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Notes on Audi MMI CD-ROM handbooks (MMI 2G vs. MMI 3G) (by LoCal)

21.12.2009 - LoCal sent in this interesting contribution.

Audi MMI cars, at least the ones with the full MMI 2G High or MMI 3G Navigation Plus (see this article if you are unsure what that means) in Europe, come with a CD-ROM onboard handbook/manual in addition to the paper handbook that always comes with the car.

In MMI 2G, the CD-ROM handbook is accessed by placing the Handbook CD (you should find the disc inside a paper sleeve in your car manual folder) in the CD changer. It should work in any slot, I used to use it in e.g. slot 6 on my Audi A6. Then you press the MMI CAR button and the corresponding MMI function button for Handbook, which will load a basic, offline web browser which is used to browse the HTML-based handbook.

The root directory of MMI 2G handbook CD contains sub-directories DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, PT etc. depending on what languages are there. For example, DE is German and EN is English. Underneath are HTML files for index pages and further sub-directories for MMI (MMI manual) and ONBOARD (car manual). You can start browsing them also from a desktop computer by opening INHALT.HTM for the start page or INDEX.HTM for the alphabetical index.

The structure looks like this:
   |-DE
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |-EN
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |-ES
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |-FR
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |-IT
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |-PT
   |---MMI
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
   |---ONBOARD
   |-----BILDER
   |-----ICONS
   |-----SYMBOLE
MMI 3G (the hard-drive version is covered here) is a tad bit different, because the car wants to install the manual to the hard-drive. So, to use it, you again click the CAR button, and the function button for Handbook, and insert the CD-ROM in the MMI 3G DVD drive (don't put it in a separate CD changer) select CD/DVD from screen and click a few times to start the install. After this, the onboard handbook works pretty much like in MMI 2G, except you won't need to use the CD-ROM anymore, you can just store it somewhere or take it home for desktop use.

Opening the MMI 3G handbook CD (mine is from a 2010 A4 B8) on a desktop computer reveals a different structure compared to the MMI 2G version. First, the root directory contains only a boardbook directory and metainfo2.txt files. The boardbook directory contains AudiInfoFile, data and manifest directories, all of which contain a sub-directory 0 with the sub-sub-directory default. Eventually the first directory path contains a AudiUpdate.txt file, the second a boardbook.iso file and the third a browser.manifest file.

The structure looks like this:
   |-boardbook
   |---AudiInfoFile
   |-----0
   |-------default
   |---data
   |-----0
   |-------default
   |---manifest
   |-----0
   |-------default
The rest seems to be control data, but the important file is boardbook.iso. Many computer users know that an ISO file is a CD-ROM image, that can be burned on a CD-ROM using most CD-ROM burning applications - and it can also be mounted as a virtual drive (modern operating systems allow you to just double click the ISO file and it will mount as a virtual drive called AUDI_AG). The AUDI_AG disc, whether mounted or burned, contains a sub-directory called boardbook, which then contains a MMI 2G like directory structure (de_DE, en_GB, es_ES, fr_FR, it_IT, nl_NL, pt_PT, ru_RU in my case), with each of the directories containing similar content compared to the MMI 2G, including the starting points: inhalt.htm and index.htm files respectively for your browser.

The structure inside the ISO file looks like this:
   |-boardbook
   |---de_DE
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---en_GB
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---es_ES
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---fr_FR
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---it_IT
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---nl_NL
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---pt_PT
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |---ru_RU
   |-----css
   |-------images
   |-----mmi
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
   |-----onboard
   |-------bilder
   |-------symbole
Judging from some MMI 3G hidden menu screens, there apparently are or were versions of this onboard manual without ISO images (assumedly the manual CD-ROM content would have been more MMI 2G like) - perhaps they changed to using an ISO image for installation performance reasons at some point.

If you can't see the Handbook option in the MMI CAR menu function buttons, you may need to enable it from the hidden menu (apparently it is configured there at least in MMI 3G). See this article for more on the hidden menu.

By LoCal

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