STAR Diagnosis System (SDS) or Diagnosis Assistance System (DAS)

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Description - Star Diagnosis System (SDS)

Back to: [W220 Wiki Section WIS 58 Tools and Accessories]

Star Diagnosis System (SDS) is the M-B specific diagnosis system.

Laptop & SDS to MUX to W220.JPG

SDS consists of:

  • IBM T30 Laptop computer or clone with a Serial Data Card.
  • STAR or Xentry software
    • Diagnosis Assistance System (DAS),
    • Workshop Information System (WIS),
    • Electronic Parts Catalog (EPC),
    • Part location finder (ST Finder),
    • PL65 (Parts price List in Euros)
    • ASRA (catalog of work units and standard rates),
    • TIPS (Media Library and Knowledge Base),
    • Management System and Self Test (STAR Utilities).
  • Multiplexer (MUX). Example shown is a STAR C3 MUX
Multiplexer C3.jpg
  • Cables. Example shown is a STAR C4 with Cables and Serial Card
STAR C4 Cables and Serial Card.JPG
  • RS232 to RS485 Adapter.
STAR C3 RS232 to RS485 Converter Box.jpg
  • OBDII Plug. The Onboard Diagnostic Plug as shown is a Free Male Plug which plugs into the M-B vehicle's OBDII Connector designated as X11/4.

Types - Star Diagnosis System (SDS)

  • STAR C3
  • STAR C4 (Same as STAR C3 but more compact and less prone to electrical interference.)
  • SD Connect (More convenient wireless version which does not need a cable between the computer and the MUX, however reportedly it is extremely difficult to configure, unreliable (overheating etc) and can be blocked permanently.)

Alternatives to STAR

Code Readers are available to read Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).

These are not alternatives to STAR but can read fault codes and monitor some sensor parameters such as coolant temperature.

Functions - STAR C3

In addition to On-Board Diagnosis (OBD) STAR C3 can perform comprehensive system diagnosis on all vehicle systems (eg engine control, suspension, audio systems, climate control).

It is also capable of providing vehicle specific detailed fault descriptions and trouble shooting information for all individual fault codes.

  • Car, Bus, Truck, Sprint, Smart 1989~up to 2011
  • All electric system Diagnostic (Does not include flash code)
  • Reading trouble code
  • Erasing trouble code
  • Live-data
  • Adaptation
  • Component testing
  • Maintenance
  • Information consultation
  • Component location diagram
  • Wiring diagram
  • Coding of Software Calibration Number (SCN).
Laptop & SDS to MUX to W220 Showing Details.JPG

Terminology - STAR C3

  • ASRA: is an electronic catalog of work units and flat rates that facilitates the fast and reliable search for operation items, working hours and damage codes. ASRA also includes additional operations, included work texts, notes and graphics of vehicle parts.
  • C3: Version of SDS
  • C4: Version of SDS. Has same software as C3 but has better anti electromagnetic interference properties and smaller hardware. Is required for SDConnect (wireless MUX)
  • DAS: Diagnosis Assistance System.
  • Electronic Parts Catalog: enter part numbers, get prices and information.
  • Mux: Electronic Multiplexer used to connect laptop to vehicle via a cable.
  • SDConnect: Wireless version of Mux. It is more convenient to use because it does not need a cable between the computer and the Mux as it works over a wireless connection.
  • SDMedia: Contains Video and PDF lessons on MB vehicles.
  • Smart TAN Code: Opened special function in DAS program with Smart cars.
  • STFinder: Part location finder.
  • StarUtilities: The movement management system and self-test software.
  • TIPS: Media Library and Knowledge Base.
  • Workshop Information System.
  • Xentry: also called Xentry Diagnostics (XD) is new software released by Benz Company after 04/2009 for diagnosis of new MB vehicles. Xentry gives direct access to four applications; DAS (for newer models), TIPS, WIS/ASRA, EPC. The identity of vehicle is automatically transferred between applications.

