Exploring the MB STAR C3

This thread will be devoted to a thorough explanation of the Mb Star C3 system in depth, over time. Another good reference thread can be found here.

First off, some history and background about the system. The MB STAR C3 is a diagnostic system that is provided by the factory for dealerships and independent repair shops, and is used to interface with the cars’ computers to diagnose systems and pull/reset codes, and even to program certain elements of the systems on more modern cars. The system costs upwards of $20,000 from OBD2TOOL, and is applicable for MBs from model year 1989 and newer.

Of course, cars of model year 1989 only had 2-3 computers in the car; however all successive MBs have had an increasing number of computers, and this is where the MB STAR C3 system really comes into its own — with the newer cars. For the purposes of the cars that are the focus of this forum — the 124.036 E500E — and to a lesser extent the 400E/E420 and the later C126 coupes, the computer setups are rather crude and limited when compared to cars starting with the W210 models, which debuted in model year 1996 in the USA.

What I’m saying is that the MB STAR C3 systems are much more suited and capable, coming into its own, the newer the car that it is used with. However, the good thing is that it is able to fully exploit the built-in computer diagnostics as found in the E500E. It does this using a compatibility mode that emulates the Mercedes-Benz Hand-Held Tester (HHT), which was a diagnostic tool that was used for the 1989 and up cars, commonly until about 2001 when the MB STAR system debuted. The HHT is literally a hand-held unit (it is actually quite a handful) that allows the user to pull and reset codes, provides access to “live” engine data on the M119 and M104 engines (though a larger array of live data on the M119s), and generally pull compete diagnostics of the computer systems.

Mercedes Hand-Held Tester (HHT)

The MB STAR system, when it made its debut, was much more capable because it was PC-based (IBM T30 laptop), but it was also very versatile because it incorporated a HHT emulation mode (for backward compatibility) along with a “multiplexer” intermediate unit between the PC and the car, which allowed the connection of a variety of different diagnostic connection cables, depending on which diagnostic system the car in question happened to use. For the oldest cars (i.e. the C126, early R129 SL models, early W124s and W140s, etc.) a “four-pin” diagnostic cable was provided. For second-generation cars, such as the E500E, 400E/E420, middle and later R129s, middle and later W140s, the familiar “38-pin” plug is provided. There are also OBD-2 interface cables for model year 1996 and later cars, as well as a 14-pin cable for European diagnostic systems. All of these cables allow the combination of the MB STAR with the in-line multiplexer unit to fully interface with any particular car’s computers.

As I said, the MB STAR system debuted around 10-11 years ago, in 2001. Because of its expense, it has been very much “out of reach” of most MB owners and enthusiasts. To pull codes and get information about the car, owners were forced to buy limited testers from companies like Snap-On, Trisco, and others that perhaps allowed one to pull and reset codes, and a couple of solutions provided some limited “live data” where the car allowed it. These systems would typically run from $500 to well over $1,000. The other option was to somehow obtain a used HHT (they are occasionally available via eBay, and are quite expensive) or a used MB STAR system – still a huge expense of multiple thousands of dollars used.

In recent years, Chinese forgers, who excel at making fake copies of everything from Louis Vuitton purses to Guess Jeans to Rolex watches, have set their sights on the MB STAR market (and other automotive diagnostic systems for other marques). This has resulted in a cottage industry whereby one could purchase an MB STAR system for anywhere between $600 and $1,200. Over the past year or so, as Chinese copies of the MB Star C4 system have come onto the market, the prices of the MB STAR C3 system have come down to a typical range of $250-450, depending on the vendor and the items included in the package.

