How to: Connect to Windows CE Device Without ActiveSync

When ActiveSync is not available, Visual Studio does not automatically copy required connectivity files to the device. Use the following steps to install these files on the device, modify the Visual Studio connection configuration, and establish device security.

The first two steps, preparing the device and Visual Studio, have to be done only once. The last set of steps, setting security and establishing the connection, must be repeated any time that you want to connect from a new instance of Visual Studio.


Your computer might show different names or locations for some of the Visual Studio user interface elements in the following instructions. The Visual Studio edition that you have and the settings that you use determine these elements. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

To prepare the device for connecting

  1. Copy the following files to the drive:\Windows\ folder on the device by using an available connection. By default, these files are located on the development computer at drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\CoreCon\1.0\Target\wce400\<CPU>.

    • Clientshutdown.exe

    • ConmanClient2.exe

    • CMaccept.exe

    • eDbgTL.dll

    • TcpConnectionA.dll

  2. From the command prompt on the device, run conmanclient2.exe.

  3. Determine the IP address of the device.

To prepare Visual Studio for connecting

  1. On the Visual Studio Tools menu, click Options, expand Device Tools, and then click Devices.

  2. Select Windows CE Device, and then click Properties.

  3. To the right of the Transport box, click Configure.

  4. In the Configure TCP/IP Transport dialog box, select Use specific IP address, and then type the device IP address.

  5. Close the dialog boxes.

    If a message box prompts you to reset your device, a soft reset is sufficient.

To set security and establish the connection

  1. At a command prompt on the device, run cMaccept.exe.

  2. Within three minutes, connect to the device.

    If you establish your first connection within three minutes, you can continue to deploy and debug indefinitely as long as you are using the same Visual Studio instance. If you have to connect from another instance of Visual Studio, you must perform these security steps again.

    Security noteSecurity Note:

    You can eliminate the cMaccept step by disabling security on the device. To do so, set HLKM\System\CoreConOverrideSecurity = 1 DWORD value in the registry. For more information, see How to: Change Device Registry Settings. Disabling security exposes your device to malicious attack and it is not a good idea unless you have provided appropriate safeguards.

See Also


Remote Tools for Device Projects

Other Resources

Working with Smart Devices and Emulators