needed. Eventually, the internal battery will no longer be able to accept a charge and will require replacement.
Try pressing and HOLDING the power button for up to 15 seconds (or until it powers up - whichever happens first). This is a hard reset - and should get you going unless the battery is discharged.
Oddly, batteries can discharge when the GPS remains on the car charger. Disconnect it and connect to the your computer's USB port (or AC adapter if it came with one) over night. The computer must be ON - "sleeping" is ok too - just not "OFF". This will charge the internal battery.
If it will not accept a charge, you may need to replace the battery or return the GPS to Garmin for service.
Batteries must be charged completely when they are new or they will never hold a charge right!
I'm assuming you never fully charged them when new and so they will never hold much of a charge!
The Solution is to replace the battery or batteries and charge properly (overnight or at least 8hrs).
I recommend Radio Shack for this!
Let me know if I can be of further assistance!
One suggestion is to plug the Tom Tom using the temporary power cord to you home circuit (not the power source from the car). That worked for me. Sometime the Tom Tom shuts down when left in the hot car requiring a reset. Then the best way is to plug in at home and restart. Try it, otherwise I can't help.
I have had the same problem several times (as well have some friends).
This resolves it EVERYTIME though... at the SAME TIME, hold the BOTTOM LEFT front button AND the Bottom LEFT SIDE button (this reboots it). Then just hit the power button... I am sure you will see that it powers right up.
I think it has to do with hooking up your unit via the usb cable to the computer. I got one from Radio Shack and it worked fine for a day, drove with it and shut it on and off a couple of times. Then I hooked it up to my emachine computer, and all I got was a white screen. Took it back got another one, drove with it, turned it on and off a couple of times, worked fine. Then I hooked it up to my computer, and again the same white screen until I reset it. I noticed all these posts are in the last few days, so I would say it is a bad batch of units. I purchased one for my wife 3 weeks ago and no such problem.