can't find valid GPS signal

Jan 8, 2013
Manchester, UK
TomTom Model(s)
4EN42 Z1230
My dad has had a tom tom for just over a year and has not used it properly. He said "it just keeps going around". I thought he meant that it was directing him around in circles and was probably this new user’s error (he has just turned 80 so not tech savvy).

I asked to have a look at it so that I could program it correctly. I did this and every thing seemed fine. I then saw "Waiting for a valid GPS signal..." together with a revolving icon! That was when I realised that the "going around" was not his being directed but the icon on the screen.

I though the issue would be that I was in his house - so I went outside. Still nothing so I decided to go for a short drive to see if it could pick up a signal - still no joy.

I have tried restoring factory default settings and again this has not worked.

Typically the unit was purchased about 14 months ago but he has never actually managed to use it. It has only just bothered him as he is going to see his brother in hospital and needs it to direct him.

This unit has never been used other than to turn it on and the icon comes on (though it does give a last known location so I assume it has picked up a signal at some time).

Can anyone suggest something that may be an issue or perhaps a few tips on how to get back the signal.

Thanks in advance for any help.

If it has not been used for so long, it will need to do a lot of calculation to 'find' the satellites in the sky.

Sometimes this will require the device to be left stationary outside with a clear view of the sky for a LONG time (up to 45 minutes!)

Once it has got a lock, then subsequent searches should only take a minute or so.

If you connect the unit to TomTom Home, you can also download a file called QuickGPSFix, which is some data which "tells" the unit where the satellites are in space, which will speed up that first lock time a lot.
Thanks DNH/Andy,

The model is a “Start 20”

The unit has never been used and is 14 months old so it may well need that long time to find its location.

Could you guide me to the right location for the downloads.

Thanks for your help.

For non-LIVE models like the Start 20, if you connect the device to your PC and run the "MyTomTom" utility program, then the GPSQuickfix, should be offered as an update.

For 'LIVE' models like my GO1005, the QuickGPSFix gets updated "over the air" using the LIVE Sim card connection, so for non-Live ones I can't actually remember if it gets downloaded automatically or if you have to select it for downloading in "Manage content" (log in and select it using the green box, top right)

If you don't have it already, you can get MyTomTom from
Thanks for all your help.

I connected to the PC and let it do its updates (four I think). Let it stay on the windowsill whilst I did it and eventually it managed to connect. I have tried it on a couple of very short trips and all seems to be well.

My dad was stressing about this so your help is greatly appreciated.

Once again, thank you.

I have a 'no satellite' issue as well.
Mine is an XL IQ Routes 340 - 2Gb

I have spent ages doing udates, gpsfix file, clean flash memory, update application etc - but I feel this is a different issue.

I am now back to version 8.415 after doing a factory reset via menu and a reset holding button down till the drums give their roll.

TomTom Home tells me there is a software update 34Mb but I haven't done this again yet - I have done it previously with no effect.

On the GPS Status page the little yellow and black icon is NOT rotating.
Does this mean it needs a repair - or is there some way of 'switching' the satellite search on ?

I have got it apart at the moment to see if the antenna connections were ok - and they are fine.

Regards - David
Not rotating is not a good sign, I'm afraid.

If using Explorer to delete everything in the ephem folder on the unit and deleting any sub-folders found here:

c:\documents and settings\yourname\my documents\TomTom\Home\Downloads\Complete\ephemeris\

followed by connecting to Home to get a new gpsquickfix file does not (after a few minutes in an open stationary location) achieve a gps lock, it may indeed be a hardware issue.

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