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  1. #1
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    Default Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please

    Salutations GPSPower Folks,

    I have a Garmin Drive 51

    The unit was left on and my truck lights were left on

    The Garmin was running as the auto battery cratered, so the device ran on low voltage until the car and Garmin battery died.

    I disconnected the Garmin before I jumped the truck and recharged the battery.
    I then reconnected the Garmin and pressed power. The Garmin logo appeared and then went away and started coming and going in a bootloop. Now I can't get it to stop

    G7ToWin Information::

    Drive Software Version: 6.00 ID: 2586
    Unit ID: 3950986765 USB Com via Bulk Pipe

    I have opened the case and tried a hard reset by pulling the battery cable, waiting, and then reinserting it. I have attempted to get into recovery, but only "System" and "Loading will show. No other functions available.

    Latest Garmin Express and drivers are installed

    The PC cannot see the device, but I hear it connect when I start the Garmin while holding the lower right corner. It will say " System " on the screen above the logo for three steps down and then the movement of the word " System" stops for a moment. It will then say "Loading" and I hear it disconnect from the PC USB connection. I have to unplug both the USB and the battery to get it out of "Loading' mode.

    I was only able to get G7ToWin to be able to read it while the word "System" was on the screen.

    I have yet to try the Garmin Cure program due to being uncertain which firmware to obtain.

    If by Preboot mode you mean when it says "System" and or "Loading" I have found that

    There is unfortunately no NV Backup.

    Please what do I do?

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  3. #2
    VIP Master Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
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    This is the Firmware to use with Cure3
    Drive and DriveSmart 51 006-B2586-00 Release 6.20
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (37021 Kb)

  4. #3
    Important User Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
    Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help PleaseGarmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurih View Post
    ..........
    The PC cannot see the device, but I hear it connect when I start the Garmin while holding the lower right corner. It will say " System " on the screen above the logo for three steps down and then the movement of the word " System" stops for a moment. It will then say "Loading" and I hear it disconnect from the PC USB connection. I have to unplug both the USB and the battery to get it out of "Loading' mode.

    I was only able to get G7ToWin to be able to read it while the word "System" was on the screen.

    I have yet to try the Garmin Cure program due to being uncertain which firmware to obtain.

    If by Preboot mode you mean when it says "System" and or "Loading" I have found that
    ..........
    The device is in preboot when "System" shows briefly on the screen. G7ToWin only detects devices in preboot so that's already confirmed. To re-enable Mass Storage Mode it MAY be necessary to load Cure firmware and re-format however because of your detailed backstory the problem is likely not due to a faulty file/s in the on-board memory, rather region 14 where the main system software is stored might be corrupt or incomplete. That can be due to the device running out of power while coincidentally attempting to boot up. In that case of corrupt firmware, the device if otherwise healthy, defaults automatically to preboot mode so if you didn't need to hold the screen while powering on to reach preboot you'll simply need to re-flash the original firmware but as an RGN file using Updater.exe. You can convert a GCD file to an RGN using RGN_Tool or do it easily with kunix's Cure3 software. You can confirm the device is in preboot by observing Device Manager where it will appear under "GARMIN Devices". It will likely only retain preboot (showing System) for a few seconds so you'll need to move quickly to flash it.

    Note: If it is indeed faulty firmware, it may be able to be flashed by text command via microSD if all else fails however usually that isn't possible, because for that process we use Ldr.bin (aka boot.bin, the ramloader) which is initiated by region 14 (fw_all.bin) and that's the same region you will be trying to flash. There are other ways to do that too however, but try flashing as an RGN file first.

  5. #4
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    {See ADDENDUM}

    I first converted the file to an RGN file with the RGN Tool with default RGN Tool settings

    Then dragged the file created RGN file onto Cure3 and chose "Cure Mode".. The screen of the Garmin said "Software Loading" and disconnected itself almost immediately with the same error as below stated...


    I then used Cure3 with the GCD file, attempting both a cure mode and an original mode, then using the make firmware button and then the updater.exe button after the Output File field populated..

    I started the Garmin holding the lower right corner as usual and hit the button while it was connected. Updater.exe recognized it as a USB device, so I quickly checked the box and hit OK... It then began the flash --and the Garmin summarily, if not virtually immediately, disconnected itself (in what seemed before the file could transfer). The updater gave me the following error a short while after.. "Software Loading" again appeared during this procedure.

    App: Updater
    At: 1/30/2021 2:40:07 AM (UTC)
    OS: WIN32 Windows Platform, Major Version: 6, Minor Version: 2
    Processor: Intel Processor Level: 23, RAM: 2097151 KB
    IOU_UTILITIES.CPP-203-2.8

    What have I missed please??

    I'm used to Android devices and Odin flashing, but this is new to me so please be detailed in the steps I am to take..