Cables and Connectors - STAR C3

SDS data is transferred from the laptop (assuming a PCMCIA Serial Port Adapter is required) to the MUX and then to the vehicle via cables and connectors:

  • PCMCIA Serial Data Card Fixed Female Output Connector.
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  • Free Male Plug to Free Male RS232 DB9. A small Free Male Plug and Cable transfers data to a Free Male RS232 DB9 Connector.
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  • RS232 DB9 to RS232 to RS485 Converter Box. The Free Female RS232 DB9 connector and cable are hard wired to a RS232 to RS485 Converter Box.
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  • RS485 Hardwired Cable ↔ Free Large Round Male Connector. A Hardwired Cable connects RS485 data to a Free 19 Way Large Round Male Connector.
400 pixels
  • SDS C3 MUX Input Connector. The Free Large 19 Way Round Male Connector plugs into the Fixed Large Round 19 Way Female Input Connector on the SDS MUX.
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  • SDS C3 MUX Output Connector. The SDS MUX processes the data and sends it to a Fixed Male Large 55 Way Round Output Connector.
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  • SDS C3 MUX to OBDII. A Large Round Free Female Connector and Cable transfers data from the SDS MUX to an On Board Diagnostic Type II (OBDII) 16 Pin Free Plug as per the standard for late model cars.
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  • OBDII Fixed Socket in M-B Vehicle. The On Board Diagnostic Type II (OBDII) 16 Pin Free Plug plugs into a OBDII Fixed Socket in M-B Vehicle designated as X11/4 and thus transfers data to and from the vehicle.
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Details of M-B Connector X11/4 (OBD II) - STAR C3

In the vehicle there is a Fixed Female 16 Pin Diagnostic Socket with the following pin configuration.

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The SDS Cable which connects to the vehicle has a Free Male 16 Pin Diagnostic Plug with the following pin configuration.

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Pin Out Legend for 16 Pin Diagnostic Connector - STAR C3

Wiring Color Codes are here:

M-B WIS Pin Configuration for X11/4 Connector
X11/4 Pin Number X11/4 Colour X11/4 WIS Description
1 blue/ge N73 Electronic Ignition/Switch System (EIS or EZS)
2 J1850 Bus Positive (Not used)
3 ge/gn X35/66 Diagnostic Module Unit in cockpit, then Engine Control Unit (ME SFI).
4 br Chassis Ground Connected to W36/2 Ground Right Footwell
5 br Signal Ground Connected to W36/2 Ground Right Footwell
6 sw/ws CAN High (J-2284) to N93 Central Gate Way (CGW) Control Unit
7 bl ISO 9141-2 K Line To X35/66 Diagnostic Module Unit in cockpit, then Engine Control Unit (ME SFI).
8 sw/gn Battery Power To Fuse f84/5A in Dashboard/Cockpit Fuse Box
9 gn/vi X35/66 Diagnostic Module Unit in cockpit, then N15/5 Electronic Selector Lever Module, N47-5 ESP, SPS, BAS Control Unit, and N51 Airmatic.
10 J1850 Bus Negative (Not used)
11 ws/ge Y38 Electric Control Unit (VGS) ie transmission.
12 ge/ws COMAND
13 bl/go X35/66 Diagnostic Module Unit in cockpit, then Restraint System Control Unit (N2/7).
14 sw CAN Low (J-2284) to N93 Central Gate Way (CGW) Control Unit.
15 ws/bl ISO 9141-2 L Line to A1 Instrument Cluster, Headlamp Range Adjustment Control, DTR Control Unit, and Xenon Headlamp Control unit.
16 rt/bl Battery Power To Fuse f81/10A in Dashboard/Cockpit Fuse Box.

Details of DB9 Male Connector - STAR C3

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DB9 Male Connector
Pin Number EIA-232 EIA-485/422

RS232 Serial Data Loop Back Test - STAR C3

To perform a RS232 serial data loopback test with no hardware flow control, connect pins 2 and 3 of the Serial DB9 Connector.

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Developer Mode in STAR

BenzWorld Member Ex-Fed states that when you start Xentry/DAS, you get a nag screen in German after the NOTES screen.

