I wrote this a while ago... I/ve been asked by many people on how to install the Pocket PC Emulator — hope it is helpful.

  1. First, install Microsoft ActiveSync 3.7

  2. Install the Pocket PC SDK 2003 

  3. Install the Pocket PC SDK 2003 Emulator Images

  4. Next, install Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003

    If Visual Studio has been installed without the Smart Device Programmability option (and thus without the emulator files), you can update your installation using the following procedure. To load emulator files if Visual Studio has been installed:

    1. In Windows Control Panel, click Add or Remove Programs.
    2. Select your installation of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, and then click Change/Remove.
    3. In the Visual Studio .NET Setup wizard, click Visual Studio .NET.
    4. On the Visual Studio .NET Maintenance page, click Add or Remove Features.
    5. On the Visual Studio .NET Options page, select the Smart Device Programmability check box under either Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET.
    6. Click Update Now.

    After the Visual Studio update is finished, install the emulator using either of the procedures in "Installing the Emulator" section.

  5. Install the Emulator

    You must have Administrator permissions to install or remove the emulator. On some operating systems (for example, Windows Server 2003), you must accept the driver security certificate if prompted. To install the emulator by trying to connect to it:

    1. On the Visual Studio Tools menu, click Connect to Device.
    2. In the Connect to Device dialog box, click any emulator (for example, Pocket PC 2003 Emulator (Virtual Radio).
    3. Click Connect.
    4. If prompted to accept the emulator driver security certificate, click OK.
    5. View the results on the screen. Installation is successful if:
    6. The emulator appears.
    7. The status bar in the IDE displays "Device Connected" or "Ready."

    Installation is not successful if:

    • The screen displays "Emulator driver installation failed. Most common cause: user does not have administrator permissions."
    • The status bar displays "Emulator driver installation failed."

Steve Mattox

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Take Outs: The Digital Doggy Bag of Blog Bits for 24 February 2004
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This may be a dumb question, but is it possible to run the emulator without Visual Studio .Net?

I'm thinking this would be nice for testing or proof of concept.

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Gordo, unfortunately the emulators are dependent on Visual Studio. If I can find a way, I will post it, but it doesn't look good.
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Thanks Steve .. I will eagerly await your response :D
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what about embedded visual c++? the pocket pc sdk asks for it, but can go without it.
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Romeo, have you tried this? I have not, but it would be good to see the setup steps if you have
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I'm having trouble syncing the PPC Emulator. When I go to active sync on the virtual PPC It does not see any workstations to sync with. I can get to the internet on the PPC and ebven start a terminal server session so I know the network interface is working. Anyone have any ideas? Am I not doing something right?
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Gordo: I'm testing that right now. If it works I'll post again saying it works
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Same problem as Bill, network connectivity is there but can't synch. Not even serial...
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The way this whole thing is documented sucks. The Developer boys and MS need to get their act together. Articles are poorly linked and only a handful of people have managed to make this work.

Here it is (well ActiveSync over the network anyway): If using VS .NET 2003, use these tools:


and follow the instructions.

If using eMbedded Visual C++ you will need a null serial cable and connect your two serials ports.

If not, you will need to run emuascfg /PPC from the command line (search for the file). This sets up your emulator image to synch over the network.

Thanks to these guys here:


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Stefan has some troubles to install the Pocket PC Emulator. It really ain´t that easy, even without the extra Virtual-PC-with-Windows-XP-on-a-Mac hurdle Stefan took. 400 MB for an emulator. Doesn´t seem there´s so much space in such a small device. :)