As you may recall my Navman S30 had decided not to boot anymore. It would get to the start up screen (picture of woman hanging out of car) shows it for a few seconds, display its software version number and then reset. That cycle was then repeated for ever, never getting to the main menu.

I found that it was trying to read some missing .INI and .XML files. Eventually I managed to restore the missing files by doing a reinstall of the Navman software. However the boot up still failed, reporting other files could not be read. Those files existed and their contents looked reasonable. Copying the problem files and renaming the copies to the original names allowed the boot to get slightly further and then fail on yet another file.

I also found that some directories had more than one file with exactly the same name and identical contents. They appear to be one file with multiple directory entries, so I suspected the Windows CE Core 5.0 file system was corrupt.

With some trepidation I decided to reformat the internal flash drive holding the SatNav software. I found that the following worked for me. But do not try this unless you know what you are doing and your Navman S30 is already bricked:

  • Plug the Navman S30 into an XP machine via USB. It will appear as two drives, in my case E: holding the SmartST SatNav software and F: being the S30’s SD slot.
  • Use NavDesk 2008 to backup the user data in the usual way.
  • In Windows XP “My Computer” right click the drive holding the SmartST software (E: on my machine) and select “Format…”. Select FAT for the file system and leave the volume label blank. Do not tick the “Quick Format” checkbox. Click on [Start] and cross your fingers.
  • When the drive has been formatted go to NavDesk 2008 and run Tools > Reinstall software on your Navman.
  • Then run Tools > Recover keys.
  • Put the Navman DVD in the drive, click on “My Maps” in NavDesk 2008 and reload the maps you need.
  • Check that the Navman S30 now boots up and works properly.
  • Finally use NavDesk 2008 to restore the backup of the user data. If it then fails to boot, the backed up data was corrupt and you will need to repeat the above steps but not restore the backup, losing your preferences, favourites etc.

The whole process took about 20 minutes.

All seems to be working fine now. Just need to remember to take a laptop, installation DVD, USB cable and Internet connection every time I take the S30 out in the car…