Install the Windows Phone 8.0 Emulator without installing Visual Studio 2012 (or how to test local SharePoint sites on a Windows Phone 8.0 device)

I recently wrote this post on launching the Windows Phone 8.0 emulator without launching Visual Studio 2012. One of the reasons to be able to use the emulator without the need for Visual Studio could be when you only want to view/ demo your sites or applications on the emulator without having the need to develop and deploy them using Visual Studio. In my case, for example, I wanted to do demo the BI capabilities of SharePoint on a mobile device. You may want to use the emulator to just test on a Windows Phone 8.0 device your SharePoint sites hosted on a virtual machine. So here’s how you can do it:

  1. Configure the Hyper-V feature: The Windows Phone 8.0 emulator is essentially a virtual hard drive (VHD) that is launched using Hyper-V. Ensure that you have the Hyper-V feature installed on your Windows 8 machine. You can do this by browsing to Add  or remove programs –> Turn Windows features on or off –> Selecting Hyper-V from the pop-up screen:
    Hyper-V Feature
  2. Download the installer: Next, we’ll need to do is to download the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35471 Clicking on the Download button next to “WPexpress_full.exe” file will cause your browser to prompt you to Run or Save the file. Since we are doing a custom installation, we will want to save the executable to a local drive.
  3. Open it using the command prompt: Once you have download the file, you will need to open the file location in the command prompt. You can do this by either:
    1. Opening the command prompt and changing the directory to the download directory OR
    2. Shift-Right clicking the download folder and selecting the “Open with command prompt” option:
      OpenInCmd
  4. Download all the installation files: Next, we are going to download  the installation files onto the local hard drive. This will allow us to only install the components necessary for the emulator to run. To do this, type “WPexpress_full.exe /layout <DOWNLOADLOCATION>” in the command prompt. The <DOWNLOADLOCATION> in the above command is the location where you would like to download the installation files to. This will launch the Visual Studio 2012 installation Wizard in the download mode. Make sure you have about 1.5 GB free in the drive where you intend to download the installation files:
    Installer
  5. You should see the following folder structure once the files have downloaded – <DOWNLOADLOCATION>\packages\MobileTools:
    MobileTools
  6. We are now ready to run the installation media for the emulator. Browse to the <DOWNLOADLOCATION>\packages\MobileTools\XdeHost folder within the downloaded files and run the MobileTools_XDEHost.msi file. This will install the XDE.exe tool that will launch the emulator. Once the setup is complete, you can verify that the relevant files have been created by browsing to the following path: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft XDE\8.0” (assuming that you have installed the files in the C: drive)
  7. Next, we need to install the virtual hard  drive for the Windows Phone 8.0 that the emulator will launch. To do so, browse to the “<DOWNLOADLOCATION>\packages\MobileTools\WpFolder” folder and run the “MobileTools_WPImages_enu.msi” Windows Installer package. This will install various VHD files for the Windows Phone. Once the setup is complete, you can verify that the relevant files have been created by browsing to the following path: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v8.0\Emulation\Images” (assuming that you have installed the files in the C: drive).

That’s it. You are now ready to launch the Windows Phone 8.0 emulator without having to run or even install Visual Studio 2012. To view instructions on how to launch the emulator, please refer my earlier bog post at: http://gauravmahajan.net/2013/02/06/launch-windows-phone-8-emulator-without-launching-visual-studio-2012/

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This entry was posted in How To, SharePoint, Visual Studio 2012, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone SDK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Install the Windows Phone 8.0 Emulator without installing Visual Studio 2012 (or how to test local SharePoint sites on a Windows Phone 8.0 device)

  1. Oliver says:

    Hi, thanks for the tutorials.
    There seems to be a typo for the path in step 7. It should be:
    ”\packages\MobileTools\WPImages”
    And the File “MobileTools_WPImages_enu.msi” might has another language at the end depending on the downloaded package. (_deu.msi here for german package)

    Installation seemed to work fine, however I got a problem launching the emulator, see comments at other post.

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