.NET Compact Framework v2 SP1 (Setup and Headless)


This BLOG started out as a way for me to describe managed game development on devices. I'm responsible for GUI and MD3DM as noted in my introduction.  I also cover setup and release which I will begin to include in this BLOG as well.

The .NET Compact Framework (NETCF) team has been working on our version 2 Service Pack 1 release which we expect to ship late this spring.  SP1 includes a few new tools to help developers create and debug NETCF applications and fixes for bugs identified both internally and externally.  This BLOG entry will cover changes to Setup and Headless.


We have seen many reports of the NETCF v2 CAB files failing to install on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.  Some of these setup failures have been caused by a bug in the Windows Mobile 5.0 CAB installer (wceload).  If the CAB contains an .exe the installer scans the system for all running exes and in doing so takes up more memory then needed.  If your device is already low on RAM the installer fails with out an error.  This bug has been fixed in later builds of Windows Mobile 5.0 (AKU 2.2) so devices shipping in the future will not suffer form this issue. If you encounter a NETCF CAB file setup failure with error #4 you have likely hit this bug.  To work around this bug we will be re-naming all executables (cgacutil.exe) extensions to something other then .exe.  Then during installation our setup.dll will rename the file back to .exe.  To get NETCF v2 RTM installed, soft reset your device, shut down all running applications, and try running the CAB file again.

For a great description of NETCF CAB story see Ilya's post on the .NET Compact Framework team blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/netcfteam/archive/2005/10/11/479793.aspx


We have been working on addressing the needs of Headless devices (No display driver) for some time.  We were unable to include these features with our v2 release but they are slated to be included in SP1.  Headless features will be made available to WinCE 5.0 as part of the (NETCF) v2.0 SP1 QFE sometime after SP1.  This QFE will add a new catalog item .NET Compact Framework (Headless).  Dependencies have been changed to allow NETCF to be built into a WinCE 5.0 image which does not include a display driver. We have added an error log to help with unhandled exceptions is provided.