Old VCM2 FW & New IDS SW compatibility

16.01.2018

Topic:VCM2 firmware and IDS software compatibility

It works perfectly using IDS 96.05 with firmware 2.1.119.3 from older IDS version. But even with changing the serial number, I have not been able to get it to connect to vehicle PCM with anything newer than that older firmware to use IDS 97 or 98 - Preferably 98.04 that came out today which still uses the 2.3.85.7 firmware.

IDS 97/98 don't support that older firmware anymore so I can't use it with the newer IDS versions. (Additionally, I changed the serial before updating to one that I know is legit (actually tried a couple different ones), it will update and install fine.) But if I update the firmware on the device to 2.3.85.7 to use IDS 97 or 98 it will update. It will show up in IDS as connected. When you actually go to use it, you can hear the relays click on as normal, but the unit will not establish a connection to the vehicles PCM to be able to use it.

Searched a lot...

And here, post what I did differently so others can benefit from my discoveries

1- Boot in recovery mode, reflash ford v86 (2.1.1.5 if my memory is right?)

2- use the test mode hack and access the web interface. change serial number to a good one.

3- reboot in recovery, reflash (still in v86) to make the serial change persistent.

4- now I have a working Ford VCM2 with a good serial that can work in v98. but before upgrading, let's put a hacked recovery firmware in it. re-enter test mode via test mode hack.

5-follow the steps cautiously to flash hacked firmware.

Now the device will flash to ford or mazda IDS v98. the device will not be detected at first (say you used ford IDS first). to switch from ford to mazda :

1- boot VCM in recovery mode

2- change device type using web browser

3- reboot VCM again in recovery mode

4- Launch Mazda IDS and reflash the VCM.

The same steps are used to flash back into ford firmware. I have not tried folder swapping and using a single firmware for both programs but I bet it would work. Because of the nature of my work, I can live with reflashing between both programs. they reside on the same HDD in a triple boot setup. the third OS is used for something else. I use deep freeze for my ford license works like a charm. Mazda doesn't need anything done, only a valid device type and serial.

On a side note, I tested the device in 3 different win7 environments, and it just refuses to work in 2 of them. the ETAS driver keeps acting weird and sometimes detects an unknon device. on the 3rd one the driver is happy to see a good VCM2. Go figure... I setup both IDS programs in Win XP intances and it works fine.

OBDexpress

https://blog.obdexpress.co.uk/2018/01/16/vcm2-firmware-and-ids-software-compatibility/