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65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok so I'm just throwing up what research I have done so far as to coding. None of this is my work, in fact I havn't even bought the cable yet. I havnt found anything solid enough on here to sucessfully code my vehicle myself, so I figured this might help someone thats looking on here. All my information has come from or Anything I add will be in Bold Red.

If you are interested in coding your own car, you can do that with a D-can cable, a lot of time reading and understanding how things work , and a computer.

#1: Buy the recommended D-can cable

#2: Download the programs required for coding (NCS Expert, INPA, EDIABAS)
Google is your best friend.

#3: A simple DIY guide to get started Best DIY I've found and seen so far, very extensive and has a dummy proof walk through
also check the Wiki section for other DIY's

#4 You will need newest available daten files for NCS Expert.

Update instruction

Or u can do the following copy-paste procedure:

Target ---------------------------Source .(SP-Daten-Exx directory )

\NCSEXPER\SGDAT\ -------- .ipo files
\NCSEXPER\DATEN\ -------- coding data (daten) for models
\EDIABAS\Ecu\ -------------- .prg files......

use the easy tool to update your daten files ( thanks to BMW735 for created this lovely tool )


Pretty useful information,some things might be duplicates but it never hurts to more than one resource.

New FAQ for Beginners
This is a new FAQ thread we are trying to put together for beginners. Our forums are cluttered with repeated beginner questions!

Please list the common question and hopefully the answer/link to answer here and I'll put it together. Thanks!

What is the first step, even before attempting to code the car?
Read out all modules one by one and make a backup from each trace file.

Will all the codings reset after I have my car serviced?

Can I use a Mac laptop for coding?
Yes, with virtual machine.

Where I do I start?

Where can I download latest files?
Search Google, Usenet or torrents

Which Exx daten do I need? (chassis family guide)

How to update NCSExpert with latest Daten files:

Where do i find the OBD connector in my car?

What can I code with my car model?
[E6X / E7X / E9X]
Alternate codingsheet under construction.

Enabling DVD in motion for CIC (v3guide)

How do i find information i'm looking for?

How do i code with NCSExpert?

How do i change or add something to my VO?

Which cable is recommended to code my car?
We don't force people to buy this one, it's being confirmed by lots of members to work without prob's!!
Working K-DCAN Cable

How do i compare trc's or where do i find the coding settings for it?
Use NCSDummy

How do I code my car back to defaults? / Do I use blank .MAN file? (Hint - No)

What are EDIABAS / INPA / Datens etc...? (Glossary of terms)

What is a trace (.TRC) file?
When reading ECU using NCSExpert, trace files are found in the C:\NCSEXPER\WORK\" folder named "FSW_PSW.TRC" and "NETTODAT.TRC". The first is the human readable FSW_PSW.TRC trace file which can be edited in notepad, saved as FSW_PSW.MAN and re-written to the ECU for coding purposes, the second NETTODAT.TRC trace file is the hexadecimal dump. Each time you read a module with NCSExpert these files are overwritten, so you must move or rename them if you want to back them up (recommended).

What is a man (.MAN) file?
A MAN file is a modified trace file (see What is a trace file?) which has had values altered in notepad for coding purposes and saved with a .MAN extension. It is the MAN file which is read by NCS Expert and writting to the vehicle to effect the changes required.

I installed the NCSEXPER.rar files, but am getting errors reading some modules
You may need to update EDIABAS to latest version, see this post for info and links:

I installed BMW Standard Tools 2.11 only, and now the menu is blank i.e. no E89 etc.. shown

When do i need to empty the .man file?
The only time that the .man must be emptied is when you read out different cars.

Some terminology

Glossary of terms
BMW Standard Tools
The software suite distributed by BMW Group that contains several interoperating applications and drivers, including NCS Expert, WinKFP, NFS, INPA, and others.

German for “data sets”. In this context, the term refers to various file types that contain information about the modules found on a given vehicle and how to code them. Datens are distributed as part of ISTA-P software releases, and are typically referred along with the version of ISTA-P they were distributed with. For instance, datens from ISTA-P 2.38 are informally referred to as “v38 datens”.

A subset of the CAN standard, which stands for Controller Area Network. This is the bus standard used by all the systems in BMW (and other late-model) vehicles to communicate with one another. Analogous to a LAN comprised of several computers which all communicate via a standard protocol. A D-CAN cable is able to connect to an OBD II port and allow another connected device to communicate on the vehicle’s network.

EDIABAS – Electronic Diagnostic Base System
A proprietary communication protocol/command set developed by BMW and implemented in all their vehicles. All proprietary BMW software uses EDIABAS to communicate with the vehicle.

FA - Fahrzeug-Auftrag (German for Vehicle Order)
FA is like a single string that tells the car everthing that it came with from the factory. More advanced users can change this but not
really needed (see VO).

Diagnostic tool distributed with BMW Standard Tools that implements EDIABAS to perform a host of functions related to testing/reporting/troubleshooting.

