USB connections to your Mio C230 & USB Battery Charging

If you want simply charge your C230 via the PC rather than using the 12-volt auto power converter, then you need to plug a 5-pin Mini-B USB 2.0 cable, which isn’t included in the package, to both your PC and the C230 with the power off.  You can power up the unit afterwards if you like, but the behavior is different as compared to linking the C230 with the power on.   This is the Belkin USB cable  I use and recommend.

If you link the C230 to your PC with the C230 power on, you will invoke the USBConnect program, which allows you to view, transfer and edit files between your  PC and your C230, as well as your Storage Card, if one is inserted.   Your C230 will show up as a flash drive on your PC in the My Computer window as “Mio Device”.   Usually you will need to do a hard reset by sliding the switch on the rear of your C230 to OFF and back to ON again after disconnecting your unit that has been connected in this mode.

Walmart had these MusicPower Duet units for $13 that, along with your USB cable, will power the unit on AC charge (it works Great!).    I also have the  Encore unit, and like it even more because it has a rechargeable battery in it – if there is no electricity around, it will transfer from it’s battery pack and actually charge the Mio back up, so that you don’t have to carry the two linked together all the time if the Mio battery had depleted itself. It will also charge your iPod at the same time since it has 2 USB ports.

NOTE:  If you use the MusicPower USB power supplies mentioned above, because of their unique circuitry designed for the iPod, you’re advised to only plug in the unit while powered off, since USBConnect kicks in if the power is on when linking the USB cable to the power supply and you may have to do a hard reset to nudge it back.    After you are hooked-up though, you can power it up and down all you want.   



 [added 6/11/2008]  For those looking for a long-lasting, excellent quality superior external power pack for their Mio C230, this one seems to be highly recommended.   Check out the reviews on the Amazon web page.


  1. matt said

    I suppose the same would be true if using the charger for a blackberry, with a USB connector at the end?

  2. c230 said

    Most USB chargers (not iPod related) do not affect the data pins, only the power pins, so they can be plugged in to charge the Mio regardless of whether the Mio is ON or OFF.

  3. robbyg said

    Do you know if the usb cable is a 4 pin or 5 pin cable? I’m looking on and see the mini-b cable comes in 4, 5 and 8 pin and aren’t sure which one to get.

  4. c230 said

    [EDIT] Having taken a quick look, there may actually be a difference, so only go with the 5-pin Robby. Here’s a link to the Belkin USB cable.

    They make it confusing, don’t they? To the best of my knowledge, only 4 of the 5 pins are used (two for data and two for power), hence you would think they are the same thing. Belkin labels their USB2 compliant cable that I use as 5-pin, but the 4-pin is probably the same thing. I would stick with one that says USB2 compliant, because my cheap one from China that rewinds into a little spool doesn’t work for data transfer, only for battery charging.

    Without doing some digging, the 8-pin isn’t ringing a bell.

  5. robbyg said

    Cool thanks Dan for the info, yeah good thing I looked closer cause I almost ordered the 4 pin since it was the cheapest one and then I saw the other ones. I checked Mio’s site and it didn’t say anything about the usb cable there either. I have lots of regular usb cables laying around here, but of course no mini-b ones, go figure!

  6. Jim Warters said

    Sakar distributes a mini-usb AC charger / adapter (CH-400) which I have successfully used to charge the C230 from either AC or USB; in fact, I am playing music using it as I write. See:
    I have seen this at prices over $10, but Five Below sells it all day for $5. It will not function as a data cable, so am guessing only the power pins are connected.

  7. edmond said

    Where should I save the US street map to a Canadian version C230S, this version come with detail Canadain street map but only with US road map. Do I save the US street map in the SD card ?

  8. c230 said


    Yes, create a MioMap folder at the root level of your SD card and within that folder create another folder maps where you’ll save your additional fbl file(s). There are about 50 files making up the USA maps though. You need to keep the file you have with the major interstates as well.

  9. David said

    can the C230 display altitude?
    if so how?
    thanks! – great site

  10. c230 said

    It sure can. Either modify a skin or use one that’s already been modified. Here are some instructions to show Altitude in the the spot normally allocated to showing Time if your feeling daring 🙂

    The Quicksilver skins, including Quicksilver CarLocator available in my Blog, have an option to show Altitude in the Cockpit View in place of Speed by simply going into Settings/Advanced Settings/Cockpit Settings and changing the selection for Cockpit Left field.

  11. John Mills said

    What’s the difference between the “power off” and “standby mode”?

    I assume that the only time I toggle the back switch to the off position is to reset…otherwise it is always to

    remain on or I loose my settings.

    So when I press the top button and my c230’s display goes off is it “off” or in “standby mode”? I assume


    When I use my USB to computer cord while its in standy mode the light below the display will light up “red” for a

    few seconds and then “green”. Is it now charging?

    The USB cord also works for file transfers and the display changes accordingly and shows an animation

    representing such…at least it did when I first plugged it in to play with it. I’m sure I can get back to that later, now

    I’m only interested in getting it charged up.

    Thanks for the great info and feedback presented here!

  12. c230 said

    As the first sentence states:

    If you want simply charge your C230 via the PC rather than using the 12-volt auto power converter, then you need to plug a 5-pin Mini-B USB 2.0 cable, which isn’t included in the package, to both your PC and the C230 with the power off.

    Yes that is the top orange switch. Technically, as you alude to, the power isn’t truly off unless the rear switch is OFF. But unless you’re putting your GPS into storage for a while, or want to conserve the last bit of charge until you have access to a power source, most people just use the top switch and that is considered OFF.