These “clone” systems are easily available on sites like eBay and also Alibaba.com from hundreds of vendors. As with any Chinese copy of anything, quality varies and quite often — but not always — one gets what they pay for. The recent reduction in price of the MB STAR C3 systems has made even relatively good quality systems very very affordable for the DIY mechanic and/or MB enthusiast — providing them with the same diagnostic power as the dealership mechanic (but not the same level of training and knowledge). Typical options that are available with MB STAR C3 systems available on the Internet include: an array of cables; a multiplexer; a hard drive containing the MB STAR software package; and instructions on how to set up the system. The software typically includes: MB Xentry, WIS, EPC, STAR Utilities; EWA net; Star Browser; Star Finder; and a recent MB parts price list (which goes out of date quickly). Quite a number of vendors also provide Internet support, including the ability to remotely control systems over the Internet (with the user’s permission, of course) to diagnose installation and software problems.

There has been precious little information on the Internet about the Chinese MB STAR C3 systems, how they operate, and in general how the system operates. This thread will be a thorough, methodical investigation of how the system works, what it looks like, and how it can be used with the E500E (and by extension, the 400E/E420). It is up to the individual owner as to whether they need or would want such a unit. It would be overkill for many if not most owners. However, there are a number of owners who do want to do their own maintenance and want the tools to help them do this properly. For these owners, purchasing an HHT or MB STAR system may be a good idea.

I will not go into the nuances and details of ordering the system. All that should be said is that one should do their research carefully, and pay attention to the ratings from other buyers as to the honesty of a particular vendor. Most of these vendors are based in Hong Kong or on Mainland China. Quite often they speak decent English and are quite responsive and communicative when inquiries and requests are made. It would be recommended that prospective buyers utilize an escrow service to complete the transaction, so as to maximize honesty and straightforwardness of the transaction from both sides.

Some vendors offer free air-mail shipping via DHL or other international shipper. These packages can arrive in as little as three or four days after a payment goes into escrow and the seller is notified by the escrow company that they have received the cleared payment. Once the package is received by the buyer, they inform the escrow company that the package has been received in good order, and the money is then released to the seller. Pretty seamless, and because of the escrow service — a fairly safe transaction. Certainly better than sending off a Western Union or Credit Card payment to an unknown party in a foreign land.

So, the photos below illustrate what is commonly received with an MB STAR C3 package. It is a 4.5kg (10-lb) box that is nicely packed, and includes all of the items described in the seller’s site. A typical package will include the cables, a USB hard drive (or internal hard drive for an IBM or Dell computer, if specified), a multiplexer box and a packet of adhesive stickers that are placed on the multiplexer and the computer-to-multiplexer cable. The box is unpacked and the contents are checked against the web site’s description to ensure that all contents were included. Some sellers also sell individual pieces of the sets, if they are ever needed.

Next, after the contents of the package are ascertained to be correct, the recipient should install the software on a computer. It is HIGHLY advisable that a standalone, separate laptop computer be used for this, seeing as it will be used in a garage (next to the car) environment. For versatility (and because most people don’t own the specific IBM and Dell laptop models that are needed for the internal drives) it is advisable that the buyer specify the external USB hard drive model of the MB STAR C3. This way the hard drive can be plugged into any qualified laptop and used.

Requirements for a laptop that can be used with the MB STAR C3 system are generally as follows:

Must have a SERIAL port
Must have a processor frequency rating of 1.8 GHz or higher
Must have at least 1 GB of RAM; more is highly desirable
Must have a USB 2.0-compatible port
Must be running Microsoft Windows XP

It is best to just purchase a used laptop via eBay or Craigslist that meets these specifications, and use this computer SOLELY as a DEDICATED computer for the MB STAR installation. It can be kept in the garage and used for these purposes. It really doesn’t even have to be connected to the Internet. One can also put the laptop on a dedicated cart, which allows the computer, cables and a printer (if desired) to be rolled around the workshop/garage next to specific cars. Although the cables are quite long, it’s nice to have the computer next to the engine when using it.

How To sovled V2018.12 MB SD Connect C4C5 HDD blue screen

mb-star-c4

Xentry Connect C5 provides complete diagnosis for newest hybrid W222,with a qualitative improvement in hardware and software by authorization of diagnostic interface to control the software,it will allow you to work on windows xp, win7/8/10 system.

