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Garmin Etrex32x and Software Updates

Updating software is something that we do every single day, often without knowing that it is being updated. WatchOS updated two or three days ago. iOS updated yesterday recently as well. The most notable was Xcode, because it requires several gigabytes of space or it fails to even try, if it detects that there is not enough disk space. I had the same issue with the Garmin ETREX 32x except that in this scenario Garmin Express wipes the device’s memory before it has checked that the computer from which you are running the installation has enough space to proceed.

This is interesting for two reasons. The first is that it demonstrates why applications should check that there is enough free disk space before starting an operation rather than afterwards. In this case the warning came too late.

My first thought was, “oh it doesn’t matter, I can try on the other laptop” as I know it has enough space. That’s when I got the “device cannot be found” error message. When I checked the device display it said “no system found, please wait for update to finish.” At this point you’re trapped.

If the device was not under warranty I would look for the device files that allow me to flash the rom, like I did with iphones and android devices, back in the day, or even PC and mac computers. In this scenario I have the skillset to revive the device but I need to find the software to do it with.

What surprised me in this scenario is that a device with so little onboard memory needs a 16 gigabyte system update, and the second that if the process is interrupted it has no safety features in place, to preserve the usability of the device. I update devices constantly and so far I’ve ended with this laptop being bricked once, and now a GPS device being practically bricked. This is rare.

Now I have to wait a little longer to play with that device. I will take it to be replaced on Tuesday. We have yet another stupid holiday during a pandemic on Monday, so that’s an additional day of waiting.

I would see this as an excellent excuse for a bike ride to the plague pit of Geneva but people in Geneva have normalised bicycle theft so I will go with the scooter. I go by scooter because I can park right next to the shop and avoid walking where people walk, unmasked. If it wasn’t for the pandemic I would be heading there now.

Some of us follow international news, and see that the pandemic is still thriving so we take precautions.

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