Windows Embedded CE 6 SDK not installing on Visual Studio 2008?

Windows Embedded CE 6 SDK not installing on Visual Studio 2008?

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I am actually working on a set of demos for TechEd next week (I know these demos should be finished now!, but I'm sure I will get everything up and running by the end of this week ;-)).

I struggled a couple of hours on a problem: I generated a SDK for a Windows Embedded CE 6.0 image using the Platform Builder 6.0 Plug-in in Visual Studio 2005. I then tried to install that SDK in order to use it in Visual Studio 2008 to develop a Smart device application for my device (I know you can develop your application into Visual Studio 2005, but I am kind of a geek and I like to use the latest tools...). The problem was that the newly installed SDK didn't show up in Visual Studio 2008... After a long investigation, I found out this is a known issue. The workaround to get the SDK showing up in Visual Studio 2008 is to select "custom" installation mode during the installation wizard and to deselect the documentation installation. I guess this will be fixed in a next release!

Back to writing code for my demos.... :-)

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  • So.... Is it yet possible to use the CE6 plug in for VS2005 to generate an SDK which will work for applicaiton development in VS2008 and/or VS2010?

  • I will test if the R3 release fixes this issue and will keep you posted. I dnùt remember seeing of a QFE thqt explicitely fixes this issue. The trick with documentation unchecked in the installation wizard seems to be the only way for now.

    Stay tuned, I'll test tomorrow and will ping the PB team if it does not work.


  • Dear all, I have a question: To build an image using VS 2005 and the Plugin Platform Builder 6.0, what are the prerequisites? Is Windows CE 6.0 (or R2, R3, etc.) need be installed to generate this image?

  • Affirmative, to build a Windows CE 6.0 image you need Visual Studio 2005 Standard or more, VS 2005 SP1, VS Vista patch if you are running on Vista or Win7, Platform Builder 6, PB SP1, and if you want to benefit from R2 and R3 releases you need to install PB R2 and PB R3.

    The compiler is Platform Builder, but it is a plug-in to Visual Studio so it does not run as a stand alone application.

    - Olivier

  • Alternatively, is there a way to add CF 3.5 as a choice when creating an image using Platform Builder 6.0, the plug-in to Visual Studio 2005?

    It only shows me CF 2.0, but I have read that CF 3.5 should be there as well.

    Since there is no Platform Builder for VS2008, this would have to be possible somehow, to get CF 3.5 into an image.

    Even so, I thought VS2008 was required to develop .NET 3.5 applications, even Compact Framework 3.5, is that correct?

    Thx much in advance.

  • You will not see CF 3.5 in the wizard but if you have R2 installed, you will get it in the catalog in VS 2005 when building the OS with Platform Builder 6.

    You are right, you need Visual Studio 2008 to develop .Net CF 3.5 applications, which means you need 2 development tools for CE 6:

    - VS 2005 for the kernel

    - VS 2008 for CF 3.5 applications dev.

    - Olivier

  • Hi Olivier,

    Does installing R3 solved the issue of SDK (generated by PC with VS2005 + PB 6.0 installed) installation failure on PC with VS2008 installed and Documentation part checked?

  • @Ajit, unfortunately R3 does not solve the issue as I have been given the feedback that some users are still facing this issue.

    Michel, one of our Embedded MVPs, just posted a solution on his bog (


  • Hi Olivier,

    I'm trying to follow your Instruction, Before i deselect the documentation installation in SDK, the error-information comes at first:

    "This release requires the following prerequisites. please install any that are missing and restart thist setup.

    visual studio 2005

    visual studio 2005 service pack 1

    visual studio 2005 service pack 1 update for Windows Visata

    Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Tools"

    How can i solve this problem

  • @mili

    The dependency on "windows embedded CE 6.0 tools" makes me think you are trying to install a BSP, not a SDK. Sometimes Silicon Vendors package BSP and SDK for a specific board and OS image into a single installer that they call SDK, this is confusing for a lot of people. Can you provide more details on what you are trying to install and what steps you go through. Note you also need to have Visual Studio Professional or more, Express editions won't support the CE tools and development.


  • Hello,

    I have a question. I now roughly nothing about Windows CE (I now much more about Labview). I would like to develop an application with Labview for Windows CE 6.0 based Notebook. It is possible if and only if the target machine (the Notebook) have the "standard SDK" option on built in its OS. And, of course it is not the case on my notebook... My question is: is it possible to add the standard SDK now? Have I to rebuilt entirely the windows CE image or it is enough to added some library to some location on the Notebook HD and how?

    Thank you in advance for any info.


  • @Bart: You can do app development for Windows CE with Labview, at least for CE 4.2 and 5, not sure for CE 6. But you will need to have the CE Standard SDK in the image to make it work. It is the device manufacturers who can add it to the OS, this is not something you are supposed to do on your own from the licensing perspective.

    Note that you can consider using Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 (professional or above) to develop apps for CE devices. With Visual Studio, having the Standard SDK in the image is not mandatory, as long as you are carefull not using APIs that are not implemented in the OS. A device manufacturer can export an SDK for a specific build of WIndows CE, maybe you can find an SDK provided by the manufacturer of your device...


  • Thanks Oliver,

    Nop, I can’t get the SDK from the manufacturer (it is a cheap mini notebook from China and the seller can’t help me). I know that labview can work on Windows CE 5.0 (6.0???) if the “standard SDK” from Microsoft was implemented. So I will be able to use the notebook if I could add this standard SDK from Microsoft (I have it, it is free and directly downloaded from Microsoft) but I do not know if I can just add it to the notebook and eventually how to do it.


  • @Bart: You might not need to install anything on the device side. The SDK needs to be installed on the development environment to build apps for a specific platform.

    If not using dynamic libraries that are not in the image or APIs not supported, your application should not need any specific things installed in on the machine.

    Note that you can setup your Visual Studio project to export missing libraries to the device along with the app it self.


  • OK thanks I think I have get it. I can use the Visual Studio to export the Standard SDK with my Labview soft if needed, right?

    I think that I have to try to do it (there is a demo version of visual studio from Microsoft).

    Thanks again.


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