Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Windows Phone Emulators failing to start - Visual Studio 2013

   I love my Dell Inspiron 7000 series laptop. However, it came with Windows 8 64-bit, non pro. As you may or may not know, the Windows Phone emulators have a certain set of requirements before they will run and they do require you to run Windows 8 64-bit Professional.

   Using the App Builder Rewards Program I gathered the required points for a free copy of Windows 8 64 bit Pro. I couldn't wait for it to finally arrive. When it did, I installed it right away and test my windows phone emulators... Shit! Error message! "Hyper-V" must be enabled for the emulators to function. Ok, no problem. I go to control panel and choose to turn features on and off. I check off both boxes for Hyper V and restart the computer.

I run the emulators again... Shit! Error Message!

After some research I found many articles with suggestions on what the problem could possibly be. I verified my processor allowed for virtualization. I verified it was enabled in my system BIOS. I tried suggestions that I need to open the VM in the hyper V manager and make changes to the settings. Nothing worked. I then consulted the emulator requirements checklist to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Nothing missing, but the emulators still wouldn't work.

I then stopped and looked at the error message again. It was telling me that it didn't think I was running the right version of windows. However, if I checked my system information, I clearly was.

I have summarized the steps that you should try should you have a similar error and you are not able to find out why.

1) Try un-installing and re-installing the windows phone 8.0 sdk. I tried this myself, but this still did not work for me.

2) Try un-installing the sdk and visual studio 2013. Then re-install visual studio and ensure you install the sdk along with the VS installation. I again tried this, but unfortunately it didn't work for me.

I then thought back and remember that I had installed the following over the past few months prior to updating to windows 8 pro.

* VS 2012 and the wp8  sdk.
* VS 2013 RC1 and the wp8 sdk.
* VS 2013 Update 1.
* VS 2013 Pro
* VS 2013 Update 1

To me, this was a lot of different versions and I thought that I may have confused the system and somewhere in the registry there was a value that still thought I did not have the pro version of windows 8 installed. I also had heard of others having problems if they install visual studio or other apps before upgrading to windows 8.1.

So as a last resort I decided to do a system refresh. After the refresh I immediately entered my new windows 8 pro key in order to add the pro features. Once finished, I installed all windows updates and then installed windows 8.1 through the windows store. Once completed, I installed all windows updates and then finally installed visual studio 2013 with the sdk option checked during installation.

After completed this process, I was able to run the emulators without error.

I know doing a refresh is not the best option, but this was a last resort for me. I have seen others mention un-installed the sdk/VS worked for them.

I hope this post is of use to someone down the road should they find them self in a similar situation.



    On the recommendation of Joe Healy,  a Microsoft developer evangelist out of the Tampa area, I have decided to start my first blog. As a software developer, I never really thought about making a blog before, nor do I claim to have a way with words, but I realize that issues and tips that I come across while may be incredibly valuable to another developer at some point during their careers.

    First, let me tell you a little bit about myself so everyone has an understanding of the type of person I am and the type of developer I strive to be. My name is Jason Brock and I was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida and I am currently 32 years old . I was lucky enough to have parents who were able to buy my first computer at a very young age. In the late 1980's I chose a Packard Bell, 486 DX that ran DOS. I remember this machine like it was yesterday. DOS was easily my first love in the world of technology and I strived to learn as much as I could. I created and ran a "Warez" Bulletin Board System (BBS) back in the early 1990's and my love for computers only got stronger from there. I remember thinking that DOS would be all that we would ever need and refused to use windows 3.11 or to switch to Windows 95. It was until Windows 98 came out that I decided leave DOS behind.

   Fast forward to today and I am an enterprise software developer at a company called Integrated Dealer Systems. We develop a complete management information system for RV and Marine dealerships around the world. We offer them a complete solution; sales, payroll, inventory management, CRM, etc. I have worked at "IDS" since 2004 and will soon hit my 10 year mark. I really enjoy the time I have had working here and look forward to what the future holds.

    I plan on using this blog as a method to get the issues, tips, and tricks that I come across throughout my life on the web for other developers to use. The items I blog about may or may not already be out there on the web somewhere. I can tell you that I search thoroughly for articles before I decide to write my own. Sometimes I find that it takes multiple searches or it takes my trying things on my own to get everything just right. When I find that I have something that could be useful to another developer I will post it. I do not claim to be an expert, I just claim to be someone who loves technology and software development in particular. I have begun writing my own apps and games and plan on releasing them in the coming months to the masses.

I can be contacted on twitter at :

and on Facebook at :

- Jason