To enjoy all Insight Genesis features, update your sonar/GPS unit’s software

Software-update-screenWhen was the last time you updated the software on your boat’s sonar/GPS unit(s)? If you don’t remember, it’s time to install an update!

To enjoy all the Insight Genesis and other GoFree features of which your sonar-GPS unit is capable, you must be running up-to-date software. A recent software upgrade, for example, enables Premium Insight Genesis subscribers to assign custom colors to highlight depth ranges that are of the most interest to them (stay tuned to this blog for for a soon-to-be published how-to article!). Additionally, if your sonar/GPS unit is not running up-to-date software, your Insight Genesis maps will not likely display properly — or not display at all, in some cases. Outdated software can also result in maps that are slow to load and/or slow to refresh as you drive across the water.

Click “Continue reading …” below for step-by-step instructions. Learn better by watching than reading? Watch THIS VIDEO.

Back up your data first!

Before updating your software, however, we recommend backing up your waypoints/tracks/trails file. While commenters on the occasional fishing forum might repeat a third-hand horror story of an angler updating his software and losing all of his waypoints, this rarely happens. That being said, the process to back up all your files is quick and easy, and will provide you peace of mind.

  • Don’t know how to back-up your waypoints/tracks & trails? It only takes about 3 minutes. THIS ARTICLE provides step-by-step instructions.
  • Learn better by watching than reading? Watch THIS VIDEO.
How to download a software update

After backing up your waypoints/tracks/trails file, you can now update your sonar/GPS unit’s software. It’s very easy to do. The first step is downloading and installing the most-recent upgrade. The most-recent software updates for Lowrance updates can be found HERE. The most-recent Simrad NSS software updates can be found HERE. The most-recent B&G software updates can be found HERE. You’ll want to bookmark the appropriate page (based on what model of sonar/GPS you use), so you can check in from time to time to see if a new upgrade is available.

If you are familiar with how to download a file from a website and save it to an SD card, you can skip ahead to the sub-head “Installing a software update.” If you need a refresher course on how to download and save a file from a website, keep reading below.

  • To download the software extension to your computer, single-click it on your computer screen (see image below).IMG_2200
  • This will initiate the download process, which can take several minutes, depending on your wifi speed.
  • Most likely, your update file will save to your computer’s “Downloads” folder (see image below), unless you previously set a preference to save downloads to a different folder.IMG_2176
  • Note: After downloading, your file will be zipped. For this reason, you can’t just simply save it to an SD card and proceed – first, you must unzip the file. This process will change its file extension (the three letters following the period at the end of the file name) from .zip to .upd.
    • Note: Depending on the PC you are using, your zipped software-update file might not display a .zip file extension. Rather, it might just display as a folder marked with a small box with a “Z” in it (see image below).
  • If you know how to un-zip a file, skip ahead to the sub-head “Installing a software update.” If you need a refresher course on how to do so, keep reading below.
    • Locate the zipped software-update file in your computer’s “Downloads,” folder and double-click it. This will open a new dialog box in which the .upd file resides
      • Don’t know how to locate the “Downloads” folder? Read the bullet points directly below this entry.
        • Navigate your cursor down to the “Start” icon at the bottom-left-hand corner of your computer scryeen (see the image below) and single-click it
        • In a vertical menu of options, you will see the word “Computer” – it will be located about half-way down the list (see the image below). Single-click it.IMG_2169
    • Near the top left of the dialog box that opens, locate and single-click the “Downloads” folder icon (see image below).
      IMG_2176
  • Double-click the software-update file. It will be named something like this: HDS_Gen2-4.0-45.2.200-Standard-1 (see image below).
    IMG_2178
  • In the new dialog box that opens, highlight the .upd file by single-clicking it and then right-click it to open a dialog box that includes the menu line-item “Copy To …” (see image below).IMG_2181
  • Navigate your cursor to the upper, right-hand corner of the “Copy” dialog box that opens and click the very small box in which are visible three periods in a row (see image below).IMG_2182
    • This will open a “Browse For Folder” dialog box in which you choose location to which you will copy and save your software-update file.
  • In the “Browse For Folder” dialog box, highlight “Desktop” by single-clicking it, and then click the button labeled “Ok” located at the bottom-middle of the dialog box.
  • The “Browse For Folder” dialog box will then close, leaving the “Copy” dialog box still open on your screen.
  • In that box, click the “Ok” button. A progress-bar box will briefly open.
  • Once the green bar reaches the right-hand side of the box, it will close and your .upd file will be saved on your desktop.
    • It will be labeled similar to this: HDS_Gen3-2.0-52.1.75-31933-r1-Standard-1.upd

The next step is to save the .upd file to an SD card (Lowrance: HDS Gen2 Touch, Gen 2 Non-Touch) or mini-SD card (Lowrance: HDS Gen3; Simrad: NSS units). If you know how to do this, skip ahead to the sub-head “Installing a Software Update.” If you need a refresher course on how to download and save a file from a website, keep reading below.

  • Insert a blank SD card or micro-SD card (as is appropriate, depending on the model of your sonar/GPS unit) in your computer’s SD-card slot or an external card reader attached to your computer via a USB cord.
  • Right-click once on the .upd software-update file on your desktop. In the dialog box that opens, single-click “Copy.”
  • Navigate your cursor down to the “Start” icon at the bottom-left-hand corner of your computer screen (see the image below) and single-click it.
  • IMG_2168
  • In a vertical menu of options, you will see the word “Computer” – it will be located about half-way down the list (see the image below). Single-click “Computer” to open a new dialog box.
  • IMG_2169
  • In the box that opens, locate the icon for your SD card – it will be under “(D:)” or “SDHC (D:)” under the heading “Devices with Removable Storage” (see the image below).IMG_2175
  • Hover your cursor over the “(D:)” icon and right-click once. Then in the dialog box that opens, single-click “Paste.”
  • A progress-bar box will briefly open. Once the green bar reaches the right-hand side of the box, it will close and your .upd file will be saved on your card.IMG_2187
  • Proceed to the next bullet list of instructions to complete the software-update process
Installing a software update
  • Power off your unit
  • Insert the SD (or micro-SD) card with the update file (and nothing else) saved on it.
  • Turn on your unit.
  • If a progress bar almost immediately pops up, you’ll know the update process is successfully underway.Software-update-screen
  • Once the progress bar completes and closes, a message will appear, prompting you to turn off your unit and remove the SD card. Do that.
  • Re-start your unit. You’ll be good to go after that.

Once you update your software, you can start using all the latest tools to find fish. We can help you find them, but you’ll have to figure out how to catch them!

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