ISTA-D - Integrated Service Technical Application - Diagnostics
Diagnostic software in the BMW ISTA client/server architecture. Used by BMW dealers to perform diagnosis and repair on BMW group vehicles (BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce).

ISTA-P - Integrated Service Technical Application - Programming
Programming software in the BMW ISTA client/server architecture. Used by BMW dealers to update the software on BMW group vehicles (BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce) and to perform retrofitting/conversions. When BMW releases new versions, datens distributed with this software and are extracted and used with NCS Expert.

A standalone computer that performs one or more related, specialized functions in the vehicle. Modules are not centrally located; they are found all throughout the vehicle. Modules communicate with other modules and systems on the CAN network, and implement the EDIABAS standard.

NCS Expert
Software application distributed with BMW Standard Tools that can communicate directly with any module on the CAN network. NCS Expert can, among other things, read the configuration codes from modules and write new configurations to them.

VO - Vehicle Order
Vehicle Order. A string of text which describes what modules the vehicle is fitted with (see FA).

What is Coding? Know your options!

What is Coding?

Coding a car means customizing hidden features that are otherwise not available/accessible to you via your car controls. It also allows you to inform your car that certain features have been added after you retrofitted new parts, which is normally required for your new retrofitted parts to work correctly.

For example, with the BMW 3 series coupe, one cannot roll up the windows with the keyfob remote from the factory. With coding, this feature can be enabled.

Tired of the legal disclaimer on iDrive startup? It can be turned off with coding.

Take a look at some of the stuff I was able to customize on my own car:

Know Your Options

Coding is easy. There are DIY guides available and most of the files are already provided in a nice package. All you need is a $85 cable from ebay (please visit the Beginner's Lounge for more information) and a laptop to get started. This is a great way to experiment with your own car and discover all the possibilities with the help of this forum! This is the whole purpose of this forum and the reason why you are here.

There are also vendors and members who offer this service. If you don't feel comfortable coding your own car, you can pay them a fee to code for you. Remote coding is also available. They will send you a cable or in some cases a laptop but you need to ship them back. Don't forget if you want to change/revert any codings and if you had the car serviced/updated at the dealer, you need to repeat the process again. Last I heard the price is $40-$50/feature from vendors, and it could be significantly cheaper from members coding as part-time ($60 per session, for example).

Definitely check out our new regional forums. We have some of the best coders around. Feel free to leave some requests.

A little info more specific to the E60

[E6X / E7X / E9X] Available coding options published by other users
---------- E89/90/91/92 ----------

This is the original most updated spreadsheet (approval required):

Here's a copy that's publicly viewable read-only (please see last edit date at the bottom of this post to see when this was last updated):

---------------- E60 ----------------


BMW INPA Ediabas installation guide + software

<HR style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #d1d1e1; COLOR: #d1d1e1" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->You can download BMW INPA 5.0.2 (last version, includes NCSExpert and WinKFP) software here: BMW forum. Diagnostics, coding, programming, repair BMW vehicles. - View Single Post - Bmw INPA Ediabas, NCS Expert tool, WinKFP (this set is fully tested by me).

Unpack INPA and run Programminstallation/setup.exe

Choose language:

Click “Next”:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step:

Next step (select STD:OBD even if you have DCAN cable) :

Next step (select COM port that your cable plugged in):

Next step:

Next step (click "skip" 3 times):

Next step:

Next step (restart your computer):

After restart:

Open :\Referenz2006\INSTALL\Instprog.exe

Click OK:

Choose language:

In next 2 windows click "Continue".

In next window choose BMW Group Rectification programs UK:

In next windows set 3 checmarks:

In next 2 windows click "Continue"

After copying click "END"

That's all. Enjoy.


Bmw INPA Ediabas, NCS Expert tool, WinKFP

<HR style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #d1d1e1; COLOR: #d1d1e1" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->

BMW INPA Engineer diagnostic equipment has the powerful function which can do diagnosing of both latest and old BMW serials car, such as E39, E60, E65, and the communication speed much faster than GT-1. It only needs 6 seconds to scan out all trouble codes of the car which has CANBUS gateway communication, such as E60,E65, and 5 seconds for old car coding, such as E39.

New INPA description
* Support of all ECU use cases in Engineering, Test, Production and After Sales
* Specification of ECU’s diagnostic data
* Reading and clearing error memory
* FLASH data uploading and downloading
* Reading measurement value
* Input/output control
* Calibration of single ECU variables
* CAN (controller Area Network) bus mode emulation
* Integrated solutions for on-board/off-board
* Customer specific protocols supported
* Long term application by supporting widespread ASAM standards
* Language option: English and German

Models covered:
1 series E81 E82 E87 E88
3 series E30 E36 E46 E90 E91 E92 E93
5 series E34 E39 E60 E61
6 series E63 E64
7 series E38 E65 E66
8 series E31
Mini R50 R52 R53 R55 R56 R57
X series E53 E83 E70 E71
Rolls Royce RR1 RR2
Z series E52. E85 E86 E89

BMW INPA cable (3 variants: ADS+K-kine / K-line / K-line+DCAN) x 1pc
Software hardisk (v5.02 ) with installation instruclions x 1pc

Notice of using INPA

1) Before using this equipment, keep the battery of notebook fully charged to avoid battery broken. Don’t charge the battery while diagnosing (the charger may interfere with diagnosis). Before charging, discharge the battery. You may knock down the battery and connect the power line during long time diagnosing. To make sure the battery life. 2) While testing, make sure the diagnostic lines well connected.
3) Be sure to start diagnosing after all icons on bottom right of screen displayed regularly.
4) After finished diagnosing, back the screen to the main interface, then shut down the key and pull out the connector.
5) Don’t cut the power or connector during test.
Don't touch the high temperature components in carriage during test.

