As I was finally reinstalling MapSource Topo USA for my Garmin eTrex Legend GPS, now that I bought a replacement link cable for the one that got stolen in Hawaii, I remembered what a pain it was that you had to have each data CD in the drive to select map segments to view / transfer / etc. That is until I found a post on StickyC.com where Chris found a way to run MapSource Topo maps off of the hard drive:
Rather than making yet more ISO’s, I found out where the Garmin software stores it’s data paths in the registry and fixed it there, so now I can just copy all of the Topo maps to the local hard disk and everything runs just fine.
Here’s the step-by-step on what to do if you’re in the same boat:
You need to edit the registry to change where the Garmin software looks for the files and manually copy the files to the hard disk.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A REGISTRY IS OR DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH EDITING ONE – PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE! I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MAY OCCUR DUE TO THIS PROCEDURE! IRREVOCABLE DAMAGE MAY RESULT IF A MISTAKE IS MADE!
On each CD, there’s a folder containing the .IMG files (The folders are East, West, Alaska, and Hawaii). Create a folder on your hard disk and copy the folders for the particular regions you want into it (I went with C:\Garmin\Topo).
In the registry, the paths are stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Garmin\MapSource\Products\X\Loc
Where X above is a number (for Topo, there’s 6, 7, 8, and 9). Each number corresponds to one of the maps.
You want to change each entry for Loc to the path to where you copied the files. For instance, in my case, 6 is for East and I changed it from D: to C:\Garmin\Topo\East. Double-click on the Loc text to open a dialog to change the Value Data to the path where you copied the files. Repeat for each of the 4 entries that you copied to your hard disk. If you didn’t want to put all that data on (say you never plan to geocache in Alaska), just don’t copy that folder to your disk and leave the registry entry as it was.
I followed the directions and it worked flawlessly 🙂