    ADDENDUM::

    I then had the bright idea to unplug cable and battery and reconnect before the timeout, once again plugging in the USB while holding the lower right corner.. The updater preceded to transfer the file properly once "System" engaged again.. "Software Loading" appeared and Cure3 transferred. How long is it supposed to take after the file transfers?? "Loader Loading" Remains on the screen after the flash.. (I had anticipated the device would reboot itself). I have attempted this procedure with Cure3 --both in "Cure Mode" and in "Original Mode" with the RGN file first and then with the CGD file.

    The device appears in the Device Manager at last as a "Garmin USB GPS" and remains connected at this time, but does nothing.. The unit will go back to bootlooping if I unplug and reconnect there-after.

    Progress so far though - heh * is pleased * I'm so glad I found this site..


    Namaste and Thank you for ya'lls help...

  6. #5
    Important User Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
    Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help PleaseGarmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
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    While the device appears in Device Manager under "GARMIN Devices" it is in preboot but probably only accessible by Updater.exe when 'System' is on the screen.

    Let's get you fully cognisant on what Cure firmware does so you can nut out if it's Cure or original fw needed here before going further. A cure fw, whether made manually or by the Cure3 application, is used to re-enable Mass Storage Mode solely for the purpose of removing likely faulty files, or re-formatting the device if bad files are numerous or unknown. So, let's examine the circumstances of your device becoming unusable. It wasn't immediately after any updates via GarminExpress/WebUpdater/MapInstall/BaseCamp, or after manual transfer of a files like GPIs for instance, was it? It was after you left the device in your truck and its battery flattened, cutting power to the device which would have switched over to its internal Li-Pol and then also flattened that. When you reconnected it to power, it started immediately started to bootloop on first start attempt, correct?

    So, on balance, although there could have been on-board file corruption caused by the power loss, i.e. stuff in the visible file system held in region 83. However, because that's a rare occurrence in a healthy device, by and large it seems more likely that the device is boot-looping because of a firmware failure (corruption of the main system software in region 14) due to an aborted boot attempt due to another power loss when it was first started (after all, the internal battery was probably dead flat and maybe there was an brief interruption of power or the vehicle voltage was low.

    If you now understand the above you'll grasp that there is no point loading Cure fw if it's a software problem. The fix for that is just to load the original firmware by Updater. If that doesn't change anything after a successful flash then we can look further, use Cure to see if that re-enables MSM.

    If loading original doesn't fix it, gathering some more info on what's happening during the boot cycle would be helpful, so watch the screen closely when you power it on. Note the message/s that do appear at the base of the screen before it boot-loops again (e.g. "Loading Maps"), or observe if it aborts quite fast without any message displayed.

    As for flashing in preboot, it can sometimes be a problem when devices are bootlooping because there can be things going on the device in the background which interfere with it holding preboot. However, usually persistence pays off and if you can't get the flash to start, just power off completely and start again. Sometimes dozens of attempts are needed however once the flash is properly and fully initiated and data packets are exchanged the flash should finish provided the device doesn't have hardware damage. So some more info to absorb, i don't want to needlessly concern you but as you're used to doing related Android and Odin flashing you'll get this i'm sure. There is another more sinister reason for a device to bootloop and that's because its flash chip is failing. Unfortunately Garmin's recent devices seem to be more prone to physical flash failure than the older ones and maybe they're using cheaper/lower quality chips lately, but whatever the reason it's not a rare occurrence in recent units like before. If that's the case then it'll be impossible to flash it whether in prepoot with Updater or by any other method such as microSD. Just as with a failing media card, sometimes a failing flash chip in a Garmin device will partly operate but eventually it'll die completely. Often doing numerous flash attempts will hasten that it seems, maybe there's more stress on the chip when flashing is the reason. Regardless, you have nothing to lose by trying to fix it using software methods and until all such options are exhausted i'm happy to keep trying.

    BTW, you might be able to force the device off without disconnecting the battery each time. Try holding the power button down for around 30 seconds until the screen goes completely black, some devices need less time though. Unfortunately some will just immediately power themselves back on to start bootlooping again and that can be sign of underlying device health problems too. The battery isn't usually an integral part of the power circuitry so if that's the case with your DS51 too you can leave the battery disconnected and use only external power.

  7. #6
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    You are correct Butters. It was a case of a flattened truck battery and then the LiPol battery in the Garmin and not after any updates or other circumstances. It also began Bootlooping immediately upon reconnection to USB power. It continually loops with no other words other than the Garmin logo.

    However... It now will power itself off and remain off after the last flash attempts that were successful, so long as it is not connected to USB power as well. Connecting once more to USB continues a loop unless I hold the power button. This will cause the Garmin logo to remain after one loop until I release the button. The unit will then continue looping until I pull the USB where it will loop once more and shut off, so it seems there has been some kind of progress.

    It is regrettable they have chosen to use substandard chips in such needed and valuable devices, but that seems to be the way of many companies in this era.