Customer’s problem:
We had purchased one set MB SD connect C5 with internal HDD from obd2tool.com, We really appreciate the faster shipment, all is well packed dhl week quickly received. But when we install the HDD to our computer, we have blue screen and doesn’t access to computer windows. We are wondering if we get the broken HDD……

Our Answers:

The BMW ICOM ICOM A2 A3 or MB Star C4 C5 drives we assign to our customers are generally AHCI-mode hard drives with SATA port.

If your laptop BIOS is not set to the same hard drive mode (AHCI mode), if you connected to our hard drive to your computer, there will be a blue screen or can not find the hard drive.Please make sure your HDD is set to AHCI in the BIOS.

To check this you turn the laptop on and press F2, it will enter the BIOS. Now go to “ONBOARD DEVICES” or “SYSTEM CONFIGURATION” then go to “SATA OPERATION” press enter and make sure its set to AHCI not ATA or any other option.

Please have a minimum of 2GB of ram/memory in your laptop, a lot of people only have 512mb or 1gb, it is OK but the new system may run slow and its recommend to really have 4GB ram, but 2GB also can be enough.

– We can supply Laptop + Software all ready for you.
– We can supply FULL package C4 SD + Laptop + Software for you. MB Star Diagnostic Tools
– We can carry out some C4 SD repairs.
– Remote installations available (if you supply the correct HDD size and install the correct Windows OS).
– Teamviewer remote support available.

12.2018 Xentry install Laptop and SDconnect C4 NOT connected (Solved)

Problem:

Have all install Xentry 12.2018 and no Errors, all activated but the laptop and the head SD Connect C4 is not connected

Software:

I have on my HDD installed on Windows xp with Xentry 07.2015
But i change the HDD whit SSD and install Xentry 12.2018

Firmware:

OS: 2.3.20130523
CSD: 2.11.20150601

Solution 1:

Check LAN property Ipv4 the correct address:
IP:                 172.29.127.100
Subnet Musk:  255.255.255.0
DNS server preferred:  8.8.8.8
then go in C/Program(86)/Mercedes Benz/Xentry/Bin/ZBus.ini and change “java\bin\javaw.exe” to “java\bin\javax.exe” (without quotation marks)

Solution 2:

The problem can be solved by installing sp1, try to upgrade to windows 7 sp1 ultimate..
As it installs the latest Microsoft visuals and so on…

Solution 3:

install fresh copy of win 7 and new Xentry

SDconnect C4 and Xentry installation help:

Use the link and you’ll have no problem of Xentry installation issues

SDconnect-C4-NOT-connected-1 SDconnect-C4-NOT-connected-2 SDconnect-C4-NOT-connected-3 SDconnect-C4-NOT-connected-4 SDconnect-C4-NOT-connected-5

Top Alternatives to Mercedes Star Diagnostic Scanner C3 & C4 Tool

mb-star-c4-1

In our opinion, there are better alternatives for those who like to do their own troubleshooting. Whether you are a repair shop a Mercedes-Benz owner consider these scanners as well.  Note that we do not endorse any of the following OBD II / CAN scanner brands. Links to obd2tool.com listing are provided if you need to check current prices.

If you are looking to purchase a Star Diagnostic System with Xentry for Mercedes-Benz there are a few things you need to consider.

Learning Curve: In order to use the diagnostic scanner properly you need to learn how to use the Xentry software. While reading, clearing fault codes is not very difficult anything besides that requires that you have proper training. Yes, you can find a few guides online on how to perform certain programming using Xentry but if you don’t perform the programming accurately you may end up causing more problem than you solve.

Consider Genuine Scanner: The only problem is that they are quite expensive and require a yearly license. If you are considering to buy a clone of the scanner made in China keep the following concerns in mind.

SCN Online Coding: Unless you buy the scanner from the official Mercedes-Benz source, you will not be able to perform SCN coding of control units. That’s because Mercedes Star Diagnostic scanner will try to connect to Mercedes-Benz database for verification of SCN code in order to program certain control units. That is not possible unless you have purchased a valid license. With that said there may be some basic coding and programming of control units that can be done but this programing can also be performed with other advanced scanners.

