Computer will not see Etrex Vista when it is connected

BearKiller

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Joined
Nov 29, 2014
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501
This is a mystery that has me bewildered.
Lots of Google-searching tells me that I am not alone in this, but has not yielded a solution.

The problem:
I have a brand-new-in-the-box 2001-vintage Garmin Etrex Vista handheld GPS device.

It connects to the computer via RS-232 9-pin Serial Port.

According to all videos and tutorials I have seen about the Etrex Vista (and all other Etrex models), when it connects to the computer, it should display in "Computer" as a Portable Device and I should be able to access it like any other portable device.

This is where it starts to get weird --- I have the program, Garmin BaseCamp, installed on the computer; BaseCamp sees and accesses the device with no problem; however, there is no evidence whatsoever anywhere within the computer that the device even exists.

There are some tasks with the Etrex that cannot be done within BaseCamp and must be performed within Explorer, such as drag/drop non-Garmin maps and the like; this is kind of impossible when the computer does not acknowledge it.

I have tried to find evidence of it in Disk Management, Device Manager, Task Manager, and msinfo32 with no success.

What can I do to make my computer recognize this device ?
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
14,362
I suggest you install a copy of Windows XP and try it on there. Maybe, just maybe, you can even use the free Oracle VirtualBox and install XP in there and make it work.
 

BearKiller

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
501
I suggest you install a copy of Windows XP and try it on there. Maybe, just maybe, you can even use the free Oracle VirtualBox and install XP in there and make it work.
That is a thought.
I have a few old XP machines around here; maybe I will be lucky enough that one will still work enough to perform a test.
 

Couriant

James
Moderator
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
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41,008
I don't think RS232 (COM) port is plug and play, so Windows won't know there is a device there, but the BaseCamp can because it's programmed to check RS232 (COM) port and will communicate with it. I suspect there may be another program to install so Windows (File Explorer) can see it?

Judging from what I see, the device is not Windows 10 compatible according to Garmin so I think you may be out of luck in that respect. I would suggest contacting Garmin to confirm since this product is 20 years old to see if you can use Windows 10. 1-800-800-1020

Otherwise the Windows XP VM/old machine would be the next best thing.
 
Last edited:

BearKiller

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
501
I don't think RS232 (COM) port is plug and play, so Windows won't know there is a device there, but the BaseCamp can because it's programmed to check RS232 (COM) port and will communicate with it. I suspect there may be another program to install so Windows (File Explorer) can see it?
That makes very good sense and would explain why I get no acknowledgement whatsoever when I connect the device.
 

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