  13. Jagdish said

    I just connected my Mio C230 to the PC and copied 1 file FROM the mio to my laptop. Now the mio filesystem seems to be corrupted and it gives the fatal error on startup. I can still connect it to my laptop and copy files to/from it, but there are a lot of junk files as well (in the mio). If I try to delete them, WinXp says that they cant be deleted because the filesystem is corrupt. chkdsk doesnt work (”Another process has locked this drive”).

    The restore function on the dvd also does not work. It quits half way through. The total size of the mio shows up as 2.7 gb.

    Now my mio wont start at all. 😦
    It says please restore from disk.

  14. c230 said


    No one that has followed the instructions has experienced the issues you’ve described, so I agree with the comment below that I had deleted in error. Since your comment was awaiting approval, I’m not sure how this person saw your question, but anyways…

    nagarajurapolu said,
    April 8, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    Jagdish, try formatting the Mio. Then restore it from the dvd.

  15. Patola said

    Hi Mr. c230,

    I have had a similar experience with my unlocked MIO C230. But I haven’t copied one file from the internal memory of the MIO; instead, I have just tried to find (list) all the files on it. After I safely removed it, it was unusable. I had to hard reset and reinstall after successfully doing a chkdsk, which created a directory there (I think files.000 or something like that) containing the “lost” files.

  16. c230 said

    The first thing that comes to mind is if dragging with the left mouse button, sometimes that acts as MOVE, rather than COPY. I always try to use the right mouse button so that I can select the action and know what to expect. Perhaps this might trigger an AHA moment?

  17. c230 said


    For those looking for a long-lasting, excellent quality superior external power pack for their Mio C230, I’ve added a link above to one that seems to be highly recommended. Check out the reviews on the Amazon web page.

  18. trial said

    I tried to use USB cable that comes with digital camera. The power LED is ON, but the system is not. Any idea?

  19. c230 said


    The behavior is different if the C230 is on when plugged into USB port . You are probably plugging the C230 in with the power off and then turning it on which only charges the battery.

  20. coverland said

    My Motorola v365 cell phone charger has worked fine for my MIO C230 also.

  21. Emmet said

    I just bought one of these on ebay and recieved it with no power cord, I have a min power cord that fits and charges it, my question is, when I plug the power cord into the wall and then into GPS it just shows that the gps is chargeing, is ths gps so old that you cant use it other than on the battery being charged??? or am I doing something wrong thanks in advance

  22. c230 said


    I’m not sure I understand your question, but as I’ve explained earlier, not all of the chargers operate the same, as some of them designed for iPods, etc. have the data pins wired differently and therefore behave differntly if the C230 is on when plugged into USB port . You are probably plugging the C230 in with the power off and then turning it on which only charges the battery.

  23. Erick said

    I’m a mac user and recently purchased a Mio C230 but it doesn’t connect to my mac… Is there a driver I need to use? Or some other piece of software that i need to conect it to a MacBook?

  24. c230 said

    Although i’m not familiar with the Mac, I suspect your USB cable, as the symptoms are the same as my experience with a cheap retractable USB cord.

  25. Hendrik_001 said

    I recently purchased Mio C230 and I have HP notebook running vista Home premium. I installed your program but when I hooked it up with USB cable from my webcam camera, I can’t see the mio device in microsoft device manager. My question is the cable the primary culprit ? But it seem to charge the mio Thanks

  26. ameridan said

    Yes, many of us have wasted a lot of time only to realize that it was the USB cable. Just about any USB cable will accomodate charging, but if you try a USB2 compliant cable, you’ll get the data connection as well – if you link the C230 to your PC with the C230 power on.

  27. Hendrik_001 said

    Well I bought the belkin cable today and connect it to my computer still the same problem. Apparently it can’t even installed the USB mass storage driver. It give me error message driver installation failed please check with the manufacturer of your device. I log in not as administrator in my computer

    does your software has connection program/ thanks

  28. Hendrik_001 said

    Seem like the computer try to install bluetooth device driver I am at lost there is no bluetooth device, I have nokia update program on my computer and my computer has bluetooth connection

  29. ameridan said

    I have XP, not Vista, but it seems to me it should work. The behavior sure sounds like you are plugging the C230 with the power off and then turning it on. You are plugging the unit in with the power ON, right? There is a driver on your DVD, but it seems to me that was for WIndows 98, not the newer OSs, and it probably isn’t for Vista for sure. You may want to check the Mio Support site.

  30. Hendrik_001 said

    I connected with both power on I found out that the error is related to com7 Is by any chance Your program use com7 to communicate with NOTEBOOK? Because my com7 is used to communicate with my XP computer using bluetooth. and everytime I plug in the cable it look for com7. Thanks .I try it on my XP notebook it doesn’t do a thing but i log in not as administrator. BTW I called the mio support, they say Mio is not designed to communicate with computer except to recover and as you say the driver is for older window version.

    The reason I want to get access to flash drive is to restore mio to its original set up. Because I want to use your 3.6 Unlock version, right now I am using version 3. Following your suggestion, I need to get access to the flash drive

  31. ameridan said

    The C230 is designed to communicate via USB; how would you restore the unit with the DVD if it didn’t map to a drive letter…

    If an SD card is plugged in, the unit acts as a card reader and maps the card as yet another drive.

    The unit doesn’t care which COM port gets used, it’s just another USB device. Your other USB devices work don’t they? I don’t know that I can offer much more help – it should just work!

  32. Hendrik_001 said

    Well I finnaly managed to get access to the flash drive by using USB Hub instead of directly connection to the USB port.
    and use XP computer Thanks

  33. you can always tell the quality of USB cables by looking at the thickness of the cable. thicker usb cables have higher quality *;”

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