Mercedes Star Diagnostic Problems with Software (Xentry) VM Ware Installation: All the setups that you see for sale that state that they use VMware environments are not legitimate hardware and software. Besides the fact that these scanners are not legal copies, they are also prone to crashing and run much slower than direct Windows installations. Yes, you are required to have a Windows XP with a serial port for the MB Star Diag C3 scanner. Many VMWare Mercedes Star Setups experience problems some of which you can see posted on this site: MB SD C4 C3 problems and solutions.

License: In order to get the full features offered by Mercedes Star diagnostic scanner you need to sigh up for a yearly subscription and pay a license fee. This is not financially feasible if you only work on one or two Mercedes-Benz models. If you end up buying a cloned version of the scanner the Xentry software key will expire in a few years and you will not be able to use your scanner at all.

How to pick out a decent SD Connect C5 for Mitsubishi Fuso

Appear right here: How to pick out a decent SD Connect C5 for Mitsubishi Fuso diagnostics

sd-connect-c5-1

FYI, each MB Star SD Connect C5 application share the same main interface when you login.

But the car coverage is different for use. For standard MB SD connect C5, you might have luck with Mercedes and Sensible only!

sd-connect-c5

DAS Xentry C3 C4 Diagnostic Software, Resources, Wiki

Xentry DAS (Diagnostic Assistance System) is the complete diagnosis system that is used to troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz car problems and is the official Mercedes-Benz dealer software. It can configure, reprogram, initialization of new components, program, perform guided tests, read or erase fault codes in any of the systems including AirMatic, AirBag, SRS, EIS, Transmission, ETS, BAS,  and all of the control modules. DAS Xentry software requires the C3 Multiplexer Star or C4 SD Connect hardware. The c3 multiplexer is an earlier model that was replaced by the C4 SD Connect. To operate Xentry, you will need a laptop with a serial port RS232 to connect the Multiplexer and run the Xentry software. The online marked is flooded with pirated versions of Xentry Diagnostic scanner, so be careful and avoid those hacked versions. Online merchant which may not be authorized resellers, distribute the software and show you how to install Xentry as you can see on this guide.

Individuals or business in United States can purchase systems by contacting the Mercedes-Benz USA LLC. Contact MBUSA the official source by visiting STAR TekInfo website.

1. Where to buy  Xentry C3 Multiplexer or C4 SD Connect?

The system was listed for sale and can be purchased from sellers on www.obd2tool.com.

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Be wise when you purchase a Xentry DAX Multiplexer as there seems to be a lot of cloned versions on the market. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to know what is original or not. Buying DAS Xentry program Diagnostic Software for Mercedes Benz on Amazon at least adds an extra layer of protection in case there is an issue. We would not recommend buying from retailers that ship from China on eBay. Yes, you can return those units if there is a problem but you will have to pay return shipping and will not know if you are getting an original unit. We do not endorse any of these sellers and do not know if these are authentic versions.

To learn how to use Xentry software MB Star C3 or C4 DAS watch this video that was posed online by OBD2TOOL.

2. What is Developer Mode Extension for DAS.

Developer extension of the DAS for Mercedes-Benz vehicles allows in-depth configuration and programming of the control units. This option is typically enabled for the factory version of the scanner. It was meant for development and testing purposes of the onboard electronic systems. It will allow the user to change the configuration of the car. For example, you can change the ECU, program to use a different engine model, change the speed limit or torque settings and a lot more. Using Developer Mode without knowing exactly what you are doing can be dangerous.

3. How to change the speed limiter on Mercedes-Benz?

4. Programming and modifications instructions.

For a more complete of programming that you can perform with Star Diagnostic tool visit this forum thread:

5. What is SD Media?

SDMedia (Star Diagnosis Media) is a collection of video, audio and text files that will help any technician gain knowledge on how to troubleshoot Mercedes-Benz cars.

6. What is WIS?

WIS.net stands for Workshop Information System. It has how-to information, instruction, digrams, specification data on how to perform any repair on Mercedes-Benz cars.

