Diagnostic software?
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Thread: Diagnostic software?

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Diagnostic software?

    Hi all,

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    I see in the forums that people are diagnosing their own cars, so I was wondering if anyone can recommend what software for a PC laptop or a phone one would need to achieve this? Can anyone do this? I'm not great with mechanical things, but I'm good with computers. This is for a Citroen C5.

    Something cheap would be nice!

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    Diagbox. eBay and such places, mostly ex-China. A special OBD to USB cable is included. These copies fell off something, so don't try updating them. It's rather clumsy stuff and runs on Windows XP and compatible. Youtube and the web are full of installation instructions, which is otherwise not obvious. Enjoy!

    (Or buy a 2nd hand laptop already installed)

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    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Hi Jeff,

    Works best on Win XP SP3 32bit or Win 7 SP1 32bit which at least can be updated to current patch levels (with some difficulty). Best to get a laptop with 2Gb RAM and DVD drive and USB slots. You may need a version 8 for your 2012 C5 although my Version 7 worked OK on a 2011 C4 with THP engine.

    Dimistyle has my current Diabox system on loan but I am currently working on an install for another Brisbane AFer.

    Where abouts are you in Brisbane?

    Cheers, Ken
    Last edited by Ken W; 19th January 2017 at 05:29 PM.

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    It's best to use a dedicated laptop - an old one will do nicely, there's no number crunching or fancy graphics going on. That way you don't have to worry about going online, or Windows security problems. It is a pain to install, so Ken's offer is generous.

    When done, image the drive to a suitable external device for safekeeping. My whole partition backup took 11.7 Gb uncompressed.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    If someone took the time to create a Vmware file from their XP install. (download the Vmware file creator)

    Then the file can played on Vmware player, free downloads available for many different operating systems.

    So the software can then run on linux, windows and MacOS. And backing up the VMware player file. backs the diagnostic software and XP install all in one..
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    Geez! I just use experience and a multi-meter (as required), chicken gizzards are sometimes required.
    Brendan.
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    Fowls won't do it. Something bigger is needed for a Citroen
    Diagnostic software?-haruspex.jpg
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  8. #8
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    I too am interested in one of these Diagboxs and also am okay with computers, but have limited mechanical expertise. As such, it would be reassuring to know that you can't do much damage with one of these!
    It would be advantageous to be able to run on my current Windows 10 notebook. One EBay seller advertised their's would run on WIndows 10, 32 bit, but when I asked them to confirm, they did not address my question.
    Would prefer someone's first-hand experience though.
    Last edited by turnbull151; 20th January 2017 at 11:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken W View Post
    Hi Jeff,

    Works best on Win XP SP3 32bit or Win 7 SP1 32bit which at least can be updated to current patch levels (with some difficulty). Best to get a laptop with 2Gb RAM and DVD drive and USB slots. You may need a version 8 for your 2012 C5 although my Version 7 worked OK on a 2011 C4 with THP engine.

    Dimistyle has my current Diabox system on loan but I am currently working on an install for another Brisbane AFer.

    Where abouts are you in Brisbane?

    Cheers, Ken
    Hi Ken and you others who replied..

    I managed to find a copy of Diagbox version 7.83 dated August 2016. Don't ask me where I got it from
    I was looking at cables on ebay.. something like this?
    SMPS MPPS V13.02 K+CAN OBD2 USB Connector Cable ECU Tool For AUDI VW BMW Citroen | eBay

    I'm on the north side, Mitchelton.

    The virtual machine idea sounds good, I only hqve a newish laptop running windows 10, so I might make a virtual machine version of windows 7 just for this software, and see how that goes.

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    I suggest you make sure your chosen software handles the connection of the guest machine usb and com ports to the host machine efficiently.

    Microsoft Vm is hopeless.

    VMware works perfectly even with USB to com port adaptors. I'd choose Xp sp3 in preference to Win 7- 32.

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    The cables I use look like this- Diagnostic software?-cable.jpg Green is for OBD. The flat fitting with the Peugeot Citroen logos converts to USB with a format Diagbox recognises. They cost more than your find, which I haven't seen.

    I can guess where you found Diagbox. Installing Diagbox is a pain wherever you put it. As well as what's in the package check out web help. There are tutorials on YT also.
    Last edited by seasink; 20th January 2017 at 01:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    The cables I use look like this- Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cable.jpg 
Views:	111 
Size:	32.9 KB 
ID:	93095 Green is for OBD. The flat fitting with the Peugeot Citroen logos converts to USB with a format Diagbox recognises. They cost more than your find, which I haven't seen.

    I can guess where you found Diagbox. Installing Diagbox is a pain wherever you put it. As well as what's in the package check out web help. There are tutorials on YT also.
    How come that flat plug is so big? Is there another connector besides a USB hidden from view?
    And yes, the copy I got has instructions written in French, and well.. I'm not french
    I am having a lot of trouble getting hyper-V to work right with USB's so I might try vmware then. Too bad, as hyper-v is built into windows 10.

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    The convex end of the device with the logos (125 x 65 mm) has a D-sub socket for a cable having a USB plug on the other end. It's part of the kit. There are several pins on OBD, to be translated to simple serial.

