Issues/problems with install of map 940

Tomtom followed up with an email to me that failed even to acknowledge that the new map does not fit into a 2 Gb device, at least not without crippling the device.


I have also tried without success to find an example of someone soldering in an SD card to an XXL 540 as has been done with the XL 1. The xxl 540 uses the same memory chip as the xl 1, but the board layout is different.

I hope TT makes the zoned maps available without charge on an ongoing basis to those of us who purchased lifetime maps.


It might help if those of us with this problem call TT customer support about it, asking them to substitute lifetime access to the smaller maps that cover various zones of N. America.

The tech I spoke said I am the only person he's heard from with this issue!

That could even be true. Luck of the draw on who gets which calls.

Next time, see if you can contact a supervisor. Heck, you might even point him to the two threads here that cover this. There are no doubt several others in TomTom's own forum.
Canderson, very true, perhaps it was the luck of the draw that the representative was not familiar with this problem. I'll have to call back again.

TT technical support now appears to be partially acknowledging the problem.
They have posted an announcement on the TT website:

When trying to install the latest map of US, CAN & MEX on a device with 2 GB memory, you may get a message in TomTom HOME that there is not enough space to install the map. We are working on a solution. You will be able to download the map once this issue is resolved.

It's only a partial acknowledgement because it says that 2 GB devices MAY have a problem with the US, CAN, & MEX map.

This is surprisingly and unfortunately consistent with what the rep on the phone told me.

That rep put me on hold for a quite a while he "researched" the issue. When he returned, he wanted me to wipe the unit clean and install a TT home backup. He claimed that only some xxl 540 TM's are affected...... because some customers downloaded too many things.

But anyone with a xxl 540 tm would have a similar problem. The file sizes are simply too large for the device.

I hope TT will substitute lifetime access to the zoned maps.
I have to think that's where they'll go with this. There's no practical alternative. What surprises me (really, even for TomTom) is that they didn't already have a plan in place for this. It was inevitable.
Inevitable - yes.

When new, the xxl 540 shipped with very little memory to spare.
The new maps are actually only slightly larger then the ones the xxl 540 tm was sold with.


I was able to load map 940 on my XXL 540 after a lot of trial and error...(I found a link describing this procedure for formatting some where but forgot to bookmark it)

I first backed up the GPS with known good working map set.

I then closed TomTom Home 2

I used Windows to format the XXL. I used the following parameters:

Default block size, UNCHECKED quick format (not sure it matters but for once was following instructions) gave it a label TomTom (not required but does help id drive in Windows Explorer). Took about an hour to fully format. This gave me appox 1.956 gb (give or take a few bytes)

I then restored my backup I made in above step. Checked to make sure was working and it was.

I then use TomTom Home 2.9 (latest) to update unit. to Map 940 with size of 1845.3 mb.

Hope this helps others till the map eventually gets too large even for this procedure.

Thank you, Larry. This problem will rear its ugly head again in February 2015 when 945 is available. I have heard a rumour that by then there might be zoned maps for that model (540) so that a partial solution can take place.
By rights, all that did was thin down your ancillary files until the map would fit - which should be possible just using Home.

I am also VERY surprised that the device allowed you to fill it to within 18.4MB of its capacity. It would now be impossible to update the firmware (not that I expect there will be any more updates to an XXL 540 anyway). The device will normally insist on about 200MB free to download and verify (while held temporarily in limbo on the unit) any new firmware before overwriting what is on the unit. It's a smart way to avoid bricking these devices, but you have only 18.4MB left.
I did not thin down any files. These files are what have been on unit since day one. Have never had to attempt remove any files til update 940 and removing them didn't not help.

I don't foresee any bricking problems as long as Home 2 will allow me to back up to previous backup to map 940 (which I have a separate copy save in another location) even if I have to format the device via windows again. Also, Firmware is not software in the fact firmware is written to the "bios" not the memory for maps, or so my understanding is.
Firmware really is firmware (ttsystem) and carries the version number you see on your unit (e.g., 9.061). There is a lower level bit of code known as the bootloader (system) that changes occasionally as well as needed, and if so, accompanies the new firmware load in a single package. Most often, the firmware uses the prior bootloader and the 'package' does not include a new one. That file contains BIOS code. If you check the root on your unit, you will find both. Data from the system file is written to an area of memory that cannot be accessed through the file system.

The bootloader can be problematic in that it's a one-way event. The device checks the incoming package for both system and ttsystem files. If it spots a system file that is more recent than the system currently on the unit, that file is replaced. If a system file is the same or older, it will not replace it. That's where problems can show up. It's sometimes impossible to revert to previous firmware (ttsystem) code because the newer (and impossible by a normal user to replace) bootloader (system) are incompatible. Not an issue we see often, but one we always keep in mind.

Maps are a separate thing entirely.


I suspect the answer most will receive next map release is going to lean towards the XXL models are no longer supported. By computer standards, they are getting long in the tooth. Now days, you can get a nicer gps app for free on your smartphone or adequate gps/nav on a new car or replacement radio.
I would hope that's not the case, and actually, I'd be surprised if that happened. TomTom already deals in segmented maps, and until this cock up, was still supporting the oldest units in the field with maps... MUCH older than the 540, with even less memory.

