HOW TO ENABLE THE GRAYED OUT NAV SYSTEM FEATURES WHEN DRIVING
We have a 2007 ES350 and I really was upset because the NAV system was “almost” unusable when driving. Who wants to stop so your wife can enter a new address into the NAV system while I am driving…yuk! Also, the voice commands do NOT work very well! This “non invasive” fix will allow using all the NAV system features when driving.
On the ES350 the NAV DVD is immediately below the NAV screen. You will see a plastic cover strip with LEXUS written on it in gold letters. You just lift/push this up and pull out very gently from the bottom of this plastic cover strip. It will come off easy. Use your fingernails so you don't scratch anything. Once it's off you will see the slot where the NAV DVD resides in its "super secret" location.
To eject the DVD in your Lexus and press the start button once so the car is on ACC (don’t start it). Press the MENU button to the right of the screen. Touch “Map DVD” in the upper right corner of the screen. Touch DVD in lower left corner of the screen so the current DVD will be ejected.
With that said, I have already read all of SonarTech's posts on the GS Lexus Owners Forum on how to fix the Version 6.1 NAV maps DVD that came with the 2007 ES350 by modifying the DVD only. No removal of the NAV head-unit itself and no wire cutting. If you’re interested here is a detailed description on how to do it.
I burned a dozen disks learning so here goes. Not all DVD media works. The DVD that I know works is: Memorex DVD+R DL (Double Layer) 8.5 Gbytes, 240 min, 2.4X. Do not use Dual Layer. Dual Layer is a DVD-R, don’t use it. I mention this because these Double Layer DVDs cost $1.80 plus each so no need to waste them.
Not all burners that can burn double layer DVDs work. For example my D: CD drive and my external Memorex Double Layer 16X DVD + - RAM 510L v1 would NOT burn this NAV DVD correctly. Finally, I bought a Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-K14RA (the K15RA works too) for my laptop’s D drive because my wife’s laptop had that specific burner and it burned a workable double layer NAV DVD. This Pioneer model works. The only other burner that I know of that works is a NEC ND-3540A. If yours will not work using the above media you’ll have to buy a new burner or use a friend's double layer burner.
The NAV disk that came with my 2007 ES350 is a Generation 5 black colored DVD and it says U31 D on it. Next put this Version 6.1 disk in you your burner and drag and drop the all the folders and files into a new folder on your PCs fixed disk. It may take 40 plus minutes because you’re moving approximately 7.3 Gbytes. Make sure ALL the folders and ALL the files are copied to your PC, count ‘em. One of my failed disks was because one file was not moved over.
Next you must already have the file LOADING.KWI 46,956,000 bytes from the Version 5.1 NAV DVD. The Version 5.1 DVD is black and has U30 D on it. You will have to buy a copy of this disk if you do not already own one. In order to make a legal hybrid disk for your personal use you must own both the U31 D and the U30 D DVDs.
Here is when you will remove the Version 6.1 LOADING.KWI file (71,684,000 bytes) from the folder on your PCs fixed disk and replace it with the LOADING.KWI file (46,956,000 bytes) from the Version 5.1 DVD. Yeah, it’s a few fewer bytes but so far I have noticed NO problems or loss of features using the version 5.1 instead of the Version 6.1 loading file. On the other hand, if I encounter serious problems in the future I’ll just reinstall the original Version 6.1 disk that came with my 2007 ES350. So far, using the Version 5.1 loading file, we can enter addresses, POIs, and all those other NAV features that used to be grayed out when driving. It’s Great!!!
I used Sonic System's Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 to burn the DVD. Sorry, I do not know how to do this using NERO. Start Roxio 9 and choose DATA and then DATA DISK. Use the Roxio command ADD DATA to move the folders and the files from the folder on your PCs fixed disk to Roxio. I first added the folders and then the files. Double check they were all added. Check that you removed the V6.1 and in its place have the V 5.1 loading file (LOADING.KWI). Now choose OPTIONS (lower right corner) and use the following:
TYPE: Track at Once (TAO), Open
Mode: Mode 1
File System: ISO+Joliet (106 character file names)
Choose the BUTTON that says, “I only need to use disks for one recordng, etc.”
Checkmark, Verify data written to the disk after burning.
Click on OK to go back one screen.
Look at the lower left corner to see if the DVD symbol says, “Estimate 7.3 MBs plus or minus.” This tells you that the burner expects a double layer DVD.
Last but not least, try to notice when it starts whether it is burning at 2.4X which is the Memorex DVD media speed. It will be so don't worry.
