Question: Waiting for a Valid GPS signal

vanlee Author

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New Seeker
Replies: 0

10 March 2012, 19:00

I bought my Tomtom XXL last fall and it never had any trouble getting a GPS signal from my house - inside or outside. I didn't use teh device for a couple of months and when I went to use it I had to give it a full charge - once it was charged it never seems to get a signal at my house. I have 1 acre of property and even when I went outside and walked around with it I still got no signal. I connected it to my computer and installed all available updates, but still no luck. What else can I do?
  • Traylaw

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    Elite Voyager
    Replies: 3675
    Expert (Car navigation)

    Expert (Car navigation)

    10 March 2012, 20:31

    Before assuming there is a hardware problem and shipping the gps off for replacement, perform a full uninstall and reinstall of the software in the gps. Here are the steps

    First: make a backup of the contents of the gps using windows explorer. Per this link.

    Second: check the flash memory in the gps to make sure there are no errors.

    Third: If the memory has no errors or they were repaired by the check disk utility you just ran, uninstall the software on the gps and reinstall it.


    Note: when reinstalling the gps software you may have to perform up to three updates to get everything installed. The  gps may not work correctly until all the updates are installed. Be sure to restart Home and the gps between each update. If the gps won't connect to the computer normally just reset the gps with it connected to the computer. The gps should automatically try to connect to the pc.

    Forth: If the gps is working now, there are a few misc files like startup / shutdown screens that you can copy back to the gps from the backup copynyou made. Here is a list of those files. Just use windows explorer to copy them from the main directory of the backup to the main directory in the gps. Do worry if you do not find all these files are not on your backup. Not all gps models have all these files.

     1. antitheftw.bmp   (this may have the named antitheft.bmp)
     2. autorun.inf
     3. splashw.bmp      (this may have the named splash.bmp)
     4. suspendw.bmp     (this may have the named suspend.bmp)
     5. tomtom.ico

    If everything is working ok now we recommend making a final backup of your gps. That way if something happens in the future all you have to do is delete everything on the gps and copy the backup to the gps and you are done.
  • JulianJulian

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    Replies: 352
    Expert (Car navigation)

    Expert (Car navigation)

    Expert (Multi-sport)

    Expert (Multi-sport)

    12 March 2012, 13:01

    Thanks Traylaw, very good explanation on what to do. I am sure this can tackle the issue.

    But if you are not able to connect to the pc, or the steps you provided did not help, i'd always suggest the so-called "first fix".

    For that please do the following (soft reset):

    - Fully charge the TomTom device.

    - Then go outside.

    - Push the power button of the TomTom for app. 15 sec., you should hear the TomTom drums and the device will start.

    - After that, please positon the TomTom somewhere outside where you have as less tall buildings, trees etc. as possible.

    - Leave the TomTom there for about 30-45 minutes.

    What is the use of this?

    With the soft reset of the device, the last positon that was locked is being deleted. That means the TomTom will look for the position without prior information from last use. When the TomTom is staying at the same positon for a longer time, it should be able to correct the GPS data installed on the device according to the signals it is receiving. This should solve the issue.

    My personal suggestion is to either try Traylaws or my steps, and if it does not work, do the other. It might be the case that the GPS info on the device is missing or faulty, but there is also the chance that the TomTom is trying to find your position but the used information is not being interpreted right. 

    In either way, GPS issues are in 99% of the cases no hardware issue but software related. I hope this helped :D
  • wpunch

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    Apprentice Traveler
    Replies: 2

    15 March 2012, 18:48

    Just updated my maps last nite. Now I am getting a Waiting for a valid GPS signal" message all of the time. What's up? Help!
  • Traylaw

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    Elite Voyager
    Replies: 3675
    Expert (Car navigation)

    Expert (Car navigation)

    15 March 2012, 20:58

    First try resetting the gps.  If you have more then one map installed in your gps make sure you have the correct map selected for your area.... "Switch Map" function.

    Here is a link for some simple items to check first.


    If you are still having a problem I would suggest uninstalling and reinstalling the applicaiton software in the gps. If you look back in this thread you will see detailed instruction for doing this.
  • wpunch

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    Apprentice Traveler
    Replies: 2

    16 March 2012, 06:42

    Thanks for prompt response.

    I powered it on a few times when it finally decided to act normal, so all is well now.


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