Fix lag or low memory problems (MN1 & MN2)

Lag, random freezes or even low memory warnings are more prevalent in 3rd party custom firmwares or interfaces, but this sort of problems tend to appear on the original firmware also, especially on the first generation Media Nav units, when using the navigation. The cause is, commonly, the lack of RAM space, but, fortunately, memory allocation can be managed in Windows CE.

ATTENTION: Incorrect allocation of RAM can have as a result the impossibility of starting the main interface, thus requiring booting directly into Windows CE, using DBoot, and reverting the changes in order to fix it.

Guide

Note: This guide applies only to first and second generation Media Nav units (MN1 & MN2), versions 4.0.0 or higher.

Prerequisites:
– a tablet, laptop or desktop equipped with an USB port
– USB flash drive, FAT32 formatted, max. 32 GB capacity

Option 1: Increase program memory in RAM

Step 1. Turn on the Media Nav and access Windows CE from TEST MODE – see How to access Windows CE.

Step 2. Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel, open System and select the Memory tab.

Step 3. Pull the slider to the left in order to allocate more RAM for programs. This may require a trial-and-error approach, to find the “sweet spot” that works best for your case – for example, in the navigation, every case varies with the complexity of the map. Always do small adjustments.

Once you decide to go back to the main interface, a reboot will be necessary, by shutting down from the Start menu, then turning the unit back on.

Option 2:

A laggy (low FPS rate) navigation is usually caused by 3D data files, *.3dl, *.3dc and *.dem, putting an additional strain on your hardware. This may happen in city centers and is more commonly a problem on first generation Media Nav units, due to having less RAM.

Removing one or more of these files may increase the FPS rate considerably. Ideally, you should start with removing *.dem files, since they contain elevation data (country relief) and are not that relevant to everyday use. Only after, you should think about the 3D buldings, if they are worth keeping and which, if any.

Remember:
*.3dl files contain 3D buldings with textures, which usually includes only a few important buildings in every city;
*.3dc files contain 3D buldings without textures, which can include fully modeled areas, counting thousands of buildings in big cities.
File size can also be a hint about which file requires more resources to process. Removing both types of files should be used as a last resort.

Option 3:

If none of the above solutions worked, the simplest and safest bet would be to restore Storage Card 4 contents from the backup made before updating the maps, thus reverting the navigation to its previous state – usually, the original batch of maps that come with the Media Nav is tested for performance before release and usually do not contain additional files like 3D buildings or elevation data. This can be accomplished by following the same procedure as for copying the new maps – see How to add maps manually (MN1 & MN2).