  • "Ihr System ist mit der Berechtigung "Developer-Kit" ausgestattet.
  • {Your system is equipped with the permission "Developer Kit".}

Developer Mode is in German because its meant for factory techs only. It allows delving into factory level settings/programming on about everything in the car. You can do some interesting things, but be warned, you can make your car a smoking hole too.

Note SA Codes refer to the equipment on the vehicle when delivered and as listed on the Vehicle Data Card.

Central Gateway (CGW or ZGW) Development Data (DnW)

With thanks to MBWorld Member VII at [1] here is a translation for the CGW Development Data Items for his vehicle. They may be different for other vehicles.

Translation of CGW Items
German English
Links-/Rechtslenker Linkslenker (LL) Driver Position LHD (LL)
Länderbezogene SA Codierung Rest der Welt (RDW) Country-Specific Coding SA Rest of the world (RDW)
MSS: Taxi Stromversorgung (C450/965) nicht aktiv MSS: Taxi Power (C450/965) not active
MSS: Taxi Notalarm-Anlage (C934) nicht aktiv MSS: Taxi Emergency Alarm System (C934) not active
MSS: Anschluss für Dachzeichen (C342) nicht aktiv MSS: Connection for Roof Sign (C342) not active
MSS: Taxi Hilferuf (C930) nicht aktiv MSS: Taxi Call For Help (C930) not active
MSS: Sonderfahrzeug (C970/C974/C975/Z90) nicht aktiv MSS: Special Vehicle (C970/C974/C975/Z90) not active
MSS: Taxi Funkaufschaltung (C938) nicht aktiv MSS: Taxi Radio Override (C938) not active
MSS: Umbau für Behinderte nicht aktiv MSS: Remodeling For Disabled not active
MSS: Sonderschutz Guard B4 (Z04) nicht aktiv MSS: Special Protection Guard B4 (Z04) not active
MSS: Sonderschutz Guard B6/7 (Z06) nicht aktiv MSS: Special Protection Guard B6 / 7 (Z06) not active
MSS: Notöffnung aktiv MSS: Emergency Opening active
Modus Komfortlauf manuell Comfort Mode running manually
Modus Umluftkomfortlauf automatisch Recirculation Mode Comfort Free automatically
Umluft Komfortbetätigung aktiv Convection-touch Control active
Baureihe BR 211 Series BR 211
Karosserie W-Limousine (W) Bodywork W-Sedan (W)
Motor M272 E35 od. M272 DE35 / M272E35_DE35 Engine M272 E35 od. M272 DE35 / M272E35_DE35
SA: Plattrollwarner vorhanden SA: Flat Roll Warner available
SA: Komm-Plattform vorhanden SA: Come Platform available
SA: Fahrersitzmemory (C275) vorhanden SA: Driver Seat Memory (C275) available
SA: Komfort-Schaltgetriebe (C424) nicht vorhanden SA: Comfort-Manual (C424) non-existent
SA: Automatik-Getriebe (C423) vorhanden SA: Automatic Transmission (C423) available
SA: Klimaanlage vorhanden SA: Air Conditioning available
SA: Scheinwerferreinigungsanlage (C600) vorhanden SA: Headlight Cleaning System (C600) available
SA: Xenonlicht (C612) vorhanden SA: Xenon Light (C612) available
SA: Soundsystem (C810) vorhanden SA: Sound System (C810) available
SA: CD Changer vorhanden SA: CD Changer available
SA: Automatischer Ladeboden nicht vorhanden SA: Automatic Loading Floor non-existent
SA: Heckdeckelfernschließung nicht vorhanden SA: Remote Boot Lid Closing non-existent
SA: Standheizung (C228) nicht vorhanden SA: Heater (C228) non-existent
SA: GPS-Box nicht vorhanden SA: GPS Box non-existent
SA: Abstandsregeltempomat (C219) nicht vorhanden SA: Adaptive Cruise Control (C219) non-existent
SA: Scheibenwaschbehälter (C875) vorhanden SA: Washer Bottle (C875) available
SA: Komplettes Ersatzlicht nicht erlaubt SA: Complete Replacement Light not allowed
SA: Keyless Go (C889) nicht vorhanden SA: Keyless Go (C889) non-existent
SA: Innenraumschutz (C882) nicht vorhanden SA: interior Protection (C882) non-existent
SA: Diebstahlwarnanlage (C551) vorhanden SA: Alarm System (C551) available
SA: Heckrollo (C540) vorhanden SA: Rear Blind (C540) available
SA: Anhängerkupplung (C550) nicht vorhanden SA: Towbar (C550) non-existent
SA: Parktronicsystem (C220) nicht vorhanden SA: Parktronic System (C220) non-existent
Änderungsjahr /2 Change Year /2
Jahresangabe 2004 Year Value 2004
CAN-C: E-Sauglüfter Grundbelüftung ein CAN-C: E-Extractor Basic Ventilation, wear
CAN-C: Abstandsassistent nicht vorhanden CAN C: Distance Wizard non-existent
CAN-C: Parkassistent nicht vorhanden CAN C: Park Assist non-existent
CAN-C: Bremsender Tempomat nicht vorhanden CAN-C: Braking Cruise Control non-existent
CAN-C: Klimaanlage vorhanden CAN-C: Air Conditioning available
CAN-C: Luftfederung nicht vorhanden CAN-C: Air Suspension non-existent
CAN-C: Sportpaket nicht vorhanden CAN C: Sport Package non-existent

