Garmin eTrex Vista-H Troubleshooting Guide
The Garmin eTrex Vista H features a high-sensitivity receiver, detailed basemap, barometric altimeter, electronic compass and 24 megabytes (MB) of internal memory for extra data storage.
Garmin eTrex Vista H Will Not Turn On
The screen is black
Batteries are Dead
If your Garmin will not turn on then verify that the batteries are not expired. If the batteries are expired or corroded, replace them.
LCD Screen is Broken
After you replace the batteries, inspect the LCD screen. Replace the LCD screen if it is noticeably discolored. If you can not tell whether the device is on or off because the screen is black then you need to replace the LCD.
Disassemble the device and replace the motherboard and LCD screen. Next place the motherboard and LCD screen in a bowl of dry rice for 24 hours to dry out the components. If the device still does not operate after reassembly then the components need to be replaced.
Internal battery is dead
Garmin devices have a small internal cell battery. If this battery gets discharged, your device won't be able to turn on again.
Frequent and Spontaneous Shutdowns
Repair Battery Contact
Bumping and jerking will cause the batteries to disconnect from the the battery contact. Try folding a small piece of foil into a square and place it between the back plate of the Garmin and the batteries to bridge the gap. Refer to removing batteries link
Contact Garmin directly to order new battery contacts. Garmin eTrex Vista Page
Device Not Able to Locate Satellites
If the Garmin can not locate satellites then it may be in "Satellite OFF" mode.
Turn Satellite Locator On
Go into the Main Menu-->"Setup" press "ENTER". Go to "System" and under "GPS", it should say "Normal", if not, press "ENTER" and different options will appear. Choose "SATELLITE ON."
Device Not Responding to Buttons
Clean the Outside of the Device
If you can not press down on the device buttons then clean them by wiping a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol along the buttons until the visible dirt is gone.
Clean the Inside of the Device
To clean the inside take out the batteries. Remove the rubber band piece that runs around the outside of the device. Unhook the tabs through the holes on the side of the device and pull apart the top and bottom faces. The GPS will be in four pieces. Gently wipe away any dirt found on the inside near the backs of the buttons and around the motherboard with rubbing alcohol until the surfaces are dry and clean. Refer to removing outer case link
If the device is still broken and under warranty send it back to Garmin. Contact Garmin