INSTL_ERR12 Hardware Thoughts

Ford has not been able to replace my 2018 Mustang GT APIM under warranty due to the global shortage.

I) Observations:

  1. Apple CarPlay doesn’t work at all on my Sync system. The system does recognize my iPhone when I connect it. This makes me think the USB hub is not a problem (when you guys talk about replacing the hub you’re talking about the physical connection from a phone to the APIM module, correct?).
  2. The system will not update over WI-FI. Trying to update via USB gives INSTL_ERR12.
  3. The car was a rental car and there are many phones saved in the CarPlay and Android Auto tile menus. Manually deleting all these phones one by one does delete these phones and also causes the CarPlay and Android Auto tiles to be removed from the main screen. Plugging my phone back in starts the CarPlay setup prompt, the phone is detected and the CarPlay tile is again created on the main screen. However, no CarPlay functionality is available.
  4. A master reset will restore all the phones (except mine-I believe. It’s possible one of the generic iPhones is mine, but I think not) and the CarPlay and Android Auto tiles.
  5. It seems my screen stays on after the car is turned off and the driver’s door is opened and then closed. I did see a ForScan setting for that, but it is a coincident error onerous operation.

II) This is what I think:

  1. as mentioned on this site INSTL_ERR12 is probably a hardware issue. I think a SYNC version is like a BIOS version on a PC. I think SYNC is stored on a solid-state flash memory chip (hereafter FMC) on the “memory board” (hereafter MB) in the APIM module. I think that the necessary SYNC operating parameters are loaded onto a volatile memory chip (hereafter VMC) like DRAM upon system power up.
  2. I think the FMC is in a readable but not writeable state since it loads onto the VMC but is not restored to its base version state via a master reset and a new SYNC version is unable to be added to the FMC.
  3. I may be sloppy with my BIOS analogy and/or I may be missing a third (or more) chip(s) in this theory because, think about this: when phones are manually deleted from, for example, the CarPlay tile menu the phones should be deleted from some non-volatile memory but it’s strange to think that those phones would be stored within the SYNC version on the FMC. Perhaps these phones are stored on the same FMC but not affecting the SYNC version (separately saved on the same chip) or perhaps there is another non-volatile solid-state chip that saves phones.
  4. If there are separate chips storing SYNC and phones, I can’t write (write, in my mind, including phone deletion) to any of them. If the SYNC version and the phones are saved to the FMC, we have that readable but not writeable erroneous state mentioned earlier.
  5. I had thought that perhaps trying to delete things from memory using the script mentioned on this site might allow writing a new SYNC version to the FMC but seeing what happens with master reset restoring deleted phones makes me think that will not work. Since deleting those phones manually from volatile memory should cause that deletion to also occur in non-volatile memory, deletion from non-volatile memory does not appear possible.
  6. It is possible that there is a software solution (like a line of code setting) that would turn off “protection” and allow writing. That would be cool! And maybe someone can solve that.
  7. If it is a hardware issue then requiring replacement of the entire APIM module is not cool. The problem is probably caused by some 2-cent short or some cheap board component like the controller or the FMC.

III) Questions:

  1. What do you guys think about my theory?
  2. What hardware failure would cause a FMC to become readable but not writeable?
  3. If I replaced the touchscreen and APIM with a idatalink Maestro head unit/Maestro wiring would I be able to get away from APIM failures? I’d much prefer to fix this. If I was in China, I’d pull the board out and collaborate with one of those smart board wizards in Shen Zhen to get this repaired.
  4. Tear me apart if you think I’m way off.

EDIT: My SYNC version is legit just “3.0” on the car menu but is “3.0.17276” on the website. I also have no Gracenote version displayed on the car menu.

SYNC Region: North America & Canada

Navigation Variant: No

Install Type: Stock (Original Unit)

Old SYNC Version: 3.0.000

New SYNC Version: 3.0.000

Do you have a error message, if so what is it?

Update Method: Official Ford

Syn3 Updater Version:

Syn3 Updater Documentation Read:

Syn3 Updater Log File

Fixed your formatting

Thanks. Had surgery. 1 hand.

Sync is stored on a emmc, along with configuration etc, your emmc is bad, replacing the daughter board or the whole APIM would be easiest, maybe desoldering and desoldering a new emmc is also option

Unless you have an extended warranty with the vehicle, Ford will not replace a 2018 APIM under warranty.

