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Visual Studio 2012 + Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Virtual Machine with Windows 7

Many people run their Windows CE development environment (Platform Builder) on a Virtual Machine. In case you screw up things in the PUBLIC or PRIVATE folder, you can quickly return to the initial situation by restoring a previous snapshot. So do I. Moreover, during lengthy rebuilds, I usually return to my host PC to do other work. If not, I get a coffee.

Since a few months I run my Virtual Machines by means of Oracle’s free (like) VirtualBox VM software http://www.virtualbox.org. My setup is a Windows 7 64bit host PC (main PC, real HW, Intel I7 8 cores, 8Gb ram, 1Tb HDD) and 2 VMs

  •  a Windows XP 32bit VM client (for older software, Windows Embedded CE 6)
  • a Windows 7 32bit VM client.

The latter VM runs also my Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Platform Builder and Visual Studio 2012. Many people will argue that this setup is not as fast as running the software on the host Windows 7 PC. Well, they are right if your VirtualBox Default Machine Folder is located on the same disk as your host Windows 7 OS is installed. Along with most of all the other software installed on your PC this is typically your C:\ drive. By default, the VirtualBox Default Machine Folder is located in C:\Users\<your account>\Virtual Machines.

However what I did was to install a second 250Gb SSD (blazing fast Samsung EVO) hard disk and locate the VirtualBox Default Machine Folder over there (D:\ drive). I dedicate 4 of my CPU cores and 2Gb of RAM to the VM. This leaves 4 other cores and 5Gb to the host PC. Or my other WinXP VM.

Due to the SSD dedicated to the VM, building Windows CE 8 images (rebuild) takes almost the same time as building the same configuration on my host PC. I admit, the host PC has “only” 2HDDs (10000revs/min) in STRIPE0 RAID, not as fast as the SSD.

Replacing them by a real SSD might even give my host PC a performance boost. But I ran out of money for a 1Tb SSD… 

Print | posted on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 7:56 PM | Filed Under [ Windows CE Windows Embedded Compact Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 ]

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# re: Visual Studio 2012 + Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Virtual Machine with Windows 7

Do you have one WEC7 system in the Windows 7 VM?
Are there no restrictions using some eVPC additionally to emulate som devices?
1/14/2014 12:50 AM | mueller
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# re: Visual Studio 2012 + Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Virtual Machine with Windows 7

No, I don't use WCE7 anymore. I use WCE6 and WCE8. WCE7 resembles WCE6 on many topics, so what I can say about WCE6 most likely also applies to WCE7.
1/14/2014 8:48 PM | Werner
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