Instrument Cluster (IC) Development Data (DnW)

These IC Development Data Items were taken from the STAR XEntry system for a W204. They may be different for other vehicles.

Instrument Cluster DnW (Development Data)
German English
CheckMenu CheckMenu
Wartung – Testbaum Maintenance - Test Tree
Increase value of main odometer reading. Increase value of main odometer reading.
Alle Codierungen All encodings
Show all aktuelle menueeinstellungen Show all current menu settings
Test IB Wartung Test IB Maintenance
Zuendung Ignition
Test IB Ohne Flashen SCN Test IB Without flashing SCN
Fusoku Service Speicher Lesen Test Fusoku Service Memory Reading test
Symptom: The reading of the day cycle counter is implausible. Symptom: The reading of the day cycle counter is implausible.
Check service memory. Check service memory.
Kurzinfos Quick Facts
Gefuehrte Pruefungen Guided Examinations
Read fingerprint Read fingerprint
StartKomm Start Communications
StoppKomm Stop Communications
SG Kontext SG context
Variablen variables
FIN Aendern FIN (VIN) Modify
Do what I want Do what I want
Asien bestimmen Determine Asia

DIY Using a Chinese STAR C3

SDS Quartet of Documents Version 01 posted 2012-08-01 on BenzWorld.

  • Document 1. SDS What is it
  • Document 2. SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using
  • Document 3. SDS Software Installation Instructions
  • Document 4. SDS Transfer From External HDD to Internal HDD

DIY STAR C3 on Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista

BenzWorld Member, junior_vw, has installed the STAR C3/Xentry software without the use of a Windows XP box. He used Windows 8 compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3, with elevated privileges.

However, if you need to run it on the Windows Vista or Windows 7 OS you will need to first disable the User Account Control (UAC) settings. (Note try without doing this first as it compromises the PC security and any anti-virus software you may be running.)

You will also need a Virtual Machine Player.

Installation Instructions - STAR C3 on Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  • Step 1: Download the 25 Gb image file onto an external HDD as per post #1 at reference.
  • Step 2: Download VMWare Virtual machine software.
  • Step 3: Create a restore point.
  • Step 4: Plug in external Hard Disk Drive.
  • Step 5: Right click on VMWare v5 installer click options, pick compatibility. Choose Windows XP (SP3).
  • Step 6: Install VMWare v5.
  • Step 7: Right click on VMWare v5 icon, set compatibility to Win XP SP3. Run as admin.
  • Step 8: Run VMWare v5.
  • Step 9: Pick Run Existing.
  • Step 10: Choose DAS from drive.
  • Step 11: Don’t upgrade VMWare, but do install VMWare Tools.
  • Step 12: Enter Password from HDD.
  • Step 13: Enjoy.

Refer to:

Virtual Machine Player ex VMWare