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How to Prevent the Garmin 800 with an SD Card locking up when connecting to your Mac

21 April, 2011

My Edge 800 computer kept locking up when I connected it to the Mac. Not only did the unit lock-up but the Mac hung up as well, until the USB cable was pulled from the Garmin unit. Not a good thing to do.  I discovered that the unit connected fine if the City Navigator SD-Card was not inserted. After a bit of digging, I found this great post and the culprit…Spotlight!  Basically the Mac tries to search, build indexes and generally do all kinds of stuff to any media that is mounted.

If you can mount your SD-Card directly to your Mac (using an SD-Card reader) then follow the post linked above and that should sort you out.

If however you can’t do that, there is another way…if you have access to a Windows PC. A virtual machine will do, as long as you can connect USB devices to it. (Of course you can use a Linux machine too, the instructions for that will be similar to the link above).

Once the SD-Card (or Unit and SD-Card) are connected to your Windows PC, navigate to the root directory of the SD-Card and do the following:

  1. Right click and create a text file. Rename the file to .metadata_never_index   (you may need to turn on the option to show file extensions since we don’t want the .txt extension and you won’t be able to see it to remove it. This is usually found in the menu under tools->folder options->view).
  2. If the .Trashes folder already exists on the SD-Card, delete it.  Right click again and create another text file (yes we are replacing a folder with a file). Rename this text file to .Trashes
  3. Right click and create a folder. Rename this folder to .fseventsd.  Double click on the folder and inside right click and create the last text file. Rename this file to no_log

You should now be able to connect and disconnect your Garmin 800 with the SD-Card fitted to your Mac reliably now, mine’s been working perfectly for over a month.

Disclaimer: Please note you do this at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible if something goes wrong.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 April, 2011 01:13

    Thanks for sharing this. Do you like your Garmin? It is honestly hard for me to justifying buying one. What is the advantage that it does that an iPhone doesn’t do?

    • 3 May, 2011 22:31

      The Garmin is a bike computer, full stop. It doesn’t do anything else but it does it pretty well (much better with new firmware). I’ve used Garmin 305, 705 and now the 800 and on the whole, they just work. The iPhone is a great phone, but as a bike computer it has a couple of problems IMO. First is the size, too big. Second, the battery life of the iPhone sucks when it’s actually doing anything much. For me the ANT+ compatibility of the Edge 800 (and 705) is great and its all built in – so it works with a heart rate strap, power meter, cadence sensor etc.

      • 3 May, 2011 22:33

        That makes sense. Well I’d need to buy a bike first, but you make a good case for it. I have seen some cases that say they double the iPhone power. Still it wouldn’t be very convient if it were mounted and probably lead to greatly shortened life. Have you considered an affiliate deal with them?

      • 3 May, 2011 22:41

        Another thing I hadn’t thought of; How annoying would it be to be in middle of a hard training session or race and then have someone call you on your phone/bike computer?! The iPhone does of course make an excellent backup device and there are some tracker apps for someone to come and rescue you in the event of a problem. To be fair, there are also basic cycling apps available – so if you only want to track miles ridden and other similar information and you don’t do long rides, I guess it would work.

        Velocomp make something called the iBike Dash which is a hardware and software add-on for the iphone to turn it into a Powermeter but that’s another story (I’ve also owned an iBike).

        The other thing I forgot to mention is that the Garmin’s are pretty weatherproof. Not sure I’d want to subject my iphone to heavy rain etc.

        Thanks for the idea, if I get more interest I might look into it.

  2. 23 April, 2011 08:25

    Hi – great post & very useful info. I’ve had a few people ask me how to fix this recently, too – would you mind if I put your content on my own website, provided I include full credit and a link back to this article? I’m ‘digitalformula’ from rubiTrack, by the way. 🙂


    • 3 May, 2011 22:21

      Hi Chris. No problem, link away. Glad it helped (sorry about the slow reply!)


  1. How to Prevent the Garmin 800 with an SD Card locking up when connecting to your Mac (via wellmt) | – Stuff worth knowing about

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