Set Up a Virtual Test Device (Compact 2013)


In a production environment, you typically develop and test Windows Embedded Compact 2013 using a physical device. However, because there are too many different types of devices to cover in a single guide, this guide uses a virtual machine as the test device for all examples and walkthroughs. This section explains how to configure your physical computer to host virtual machines and create a virtual machine to use as a test device.

While you’re getting started with Compact 2013, you will probably find it easier to eliminate outside factors so you can focus on learning Visual Studio and Platform Builder. The most straightforward setup for your physical computer and virtual machines has the following characteristics:

  • Visual Studio and Platform Builder run directly on the physical computer.
  • The same physical computer contains a virtualization program or hypervisor that lets you create and manage virtual machines.
  • Platform Builder connects to the virtual machines through a virtual network or virtual switch.
  • The virtual network or virtual switch maps to a network adapter on the physical computer and has access to a DHCP server.
  • The virtual machines run Compact 2013, and they obtain their IPv4 addresses from the DHCP server.

IDE setup using a virtual machine as a test device

Configure the hypervisor on your development computer

The following table describes the hypervisors available for the each of the operating systems supported by Compact 2013. Use the hypervisor that runs on the operating system of the physical computer that you want to use for Compact 2013 development.

Operating system on your development computer


Installation instructions

Windows 7

Windows Virtual PC

To install Windows Virtual PC

Windows 8.1

Client Hyper-V

To turn on Client Hyper-V

Windows Server 2008 R2

Hyper V role

To install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2012

Hyper V role

To install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2012


If you want to run Client Hyper-V on a computer running Windows 8, the computer must have a 64-bit processor that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). You may also need to change the system BIOS settings to enable virtualization support. For more information, see the Client Hyper-V Survival Guide or see the documentation from your system manufacturer.

To install Windows Virtual PC

  1. Go to the Windows Virtual PC page in the Windows Download Center.

  2. Download and run the update package (x86-based or x64-based) that matches the OS on your physical computer.

To turn on Client Hyper-V

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Go to Programs>Programs and Features>Turn Windows features on or off.

  3. Select all of the features under Hyper-V, and then select OK.

To install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2008

  1. Open Server Manager.

  2. Go to Roles>Roles Summary>Add Roles.

  3. On the Select Server Roles page, select Hyper-V, and then select Install.

To install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2012

  1. Open Server Manager.

  2. Go to Manage>Add Roles and Features. This opens the Add Roles and Features wizard.

  3. On the Select installation type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation.

  4. On the Server Selection page, select the server you want to use for your virtualization host.

  5. On the Server Roles page, select Hyper-V and then select Install.

Create a virtual machine

To perform the exercises in this guide, you must create a virtual machine that has the following characteristics:

  • No pre-installed operating system.
  • 512 MB of memory.
  • An existing virtual hard disk using the hd0_sample.vhd file, located in %_WINCEROOT\platform\CEPC\VM (where %_WINCEROOT% is the Compact 2013 installation folder).
  • A legacy network adapter connected to an Ethernet network.


If you plan to do extensive development with the sample virtual disks, create a copy of the entire %_WINCEROOT\platform\CEPC\VM folder, then use the hd0_sample.vhd file in the new folder. For more information about how to use the sample virtual disks for development, see Use the Sample Virtual Device.

In this section

This section contains detailed walkthroughs of how to create a virtual machine in the different hypervisors:

See Also


Getting Started