You can check the hub part number and compare it here to see if your hub is CP compatible.
Media Hub, CarPlay Compatible - 2015-2020 Ford/Lincoln - SYNC 3 - Ford / Information - CyanLabs Official Community

2018, not surprising…have you identified the unit model using the Syn3 Updater interrogator log?

A master reset will wipe all phones and BT connections on the Sync unit by design. If it is restoring the devices, you found your problem.

Not good.
As for the second part, it looks like file (eMMC) corruption and/or storage controller failure or corruption. This is not repairable in normal circumstances.

You’ll need get past the security to be able to do that, and then have signed packages for install.

Sure, but your leaving a big hole in your vehicle integration that the Maestro will not fill. Many systems will have issues you will never solve. Just ask the guys with the big screens…

Sure sign this is a hacked or failing unit.

Well, I think the APIM is a replacement or upgraded unit from China that is flashed with incompatible software. There are many of these out there, unfortunately, and we have dealt with many also. These are the exact symptoms of those units, in different combinations. Or you have an APIM that has failed in a similar way. Either way, just replace the unit and be done with it. You will spend more money trying to fix this than buying a legit replacement.

Yes, I have an extended Ford warranty on it. Another theory I have is that since Ford’s website is prompting me to update from 3.0.17276 to 3.0.20204, there could be some issues w/ 3.0.17276 that are causing this. And/or there could be issues w/ 3.0.20204. 3.0.20204 stands out as strange in the IVSU list on this site. I wonder if there were not instructions in one of the intervening releases to allow the eventual upgrade to 3.0.20204. I cannot find the complete folder for the version following 3.0.17276 and I don’t have the skills to write the necessary .lst and .msa files to go with the appropriate app file download from the IVSU list. Nor does the Syn3 updater allow me to generate SYNC 3 versions that old.
I did just generate a series of files on usb, version 3.3.19502 using Syn3 Updater. I am tempted to try it. I’m hoping reformat will do something.
Tell me if I need to step back from the edge.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are complicating a very simple fact: your APIM is bad…

That should be your first theory actually.
Your APIM needs replacement.

Ford pushed a 3.0 build my way and I do not have any issues.

About trying to fix it yourself, I would not do so since it’s under warranty. They should fix it since you paid for it.

Sync 3.0.20204 is the latest and last version of Sync 3.0 and is stable. You could try to update to Sync 3.0.18025, which will either help the issues or fail the installation.

See your messages…

My plan today was to update to 3.0.18025 but I can’t find the complete folder. It’s been wiped from the web. I would do that if I could write the .lst and .msa files to go with the 3.0.18025 app file download from this site.
I was about to install a new speaker and sub system before I realized this was going on. I don’t want to pay for an APIM since I’m already spending a lot on that AND Ford should be fixing it under warranty except they can’t find one within their network apparently. Ford corporate can’t find one and the dealer wants me to wait to install the speakers, amps, and subs until they install a new APIM. I suspect they will not have APIMs in their network for months, at least.
Also because there were few people using CarPlay back when my version was released, many updates released between my current version and the one Ford wants me to install there could be permission update issues. Also the APIM is readable so is it really corrupted?
Correction my version is actually 3.0.17276 on the head unit. I didn’t know the build number was part of the version number when I wrote initially.

Check your messages…

There would be no issue with permissions as long as the files are from Ford with the proper certificates.
You could have areas of the eMMC storage that you cannot write to that Sync uses for cache, or other purposes, that would cause issues.

There are risks that you are taking by upgrading to a new version:

  • if it works and the issues are solved and Ford hears or check about it, they won’t change the unit if one should appear. But the problem is that problems are not solved, but hidden by a new installation. If what we think is true (bad emmc), it would be a matter of time for it to fail again, maybe outside warranty.
  • if it does not work and the unit does not upgrade but keeps operational, then you are “ok”, like now.
  • if it does not work and the unit becamos unresponsive, you will end up with a non-operational APIM with no replacement from Ford in the near future (as you said before). Good thing is that I would not think Ford will say “hey, this unit was working fine before” and dismiss you, since you could say “it was working bad before, now it just died”.

So it’s up to you really, but there are some risks associated due to the nature of your current situation. If you do not care about the warranty and would not mind buying a new APIM out of your pocket, then it’s ok.

I agree, the eMMC is bad, any software “fix” is merely a workaround

Thanks all. I found a “cheap” memory board online. If the eMMC comes completely empty (no version of SYNC 3), will I need a special device/procedure to write to it?

I don’t know, it depends how empty it comes. You may need a emmc writer or you may just be able to use the reformat tool

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