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Garmin Etrex Venture HC - problem

#1 User is offline   ravenz68 

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  Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

Hi
I was wondering if anyone may have had the same problem I am having. I have only had my GPS (Etrex Venture hc) for about 1 month. It is now shutting down after about 15 seconds. It starts up, aquires satellites, even lets me get to the map screen sometimes, then it just shuts off. I have tried new batteries several times. It just shuts down. I know on a recent trip 40 miles from home, I had to skip about 7 caches that I knew of. Very frustrating!! Please help!

#2 User is offline   kclone 

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:54 PM

View Postravenz68, on May 31 2009, 04:42 PM, said:

Hi
I was wondering if anyone may have had the same problem I am having. I have only had my GPS (Etrex Venture hc) for about 1 month. It is now shutting down after about 15 seconds. It starts up, aquires satellites, even lets me get to the map screen sometimes, then it just shuts off. I have tried new batteries several times. It just shuts down. I know on a recent trip 40 miles from home, I had to skip about 7 caches that I knew of. Very frustrating!! Please help!


I had this before too. This device only uses alkaline batteries. This happened to me when I used rechargable NIHM batteries. Just buy an economy box of cheap alkaline batteries and you will be fine. (I've owned my device for 2 years and once I figured this out, have never had any problems.)

#3 User is offline   julianh 

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:24 PM

View Postkclone, on May 31 2009, 05:54 PM, said:

I had this before too. This device only uses alkaline batteries. This happened to me when I used rechargable NIHM batteries. Just buy an economy box of cheap alkaline batteries and you will be fine. (I've owned my device for 2 years and once I figured this out, have never had any problems.)

I have a Summit HC, and it works fine with NiMH batteries. I would expect the Venture HC to be the same. However, note that NiMHs have a lower voltage than alkalines. To make sure you get best life when using NiMHs, make sure your GPSr is correctly set up to use them. On the Summit HC / Venture HC:

"Main Menu | Setup | System | Battery Type"

Then select "NIMH" (or whatever battery type you are using). You should be able to get excellent life using NiMHs, not to mention the cost saving and environmental benefits of using rechargeables. If this doesn't work for you, you probably have a faulty unit.

Hope this helps!

#4 User is offline   coggins 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:18 AM

View Postviolet0328, on May 31 2009, 06:43 PM, said:

Next time you should be really careful when you choose a GPS unit. I know a website where you can buy high quality/price ratio GPS units----DeletedByModerator.Com. The update is free there.
spam is a little off topic for this forum, stick with the subject.

This post has been edited by robertlipe: 08 June 2009 - 04:56 PM


#5 User is offline   C@H 

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:39 AM

Garmin Venture HC works just fine with NIMH batteries (selected in the menu). Try restoring factory defaults and / or reload firmware. Corruption in your POI / Waypoints the most likely cause.

#6 User is offline   TinkerJohn 

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:22 PM

I guess I've really been unlucky. I bought my first Venture HC from Amazon in March of this year. It went about 3 weeks before getting the 'blank screen'. Amazon replace it with next day shipping (GREAT customer service). Then the replacement from Amazon did the same thing after about 6 weeks. Firmware update did not fix it, finally called Garmin and they will replace with another new unit. We'll see...it's been back at Garmin for almost two weeks and have not received unit back. I will still be a Garmin user, but I've become a little tainted with the Venture HC.

#7 User is offline   todd300 

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:59 PM

I talked to Ravenz and she said she's sending the unit back either for repair or replacement.

From what you said, Tinkerjohn, it sounds like this particular Garmin model seems to have its issues.

Hopefully both of you resolve the problem.

#8 User is offline   kelcal 

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:06 PM

I have bought and returned 3 etrex venture hc in the last 2 months with the same problem.I like the product for all of its features and it being easy to use but for no good reason it has stopped working.We have never dropped one in the water,or on a rock....the unit has actually stopped working while we were reviewing our logged finds.We have used name brand batteries and bought a 48 pack at Costco...its not the batteries.We like like the product ...when its working.

#9 User is offline   Jared2000 

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:24 PM

View Postravenz68, on May 31 2009, 04:42 PM, said:

Hi
I was wondering if anyone may have had the same problem I am having. I have only had my GPS (Etrex Venture hc) for about 1 month. It is now shutting down after about 15 seconds. It starts up, aquires satellites, even lets me get to the map screen sometimes, then it just shuts off. I have tried new batteries several times. It just shuts down. I know on a recent trip 40 miles from home, I had to skip about 7 caches that I knew of. Very frustrating!! Please help!


In my case the unit shuts off about 10 seconds after being turned on. Eventually I was able to figure out that if I went to the trip computer and then reset all data, this would eliminate the problem. It took about five attempts to get through the menus fast enough to actually do this. (you will need fast fingers for this). This seems to have fixed the problem. It has been three days without issues so far.

Prior to fixing the problem I managed (after about 10 attempts) to download the database to my computer so I would be able to keep all of my waypoints, tracks, etc... After reseting the unit I transferred everything back to my GPS. After the transfer back was completed I got an error message on my Garmin stating that the database was corrupt.

I think the corrupt database is the heart of the problem. It would be nice if the firmware was smart enough to deal with a corrupt database without crashing, but we may have to wait awhile for Garmin to cover this bug with a software update.

