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It has a slot on the outside of the unit for a SD (SD=Secure Digital) card, SD is a small square card for storing information, a mini solid state hard drive is what it is closest to. Goggle SD card and see the pictures.
Garmin maps on SD card are not intended to be useful outside the GPS. You can't download the data to use elsewhere, use it in Mapsource, etc. Only in the GPS.
This is why it is common to buy the DVD version and install the mapset on your own SD card.
I believe this is the root of the problem. If you believe the card itself is defective give Garmin a call/email and they will replace it. It is not likely the case, though, based on my experience helping people with Garmin SD problems.
The sd card slot is used when you buy update maps. It's easier to update directly from the website, but if for some reason you can't, you can buy the maps on a sd card or on a CD. Then transfer to the sd card and load it.
Your Garmin GPS has an SD card slot. You can use this slot to insert a removeable SD memory card into the unit SD memory cards for used for storage by many portable devices. The most common useage for the GPS is to view pictures taken by a digital camera (which also uses an SD card) with the GPS's picture viewer function.
I am not sure what the ads you are referring to are. Where are you seeing the ads? On the GPS screen? After inserting a SD card into the GPS?