Skip to main content

How to setup development environment for WinCE and VS2008


Microsoft moved most of the Windows CE documentation to, and it is not indexed by Google.

This article describe the setup for application development on WinCE 5,6,7 with Visual Studio 2008. If you are interested in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 and Visual Studio 2012, 2013 or 2015 have a look here.


Install the following SW on your development PC.

Windows Mobile Device Center / ActiveSync

If you use Windows XP or an earlier version you need to install ActiveSync. Windows 7/8 will automatically use Windows Mobile Device Center when you connect your Toradex Module with the development PC

Visual Studio 2008

Download and install Visual Studio 2008. You may find more information in our Windows Embedded Compact Application Development article.


Install at least the SDK for WinCE 6.0 plus the SDK for the Win CE version you plan to develop for. To download and install SDK click here.

Remote Display tool

The Remote Display allows you to see the display content of the Toradex module even if it is not connected to a screen or the screen settings are invalid.

Development environment setup is complete.

Write your first Program

Get started with these projects:

  1. Create a new VC++ project
  2. Create a new VC# project
  3. Create a new project

Deployment and debugging in Visual Studio 2008

Before deploying and debugging the project to the Colibri module, connect the module via USB client port to the PC and power up the board. After a few seconds, the device will be shown as connected in Windows Mobile Device Center (for Windows 7/8) or Active Sync (for Windows XP).

Deployment and debugging in VS2008 can also be done over an Ethernet connection.


  • Use an enough strong power supply, we recommend 12V@2A
  • Use a USB 2.0 High Speed capable USB cable for reliable connection.
  • Debugging and deployment over an active sync connection works only if the explorer is enabled on the device (see Disable the Explorer).

Send Feedback!