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Old 04-13-2018, 12:22 PM   #1
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My Ride: AMv8,e46,e90,e92,e83
One Click INPA install and upgrade to ISTA

Now tools like OBD Fusion and PA Soft might all be part of your arsenal for an e46 but there are times when neither of these will do the job. Good examples are Brake Module replacements, or Steering Angle Sensor calibrations. This is why every e46 owner needs a working copy of dealer level software. At least 10 times a week or more there are new posts about INPA. Even the thread titled NOT SO EASY sees the OP frequently having to remote access the owner PC trying to resolve install issues for this not so difficult version. Well these days of install confusion with INPA and configuration issues are over?

It's never been easier to install BMW Standard Tools thanks to Stylinmike over at Bimmerfest. A while back he created this single one click install that will detect your Windows version and make the necessary modifications; it will even install the correct USB drivers for your Amazon or eBay K+DCAN cable.
What's great about having a known working copy of BMW Standard Tools (INPA, NCS Expert, EDIABAS etc.) is that it is a prerequisite to upgrading your system to support Rheingold/ISTA.

Rheingold/ ISTA is the current Dealer Level Diagnostic tool for diagnosing and repairing your e46. So once you install the simplest install version of BMW Standard Tools ever produced you can add Rheingold/ISTA to your new BMW Standard Tools as it uses the same EDIABAS 7.3.0 program for comm purposes - with existing K+DCAN cable. This makes your diagnostic system capable for a wide version of BMW's including e46 all the way up to Fxx series cars. If you don't want to add Rheingold/ISTA that's ok too - you'll have a working copy of INPA and NCS Expert.
Here's Mike's version and info:

Originally Posted by stylinmike View Post

The package takes all the guess work out of getting your computer ready for coding and diagnostics. It will be extremely useful for novices as well and basically is one single installation file that installs and sets up EVERYTHING.

What's installed:
- Inpa 5.0.6 (with English script files & Support for F-series)
- EDIABAS 7.3.0
- NCS Expert (with English menus and buttons, and NCS Dummy Profile pre-installed)
- NCS Dummy 4.0.1
- Tool32 4.0.3
- WinKFP 5.3.1
- Integrated SP-DATEN v53.3
- BMW Coding Tool v2.5.0 (for use as an alternative to NCS Dummy, or to update DATEN files as new ones become available)
- USB Drivers for cable

Why is this beneficial?

- One single installation will install ALL the programs needed for coding & diagnosis, will update the programs to show English menus, will set up NCSExpert with the correct NCSDummy profile, will automatically install USB Drivers, and comes integrated with SP-DATEN 53.3 (YES, Integrated!)

- All the latest versions of the programs in one neat install file

- No hunting or searching for SP-DATENs then struggling to import them

- SMALL file size. The entire package is only 170MB!! No need to download 15GB of DATEN files.

- System Environment PATH variables taken care of by the installer

- USB Driver included and automatically installed (and figured out if you need the 32 bit or 64 bit driver by itself)

The ONLY thing that users may need to do is reconfigure their COM port to be COM1 after the install, but a Readme file pops up after the install with simple instructions.


_a2_ _sl_
This is the very best and easiest install of INPA, NCS Expert etc. I have ever seen. I've installed Mike's version on several machines (Win x86 and Win 64) and it works great. In seconds you have a fully configured Windows PC for diagnosing, coding and maintaining your BMW. But for me its real benefit comes from assuring that you have the correct base for installing the Rheingold/ISTA layer. (EDIABAS 7.3.0)

Now for some here they'll not be interested in ISTA, and they only wanted INPA & NCS Expert so you really only need the one file from Mike:

One-Click Install of BMW Standard Tools Download

However if you do install Mike's version it has the necessary layer of EDIABAS (internal BMW Comm app) to support Rheingold/ISTA. For those who want to upgrade their INPA to ISTA read on:

What is BMW Rheingold ISTA?

ISTA is a workshop system that contains BMW AG Data and Information. ISTA stands for Integrated Service Technical Application. Way back when, during the initial development of this tool, BMW used DIS (Diagnostics Information System), and as the programs evolved and due to the nature of the file naming conventions utilized by BMW, the workshop system became known as Rheingold in the enthusiast world. Rheingold in actuality is the folder that contains the main application and data. Rheingold became ISTA-D (D stands for Diagnostics) and BMW's programming application used the same nomenclature, ISTA except with a P (for programming) or ISTA-P.

I have INPA - why would I want Rheingold/ISTA?

Well for a start it's a much more modern application (Current Dealer tool for e46) with intuitive GUI screens and tabs and stable. In addition to a wider range and span of vehicles, advanced diagnostics, printed reports, vehicle diagnostic history the best feature in my opinion and most important - it's fully in ENGLISH. Rheingold/ISTA supports many languages that are maintained in the SQL Server dB - English being the default, not German. So unlike INPA where you often are posed with German phrases and technical terms, Rheingold/ ISTA takes the guesswork out of wondering and the possibility of guessing wrong. Your install of BMW Standard Tools will still operate co-dependently with Rheingold/ISTA and you will still use NCS Expert for coding for e- chassis vehicles. For F-chassis and beyond ISTA-P will be used.
ISTA offers 3 different types of cables for vehicle coms (K+DCAN; ICOM and E-NET) - you can use your current K+DCAN cable that you use for INPA

For more in-depth information on installing ISTA, links to the software & more, see here:

For a quick link to the software that will install over BMW Standard Tools:
BMW Rheingold ISTA+ 4.03.21 Standalone +SQLiteDBs +language package

Edit Dec 27,2018;Some have stated the above link intermittent. Here are two more sources for the ISTA download:

ISTA Download Link 2 - (Scroll down the page)

ISTA Download Link Page - (Links various download servers - verified active 12/27/2018)

Here's some snaps of ISTA in use with my e92 and e46 (using same K+DCAN cable)

E92 Vehicle Info

E46 Vehicle Info

E92 Error Diagnosis

E46 Error Diagnosis

Again, if you don't want ISTA but just the absolute simplest version of INPA/NCS Expert to install here it is:

Mikes BMW Standard Tools Download

Unfortunately there is no one-click install for the Rheingold/ISTA layer over top but it's pretty straightforward using the attached instructions and the linked page (BLOG) earlier in this post.

Attachment: ISTA Info & Install Guide
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GUIDE TO ISTA+ (2).pdf (2.36 MB, 2342 views)

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Last edited by BMW-North; 12-27-2018 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Corrected typo on EDIABAS version 7.3.0
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