TOMTOM 920T - Reboots when viewing photos

Most useful things TomTom could add to GPS devices

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Dec 31, 2007
I have searched this site many times as a guest and have really found some great information, Thx to everyone who take the post to post information.

I understand that a common problem with the TomTom go 920T and related models is that when viewing the photos, the unit will stall and then reboot. Some people seem to think this depends on what type of SDHC or SD card you have installed. I have have tried every combination I can think of using the internal memory to store the photos and the sd card to store the operating sys and maps and vice versa. I have also used a 2 gb sandisk sd card, a 4 gb sandisk sdhc card, an 8 gb sandisk sdhc card and a 8 gb pny sdhc card. No luck the TomTom maybe will view the photos 1 time, then when you try to view another time it sits for along time and reboots. I formated the cards while in the tomtom, then using a sandisk micromate sddr-113 card reading in windows xp, then using the built in card reader in a 2 year old toshiba laptop. I also formated the cards using SDFormatter V2.0 downloaded from SD Formatter - SD Association
No luck there. It works great otherwise, however I have not tested the mp3 except for one song so I dont know if it will crash there too.
Has anyone been able to solve this issue? Any ideas? Thank you
Run off standard rechargeable AA batteries an option
I think it would have a diminished battery life using AA batteries.
The plus side would be they would be user replaceable

Play videos, correctly display photos
There are 3rd party apps that already do this
My favorite free one is TomPlayer

Export routes from route planner to gps easily
Again their are 3rd party apps that already do this
See T.R.Y.E. as it is very popular and there are also online tools for this too.

Clearer computerized voices
I personally think that Garmin's computerized voices are much cleaner.
TomTom's are better than nothing but could be improved upon.

Regarding your original question.
I have never seen or heard of the TomTom picture viewer causing the device to reboot.
Perhaps the image size to too large (TomTom is a memory HOG and offers very little resources)
try using smaller sized images.

It that does not work then try TomPlayer
I have searched this site many times as a guest and have really found some great information, Thx to everyone who take the post to post information.
I haven't run into this myself, and my 720 operates exactly as does your 920 in this particular regard. Sometimes I wonder if the viewer is as robust as it needs to be, and whether it is choking on a particular photo. I doubt if the problem is the SD card -- the TomTom can depend upon the SD card of a 920 for its entire operation and never choke... so read/write access to SD just can't be the problem unless the card itself is bad. If I were going to troubleshoot this, here's the series I'd go through:

What happens if you take a smallish photo (one that would actually fit within the screen size WITHOUT scaling - 480 x 272 or less) and play it over and over? Any problems there?

What happens if you take the smaller photo, make a few dozen identical copies of it with different names, and run those over and over in slideshow mode? Problems?

What happens if you take a single larger photo (something larger than 480 x 272) that plays correctly at least once, and play it over and over? Does this ever fail?

What happens if you take the larger photo, make a few dozen identical copies of it with different names, and run those over and over in slideshow mode? Problems?

I'd start with that and see if there is any pattern to when and how the unit fails for you.

Whatever you are doing, DO be aware that TomTom places some limitations on what you can view. If any of your photos violate any of the following guidelines, there's no telling what the unit might do:


The supported file formats are:

  • GIF (.gif)
  • BMP (.bmp)
  • JPEG (.jpg)
JPEG files must be 24-bit RGB or 24-bit Grayscale images. The size of JPG images is not limited, although we do not recommend putting very large images on your TomTom device as they can take up a lot of memory.

Images saved as BMP files have a maximum size limitation of 2040 x 2040 pixels.
My tomtom at least has a $25 lith polymer batter rated at 1350 mah I think. Two $4 2650 mah duracell batteries would have a total of 5300 mah which last almost 4 times as long and user replaceable.
I am going to check out Tomplayer for sure, thanks!
I have used Tyre once, it worked and I plan to keep using it to see how practical it is. I used another application with google maps, there was a glitch and the tomtom was recording these wierd loops at one or two intersections on the route so I stopped using that one.
Those are excellent suggesting and I am going to try them tonight, I will post results. BTW my average photo size is about 30K which I thought was not that big. However there are 20,000 photos on the SDHC disk, but I would think that would just slow it down, not crash it
Those are excellent suggesting and I am going to try them tonight, I will post results. BTW my average photo size is about 30K which I thought was not that big. However there are 20,000 photos on the SDHC disk, but I would think that would just slow it down, not crash it
Aw, geez...

I'll grant you, that's only 600MB of data. But 20K files in one directly of a FAT file system is ... well, not super pretty in terms of initial access -- lots of lookup time, even with the old "findnext" call.

