How to use ISTA PsdZData Full for BMW flashing/programming

Thred: BMW Flashing/Programming using BMW ISTA with PsdZData Full

I have set up ISTAD and ISTAP within Oracle VirtualBox virtual machine.

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise with SP1
ISTAD v4.3.21
ISTAP v3.60.2
PsdZData v60.1 Full

Using my girlfriend’s loaner F25 X3 28i as a power supply in order to keep voltage between 14.0 and 14.9. This seemed sufficient for maintaining voltage and a temporary alternative to purchasing a Schumacher INC-700A power supply/charger.

BMW ICOM A2 clone

ISTA-D v4.3.21

My understanding was that ISTAD v4.x.x was supposed to be able to do flash programming and eventually replace ISTAP. I have not been able to get this working with my setup after weeks of trying. Not sure if anyone else has gotten this functionality to work. Otherwise, ISTAD has been great in terms of serving as diagnostic software and factory service manual.

VCI configs…

It would seem to calculate measures fine which is another way of saying determine which modules need to be flashed. However, pressing “Execute measures plan” would result in no action.

ISTA-P v3.60.2

I finally decided to give ISTAP a try. I know flash programming can be done via ESYS after talking with number more experienced forum members, but I prefer a factory all-in-one solution for simpletons like myself. Fortunately, ISTAP worked when ISTAD did not.

ISTAP reading vehicle data after starting New Session…

ISTAP preparing vehicle for programming…

ISTAP programming vehicle in progress. You can see the status bars below the module names.

What the display says when in the first few minutes of programming…

I did see the “Emergency call malfunction” warning after I restarted the car after completing the flash. It went away after driving for a bit.

A few notes:
– Total duration for everything was about 57 mins
– ISTAP will flash firmware onto the modules and then code them. The coding process is automatic and it is fairly short. However, there will be a few dialog boxes that pop up to warn you or instruction you to do certain things such as calibrate the steering wheel angle, close all doors, etc. You’ll see your instrument cluster, climate system, windows/sunroof activate and deactivate. Don’t worry. Your car is not possessed, it’s just ISTAP doing everything to re-initialize your vehicle.
– You will lose your previous coding. For example, I had VO coded Bluetooth Audio/Media, tire pressure and temperature displays, and 6 blinks instead of the default 3 blinks for the turn signals. You will have to re-code all of that.

PsdZData Full
So one major issue that I foresaw was that ISTAD, ISTAP, and ESYS all have different places they want to access PsdZData Full. You don’t want to have 3 separate places to store all this data because it would consume a ridiculous amount of space. PsdZData Full is about ~70 GB. The solution is to decide where you want to keep the real physical PsdZData Full and create symbolic links for the other two applications to utilize.


mklink /J “C:\Rheingold\PSdZ\data\psdzdata” “C:\ISTA-P\BMW\Services\data\ecudata\psdzdata”

Where ISTAD thinks psdzdata is.

Where psdzdata really is.

I’ve also attached a “FinalReport.pdf” that basically describes which control modules have been updated. It’s neat because it provides a “diff” between beginning and end.

Final Report:

I obtained most of my factory BMW software from CarTechnology forums:


But the images there seem not available. You can go to for the latest 2017.12 ista-d ista-p images