Since this come up on which device to buy, thought that I would do a quick write up of the three.
Starting with the Tech II clone, it just that and will do what the real Tech II will do. Hence diagnostics through the tool, and be be used for programming with either TIS2000 or AC Delco TDS with the tool set in pass through mode.
The downside of the clone tools is the knock off DC to DC converter, which tends to burn itself out in a short time. You can replace the converter board on the tool, and the converter itself is not that expensive.
The MDI clone is a copy of the GM MDI 1, not the MDI 2 that’s transfers data at a much faster rate. On the MDI 1 clones, they all have the serial number, and again, work just like the GM MDI. The downside to the clone MDI, is that it really wants you to have a working account, since it does not have legacy drivers to step it back to work with say most of the cracked software like the Nano. So when using the MDI clone, you will be using real GM Software from the most part/limitations of the GM software without a working account.
Now on the VXDIAG VCX NANO for GM. Although its really just a mdi clone to start with, it does have the legacy type drives that allows it to run the cracked software that you would use with a Tech 2. Hence the device will come with a cracked version of Tech2win that adds the needed tweaks To GM MDI that will allow you to use it with the cracked Tech2 , cracked VM TIS2000 that you will build a pass through driver, and then also works for VM GDS2, and AC Delco TDS (using it’s own VX drivers, and not the Bosch MDI/Tech II drivers that TDS will be offered that you do not want to install with the Nano device.
The clone MDI in a nicer unit than the nano since it has a better cabling system, but it about $100 more than a GM Nano, which is just a clone MDI as well.
The Tech II clone is not bad, and I use it some times when I have limited space in the car for fast work, The downside right away, it does not work with the newer GDS2 software, so limits it use for cars older than 2013. Also, keep in mind that the DC to DC converter is going to go south at some point, so plan on buying the better converter chip and replacing it at some point.
The VX GM Nano on the other hand, is much cheaper than a Tech2 clone. You do have to use the software for it on a laptop, but that’s not a bad thing for us older guys that wear cheater glasses to begin with. Now the real pro here, it works with Tech2win, Tis2000, GDS2 and acdelco TDS for all the vehicles up to the current year. Plus, when you are running VM GDS2 with the shell having internet access for DTC’s, will bring up a internet page of better descriptions of the problem to help you trouble shoot the problem even faster.
Take it one step farther, the Vxdiag vcx pro three in one device is a very good unit since the price include any three of the software packages to start with. So if you have a GM, the wife has a Ford, and the kid has a Toyota, the price is not too bad at add them at at later date and comes with the needed software as well.
The Nano running Tech2win and the Tech II can work withing the firmware settings, but not modify the firmware itself in a fashion that is against the firmware functions.
With the use of either TIS2000, or TDS, you can reflash the stock firmware back in, but that is about it.
Hence lets say that we are trying to turn off the TPMS system, and it not something that can be done with either a nano running tech2win or a tech II. To pull this one off, we would need to mod the firmware file itself, then flash that in with Tis2000.
Will note, when you are firmware flashing with Tis2000 or TDS, you have one of two options. In normal mode, your given a list of firmware file for that vin number that you can select the needed one.
In cases like the upgrade F55 option file that GM sells for the C7, instead of that file being in the normal list, you select the special file option, and will input the special file number that was written for your vin to flash it in instead.
As for the special firmware file you modded to say shut the TPMS system off, it a little more completed since we need to tie that file into your vin in TIS2000 so it will show up in the list to flash instead.
Simply, it not going to allow you modify the firmware in a fashion that HP tuner or EFI live will in regards to the ECM engine tuning.