If you've got your SD card formatted as a FAT32 file system, the theoretical maximum file count is 65,534. However, the use of "long filenames" (longer than the old DOS 8.3 naming limit - like "FILENAME.TXT") reduces that number considerably. I've seen long filename use limit a FAT32 partition to close to 20K entries -- close to what you've got! The extra length eats into the available number of slots. Then again, most digital cameras don't create long names, so unless you've been renaming things a lot...

There's another limit, but I doubt you've crossed the line on this one ... FAT32 on Windows can barf with more than 260 characters for the whole path to your file (drive + path + filename + extension). I don't think that the Linux in the TomTom should have a problem with that. The newer kernels can go up to 4096, I think.

If nothing is actually "broken", I'd be curious to know what your more or less typical filenames look like, and what OS was used when the files were stored on the SD card.

Would still pursue the test from the previous message before getting involved in anything new, though.
I just wanted to let you know that I am trying out every one of your suggestions as I get time here and there and look forward to looking more into it tonight. My photos were a mix of resolutions, mostly 640x480 I think. Since the TomTom screen is 480x272 and has a different aspect ratio, it was my guess that I should reduce all my photos to 362x272 to avoid scaling(?) and for it to fit in the screen? Come to think of it, if I just had my software change the size to 480x272 it probably would not have distored the photos like I originally thought but instead have had one side be 480 and adjust the other side as needed, I dont know.

Regarding the file names, what is considered to be long? After looking at google briefly last night, I am guessing it means you can have 8 characters before the dot and 3 after, the dot is not included as a character? For example, 12345678.jpg would be ok, but 123456789.jpg would be a long file name? Many of my files were in fact long names, I have since organised the names like so...
There are 20 directories named 1, 2 3....20 placed in the "photos" directory in the tomtom. Inside of each numbered directory, there are 1000 photos, each about 30K and currently 362x272. . In the first directory named 1, the first photo starts off being names a1, then a2,a3,a4....a999, a1000

In folder 2, the photos are named b1,b2,b2....b999,b1000

In folder 3 the photos are named c1,c2,c3...c999,c1000

this trend continues for the rest of the folders

After making the changes above, the TomTom seemed to be able to go into a directory and view the photos, but when you said "done" and tried to enter another directory, it would freeze and finally reboot after 30 seconds or so.

I think that the troubleshooing path that you have laid out holds the key and am going to try the remaining ideas tonight and see what the results are. Thx
I didnt get to spend much time on it, but here is what I have..
I reduced the number of photos to 10,000, ran a bit longer but still rebooted
I copied the same photo but with different file names 10,000 times and put into 7 directories, but it still rebooted

I still have yet to complete the suggestions but here is something I have noticed..

When I search the directories in photos, thumbs.db keeps showing up, and sometimes its the filename for a photo but ending in .db instead of .jpg but its only for 1 file. I think these files are put there by windows to help with thumbnail speed, but they are possibly crashing the tomtom. I found a way to disable this but havent tested it yet to be sure they done keep on showing up.

Another file, called thumbs.dat, shuts up. I delete it, reboot the tomtom. I go into the photos, see the directories laid out 1 thru 7, then I go into a directory and the photos work. I say "done" then go back to the regular gps screen then navigate back to the media&photos icon in the tomtom and it freezes and reboots at that time. So for now I can get the photos to work once, but once I leave then go back it freezes and reboots at the icon to view photos.

Thumbs.dat shows up every time even if I delete it. I have a feeling that thumbs.dat is being created when I view the photos once, then when I try to go back in later on that file is causing the TT to reboot.

BTW, I am using XP Home and have uninstalled windows search 4. I do have Office 2007 which I am not happy with but stuck with it.

What is thumbs.dat and how do I stop it from being created? Also, Canderson whats the WD-40 with crosshairs? I love that stuff and use it all the time. The world would collapse without WD-40 haha
Sure do wish I'd either spotted or remembered that one for you.

It certainly is odd that TomTom seems to have a 600 photo limit. It's certainly nothing to do with Linux or its limits, or anything to do with FAT32 file systems in general. Even a coding error (let's say they're building an index in memory or something) shouldn't bomb at a number like 600. Too strange.

Well, I'm glad the other poster shed some light on this. I have never had more than 100 or so loaded at a time, so it's never been an issue for me. But I'll remember it now!
You were very helpful and I appreciate your efforts and look forward to hearing more from you. I put the 20K photos and it appears stable. I installed Tomplayer and its playing movies great It apppears to crash when I play the mp3 player at the same time as viewing photos and thats fine with me. I have gotton more features from this tomtom than I had a right to expect and I am very happy with it=)

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