VS2005 device emulator issues

I was getting an error when trying to connect to an emulator on VS2005 that prevented me from using VS2005 without using an actual device for debugging.  What a pain.

Anyway, whenever I was trying to connect to a emulator image, I got an error: "Connection Failed.  The configuration data for this product is corrupt. Contact your support personel".  Once again, I find that I am my support personel :-)

I haven't figured out how to fix it, but I found a work around to the problem.

Firstly, you can connect to any of the emulator images on your machine from the command line.  On my computer the emulator engine is located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Device Emulator\1.0.  So I dropped to a command prompt and went to that directory.

The emulator images are all .bin files.  You can search for them by *.bin.  You'll probably find (as I did) that they are in several locations.

I didn't bother trying to rationalize mine (feel free to try and let me know how you go), but I just loaded one of the images I found - specifically the Pocket PC 2003 SE Image.  To do this, I typed the following on the command line.

deviceemulator "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SmartDevices\Emulators\Images\PocketPC\2003\1033\PPC_2003_SE_WWE_ARMv4.bin"

This started the emulator with the specified image.  You might have to wait for a few seconds for the emulator to start - feel free to tweak it with a reset :-)

Once running you can start the Device Emulator Manager and see the image you just loaded at the bottom of the list of devices.  Mine had a GUID name.  Once it appears in the list you can set it up for a cradle sync using device manager and work away.

I hope this is helpful to someone else who gets this problem :-)