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    Default Lexia diabox etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff H View Post
    Hi all,

    I see in the forums that people are diagnosing their own cars, so I was wondering if anyone can recommend what software for a PC laptop or a phone one would need to achieve this? Can anyone do this? I'm not great with mechanical things, but I'm good with computers. This is for a Citroen C5.

    Something cheap would be nice!
    Hi Jeff et al
    The others have given you the answers. I will just give some perspective on what the "thing" is you are after, and for newbies to understand why it is such a difficult thing .
    It was conceived in the '90s when computers were slow and primitive and cars were just starting to get electronic. The factory supplied to the dealers a computer unit that they purchased for use. It was called an ELIT. As new cars were developed the system was expanded and updates were supplied. However the Citroen/Peugeot (PSA) empire was big and many suppliers were engaged to supply electronic hardware for the full range of models. So the software was very diverse too. This was all cobbled together to work on the dealer units and the up dates went out. The dealer units were now called PROXIA. They were a stand alone computer TABLET and printer which could be used in a workshop. They could also now be put on line and connect to the central PSA system for updates and spare parts and diagnostics. But the new models keep coming, more electronics too, and now called LEXIA the software got to be a can of worms with a thousand heads.

    The current computer software then was Windows 95 all the latest bells and whistles. So they stuck with that and still do !! more or less. The software has really never been completely overhauled and harmonised so it is easy to work through or go between different models or even different engine ECUs for different suppliers. So it has been a bit updated to get to Diabox which does both Citroen and Peugeots. Previously Pugs used a different one. However it does not run on modern computers directly and is a real pain to get working on anything other than '95/XP. Not easy then

    The dealers just bought a package set up on a computer and it up dated as necessary when it went on line. What is now commonly available is a clone of some dealer software of unknown age and updates. It will try and update itself if it gets on line and then will most likely be shut down by the factory computer system as an unauthorised copy. So be careful when you try to get it running, particularly if not computer savvy. But a powerful system that can and will do everthing the dealer can do including wipe the ECUs.

    Hope this help someone a bit.
    Jaahn
    Last edited by jaahn; 22nd January 2017 at 10:28 AM.
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    Default diagnostic tools ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 68 404 View Post
    Hi
    I will try to avoid being long winded again
    The short answer is why not indeed. I have an FR704 Autel and have used it and loaned it also to others. Easy to use, self contained in a small case, self powered from the port etc. More importantly cannot be wiped or damaged by use by an idiot (perfect for a Citroen owner??)

    However to compare it to Diabox on a laptop is to compare a bicycle to an XM.

    If you wish the mininium of diagnosing fault codes, erasing stored fault codes, observing some realtime operations etc and not needing to do battle with the laptop then it may be for you. I bought one !
    If you want the full experience and like the challenge, Diabox is the full experience. It can do everything that can be read, adjusted, operated independently, reloaded, reset, etc etc. But whether you personally can achieve all this is dependent on your time and skills !! And there is a remote possibility for you to erase some things which you should not

    The other two diagnostic units shown may be good ? better ? best ? but I have no experience to comment. But I will say that the port on a Citroen/Pug since 2000+ is actually configured for EOBD as well as the factory diagnostics. But using that only, as is available for some cheaper apps etc will only access a part of the available information but may be OK for simple code use. Never used one though
    Jaahn

    PS look up Wikipedia on OBD, OBD2, and EOBD to get some more info.
    Last edited by jaahn; 21st January 2017 at 04:15 PM.

  18. #18
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    Hi

    My experience with diagbox is that most don't work on ebay

    I buy my cables and discs from Auto Scanner ebay UK. Its not cheap, but it works.he's also very supportive

    Having diagbox often doesn't help, it's like most thing with cars, experience is the secret.

    Diagbox may come up with three faults, but only one is your problem. It can also mislead you as well, and show faults that aren't the problem at all. Then we have Phantom faults which aren't faults as well.

    It's really not for the novice, as you need to be using it often to understand and get the most out of the diagnostics.

    I did a set up for a Sydney Citroen dealer on a dedicated laptop running windows 7 32 bitt. He's not computer literate, but can run rings around my ability to use diagbox,as he uses it every day.

    My thoughts are to solve specific problem pays some one who knows what their doing. You'll get better results.

    Best regards,

    Greg
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi Jeff et al

    Hope this help someone a bit.
    Jaahn
    Thanks for that. Very informative!
    I don't really want to do my own repairs/modifications, just purely for looking, like one lurks around forums

    I can't quite understand how a faulty part can give a reliable self diagnosis, considering its faulty! At least that's how it works with pc's
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff H View Post
    Thanks for that. Very informative!
    I don't really want to do my own repairs/modifications, just purely for looking, like one lurks around forums

    I can't quite understand how a faulty part can give a reliable self diagnosis, considering its faulty! At least that's how it works with pc's
    Its not the part itself, you are interrogating the various computers in the car, when the sensors are out of range they will flag an error code.

    You can also look at the sensors in real time and look at their values, which if you know what they should roughly be can work out if they are faulty.

    Even with all this fan dangled wizardry you still need to do the diagnosing yourself as the diagnostics will only give you an idea where to look for the problem.
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    Regards Col

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    Actually quite a few PC systems self-diagnose the same way. Linux in particular stores all sorts of info. Hard discs have SMART, which can be read even on Windows with suitable software. When you get a Diagbox, you'll be surprised at the number of digital controllers in use in the car, all readable for something or other..
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