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TomTom unable to find GPS signal even in City Centre?

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Eric Stallsworth•updated: 8/31/2009

Your favorite TomTom navigation device may be able to deliver pretty good overall performance, but often it ceases to work as expected. As a result, TomTom may be unable to find a GPS signal even in the center of the city. Let's discover more about this problem.

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    Overview

    Things could be pretty rosy as your TomTom assists you greatly in navigating around and suddenly poof… The GPS signal may disappear completely! Yeah, that’s quite an ordinary thing; this problem is known to be one of the biggest bugs in TomTom GPS devices, especially the likes of TomTom XL. And then the users get the error message “No Valid GPS Signal Found". The worst part of the story is that this problem doesn't get resolved automatically, even if you leave your TomTom device to sit for a few days.

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    The Misery

    The same problem is quite common with PDA phones like Asus P527, M 750 and the likes of them, which come with a free lifetime SatNav GPS navigation package. It's probably wrong to expect too much for free, but in case of TomTom GPS device, people pay merely for navigation and not the other features. Therefore, this lack of performance and capability is not acceptable by any means, and folks should expect more from their TomTom GPS device.

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    Possible Remedies

    A reset can always come in handy whether you’re trying to handle a GPS device, PDA or a laptop. Just as you switch off your mobile phone to reboot the system, you need to hold the reset button on the top of TomTom GPS navigator unit for a long time, and when it comes back up, everything should be fine.

    On other occasions, slightly tapping the device may also help a good deal, but that’s never going to serve as a fix. Officially, when you look for assistance from TomTom, they advice you to download TomTom Home and TomTom Quick GPSFix.

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    Reason Behind the Misery

    The TomTom device tries to lock onto one of the satellites in order to receive a constant GPS signal. As such, you should update your GPS details every now and then. If you don’t update GPS data for few days, it is quite possible that the satellite that provides your TomTom with a signal can go out of reach unexpectedly.

    People have even reported that changing the option from "Minutes (dm.m') to "Degrees (d.d) can help in solving this problem. But this is yet another wild guess, which may work once in a blue moon. If nothing works, you’ve got nothing else to lose by trying this out. After all, who knows - TomTom may indeed start working after you try this.

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    What Does TomTom Say About this Problem?

    Of course, the GPS fix is the only officially recommended solution given by TomTom, but there’s no assurance that it will work for everybody. TomTom also recommends you download TomTom Home Software (but it could be quite painful, especially if your internet connection isn’t too fast). Many times, the download won’t start automatically, so you'll have to be patient.

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    Another Wild Card Try

    These steps have been known to be quite effective in fixing this issue, though there's no theoritical or logical reason behind why these steps work.

    1. Reset the device when problem occurs.

    2. Charge the TomTom unit completely.

    3. Don’t turn it on immediately, and place the unit somewhere in the open (like on top of your car).

    4. After you wait a while, turn it on and wait for it to lock onto a satellite; hopefully you'll receive maximum signal.

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    Conclusion

    Even if you call up the TomTom support center, the chances are pretty high that you won't get too much assistance in this regard. It's basically left up to you to try out these troubleshooting steps. So follow this guidance, cross your fingers, and hopefully luck will be with you and your TomTom GPS navigation device.