The Navman S30 is a budget SatNav with a pretty good spec that currently sells for well under a £100 in the UK and appears to be very popular. I’ve been using one for a few months and have been impressed with the device. It does have a few idiosyncrasies - for example, you cannot search for junctions on the M25 - but on the whole has been extremely useful and reliable.

Switching the S30 on today put it into a continuous loop of reboots. It gets to the map loading screen (photo of a woman hanging out of a car window), displays the software version number, waits a few seconds and then repeats… for ever.

The Navman Technical Support FAQ is no help - they suggest resetting by holding the power button down for 6 seconds and then turning it back on again. A quick Google reveals a fair number of users of the S-series describing the same symptoms but no resolution. Everyone who reported trying to contact Navman technical support appears to be still waiting for a response.

What to do? Plugging it into a PC and switching on does put it into USB Mass Storage Device mode. So I tried running NavDesk 2008’s “Reinstall software on your Navman” option. Directly I accepted the licence agreement it reported:

There is not enough space to install these option(s).
Please free up some disk space or modify your selections.

I had not made any selections and there has been no additional maps, voices or other data installed on the device but opening the S30 as a Windows drive and looking at its properties shows 0 bytes free. A delve into its file structure reveals that it is running Windows CE and that it has filled any free memory with log files. In the My Documents directory were 6 Mbytes of log files that appear to list events such as user inputs, travel distance and speed and so on. I deleted them.

In the root directory there was an app_asrt.txt file which is a log of its latest attempt to boot-up. There were also a hundred app_asrtNN.txt files from the last hundred boot attempts, most were zero bytes due to the lack of disk space.

The app_asrt.txt file reports that it is trying to read:

\My Flash Disk\Program Files\Navman\SmartST_CE\UserData\device_settings.ini

in binary mode. Later it tries to read default_settings.xml from the same directory. The directory exists but only includes a user_settings.xml.

Looks like a reinstalling the system software will probably fix this. Just need to work out how to get the new software on to the S30 without bricking it.