7. What is STAR Tekinfo?

STAR TekInfo is the officail Mercedes-Benz USA LLC website that provides repair documentations and training. It is supported by MBUSA Dealer Workshop Services Department. It includes information on repairs, tools and scan tool diagnostic.  You can subscribe by visiting STAR TekInfo official website.

8. Incoming search terms.

SDmedia, WIS repair program wiki, diagnostic system, Mercedes Star Diagnosis, TIPS media library, knowledge base in the Star Diagnosis, DAS Xentry program C3 Multiplexer, MB SD Connect C4 Diagnostic Software for Mercedes Benz Engine, transmission, air conditioning, SRS (airbag), ABS, ASR, MPL, GM, BENZ ORIGINAL ANTI-THEFT DASX SYSTEM, KEYESS GO SYSTEM, OBD II SYSTEM

mb star c3 vs mb star c4 vs mb star c5 vs mb star c6

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Mb Star C3: It requires a laptop so that you can troubleshoot your Mercedes-Benz via Xentry software. While on paper it is slower than MB Star C4, it has proven to be a very reliable and robust scanner that is not plauged with WiFI connectivity issues like the Star C4.

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MB Star C4 is the latest Mercedes-Benz wireless multiplexers that can connect to your PC via wireless connection. Being the latest Diagnostic Scanner for Mercedes-Benz it works faster, once you resolve any connectivity issues that is.

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MB STAR C5 provides complete diagnosis for newest hybrid W222,with a qualitative improvement in hardware and software by authorization of diagnostic interface to control the software,it will allow you to work on windows xp, win7/8/10 system.

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MB STAR C6: VXDIAG For XENTRY Diagnosis VCI is the latest interface for For Mercedes & SMART vehicles can replace Star C4/C5. VXDIAG For XENTRY Diagnosis VCI acts as a Pass-through Interface, also called Star C6, For Benz C6 multiplexer to provide complete communication between a vehicle and the VXDIAG For XENTRY software loaded on a PC.

eCom Compare with SD Connect C4

Here is some feature about eCom, MB Star C4 and Xentry Connect . Hope can help you choose right tool.

eCom – laboratory\development tool. Most cheap and light. Can’t be used with DAS\HHT vehicles. Does not support kline communication. Need to be specially setup on any diag sw installation.

SDConnect C4– workshop\robust tool. Most universal in use. The only limitation is kline communication in Vediamo from ver5* Easy to setup. In most cases work as is. As for China clones, SDconnect has the best PCB design, the winner.

Stardiagnos Connect – workshop\robust tool. Very big and heavy. Most expensive. Similar to SDConnect because it is like PC+multiplexer in one housing .Has very specific setup as update blue ray disk has not installer but full HDD image with OS + user application. Complicated in installing additional software as you do not have direct assess to operating system.

(Solved) MB STAR C3 StarUtils Save Not Successfully

Hardware: Mb Star C3 China clone

Software: Xentry Diagnostic

Error:

StarUtils

Save Not Successfully

licSaveLicense XENTRY Diagnostics

13 – Store operation tried to save a StartKey which is older than existing StartKey with the same application ID.

Possibility of using fake old StartKey with higher permissions.

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Solved!!

First delete lic-key2.dat in the local disk C:

Second change the Date and Time of your PC (should be same as the real)

The last but important, check if your activation is correct or not

SDconnect C4 DTS-monaco user manual

MB SD Connect C4 DTS-monaco user manual:

1.What is DTS-monaco?
2.Which MB sw version comes with DTS-monaco?
3.Why do you need DTS-monaco?
4.What’s the difference between DTS-monaco and Vediamo?
5.Where to get DTS-monaco confirmed to work?
6.Where to download DTS Monaco for free?
7.How to install DTS Monaco on Windows 7?
8.Any good success with DTS Monaco?
9.How do people think of DTS Monaco?

1.What is DTS-monaco?

DTS Monaco enables the comprehensive testing of diagnostic communication, diagnostic data and diagnostic sequences in the areas of engineering, testing and preparation of manufacturing tests. It can be adapted flexibly both for a whole range of different test tasks and for different user groups.

