Resurrect a TomTom XL

I was doing a map upgrade of my GPS unit, a TomTom XL, via the Home program when it gave an error about not being able to load a file called “cline.dat”. I went into the TomTom via Explorer (Home only works on Windows… bah) and found the offending file. I deleted it, but upon a refresh it reappeared. This pointed to file corruption, since it wasn’t giving me an error about the file being locked.

This began a quest of several forums where people were having similar issues. It led to me formatting the TomTom and reloading from an original backup I had done a couple of years ago. But the unit would not start after that, or rather it would get as far as the splash screen and stop. *grumble, murmur*

This led to several more hours of forum searches and attempts at manually downloading and installing Navcore files, all with no success. I did get to the point where it would try to reinstall the map, only to choke again on the damn “cline.dat” file that was again corrupted.

Eventually, I found a way to make it work again. I ran chkdsk from a command window and fixed errors on the drive. This allowed me to then actually delete the “cline.dat” file. Then I deleted all the “loose” files on the drive. What this means is that there are several folders on the TomTom, and then a handful of files outside of any folders. Delete just those that are outside of the folders, and then restart the Home program or restart the TomTom so the Home program starts again. It will notice that the unit needs a functional operating system and will install it. Let it install and restart the TomTom for you. Then update it normally afterward. This process worked for me and my unit works again.

Lastly, I copied over my MapSettings.cfg file that I backed up before even doing the map upgrade. This is the file that contains all of my favorites. By default, map upgrades vaporize your favorites. What a great feature *grumble, murmur*. I also customize my splash screen with my name and number in case the unit gets misplaced.

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First taste of Linux Mint

Years ago I had tried to reinstall XP on my laptop, but it rejected the key that came with it. I could have called MS, but was torqued that they would force me to call in just to get their OS to work as it should have. Instead, I downloaded and installed the free Kubuntu (the KDE flavor of Ubuntu Linux). It worked like a charm and was working well in short order. It worked well for more than five years.

Last night, after reading quite a bit about Linux Mint, I figured it was time for an upgrade. I downloaded the DVD ISO and did the install. Or rather, I attempted to do the install. This was the first red flag. After 15 minutes or so, an error popped up “So sorry, but the installer crashed. You can submit a bug to…” I powered it off and tried again. This time it seemed to be working fine for about 20-25 minutes (it’s an older laptop). But right towards the end, it gave a different error about not being able to install the boot loader.

Seriously? After I just had it erase and recreate partitions, it wasn’t able to install a boot loader by itself? And the options it gave were:
1. Try again or try another partition (both of which failed again)
2. Continue without a boot loader (and not be able to boot up, thus rendering the last install useless.
3. Quit.
I even tried going into terminal and telling grub to install to /dev/sda but got yet another error.

So here I am looking at a blank screen after rebooting the laptop. I’m sure there are a dozen forums where I can scrape and scrounge for information about how to get Grub working, but why should I need to go that route? (I even did that for a while, being an incurable geek.) Making your OS boot is one of the most basic needed things of the entire install. If they can’t get that right, why should I bother with the rest? This would certainly leave a new user completely stymied, so if they want Mint to be popular, they need to work out the bugs. Maybe I’ll try Debian Linux.