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How to install the Windows Phone Developer Tools on Windows Server 2008

How to install the Windows Phone Developer Tools on Windows Server 2008

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The Windows Phone Developer Tools are not officially supported on operating systems other than Windows Vista or Windows 7.  In between the CTP and the CTP Refresh, a block was added to setup to prevent installing on Windows Server 2008 to help enforce this support limitation.  I’ve heard from some folks who were using the original CTP on Windows Server 2008 who cannot move forward to the CTP Refresh or the final release because of this block.

There is a way you can work around the Windows Server 2008 setup block if needed.  Please note that this is not officially supported, so if you try these steps, you are doing so at your own risk.

  1. Download the Windows Phone Developer Tools web bootstrapper and save it to your hard drive
  2. Extract the contents of the setup package by running vm_web.exe /x and choosing a path to extract to
  3. Go to the folder you extracted to in step 2 and open the file baseline.dat in notepad
  4. Look for the section named [gencomp7788]

    Note - you have to change this exact section - this is the one that controls the OS version blocking behavior in Windows Phone Developer Tools setup.
  5. Change the value InstallOnLHS from 1 to 0
  6. Change the value InstallOnWin7Server from 1 to 0
  7. Save and close baseline.dat
  8. Run setup.exe /web from the folder you extracted to in step 2

    Note - please make sure that you include the /web command line parameter in step 8.  If you don't, setup will not attempt to download the packages it needs to install, and it will fail to install correctly as a result.

<update date="9/17/2010"> Added an emphasis on steps 4 and 8 - setup will fail if you don't pass in the /web switch when using these steps.  Also updated the steps for the final RTW build of Windows Phone Developer Tools. </update>


  • I tried following these steps on Win 2008 R2 with VS Ultimate and the install crashed my machine when I used the "Customize" option.

  • Hi Piotr - Can you please provide more details about the crash that you're seeing?  Does the installer crash, or does your entire computer crash?  Do you see any specific error messages that might help narrow down this scenario further?

    Also, can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/.../6458047.aspx to gather your Windows Phone Developer Tools setup log files, then post the file %temp%\vslogs.cab that is created by that tool to a file server (such as http://skydrive.live.com), then reply back here with a link I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  • It work for me : Thanks !

  • It works! Thanks :]

  • Hi,

    What happens on XP. Many of us are still on XP, and budget constraints do not allow us to upgrade to beefier computers that run Vista or later versions of the OS.  Can we disable keys like you describe above to get it to work on XP?


  • Hi Coder Geek - You can use the standalone XNA Game Studio 4.0 package (at www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx) to develop Windows and Xbox 360 games.  There are several components that are required for Windows Phone application and game development that do not work on Windows XP, so you won't be able to use steps like the ones in this blog post to unblock installation on Windows XP like you can on Windows Server OS's.

  • Hi Aaron, unfortunaly I got a bluescreen while doing this in my 2008 R2 Dev VM.  


    Fortunaly I set a checkpoint before starting the installation      


  • Thanks! Saved my day :)

  • Thanks. It worked for me.

  • thanks for the post and it is very helpful

  • Aaron, thanks a lot. W2K8 (R2) is the dev platform of choice for those who could not stand Vista but could not wait for Win7, and it will be around for a while as a dev platform (thanks to Vista). Please let product planners know: they would make our lives _a_ _lot_ easier buy fully supporting VisualStudio on W2K8. I am pretty sure they've heard about that already... Again, thanks a lot for the tip.

  • thanks for the helpful

    I can install on windows 2008 R2 now

    but still got some problem after install

    the emulator can't start to work

    it allways stop in load OS

    and somebody meet the problem too?

  • Hi Joe - Windows Server 2008 is not an officially supported platform for the Windows Phone Developer Tools.  I posted this workaround because it can be helpful on some Windows Server 2008 computers, but there are some other Windows Server 2008 computers that things like the emulator will not work on even after using this workaround.

  • Is there a Server 2008 R2 support for future planned?

  • Hi Patrick - I don't work on that part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools, so I don't know for sure what is planned for the future.  The best way to register your request for this is to report a feature suggestion on the Connect site at connect.microsoft.com/visualstudio (or vote for it if someone else has already reported it).

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