2.Which MB sw version comes with DTS-monaco?

12-2017, 03-2018, 05-2018 (newest)

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3.Why do you need DTS-monaco?

1)Areas of Application
* Development of diagnostic and control functions for ECUs
* Function test and validation
* Integration and system test
* Preparation of test sequences for Manufacturing and Service
* Analysis of returns and Quality Assurance

2)Flexibly Adaptable to the Relevant Task

DTS Monaco is part of the Diagnostic Tool MB Star C4 Set product family and is based on the DTS Base System. Monaco stands for Modular Analyzer for Vehicle Communication. A clearly laid out start page enables simple and fast access to the functions required most frequently. The actual workspace is divided into two: one area with a fixed layout and one with layouts that you can toggle between. A status display below shows communication server messages. The various functions are realized using special, configurable interface elements. These “HMI Controls” can be arranged freely in the layouts in configuration mode and comprehensively configured.

3)Early Detection of Problems and Errors

In execution mode, a configured workspace can be “started”. In doing so individual functions can be started automatically and communication can be established in advance if so required. Self-generated test sequences enable both simple and very complex function tests. This makes it possible to detect, and remedy, communication problems and function errors at an early stage. Communication data and test results can be documented in entirety in the process.

4)Fast Results

For typical use scenarios predefined templates including an universal database for the OBD self-diagnosis as well as various protocol templates (WWH-OBD, J1939-73 among others) are supplied. In Demonstration mode, all functions can be tested, even without an interface and a license, using a detailed example including simulation. Furthermore, the tool has a completely integrated OTX runtime for running complex test sequences in accordance with ISO 13209. An authoring tool for creating such OTX sequences can be started directly from SD Connect C4 DTS Monaco.

4.What’s the difference between DTS-monaco and Vediamo?

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DTS-monaco vs. Vediamo

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DTS-monaco wins, definitely!

5.Where to download Star Diagnostic DTS Monaco for free?

https://mega.nz/#!p9ZDGKwS!VTn9fB80Z9-YKpV8aj9PkRXR3KinAT6RFiW13GGdOHI It’s free but with unknown security.

6.Where to get DTS-monaco confirmed to work?

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7-5
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Here you go.

http://www.obd2tool.com/category-163-b0-MB+Star+Diagnostic+Tools.html

7.How to install DTS Monaco on Windows 7?

When installing DTS Monaco to communicates and works with SD connect c4 all user installed SDconnect Toolkit version 2.1.3. And no one tried to force the work SDconnect Toolkit version 2.1.4.2, which is installed together with the installation of Setup_Addon_DAG. And I did it.

Checked only on the system without DAS/Xentry.

DTS Monaco 8.03.12.

Windows 7 x64.

Follow the next steps:

1)  Install Monaco
2)  Install Setup_Addon_DAG
3)  Go to С:\ProgramData\I+ME ACTIA\Toolkit\
4)  Open and edit toolkit.ini

Code:

ShowInTray=2
NetworkIcon=2
DeviceIcon=1
ConnectionState=1

1)  Save file and reboot Windows
2)  Connect SDconnect MUX via cable
3)  Start System Configurator
4)  Go to Licenses and you will see your MUX as DCDIPartW with your serial number. After editing in Interfaces type of MUX will change to MVCI_IME_ACTIA_GmbH_SDconnect
5)  Go toInterfaces

Code:5

eCOM_SMR
Interface name – > SDconnect_SMR
Bus system interface – > D-PDU API
D-PDU API version – > I+ME ACTIA GmbHXS_D_PDU_API_FOR_DTS_8_03_12
Module type – > MVCI_IME_ACTIA_GmbH_SDconnect
Cable – > CABLE_OBDII_SDCONNECT
Physical links: CAN1, CAN4, CAN8

1)  Click Save and close System Configurator
2)  Now you can connectto the car or single ECU

8.Any good success with DTS Monaco?

DTS Monaco works good – Mercedes W205 coding
Mercedes-benz W205 coding with DTS Monaco