As for automotive nav systems -- feature poor and horribly expensive (not to mention infrequent and expensive map updates). Still nothing I'd want in one of my vehicles.
When I first bought my gps I was really surprised that they offered lifetime maps/traffic. It just didn't make feasible sense, but, who am I to complain as a benefiting consumer? However, they shouldn't make promises that they can't keep, so they ought to figure out a solution for those of us who have smaller storage capacities in our gps.

Just curious if there are any 'weasel out' clauses for TT to use as an excuse re this w/ lifetime maps/updates situation? Like I said, not very feasible/practical to provide 'forever' updates, but they did promise it.
They are not trying to 'weasel' out of anything. Their lifetime offer simply was done to match the competition.

My understanding is that TomTom screwed up (not the first time) in not offering map zones for devices with 2 gb of storage, such as yours. They are working on a resolution to the problem.
Huh? I'm puzzled. The image above from Larry H's TT 540 shows a capacity of 1956.0 Mb.

But my 540 TM shows only 1885.8, which is 70.2 Mb less...

These are total formatted capacities, not how much is in use. The file system on my 540 is FAT 16, so it does not appear that space is being wasted within file clusters. And I verified that there are no unallocated partitions on the drive as well.

I have actually stripped a lot out of my TT, including my TT fuel prices, a voice, and satellite images of the US.

I haven't yet done a "quick format" as Larry H has. So I don't know if there could be some magic in that.
But my understanding of quick format is that it just erases the file allocation table - leaving all else unchanged including the format structure.

When a 2 GB flash drive is formatted, it typically gives about 1.84 of available space. As I understand it, this is because the 2GB drive is 2000 mb, and some space is used up by the file allocation table and other housekeeping.

Is Larry's 540 a true 2 GB? In other words 2048 Mb before allocation?

Guess we will see what happens after I format my 540.
Meanwhile, I'm scratching my head.



tranquility and DHN,

I think TT will stand behind products and honor the lifetime map contract with their customers.

Still, could the actual wording TT's "lifetime maps guarantee" really mean that TT will provide map updates only until they chose not too?

That's essentially what I was told on the phone by tech support. The rep I spoke with said the guarantee would not entitle me to the smaller zoned maps since that is not what the unit came with. The rep referred me to the TT lifetime maps guarantee.

Here's the fine print:

Lifetime Maps are available without additional charge and for as long as the product is supported.

The map updates are the full updates for the map that is pre-installed on your device or that is installed on your smartphone app. The geographical coverage and feature support in the map will continue to match the original version, as long as the original is commercially available....

You will receive all available updates to road network, addresses and Points of Interest in these releases.

*Lifetime – this is the useful life of the device, which means the period of time that TomTom continues to support your device with software updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more. The useful life of the smartphone app means the period of time that TomTom continues to support the app with updates.

This fine print is probably not what a consumer would expect looking at the box the 540 TM came in. The front of my box proclaims, "LIFETIME TRAFFIC & MAPS EDITION."

On the back of the box, however, explained in very small print that I am reading with a magnifying glass, " This is not a warranty. For the complete terms and conditions to which you must agree, see the General Terms and Conditions for Online Sales at

In any case, I imagine the folks at TT will most likely interpret the lifetime maps guarantee to allow coverage of the same geographic area in pieces - just as the moderators here are guessing.
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Mine is an unmodified XXL 540.

I thought I included it but appears I did omitted the type of format I used. I used FAT32.

I did NOT do a "Quick Format".
tranquility and DHN,

I think TT will stand behind products and honor the lifetime map contract with their customers.

Still, could the actual wording TT's "lifetime maps guarantee" really mean that TT will provide map updates only until they chose not too?
Yes, that's what it really means, and has always meant. There may come a point where, for some reason related to map size, it is impractical to continue to try to create special map builds for some of the oldest and most memory poor units. 2GB certainly isn't the smallest memory model they have to work with, but they're still successfully finding ways to satisfy those even smaller unit map requirements. The 2GB situation was just a cock up of extraordinary scope -- there's a lot of users in the same boat.


Yes, that's what it really means, and has always meant. ... The 2GB situation was just a cock up of extraordinary scope -- there's a lot of users in the same boat.


I just got off the phone with TT Tech Support, and was able to reinstall the previous map.

This is a real crock. Mistakes do happen, but TT has known about this for several weeks and should have sent an email to all users telling them NOT to update - and they should do that TODAY! This would have saved many people HOURS of wasted time. It would have taken them 1 minute to send an email.

Regarding the lifetime updates. I bought my TT GPS several years ago and have gotten a lot of use from it. However, the lifetime updates is why I bought this model. If TT decides that it can no longer produce updates for the 2 GB models, I won't kill myself but I will not buy a TT again. At the very least, they should offer owners who will not be able to update a VERY GENEROUS discount to upgrade. There are many attractive alternatives available.

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