GM's "New and Improved" Scan Tool- GDS2


Gold Supporter
I thought that it might interesting for some to see what GM has done since they have moved on from the Tech2. Their new system is called GDS2. They didn't just drop the Tech2 all at once. They phased it out over several years. Here is a link that shows what vehicles are supported by GDS2. Starting in 2010 for US vehicles and everything from 2014 and up has all gone to GDS2.

GDS2 is not on a handheld device like the Tech2. It is software that you install on a laptop. Since you have software on your computer, you need something to interface with vehicle (MDI). To do this, there are several different devices that you can purchase. I chose a Drewtech Cardaq Plus2 because it can also be used with other OEM software like Honda and Toyota.

I did do some looking and it appears that aliexpress sells a setup with the MDI and the software needed for $180-$320. It is kind of unclear what all you get with each "color". This would include GDS2, Tech2Win (just like a handheld Tech2 but on your computer instead of handheld), and GlobalTis which replaced Tis2000. It appears as though you can do software updates with GlobalTis. It would appear that when you purchase this, that a hard drive comes along with it and they tell you to put it in your computer. I would probably find an external hard drive enclosure and run it off of USB or whatever your laptop has. It would be a bit more cumbersome though having two usb devices and and laptop to drag out to the car every time. I am kind of tempted to purchase this and see how it all works. Here is the link from Aliexpress

Edit 1/13/2018: It appears that the link I posted is not what is needed. It doesn't have North American GM vehicles.

I attached some screenshots from where I was running GDS2 on a 2016 Malibu. Just a side note, check out that fuel rail pressure 600 PSI at idle. I think it gets up to around 2500 PSI while loaded. It is a direct injected gas engine.

I will post some more screenshots the next time I use Tech2Win.

02 sensors GDS.jpg funtions GDS2.jpg GDS Main.jpg GDS Selection .jpg rail pressure.jpg
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Silver Supporter
Pretty cool to see what they're using now. Would love to get my hands on either but way too rich for my blood, especially considering I work at a shop and have ease of access to high end scanners through coworker friends already for free that can do almost everything a tech2 etc can.


Well-Known Member
So, the question is ... if I was about to pull the trigger on a Gymko Tech 2, should I get this instead? We have an 04 and 07, but will need something new one of these days. I don't have an issue buying a new $300 laptop dedicated just to this, but I can't understand how one can simply install their HDD. Does this mean you have to back up your existing HDD and then port that into their HDD so you have an operating system? What would be the implications of simply using an external housing and a USB cable, as suggested above? And of course the big one - what if I don't have a Vauxhall/Opal?


Lifetime VIP Supporter
I think I can help you with this matter...

Regarding the Question about the "VAUXHALL/OPEL"... When you are making your purchase...SELECT THE "COLOR" AS "GM" instead.... then you will receive your New "GYMKO" with the "GM" TIS2000 Software Pre-Installed onto the in-dwelling PCMCIA CARD.

Without knowing anything about MAC Hardware... In the Windows and Linux World... This is just as easy as obtaining an inexpensive, seldom used "Business Grade" laptop...something like IBM's (Now owned by Lenovo in China) ThinkPad Series... perhaps a Model T61 with a Good HQ Screen and all of the essential components in-dwelling that includes a CDRom Drive, a Good Battery and a Charger with the Deal.. These might still be available from eBay Vendors...with the Windows XP Pro SP3 Operating System already pre-installed... or at the very least... have a visible COA Sticker with a Valid Windows User License pasted onto the bottom of the Laptop Case. You could also choose from the Dell series of laptops as well.

So for the sake of getting a Good TIS2000 "Base" to connect your "GYMKO" Unit to...perhaps for few hundred dollars... getting one of these laptops would solve 99% of your problem. As long as the on board OS is either Windows XP Pro SP3 or prior... Installing the TIS2000 using the CD-Rom Drive and the hooking up your New "GYMKO" Hand Held Scanner to it via the (9) Pin DB9 Serial Port located either on the back or side of the computer for the RS-232 Adapter and having a USB Port for "The Dongle"... performing the Tech II Software Installation with such a Laptop would be a Walk In The Park. The trick to getting a a decent Dell or IBM-Lenovo laptop that will be essentially trouble free will be the Quality of The Vendor's avoid purchasing one from ANYBODY whose Rating is anything less than 100% or All Five St*rs. Amazon may also have Good Used Laptops of later models with the correct flavor oif Windows Pre-Installed as well.

