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Windows 8 Client Hyper-V and Windows Phone 7.x emulator slowdown

January 28, 2013 .NET, All, Community, Hyper-V, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Mobile-Development, MSDN, Tips & Tricks, VisualStudio, VS2010, VS2012, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7.0, Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK, Windows Phone Store No comments

Hyper-V is a great platform for virtualization and luckily Windows 8 have inbuilt/integrated support for hyper-v technologies. Windows Phone 8 SDK uses hyper-v for emulator virtualization and it works pretty good with Visual Studio 2012. Hyper-V integrated to the Windows 8 is been called ‘Client Hyper-V’.

Client Hyper-V is the same virtualization technology previously available only in Windows Server®. A similar functionality in Windows 7 is called Windows XP Mode. Client Hyper-V enables you to run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same host computer. But instead of working directly with the computer’s hardware, the operating systems run inside a virtual machine (VM). Hyper-V enables developers and IT professionals to easily maintain multiple test environments and provides a simple mechanism to quickly switch between these environments.

You can read more about it from MSDN Guide – Using Windows 8 Client Hyper-V

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The problem is – Client Hyper-V have some inconsistencies with old Windows Phone 7.x emulators. The new Windows Phone 7.8 emulators works fine, but with older Windows Phone 7.x emulators you could experience the slow start-up/load of the emulator. It takes few minutes to launch in some systems, and in some high end multi core systems it launches in moments.

You will experience this problem when you want to develop and test for old Windows Phone 7.x devices, you will have problem in launching emulators.

From my experience and searching on Google the following thread help me to understand that it is a known problem with Windows 8 – Hyper-V and Windows Phone 7.x emulators. If you turn off Hyper-V for a while you can experience that Windows Phone 7.x emulators are launching instantly when you launch for debug/run.

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/wptools/thread/2d149fee-a52e-4e2d-90d2-24e76639bd85/ 

So here is the dilemma scenario,

You want to develop an application that you want to test on both Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8.0 emulators

OR

You want to develop and application targeting Windows Phone 7.x using Visual Studio 2010 in Windows 8.

 

I have few steps to follow to toggle between the development environment, and depending on the system it is time taking, or little annoying – but we have to deal with it.

So I have to disable Hyper-V when I have to work on Windows Phone 7.x emulator.

Disable Hyper-V feature

Control panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn windows features on or off -> Uncheck Hyper-V feature.

hyper-v

Restart the machine.

NB: Enabling/Disabling Hyper-V will require you to restart to take effect.

But this is a time taking process and every time you will have to On/Off feature and restart. What we could have an option in Windows Boot itself – through which I can normally boot to Windows with Hyper-V or boot with Hyper-V disabled.

We can do that using hypervisorlaunchtype = off/on boot flag. 

An easy fix for this is to create a second boot entry for my system that starts Windows without starting the hypervisor.  To do this you need to open an administrative command prompt and run the following commands(follow steps below):

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1. bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Windows 8 – no hypervisor"

This copies your currently active boot entry (assuming that this is the one you want to copy or select the appropriate one – if you are on a multi-boot environment) and gives the new copy the name you mentioned above ‘Windows 8 – no hypervisor’.

this will display a message in command prompt that “The entry was successfully copied to {some guid_identifier}”

 

2. bcdedit /set {guid_identifier} hypervisorlaunchtype off

guid_identifier is the identifier for the new boot entry (copy from the output of a plain ‘bcdedit’ command – we executed in step 1)} ,

Copy the {guid} from the command prompt window and run the above command appropriately replacing {guid_here} with {guid from your command window for the new boot entry}

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Now you have an additional boot entry, you can login in to your Windows 8 with hyper-v disabled mode and when you are done with it – You can reboot and select your default boot option(which is with Hype-V enabled).

1. When you want to work with Windows Phone 8.0 emulators select default boot option from boot menu.

2. When you want to work with Windows Phone 7.x emulators – select the newly created boot option from boot menu.

Hope that helps some of you – who worried with these kind of troubles with Windows Phone development.

Note: Some of you with kind of powerful systems will less experience these kind of issues. So this tip is for those who are in need. Smile

Making an Offline install of Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8

January 26, 2013 .NET, All, Community, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, MSDN, Tips & Tricks, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK 2 comments

In my last articles I introduced you to the latest update for Windows Phone SDK to support Windows Phone 7.8. The installer available download from here, the installer package[WPExpress78_update.exe](1.10MB) is an Online/Web Installer – will download the necessary packages on demand at the time of installation, and it would take some time depending on your bandwidth.

I was looking for ways I can have all the packages pre downloaded and available offline for my later installations.I came across some quick tips, and it may useful to you all as well.

We can do it easily using the ‘/Layout’ switch/command line argument available in Setup executable.

Follow the steps below:

1. Open your ‘Command Prompt’ with Administrator privileges (Right click on ‘Command Prompt’ icon and click on ‘Run as Administrator’ from context menu – which will launch ‘Command Prompt’ with Administrator privileges.).

2. Navigate to the command terminal to the folder in which WPExpress78_update.exe is stored. In my case it is ‘C:\Downloads’.

3. Type the following command in the Command Prompt

WPExpress78_update.exe /layout

/layout switch will create a copy of the media in the specified folder.

This will launch  the installer and prompt you for the Download location, to download and store the packages.

4. Specify the  target folder to store the extracted/downloaded package files, and click on ‘Download’ button.

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Sit and relax – the setup will start download. It will take a while in acquiring necessary packages.

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You can see a ‘Packages’ folder created inside your target folder and a copy of ‘WPExpress78_update.exe’ placed with it.

