Tips for USB Programming

Programming calibrations and software requires the transfer of large files to the vehicle from the Service Programming System (SPS). When transferring a large file (greater than 1 GB) from the Techline Connect server to the PC and then to a USB stick (USB flash drive) (Fig. 11), there are several things to keep in mind in order to ensure a successful programming event.


Fig. 11


USB Drive

For programming events, a USB 2.0 flash drive with a minimum capacity of 16 GB should be used.


Wired Connection

A wired connection to the network is the quickest, most stable way to download the file and decrease the likelihood of errors occurring during file download.


Downloaded Files

Once the file is downloaded to the PC, it will reside in cache on the PC unless the cache is cleared. Any additional USB sticks made from that PC will be copied from cache and take a much shorter time compared to downloading from the server.


Confirm Software

Never take a USB stick directly to a vehicle for updating without starting a Techline Connect session for that particular VIN. If software is already on the stick, Techline Connect will take only seconds to confirm that the software on the stick is the latest and correct for that vehicle. Failure to perform this step will result in no warranty claim code indicating a USB programming event was completed.


Calibration or Software Updates

If the control module calibration is only being updated, USB programming may not be required, depending on the current software level, or the release of updates. USB programming also may not be required when replacing/reprogramming the control module. If USB files for the application are not available via SPS, or have not been received from GM in another manner, the USB process will not need to be performed unless instructed otherwise in a service document or publication.


Infotainment Menu Options

The infotainment system will not allow the installation of the same software version via USB. If the same software is detected, the installation process will not start.

If updated files are available, the infotainment system will recognize the updated files and display on-screen instructions. Select Update when prompted. Programming will take several minutes. If instructions do not immediately appear on the infotainment display, from the Home page, select Settings > System > Updates.

Upon completion of programming, remove the USB drive. Follow the infotainment display on-screen instructions.


No Need to Monitor Progress

Once the update is initiated, there is no need to monitor the progress when performing the USB portion of the programming steps. The vehicle can be moved to an alternate location, which could allow the possibility of working on another vehicle while the USB programming event is taking place.


Interrupted Programming

If USB programming was interrupted, a 5-minute recovery time period may be necessary before the software will reinitialize. Wait 3 minutes with the ignition Off, all access doors closed, and all vehicle systems Off. Upon restarting the USB portion of the programming, the display will show a countdown timer for up to 5 minutes before proceeding with the USB File Transfer.


– Thanks to Zach Gillett

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One Comment

  1. rob dipietro says:

    just looking for information on. flash drive max specs and models approved by gm. we have been having issues with the ones we have and the large radio files are taking up to two hours to perform upload and down load to flash drives. our it department was advised the flash drive stick we have are not correct????N212327470 this is one of the recalls. time allowance is .6 and is taking alot longer to perform. any information would be help full. they want to replace our flash drives with new ones. thank you. rob dipietro gm technichian.

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