Garmin support suggested I hold down enter (the pointer button) and power at the same time, to bring the unit up in test mode. Then they wanted me to reinstall the latest firmware revision. I have no idea if this would have worked. I managed to fix the problem before they responded to my email.

I was not able to reset my Garmin by holding down enter, page, and power at the same time as some people on this website have suggested.

Another cool thing - test mode shows a digital readout of the battery voltage, in in volts. My Garmin is currently at 2.51 volts. Two AA batteries should provide about 3.00 volts, so I am a little low right now. This would have been very helpful back when I thought I had a battery issue.

Good luck.

#10 User is offline   Chrysalides 

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:31 PM

My Venture HC is working flawlessly for almost a year now. Of course, that meant it's a different batch from what's currently available now, so may not be very relevant. As pointed out, it works just fine with NiMH. But if you think it is power related, try operating while plugged into USB (it will draw power from USB) to see if it still shuts off when powered.

#11 User is offline   rocketsteve 

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:55 PM

I've been using Rayovac Hybrid rechargeables in my Venture HC from the very first day I got my GPSr. After almost 3 years of use, the batteries have lost only a little bit of capacity, and my Venture HC has never had a problem powering up or staying on.

#12 User is offline   Shannon440 

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  Posted 26 September 2009 - 04:46 AM

View PostJared2000, on Sep 11 2009, 11:24 PM, said:


In my case the unit shuts off about 10 seconds after being turned on. Eventually I was able to figure out that if I went to the trip computer and then reset all data, this would eliminate the problem. It took about five attempts to get through the menus fast enough to actually do this. (you will need fast fingers for this). This seems to have fixed the problem. It has been three days without issues so far.

Prior to fixing the problem I managed (after about 10 attempts) to download the database to my computer so I would be able to keep all of my waypoints, tracks, etc... After reseting the unit I transferred everything back to my GPS. After the transfer back was completed I got an error message on my Garmin stating that the database was corrupt.

I think the corrupt database is the heart of the problem. It would be nice if the firmware was smart enough to deal with a corrupt database without crashing, but we may have to wait awhile for Garmin to cover this bug with a software update.

Garmin support suggested I hold down enter (the pointer button) and power at the same time, to bring the unit up in test mode. Then they wanted me to reinstall the latest firmware revision. I have no idea if this would have worked. I managed to fix the problem before they responded to my email.

I was not able to reset my Garmin by holding down enter, page, and power at the same time as some people on this website have suggested.

Another cool thing - test mode shows a digital readout of the battery voltage, in in volts. My Garmin is currently at 2.51 volts. Two AA batteries should provide about 3.00 volts, so I am a little low right now. This would have been very helpful back when I thought I had a battery issue.

Good luck.


mine was shutting down too. lucky for me I had just seen this thread so I did some research instead of freaking out. I read here and started in test mode. Very cool. I downloaded my gps to mapsource so I would have a back up then I went to the garmin web page and reinstalled the software. works so far!

#13 User is offline   Team THEA 

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:40 AM

I had the same problem with automaticaly turn off in 10 seconds
After more frustrating search and help from Garmin (The wanted me to send them the Unit)
But before shipping, I found this thread by google..

And I was able to reset my Garmin by holding down enter, page, and power at the same time - in 5 seconds.
(The 2 right buttons and the button on top)
After that it was now possible in the trip computer to reset all data.
It worked in minutes ... and then the problem was back.
After that I erased all tracks (It was showing a warning 99%)

Now the unit is running again without missing it in a "repair" period.
:) :D
Thanks for the help

My personal conclusion is, that Venture and Summit with 24 MB have problems, when the memory is used for trip, tracks .. and perhaps small maps

This post has been edited by Team THEA: 28 September 2009 - 10:18 PM


#14 User is offline   gjemmott 

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:43 AM

Another success story. Same problem, same solution. Thanks, guys!

#15 User is offline   78383 

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 06:35 PM

Thanks for the tip. Almost a year later, you're helping other users. My son's etrex Venture HC was shutting down after 10 seconds. We did the key sequence to go to test mode. Then downloaded Garmin's web updater and updated the software from 3.10 to 3.30. Now it works. The idea that a database is getting corrupted (or some such) sounds feasible to me.

#16 User is offline   FLGRL 

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:46 PM

I've experienced all the problems in this thread! I'm on my 3rd venture hc after dealing with Garmin on all the issues
Now...another problem. I downloaded the latest software the other day and now the unit freezes up. I have to remove the batteries to turn it off. Had to do it 4 or 5 times in a row today.

I've done the reset steps, reloaded the software, etc, didn't help. Garmin offered yet another refurbed etrex venture hc but since i'm out of warranty, i have to pay $79. i think not...time for something new.

has anyone else experienced this?

#17 User is offline   Coach88 

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 03:35 PM

Just got off the phone with my uncle who is reporting a similar problem. In his case, he can't power up at all. I'll have his Venture HC in front of me in a few minutes and will be trying various fixes reported in this forum. I'll re-post with results...

#18 User is offline   Coach88 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:35 AM

I was able to power up the unit when plugged in my PC. I backed up his data in Mapsource, delete everything on the GPSr. Did the hard reset, then I was able to power up using the batteries. I loaded all the info that I had backed up and the unit still works... Firmware version 3.5 was on the unit when it crashed and it's the most up to date.

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