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.


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