    My last flash attempt was using the original firmware via the updater.. so here's hoping. I am definitely willing to continue until we determine whether or not the unit has died or is still usable.

    How shall we proceed?

  8. #7
    Important User Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
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    Nothing on the lower screen, not even the device model identification and copyright info means it's not getting very far into the boot process until it borks and restarts. So it's not loading any files at all, strongly indicative of either a firmware corruption or flash chip failure. If it's bad firmware then a successful re-flash of original fw should restore it. Did you get a "Success" message from Updater after the last flash? If so it might be a bad chip. If you got an error message then the flash didn't complete of course, but don't be put off by that and try again over and over until you get a completed flash with success message. As said, bootlooping devices can be a pain to flash but once a flash does initiate it should hold and finish. The window of time to catch the flash is limited to the period when 'System' is bouncing around on the screen, mere seconds. Persistence will pay off if this is a software bricking. Try this technique:
    1. Use a REAR USB2 port of a desktop PC if available, not a front or USB3 port, have the cable plugged into the PC before you start.
    2. Ensure the device is fully off.
    3. Load the firmware RGN file into Updater and select the radio button for 'USB Device' on the GUI.
    4. Position your mouse cursor over the GUI's 'OK' button to be ready.
    5. Hold the screen with your thumb and plug in the USB cable into the device, that should power it on and let it enter preboot so immediately shift your attention back to Updater's GUI.
    6. The very instant you see the device details appear in the window next to USB Device, click the OK button or just hit the Enter key on the PC keyboard.
    7. Keep holding the device's screen firmly until the flash either finises or fails.
    If it fails then start all over, again ensuring it's fully off.

  9. #8
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    I followed your instructions to the letter.

    When I do get it to connect the first time and init the flash the device immediately disconnects, but the updater gives me enough time to power down the unit so that I may plug it in again with the corner pressed.. At this time the updater proceeds and the progress bar steps to 100% and gives me a successful flash notice. The Garmin does not self reboot, so I hold down the button till it turns off. I am seeing the Garmin logo once more and then it turns off completely. Restarting the device after this without the USB plugged in causes the unit to power on, show the logo, and then turn itself off 6 seconds after the logo appears.

    I have attempted this method 5 times in this session with the same results each time. There is no additional information on the screen such as software information or otherwise... simply the logo.

    If it is fried?? It's an " Oh Well " moment... What else ought I to try?
    Last edited by Aurih; 30th January 2021 at 06:47 PM.

  10. #9
    Important User Garmin Drive 51 Bricked and Bootlooping Help Please
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurih View Post
    I followed your instructions to the letter.

    When I do get it to connect the first time and init the flash the device immediately disconnects, but the updater gives me enough time to power down the unit so that I may plug it in again with the corner pressed.. At this time the updater proceeds and the progress bar steps to 100% and gives me a successful flash notice. The Garmin does not self reboot, so I hold down the button till it turns off. I am seeing the Garmin logo once more and then it turns off completely. Restarting the device after this without the USB plugged in causes the unit to power on, show the logo, and then turn itself off 6 seconds after the logo appears.
    Disconnecting and reconnecting like that only gives the illusion of a successful flash, in fact no data has been flashed to the device.

    I have attempted this method 5 times in this session with the same results each time. There is no additional information on the screen such as software information or otherwise... simply the logo.
    Some years ago an old StreetPilot that was bootlooping after losing power on starting gave me cause to want to hurl it against a wall. Every morning i would religiously try several times to catch the flash, maybe only a few quick attempts but 10 or more if i had time to spare and for many days it'd just refuse by disconnecting then return to a bootloop. It may have been after 100 refusals that it finally flashed on the first attempt one morning, i got such a shock i almost spit coffee over it. It's still working so that is highly unlikely to have been hardware related.

    If it is fried?? It's an " Oh Well " moment...
    In truth, i dunno yet if it's toast or not. It's not a good outlook tbh and many ppl would have already suggested to strip it for parts rather than spend time on it

    What else ought I to try?
    It won't be getting far enough enough into the boot process to read from a microSD normally, because "Loading Maps" message appears before the card is checked and your device appears not to be loading anything. However there is a way to try to read from the card using a modified ramloader, i.e. boot.bin, made into an RGN and loaded in preboot. If that doesn't work and you can't spare the time in repeatedly attempting to flash then remove the battery and screen and other saleable bits to sell on eflea. You can read about that method in [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] of this thread: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. If you're not familiar with using a hex editor or don't quite follow what to do then post again and i'll either talk you thru it or make a kit for you to try.

    Meanwhile, keep trying to do the flash normally.

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    I will give it the good old College Try Butters.. Thanks for the thorough advice.. Will keep you apprised of any developments... It would not surprise me if it just has to be at the last hlfd of a1/8th of a second during boot... I need three hands for this one, or at least a versatile tail - HAHAHHAh!..

    Namaste...

    Au.

 

 

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