As a new Droid 3 (former OG Droid) owner, like many of you I've been stumped by how bad the GPS lock is on the D3. On a recent drive, the phone spent at least 50% of the 7 hours on the road searching for signal. Especially puzzling, given how well the original Droid performed. I've spent some time here looking for an answer, and found several threads on the topic. At this point, it makes sense to consolidate the discussion (maybe the mods can pool these threads?) and hopefully nail down the problem and confirm the right fix.
GPS not searching for signal
Problem finding GPS.....again...
GPS KEEPS SEARCHING FOR SIGNAL?? cant get navigation to work HELP!
Waiting for gps signal???
I describe below three solutions/fixes that have been discussed here on the forum. Of the three, the last option (using GPS Status to clear the aGPS data) has been the one that works for me.
(1) Reboot/battery pull/toggle GPS
This has been suggested in several discussions, but didn't work for me. At best, I got a mild placebo effect -- some minor improvement with lock, but still lots of "lost signal" errors.
(2) Modify the stock timeserver address
This comes as a beautiful suggestion from forum member ndoren (Neall):
GPS not searching for signal
Unfortunately, I'm right in the center of the midwest (maybe too remote???) and didn't see any obvious benefit. I could get a nice solid GPS lock in Google Maps, but once I started Navigation, it was back to "searching for GPS signal".You want a fix? Root your phone, go into /system/etc/gps.conf and
You can use something like root explorer to do this. In other words, change "north-america" to "us" in that file.
This file is unchanged by the recent OTA update. So, if you had the issue before, the OTA didn't fix it. Because it's an issue with the NTP server, it's time/date specific, and especially trouble prone in the midwest. (I had the same issue as you in Indiana).
(3) Use GPS Status to clear aGPS data
THIS WORKED! Start by downloading the free (or paid) version of GPS Status & Toolbox:
After installing, start GPS Status -> Menu -> Tools -> Manage A-GPS state -> Reset/Download (I did both to clear and then renew the data). Anyway, I've tested Navigation several times (locally) and found that the D3 is now finding and locking on GPS signal as fast as the D1.
I'd like to research this more, but my hunch is that for some reason the D3 is using "stale" aGPS data. That fits well with the impression many of us have that it's a "software" issue. In my case, I was especially intrigued that I could get a solid signal in Maps but not Navigation -- and that I also got a solid lock at home, with wifi turned on. So my educated guess is the signal-lock issue is due to how the "assisting" process is coded, and that refreshing the data (at least temporarily) solves the problem. If that's the case, I'm certain Motorola will have a firmware update for it -- someday.