Notes on Compact Framework Development

I've been working on a Compact Framework application this week.  My most-excellent colleague, Rockin' Ryan Storgaard (go read his blog instead of mine) referred me to SOTI ( 's terrific Pocket Controller tool. It displays the screen of your PocketPC on your desktop or laptop screen so that you can control it from there.  That's much easier than having to fiddle with the stylus when debugging, and helped me get my app built inside one day.  The other cool thing about Pocket Controller is that by virtue of displaying the PocketPC screen on your desktop or laptop screen, you can cheaply and easily project it onto an overhead screen or share it via LiveMeeting for demos. 


While development went smoothly on my desktop, when I switched to my laptop, I found that I could no longer debug the Smart Device application from the laptop, which I had been able to do the last time I tried it, on my Smart Client Development tour in November and December.  I remembered having reinstalled ActiveSync since that time, and figured that was the problem.  But how to fix it?  Re-install VS.NET?  That would be a pain, especially since I am in Montreal right now, and left my MSDN Universal kit in Toronto (silly me: I used to never go ANYWHERE without that.)  Anyhow, there's an easier answer: download the Windows CE Utilities toolkit from;displaylang=en&familyid=7ec99ca6-2095-4086-b0cc-7c6c39b28762&displaylang=en#filelist, and then apply this fix:

Issue: After uninstalling ActiveSync version 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 or 3.71, deploying fails with the error message "There were deployment errors. Continue?” This typically happens when one version of ActiveSync is uninstalled and a newer version is installed.

Solution: Uninstalling these versions of ActiveSync removes some registry settings that are required for deployment. You must restore these registry settings to enable deployment.

To restore the registry settings

1.      Import ProxyPorts.reg. to the registry.

Note   ProxyPorts.reg is located by default in Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\CompactFrameworkSDK\WinCE Utilities\WinCE Proxy Ports Reg.

2.      Remove the device from the cradle and replace it. If deployment still does not work, soft-reboot the device.

Comments (4)
  1. What I normally need when I see the Message "There were deployment errors. Continue?" is the DelDesktopCryptKey Program.

    Microsoft also has tools to control your device from the desktop. They are called Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys and can be found at

  2. I’ll second Marc’s recommendation; the Active Sync Remote Display utility is very handy (particularly for demos). It allows you to control the device from your desktop. The latest version should work with SmartPhone as well as Pocket PC.

  3. Simon van Wingerden says:

    Great this note! It helped me to fix the problem!!

  4. Pavel Yermolenko says:


    This solution didn’t help me.

    After 2-3 min trying “Copying APPLICATION_NAME.EXE” it results in

    Error: The operation could not be completed

    ———————- Done —————

    Build: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped

    Deploy: 0 succeeded, 1 failed, 0 skipped

    Deployment indicator on device (round in square with rotating sectors) continues working.

    My system:

    ActiveSync 3.7

    iPAQ 3850 (Windows CE3.0)

    In “Tools/Select Windows CE Device CPU” I chose ARMV4.

    Have you any idea what can I do else to circumvent this problem.

    I tried to reinstall Visual Studio .NET, but it doesn’t resolve the problem.

    Thank you in advance.


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