Finally, click on the BURN symbol in the lower right corner and go get a coffee, lunch, and dinner because it takes an hour to burn and verify a 7.3 Gbyte double layer DVD.
Once you have the new DVD go to your Lexus and try it. To install it first disconnect the negative battery cable for 5-7 minutes. This is supposed to erase the NAV system memory and loading loading file or whatever. Actually I don’t have a clue what this does but I was told to do it this way and it worked for me. Reconnect the battery cable. If you do not want to do this an alternative is to remove the NAV system fuse for a few minutes. It is: FUSE TV 7.5 amp in the driver's side fuse box. Don't forget to reinstall the fuse.
Remember at this point the original Ver 6.1 NAV DVD may not be in the NAV system DVD reader but if it is eject it by pressing the start button once so the car is on ACC (don’t start it). Press the MENU button to the right of the screen. Touch “Map DVD” in the upper right corner of the screen. Touch DVD in lower left corner of the screen so the current DVD will ejected.
Next insert the newly burned V5.1/V6.1 hybrid DVD. On mine I had to push the DVD in a bit, very gently, so the DVD changer would finish pulling it in.
BEWARE: you’ll probably get a screen that says to see your dealer and some Japanese characters below it but be patient. The loading will start within 20 to 40 seconds and your heart will again start beating at its normal rhythm. If it flat out says CAN’T READ DISK, the disk probably did not copy properly but wait another minute or so anyhow.
Here is a very helpful post I found in the Lexus GS 3rd Generation forum. It is another way to get new version 5.1/6.1 Hybrid disk that you burned to be recognised and load properly. The writer of this post tried multiple times to get the NAV system to recognize the Hybrid DVD and load it, but to no avail. He kept getting the "insert the correct DVD" message so he tried the following. He put the original 5.1 DVD in and it loaded the software fine. He then ejected the original 5.1 DVD and inserted the new 5.1/6.1 Hybrid DVD and it recognized it so he now has the Hybrid version 5.1 KWI loading file and the version 6.1 data files. For all of those who have tried burning a Hybrid DVD and failed to get it to load properly, give it another try using this procedure.
After it's loaded here is how to UNLOCK the navigation system features. The following can be done either when you’re parked or when the car is moving so you do NOT have to do this before starting to drive.
To enable all the NAV system functions that were grayed out because the car is moving do the following:
Press the MENU button to the right of screen.
Touch VOLUME at top center of screen.
Touch Upper Left Corner of screen.
Touch Lower Left Corner of screen.
Do it again…
Touch Upper Left Corner of screen.
Touch Lower Left Corner of screen.
A service menu will appear.
The bars are black but turn turquoise when you touch any bar.
Touch and hold the OVERRIDE bar until you hear a beep (about 6-8 seconds).
When you lift you finger from that bar it will turn BLUE, you’re done.
Touch the Upper Right Corner of the screen to close the service menu.
Then press the MAP (voice) button to go back to the NAV map.
You can now enter addresses, POIs, and so forth when the car is moving and you also have the latest Version 6.1 maps, POIs, and so forth.
If you turn the engine off you must do this again but remember you never have to stop because you can do this while the car is moving. In fact I don't UNLOCK the Nav systems features every time I drive because I seldom use the NAV system in my own city neighboorhood area.
One other point, my mentor SonarTech gave me all the info I needed to burn the hybrid disk and, as the above states, I used Sonic System's Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 to burn the hybrid DVD. On the other hand, SonarTech used a French software package called "Prassi ONES". To see his description on using Prassi ONES to burn a hybrid DVD disk go to:
To see a review of Prasi ONES go to:
To download Prassi ONES go to:
Here is a helpful comment from someone else's success story burning a 5.1 + 6.1 hybrid DVD: I used a Philips SPD2410L1 drive, a VerbatimDVD+R DL8.5Gb8X, and the burning software was ONEStrialVersion2.1.358English.
I suggest not using NERO7 essential software because I wasted 4 DL-DVD's. The Lexus GPS would not detect the DVD after burning it with Nero.
COMPLETE LIST OF HELPFUL HINTS...
1. In order to see how to make a Hybrid NAV DVD using the Gen 5 Ver 5.1 loading file and a Ver 6.1 map DVD go to:
Then go down through the posts and read or copy all the posts by SonarTech. This will give you both the
background and the how to burn the hybrid disk info.
2. You may be interested in this detailed HOW TO description on: Enabling access to the Music Folders, Phone Dialing, Calendar and Maintenance Menus while Driving the Lexus ES-350.
3. Burning music CDs for the Lexus ML sound system
4. Another hint.
5. One more...
6. NAV Fuse