Recovering ride data from Garmin Edge 500

For the second time now I lost a ride from my Garmin Edge 500. But this time, thanks to this great blog post I was able to recover the data and upload to strava

I followed the steps in that blog post pretty closely, so this is largely a re-hash of that post for my own reference. But here’s what I did on OSX:

  1. Make a copy of the garmin device using dd
    dd if=/dev/disk2 of=~/temp/garmin.img bs=1m

    You can (but don’t need to) mount the device using Finder:

    open ~/temp/garmin.img
  2. Get sleuthkit
    • Download latest from
    • Fix the junit path in bindings/java/nbproject/project.xml . Change from:
      <classpath mode="compile">lib;lib/diffutils-1.2.1.jar;lib/junit-4.8.2.jar;lib/sqlite-jdbc-3.8.0-SNAPSHOT.jar</classpath>


      <classpath mode="compile">lib;lib/diffutils-1.2.1.jar;lib/junit-4.8.2.jar;lib/sqlite-jdbc-3.8.7.jar</classpath>
    • Fix the junit version in bindings/java/ivy.xml . Change from:
      <dependency org="org.xerial" name="sqlite-jdbc" rev="3.8.0-SNAPSHOT" >


      <dependency org="org.xerial" name="sqlite-jdbc" rev="3.8.7" >
    • Build
      ./configure && make
  3. Get scalpel:
    git clone .
    ./configure && make && sudo make install
  4. Create a scalpel.conf:
    #fit file definition from
    #fit y 1000000 \x0E\x10\x98\x00??????\x00\x2E\x46\x49\x54\x00\x00\x40\x00 \x01\x00\x00\x1A\x01??# updated fit definition as per data on my Garmin
    fit y 1000000 \x0E\x10\x98\x00???\x00\x2E\x46\x49\x54\x00\x00\x40\x00 \x01\x00\x00\x1A\x01??

    It’s worth noting that the first definition does find some files on the device (perhaps from an earlier version of the firmware), but the second definition finds a lot more files (including the recent file I was missing). I found the common header and footer by using hexdump on some known good .fit files on the device, e.g.

    for f in $(ls -1 2014-1*.fit); do hexdump -n16 $f; done
  5. Run scalpel on the copy of the garmin device:
    scalpel -c scalpel.conf -o garmin.out garmin.img

    There will now be a bunch of files in the garmin.out directory

  6. Get FitDump and GarminFit perl scripts:
    mkdir fitdump; cd fitdump
    curl > fitddump/fitdump.tar.gz
    curl > garminfit.tar.gz
    tar -xzvf fitdump.tar.gz
    tar -xzvf garminfit.tar.gz
  7. Do something like this to find the file you're looking for
    for f in $(ls -1 ../../garmin.out/fit-0-0/*.fit); do echo $f; ./fitdump $f | grep time_created; done > ~/temp/garmin.out/time_created.out

    Then you can look through the time_created.out file to find the file containing the ride you're missing based on the date. You can then directly upload this file to Strava

8 Responses to “Recovering ride data from Garmin Edge 500”

  1. Eric Scalera Says:

    Thank you for the help. Solution worked great; however, was not able to find file.


  2. ethan Says:

    @eric, it’s worth poking around some of the known good files (as referenced at the end of step 4) and trying some different file definitions in the scalpel config

  3. paul Says:

    thank you for this great step-by-step manual. being not very fluent in terminal/compiling/installing stuff i ran into some problems. i can’t get scalpel to install as it reports: configure: error: Scalpel requires libtre and libtre-dev. See
    so i am stuck at this point. i have the image file.
    do you have any advice for me?
    would be greatly appreciated.

  4. ethan Says:

    Hey Paul, looks like I had to install libtre too. Looks like these are the commands I used:

    curl > tre.tar.gz
    tar -xzvf tre.tar.gz
    cd tre-0.8.0/
    sudo make install

    Then I compiled scalpel after that. Let me know if that helps.


  5. Rich Says:


    Having the same issue trying to get Scalpel onto OSX, have installed Tre (as best of my knowledge), but Scalpel is still complaining of the same error above; “Scalpel requires libtre and libtre-dev”

    Sorry to ask, I’m just trying to retrieve a 3hr training ride from today (or at least see if I might be able to retrieve!) – any pointers I would be hugely grateful.


  6. Marieke Says:

    That’s one clear step-by-step manual. I got my hopes up that it might work for my edge 810, but I’m having a problem at the first step. It’s telling me permission denied for dev/disk2. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  7. ethan Says:

    Marieke, you may need to run that command as root, so:

    sudo dd if=/dev/disk2 of=~/temp/garmin.img bs=1m

  8. rkantos Says:

    Thank you! This worked as written! I only followed the image making and scalpel parts and was able to find all missing fit -files from my Edge 500!!! I tried some data recovery programs but they wouldn’t even find the folders “Activities” and “µCTIVI~1″, which probably should’ve contained the nuked .fit files! I could see these folders with Linux/Windows still..

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