How to setup MacBook Pro for BMW coding with ISTA

Here are the details of my setup of MacBook Pro with VW Fusion – Windows 10 or Bootcamp, both working for BMW coding with ICOM software.

Hardware: 2015 Retina Macbook Pro 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Software: VMWare Fusion 10

VM Specs:
Windows 10 64Bit
4GB RAM

Thinly provisioned 200GB VM. (Thin means it only takes the space it is using but Windows thinks it is 200GB total.)

Software working on VM:
BMW Standard Tools 2.12 (NCSexpert, WinFKP, INPA, etc)
ISTA-D (Dealership Diagnostic Software, I did not install ISTA-P due to space concerns)
E-Sys (For newer Fxx/Gxx/Ix cars)

I back up my VM on an external hard drive and I take snap shots of the VM in case upgrades to the software fails and breaks.

I am very happy with this setup.

Another option instead of VM fusion is to bootcamp the mac. That’s what I’ve done also. It partitions the hard drive into separate drives, allowing you to boot the Mac up into windows natively. Then used bimmergeeks.com software packages. It’s very clear and easy to understand. It’s also been condensed some and has the most recent updates in place….just make sure you have enough HD storage in general before doing any of this…and get a good cable such as the cable off …don’t want to mess around with crappy cheap amazon cables from obd2tool.com.

BootCamp

Pros:
1.  Free + windows 10 license
2.  All system resources are utilized by Windows only.
3.  Acts like a windows machine

Cons:
1.  Requires permanent space allocated to BootCamp
2.  Requires rebooting if you ever want to go back to Mac
3.  Unable to write into MacOS side of things without 3rd party drivers

VM
Pros:
1.  Snapshots
2.  Space allocated is only like a file, so free space is still utilized by Mac
3.  No need to restart to get into Windows for something.

Cons:
1.  Not free, and annual upgrades start to cost a lot
2.  Shares resources with MacOS which can be limited if the Mac doesn’t have enough RAM, CPUs etc.
3.  A little more complicated in initial setup sometimes.

Both have its merits and I ultimately like VMs when the mac has enough resources to run it.

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