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      07-15-2020, 12:01 AM   #1
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ISTA VM, 99% set up and ready to go

UPDATE (click me)

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any problems that might arise from use of ISTA, or the VM. Use at own risk, but I will try my best to help resolve your issues. Honestly though, there's not much you can mess up, so I'd be shocked if this FUBAR's anything. Also, please at least read the Notes and FAQ section before attempting Setup, it'll probably answer your questions

I've decided to share with the community my own personal VM that I use for ISTA and E-Sys flashing. This is a near ready to go, pre-packaged VM with all the prereqs for ISTA installed, minus PSdZData (more on that later). Hopefully this helps out some who are daunted by the ISTA setup process. Quick terms: Host is the real computer that you're running everything off of. VM (also known as Guest) is the "fake" computer you're running inside of the host.

Prerequisites:
  • A working knowledge of ISTA and its usage/configuration. This is not an ISTA guide. This is a VM guide, that happens to focus on getting ISTA working on your computer.
  • A processor with at least 2 cores and 2.2 GHz, at least 4GB of RAM
  • 155GB of free hard drive space for just the VM.
  • ~8GB (or ~150GB for PSdZData Full) of space on your C: drive for PSdZData. Sizes are close estimates for what you need, since the size tends to vary depending on version. See notes for info on how to remap this if you don't want to keep it on your C drive.
  • PSdZData Lite or Full, they do not come included in the VM. Minimum version you should use is 4.24.12. I source mine from shawnsheridan on bimmerfest, or here: https://mega.nz/folder/0l5XkCja#hhmw...older/8ghmnIyT. You can find the full versions by digging around a bit in the ISTA+ folder of that linked Mega folder. I chose to omit these files as I am hosting the VM files on my own personal Mega folder, so I wanted to save some space.
  • Windows 10, Windows 7 should work but I haven't tested on it. Might work on Mac OS if you can find a VM player that supports VMWare VM's, but I will not be providing any support or help with it, sorry.
  • VMWare Player: https://my.vmware.com/en/web/vmware/...on_player/15_0
  • ENET cable (or ICOM, if you have that, but I don't provide any support for it)
  • Megadownloader to circumvent the Mega download limit, or a Mega subscription. A VPN works as well since all you need to get a new download allocation is a different IP.
  • 7zip: https://www.7-zip.org/download.html

Setup:
  1. Download all the items in this folder: REDACTED
  2. Extract ISTA+.7z and note where you extracted it, and particularly know where "ISTA+.vmx" is.
  3. Run the step 2 bat file. It'll create some folders on your C drive, read step 3 text file to see explanation of what the folders are.
  4. Extract PSdZData into "C:\VMWare Shared\PSdZData", check step 4 picture to see proper folder structure.
  5. Open VMWare, click "Open a Virtual Machine", and open "ISTA+.vmx"
  6. Go into VM settings and adjust the processor and memory. By default it's 4 cores and 4GB of RAM. Minimum requirement is 2 cores and 4GB of RAM.
  7. Launch VM. When prompted, select "I copied it".
  8. Setup is done. Run E-Sys with the E-Sys shortcut, start ISTA with "Launch ISTA+ and Set IP.bat". The bat file sets the VM's ethernet IP to the proper IP configuration for ENET usage. Used "Restore IP.bat" or "Restore IP and Shutdown VM.bat" to restore the IP back to the default state.

Programs included in VM
  • ISTA/D 4.24.13
  • E-Sys 3.33.4
  • Everything (Alt + ~ to search for things, Esc to close window) This program is a lot easier to use than window's built in search
  • WizTree, good for finding space hogging items, not really needed but useful
  • Chrome. ISTA complains if you don't have chrome installed, for some reason.
  • Java 8 Update 231
  • Mike's Easy BMW Tools. Honestly I installed this a long time ago, and I don't know what these tools do, but if you do know what they are and need them, have at it.
  • 7zip

Notes:
  • Sometimes the shared folders aren't connected at VM startup. Don't know why, but it's easy to fix. Just open the "Shared Folders (vmware-host) (Z)" shortcut in the VM and it should fix it. If the shared folders aren't connected, E-Sys and ISTA won't be happy.
  • It's usually a good idea to have the ENET/ICOM plugged into the computer before booting the VM.
  • You cannot program with ISTA with this VM. Sorry. It's pretty much just ISTA/D.
  • Max size the VM canThe VM is a dynamically expanding VM, so it won't immediately gobble up 150GB of disk space. The pre-packaged version is about 99GB when unpacked.
  • If you need to remap one of the shared folders: Open VM settings. Go to Options tab. Shared Folders. Double click whichever folder you need to remap, set host path to wherever you need it to be. Mostly for remapping PSdZData folder off your C drive, if needed. The path will still remain the same on the VM (Z:\[foldername]).

FAQ:

Can I keep the VM on an external drive?
Go for it. Just don't move the VMWare Shared folder items anywhere if you don't know how to remap them in the VM settings. Though expect VM disk performance to drop since USB throughput is usually lower. Things will boot slower, load slower, etc, but in general everything will be fine.

Will this destroy my computer/car/marriage
Probably not, but maybe. See above disclaimer.

Can I install other things to the VM?
Sure. You can pretty much treat it as its own separate computer. In fact, it even gets its own windows updates. Up to you if you want to install the updates though, since it will take up space.

Why isn't [insert xyz program] included?
This is what I use this VM the most for - ISTA/CAFD injection/ECU flashing, so I try to keep it lightweight-ish with what I use. If you want something included, install it yourself, it's not difficult.

How do I use ISTA?
This is not an ISTA guide. If you need help with setting up ISTA and are seeking other coding/programming knowledge, refer to these links:

ISTA Beginners Guide: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=936877

Software links and overview: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...3#post10193333

How do I update ISTA?
Uninstall old, install new. Use "C:\VMWare Shared\ISTA" on host to hold new ISTA install files, accessed at "Z:\ISTA-D 4.23.16" on the VM. I won't provide more guidance on this, because if you need more help you likely shouldn't be messing with the VM too much and are likely to break things.

Can I sell this?
Can you, like, not? Thanks.

Why is the VM called ISTA+ when it's really just ISTA/D?
I created this VM before I knew what all the ISTA's were, sorry.


If you have any problems or questions, don't hesitate to ask. I tried to make the guide relatively comprehensive, but I'm bound to have left something out or made something confusing or unclear. I'll try to help out the best I can.
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ISTA VM Setup/Tutorial

Last edited by Unspec; 08-05-2021 at 02:02 PM..
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      07-15-2020, 12:02 AM   #2
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      07-20-2020, 01:59 AM   #3
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Thanks. The VM make it easy to install. Been reluctant to install ISTA in my main OS.
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      07-20-2020, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierreye View Post
Thanks. The VM make it easy to install. Been reluctant to install ISTA in my main OS.
Yea, especially since it requires you to mess with your IP address. I'd rather just set it once in the VM and never think about it again.
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      07-14-2021, 10:19 AM   #5
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Thank you for all the work you put in to this. I'm a little late to the game but will be trying it out soon enough.
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      08-05-2021, 01:59 PM   #6
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Hey guys,

Apologies in advance but I have taken down my ISTA VM. BMW has started to get more aggressive about DMCA take downs, and given that I will be starting law school in a few weeks, I'd rather not tango with them. I will leave the instructions up for posterity, but the VM is unfortunately going to have to come down
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ISTA VM Setup/Tutorial
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      08-28-2021, 09:18 PM   #7
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Probably wise decision on your part. Thanks for these notes - will be of great use! GL in your future endeavors!
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