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Tips on How to Hack a Magellan GPS

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 3/28/2011

Your Magellan GPS is great for finding places. But, it's not great for doing anything else. But, you can hack it and add some new features. Learn how to hack Magellan GPS systems in this article.

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    Why Hack a GPS Unit?

    Your Magellan GPS device helps you find directions based on your current location. But, these units were only designed to obtain directions. They are not very customizable, and you can’t play media files on them. But, you can add additional features if you hack your GPS unit. So, now you’re faced with a question: how to hack Magellan GPS systems?

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    Things to Consider Before You Start Hacking

    Before we go into the how, let’s discuss a potential problem with hacking your GPS unit. The first problem is that it could void your warranty. So, if you just bought your unit, you’ll have to seriously think about that before you start the hacking process.Magellan GPS 

    Next, there are no guarantees with hacking. It’s basically a “at your own risk" type of thing. You may mess up your GPS unit in the process or erase some needed files. If you do erase some files, then your Magellan GPS may not work properly.

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    Backing Up Your GPS Unit

    So, you are strongly advised to back up your GPS unit before you start hacking it. You can do this by connecting your Magellan GPS to your computer via a USB cable. You probably received one with your Magellan GPS package.

    Your GPS unit will show up as a flash drive. The actual drive letter depends on your system. But, find the GPS and back up everything on it before you start hacking it.

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    Adding a POI Database

    Depending on your GPS unit, your POI database may be lacking in certain aspects. So, you may want to replace it with a different one. You can download different POI databases from different sites. For example, AnandTech offers different types of downloads, including POI database downloads.

    Find the file that you want to download, and download and extract the files on your computer. Find the file that you downloaded. It will look something like this: US48_POI.POI. Connect your Magellan GPS to your computer. Find and copy this POI file to your SD card’s G:\MAP\US48_POI.POI file.

    Disconnect your GPS device, and reset it if necessary.

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    Adding a Media Player

    If you want your Magellan GPS to do more than just show your directions and POI information, then you need to download a media player. You can use the Core Pocket Media Player for this purpose. Download and extract all of the TCPMP files.

    Make sure that you have your SD card in your GPS unit, and turn it on. Plug it into your computer. Find your SD card drive, and create a subdirectory. Name your directory something that you can remember.

    Open up your subdirectory, and add a folder called Player. Copy all of the TCPMP files into your Player folder. You can now create music (yourdrive:\Music) and video (yourdrive:\Video) subdirectories, and you can add music and videos to these. Reset your device if it doesn’t do it automatically.

    Try running the player. If it doesn’t run correctly, try adding a File Manager to your GPS unit. You can download the Windows CE File Manager. Create an APP folder on your GPS unit, and copy and paste all of the File Manage files into this folder.

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