BMW INPA EDIABAS 5.0.2 (full package, including: INPA, NCSExpert, WinKFP, Tool32).
Language: English/German
System requirements:
Win XP/2000/VISTA/7

If you have Win7 operating system INPA will work properly but you need XPmode to work with NCSExpert.

Download here. (enter digits and click "Скачать").

Step-by-step installation guide with screenshots here:


If your INPA Cable connects to USB port and have ftdi chip you can download latest version of drivers here: Virtual COM Port Drivers


I really hope this helps some newbies like me. I am one that enjoys doing most of my work myself, you get that feeling of accomplishment. It's easy to pay someone to do everything for you, but it's exciting to do it yourself. If anyone has any additional information that want to add please feel free. Like I said up top, I havn't done any of this yet. I am purchasing my cable this weekend and install all neccisary programs. Once I recieve my cable, I will post back my results. Ideally I would like to have a master word or spreadsheet that gives a good description of each code so we can share that as well.

Once again, none of this is my work. I just wanted to consolidate and share my research(I can't even begin to count how many hours, it's basically all I do at work)

Happy Coding

464 Posts

65 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Ya... I would F this up so bad... :D
Well I am going to be doing this to mine hopefully in the next week, just depends on how long shipping will take. After I finish, you should check it out. Maybe I could help you with some coding :M5thumbs:

1,031 Posts
Well I am going to be doing this to mine hopefully in the next week, just depends on how long shipping will take. After I finish, you should check it out. Maybe I could help you with some coding :M5thumbs:
Sounds like a plan, if you're isn't burned to the ground! :haha:

1,104 Posts
Valuable post. Should be sticky.
I refuse to order the cable for fear of how much I could possibly screw up.

65 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for your hard work! We needed a one stop shop for all this info!!
It's no worries, the board didn't have one so I figured I'd put my research up here. I was actually going to PM you to see if I could come check out your car, specifically your hood. You have the original EA GT hood that's attempting to do a group buy right now right?

NVM I was thinking of someone else's user name... Sorry

292 Posts
For those who never venture to the E63 section there's a sticky for coding. Zerocks1 has done a great job putting information together for the E63. All of it applies to the E60.

I recently spent a lot of time researching the same information to successfully code quite a bit on my car. I think we should have a coding section. I've found bmwcoders to be pretty dead, but a good resource for information.

I changed my Canadian spec M5 to Euro spec by changing the VO. This gave me most of the coding options I was after:

- DRL on/off in iDrive
- Angel Eyes as DRL
- Close windows with FOB
- iDrive legal disclaimer off
- Euro MDM (My favorite)

Other options I've successfully coded:

- Turn singal in HUD (Non-M HUD)
- Seat belt chime removed
- Seat heater comes up in iDrive when button pressed (removed)
- Follow me home lights when pressing trunk button
- Removed cold temperature warning (Gone for startup, still need to see if it comes up when temp goes below 3C. Still too cold here to test.)
- Digital speed in cluster (A bit useless when you have HUD)
- Digital speed in cluster without fake correction (Real speed)
- Door dong alarm removed
- Disabled head light cleaning
- AE brightness to full when xenons are on

755 Posts
Added both coding DIYs (OPs and zerocks' in E63 forum) to master DIY sticky

338 Posts
Must have been something in the air.

Just setup my VM on my Macbook and installed everything above. I installed my AUX input and coded a few other things. Was actually kind of fun.

Hardest part? Drivers for the cable and USB pass through on my Macbook. Nothing seemed to work until it did for no reason.

Once you get through the installation, drivers and Daten setup, its pretty easy if you are "tech minded"

984 Posts
Thanks for putting all of this information in one easy-to-find place. I've been wanting to do all this for a while now, but just having. This may get me going again. Thanks!

65 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I've read as long as you hook up your car to another running vehicle you should be fine. I've also read some people saying that you shouldn't have your laptop plugged into the wall while doing this, is that true?

1,104 Posts
I have no idea about the laptop being plugged into the wall. Mine was coded in a guy's driveway from his old Thinkpad that was definitely not hooked up to the wall.
Two ways to look at it... you don't want your laptop battery to die midstream (you know the longevity of your battery better than I) but you also don't want a power surge. Perhaps a good UPS or surge protector to be safe if you are worried about spikes.

251 Posts
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