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What To Do When Your Garmin 420 is Frozen

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 7/6/2011

Don't know where you are going because your Garmin 420 GPS device is completely frozen? Well, you are not the only person to have this issue. Learn steps you can take to get your device working properly again.

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    What's the Problem?

    The Garmin 420 is a marine GPS system that allows you to chart your course no matter what body of water that you are on. It features a QVGA display with a 240 by 320 pixel resolution. All Garmin devices are designed to work efficiently, but sometimes people do run into problems with their devices.

    A common issue that people experience is that the Garmin device will freeze up while you are using it. Most commonly, the screen will just completely freeze, and you can’t get the device to do anything. So, now you are faced with a problem: What do you do with a Garmin GPS 420 freezing up?

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    Reset the Device

    Well, your first action should be to try and reset your Garmin device. Just press the reset button, which is located near the SN#. You can also try to just turn off the device and then turn it back on. The only problem with using the power button is that sometimes the button won’t work at all if the device is frozen. You may be forced to do a hard reset.

    If your Garmin GPS won’t turn on at all, you must perform a hard reset. Take a pencil or paper clip, and poke the reset button. Hold it down for a few seconds, and wait for the device to turn on.

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    Replace the Battery

    If you device won’t come back on when you reset it, the problem could actually be with the battery. This is especially true if you have had the device plugged in, and it won’t charge. If that’s the case, you need to replace the battery.

    Third-party vendors offer Garmin battery replacement kits. Simply order the kit, and use the provided tools to remove the back of the case. Remove the old battery, and insert the new one. Then, replace the back cover.

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    Firmware Update

    Many people have issues with their Garmin GPS 420 freezing up when they plug it into their computer. The firmware on your device may not be up to date, causing your device to freeze.

    First, try unplugging the device from the computer, and plugging it back in. If your device is still frozen or your computer won’t recognize it, you must update the firmware. To do this, follow the below steps:

    • Go to the Garmin website, and find the latest firmware update for your device.
    • Download the update to a folder or your desktop. The firmware update will be an .exe self-extracting file.
    • Double-click on the file, and run the program. Save the program files to a folder other than the C:\Garmin folder, especially if you have other programs already saved in this folder.
    • Run the Firmware updater. To do this, you must follow the below steps:
      • Press the power button and the Up button at the same time, and hold down both.
      • Double-click the Updater.exe program.
      • Press OK.

    Garmin 420 One issue with this process is that the Garmin GPS updater may not recognize your 420 GPS. If that’s the case, call Garmin customer support. They will give you a keypad combination that you must press on your device. This gets around the problem of the firmware updater not recognizing your device.

    If the updater did recognize your device, but your device still isn’t updating, try the below steps:

    • Follow the first four steps from the previous instructions, except don’t let go of the power and Up buttons.
    • Run the firmware update, and wait until the update is completely finished. Be prepared to hold down these buttons for a few minutes since it can take several minutes to update the firmware.
    • Let go of the buttons when the firmware update is done.

    Your computer should now recognize your Garmin 420, and the device should stop freezing.

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    Other Problems

    If you have recently changed the video display setting to a higher value, then try lowering it back to the original setting. In fact, you could just do a factory reset. This is a major reason why your 420 device may freeze.

    Another reason for your Garmin device to freeze up is bad connections. This is a labor-intensive repair that is usually beyond the scope of most customers. If you suspect that this is the problem, you may want to get outside assistance.

    If you can’t fix your Garmin GPS 420 freezing up problem, you may have to call Garmin customer support. Always contact the customer support center first before bringing your device to repair person. If it’s still under warranty, you can return it back to the place that you bought it, but you usually need your receipt.

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