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Packages folder contains only two updates. Windows Phone 7.1.1 update and Windows Phone 7.8 emulator images.

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5. Wait for a while and download will complete. Once download is completed you can install the update by Clicking on ‘WPExpress78_update.exe’ from the target folder.

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Now you have the complete packages available offline and can install whenever you want. Or keep a backup of the full folder. 

Hope you enjoy reading the article.

Setting up Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8 and working with Visual Studio 2010/2012

January 23, 2013 .NET, All, Community, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Mobile-Development, MSDN, VisualStudio, VS2010, VS2012, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7.0, Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK, Windows Phone Store, XAML 1 comment

Microsoft has just released an update for Windows Phone SDK 7.1 and 8.0 to provide support for Windows Phone 7.8 emulators.I have shared the details in my last blog post.

With this article I will walk you through how it would look to work with this update.

The following simple steps will help you with it:

1.) Install Windows Phone SDK 8.0 or Windows Phone SDK 7.1

2.) Install Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8 from Microsoft

Click the Download button for ‘WPexpress78_update.exe’

3.) Double Click on ‘WPexpress78_update.exe’ and Click on ‘Install’ to apply this update.

Note: Depending on the network bandwidth, it would take some time to download and install necessary packages.

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Once the update is completed, you will receive the confirmation.

4.) Launch Your Visual Studio 2010 or 2012, and open up/create a Windows Phone project.

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Now go to the device selection drop down and you can see that new set of 7.8 emulators(256MB and 512MB) are added to the list.

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and click on ‘Run’

Now you play with emulator for some time you can see the new tile resizing option to display small tiles for your application. And also you can create Flip, Cycle, and Iconic template based live tiles as well.

Just sharing some screen shots of sample app on emulator with Medium, small application live tile display.

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Why you need this separate set of emulators for 7.8, instead I can use the old 512MB/256MB emulator right?

NO, You require Windows Phone 7.8 emulators to setup and test the new Cycle, Flip, or Iconic – live tiles[small sized] for your application. Also to have the new feature –  ‘Live Tile light up’ ( an easy way for you to add Windows Phone 8 Live Tile functionality to your Windows Phone OS 7.1 app so that when it’s run on a Windows Phone 7.8 or Windows Phone 8 device it “lights up” the new templates! )

the following articles would help you understand this further.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsphone/develop/jj720574(v=vs.105).aspx

http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2013/01/22/windows-phone-7-8-and-windows-phone-8-live-tile-light-up-for-windows-phone-os-7-1-apps.aspx

Read about Flip, Cycle, and Iconic live tile templates.

Announcing Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8 – for Windows Phone SDK 7.1 and Windows Phone SDK 8.0

January 23, 2013 .NET, All, Community, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, MSDN, VisualStudio, VS2010, VS2012, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7.0, Windows Phone 7.1 SDK, Windows Phone 7.5, Windows Phone 7.8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK No comments

Microsoft has released an update for Windows Phone SDK for Windows Phone 7.8 support. This SDK adds Windows Phone 7.8 emulator support for Windows Phone SDK 7.1 and Windows Phone SDK  8.0.

The Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8 adds two new emulator images to your existing Windows Phone SDK installation.

  • New Windows Phone Emulator 7.8
  • New Windows Phone Emulator 7.8 256MB

This update supports both the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 and the Windows Phone SDK 8.0.

Using this update, you can provide the Windows Phone 8 Start screen experience in your Windows Phone 7.5 apps. You can also test how your apps will run on Windows Phone 7.8 devices.

Note: Windows Phone SDK 8.0 or Windows Phone SDK 7.1 must be installed before you can install Windows Phone SDK Update for Windows Phone 7.8.

For more information about Windows Phone 7.8, see Windows Phone developer docs.

[Quote from Microsoft Download Center]

Download Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8

Download TypeScript 0.8.2 for Visual Studio 2012

January 22, 2013 .NET, All, Community, Extensions, JavaScript, JavaScript, Microsoft, MSDN, TypeScript, VisualStudio, VS2012, Web No comments

Microsoft has announced the availability of latest preview release for TypeScript as Version 0.8.2.

Read more about the release from MSDN Typescript Team blog here

You can download the TypeScript 0.8.2 for Visual Studio 2012 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34790

StartW8–a closer, free Windows Aero start menu alternative–for Windows 8

January 18, 2013 All, Community, MSDN, Softwarez, Tips & Tricks, Tools, Tweaks, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8 No comments

While searching for Third Party alternative software’s for bringing back windows start menu feel on Windows 8, I came across few interesting tools – and I introduced them in my earlier blog posts – Stardock’s Start8 (licensed version), Classic Shell, Power8 were those.

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[logo courtesy: AreaGuard]

Today I just found another cool alternative that you can try for free – StartW8 – is developed by Area Guard. You can install and use the software free of cost. It gives you start menu closer to the appearance of Windows 8 aero look and feel.

Have a look at the screenshot @ http://www.areaguard.com/startw8-start-menu-for-windows8-screenshots

StartW8 key features

  • Automatically switch to desktop immediately after signing in
  • Added Windows Start menu in Windows 8 design, but Windows 7 functionality
  • Activate menu with Win key
  • Log off, lock and turn off buttons
  • Traditional search field
  • Favourite applications
  • All user configurable
  • Support for silent installation
  • Multilanguage support (18 languages)
  • Option to ignore the lower left Hot corner

[Quoted from AreaGuard StartW8 website]

Download and Try StartW8 from: http://www.areaguard.com/startw8