If this becomes necessary ...This is generically How to Remove the original Hard Drive and Replace it with an New Unformatted one with just a few Instructions...(Amazon carries new and inexpensive 2.5" SATA Hard Drives that will cost you very little money)

(1) Look up the Make and Model or Series for your Dedicated Laptop via Google and Download the PDF Manual.
(2) Remove the Laptop Battery and Power Supply-Battery Charger
(3) Locate the Hard Drive Case Cover on the bottom of the Laptop (For Caddy Style... it will be a Narrow Plastic Side Panel).
(4) Unpackage your New 2.5" SATA Drive and keep the Silvered Anti-Static Bag Handy.
(5) Unscrew the Lower HD Cover Plate (or Caddy Hold Down Screw) and set the plate or cover nearby.
(6) Ground Yourself momentarily to eliminate errant Static Electricity.
(7) Pull the the Hard Drive free from its in-dwelling SATA and Power Connector and "Bag It" right away for Safe Keeping
(8) Install the New 2.5" SATA Hard Drive by Firmly Plugging it into the SATA and Power Interface.
(9) If the Caddy Style is present... Grab the Plastic Pull Tab and disconnect the Drive Holder and pull out the Drive Caddy.
(10) Unscrew the Four Hold Down Screws holding the 2.5" SATA HD to the Caddy (Note its orientation prior to installing the screws).
(11) Carefully slide the Drive Caddy back into the Caddy Slot to mate up with the SATA and Power Connectors and push it in firmly.
(12) Slip the Caddy Pull Tab inside of the Laptop Case and Re-Install the Plastic Caddy Cover. Install the and Tighten the Cover Screw.
(14) Replace the Battery and the Charger Power Supply and Boot Up the Laptop to the BIOS Screen to adjust the BIOS to the New Drive.
(15) Place the Windows XP Pro SP3 in the CDRom Tray and Re-Boot the System. Format the ENTIRE New Drive in the NTFS Kernel.
(16) Formatting and OS Installation is NOT a trivial exercise,,, Keep the Power ON and Be PATIENT for many Re-Starts along the way.
(17) Once the WOS is installed... Swap in the TIS2000 CD and Follow the On Screen Instructions. DONE!
(18) You now have a Laptop to carry to the SUV and perform PASSTHRU PCM or Module Updates and to Download "Snap Shot" Logs.
(19) You can use the downloaded Data Logs of the Snap Shots to study them conveniently and with greater freedom of viewing parameters.
(20) Keep your Laptop Battery Charged and/or use the Battery Charger-Power Supply during any PCM Writes or Updates.


One Last, But Very Important Explanation Answering the Question, "WHY it is Necessary to Use Windows XP Pro SP3 or Earlier Windows Operating Systems to be able to install the GM TIS2000 Tech2 System Software?"

Back in 1996... When GM introduced the Tech2 Hand Held Computers to their Service and Repair Staff World Wide... They obtained their Standard System Software on a 32 Bit Platform. However... They Chose to use an Earlier, Inexpensive Version of their Windows 16 Bit Installer. In time...this 16 Bit Platform would NOT be compatible with the more Modern 64 Bit Windows Operating Systems. After Windows XP Professional SP3 was phased out in lieu of Windows 7, 8 and 10 Versions... the ability to load and institute a 16 Bit MSI (MicroSoft Installer) was either eliminated entirely... or made so dormant as to require a lot of tinkering in order get it to work. And since GM never saw the need to pay Microsoft for any MSI Upgrades on their proprietary Systems and Servers... it never occurred to them that Laptop Computers with upgraded 64 Bit Kernels would essentially make their TIS2000 Software completely portable. And consequently, only LEGACY OPERATING SYSTEMS that support the 16 Installers will mean SUCCESS in getting a Windows Laptop to work with the TIS2000 Software.
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Gold Supporter
@Chickenhawk I'm a Mac guy, too. What I did for a while was install Windows 7 using VMWARE on my Mac. I got tired of taking my "home laptop" back and forth to the shop all of the time so I bought a pretty decent laptop from Dell Refurbished I think I paid around $250 with Windows 7 64 bit pre-installed and it came with a license key in case I ever need to reinstall Windows.

I went with the laptop based diagnostics because it can still be used as their technology progresses.

To answer your question about the hard drive- I think that the hard drive they are sending with the MDI is loaded with some sort of Windows OS. Most computers can boot from USB so I would buy an enclosure to put it in and boot from that.

I posted some incorrect info in my first post and edited it. I did not read the info on the aliexpress link very carefully. The software included with that unit is not for North American vehicles. Sorry about the confusion!
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