Windows Embedded CE6 R3 Setup Experience

Everyone in the Windows Embedded CE community, I would like to say hello from the Setup team! I have recently joined the CE team and have been able to get my feet wet with the CE6 R3 release. It is my goal to help improve the developer’s experience around the setup process. This is going to be even more important with the next full release of our product. After reading a few comments on Mike Hall’s blog I noticed some people already having problems with Setup in one shape or another. I would like to get some general feedback for your current issues with the CE6 installation at this point.

Help me help you!

Comments (25)
  1. Well… For one if you have multiple machines with CE 6.0 an offline installation would help… Maybe the msi installer can do that with a switch, but I wasn’t able to find it, that’s why I created a tool to do that (also did that for the R2 release). Maybe worth mentioning as a tip for other people. See

  2. @Michel We have provided the ISO via MS Download. The steps you have taken should not be necessary for R3. This was not provided on the first day of RTW, admittedly. However, we have put it up and it contains the R3 content. Look for the CE6R3.iso listed in the download section.

  3. That’s great, but why on earth was this not announced? Could’ve saved me some time adjusting that tool for R3…

  4. I will place the blame on myself. This was a last minute action and the update channels were not considered.

    I am very intersted in other feedback you have on this topic. Especially with how you work with the CE repository if you care to share.

  5. Jason says:

    it would be nice to have a documented administrative install for WinCE (or platform builder). not mistaken, similar technique (slipstream?) exist on Office/XP/etc …

  6. @Jason is there a particular reason you need an administrative installation? Is this mainly for the WINCEROOT or do you want this Platform Builder itself?

  7. Jason says:

    One of the main problem we have is development dependency (mainly related with software configuration management). Each developer might have different combination of the WINCEROOT, tools version, visualstudio, etc and it is difficult to control and validate everyone on same configuration. Furthermore, sometime we face compatibility issue in QFE and/or service pack release. Having the entire WINCEROOT in source control is not an option for us due to resource constraint.

    it would be nice (wish) that there is way to automated the WINCE installation (eg. Platform Builder, R1, R2, R3, MsAuto, and QFE)

    (i am still trying to figure out how the setup.exe /a work …)

  8. @Jason This is a great request and I would like to know more about how you would like to see this work. Currently, we are doing a lot of work to our installation process to help streamline the installation. My question would be on how you would like to validate developer configurations to enable your requirements around Software Configuration Management? Would a good scenario be to go to the maintenance window of the installer itself, push a button and have it list the current features on the machine? Are you looking to intergate the machine remotely to discover the status of the environment?

  9. Jason says:

    Instead of the maintenance windows of the installer, why not the "CEUpdateCheck" tools ? even better if the tools can verify which files (public code) being modify and offer the option to repair ? remote diagnostic might not be necessary as people can validate/compare with the validation result using the tools.

    i was thinking that, if the installation was done right at first time base on the development environment, theoretically i don’t need to validate it, right ?

    the installation should look like,

    – integrate all the PB, R1, R2, R3, Microsoft Auto, QFE installer into single repository

    – option for us to create custom configuration base on feature set listed by installer

    – double-click the installer to install with the custom configuration or with full GUI,

    – option to install silently or with GUI, for scripted installation via cmdline (?).

    – option to uninstall everything in single-click (?)

    if the installation can be streamline as above, this is going to be great help to all of us. if i need to roll-back (remember compatible issue), simply uninstall and reinstall. kind of foolproof concept here …

  10. @Jason I believe I understand what you are looking for. As for the CEUpdateCheck tool. My thoughts are similar to yours but I believe we are going to move it into ARP/Command line of our new setup.exe to keep from having so many disparent tools.

    You are correct, if the install worked correctly the first time then you wouldn’t have to worry so much about the above.

    How many people are you supporting in your environment? How much control do you want via the command line?

  11. Jason says:

    i would say, if including all my peer who has the same thought, that can be easily over 100 software engineer globally.

    as far as the installation can be streamline like the scenario above, and the installation can be trigger via single command line (and full GUI) – that should keep you busy enough.

  12. Barry says:

    I think installation should be 2 step process.

    Step 1.  Analyze the PC and produce sort of

    report with multiple use cases.

    1.1 new installation

    1.2 existing PB/VS .

    1.3 W7 64, W7 32, WXP, WXP mode on W7.

    The user selects the options or provides

    custom configuration.

    Step 2. Automated Installation based on report.

    Handling of errors during auto installation.

    if possible accurate description of the problem with possible solutions.

  13. Jeff says:

    I would like more instruction on how to get started initially.  I have a new hard drive, clean, that I wish to put CE on.  I downloaded CE6R3.iso and burned it to a DVD.  However, this is not bootable.  So how am I going to install CE on this clean drive?

  14. @Jeff The CE6R3.iso is just an upgrade to the Developer Tools. You need to install all the content for developers for 6.0 first. You can then put build, using Visual Studio 2005 and Platform Builder, a Windows CE image. That image can then be loaded to a hardware device or tested with the ARM emulator.

  15. Jeff says:

    Can you advise on where to get VS2005 with Platform Builder?  I am having all kinds of trouble finding it.  (Alot of MSFT links point to VS2008 or VS2010 now, which I am told does not have it.  I tried VS2010 Pro actually and it doesn’t have it.)

    Let me describe what I am doing.  The goal is to make our hardware product work in Windows CE.  The product is a PCI card.  We have a driver so it will work with XP, 2000, etc.  Now, we want a situation where a standard desktop PC can have Windows CE running as it’s OS.  Our PCI card will be inserted into the machine.  Our driver will then allow a CE application program to operate our PCI card.  Then perhaps a different CE developer can develop their own application to operate our card, etc.  Or put our card in a different hardware configuration with CE as the OS.

  16. @Jeff Please follow this link to the download location and steps to get up and running with Windows Embedded CE 6.0 (

    From what I understand of your development effort it sounds like you are working to develop a Board Support Package (BSP) for your hardware. Or, at least, some common driver to run your PCI device. If you email me I can find you a resource to help you throug this (

  17. Jeff says:

    Thanks.  One thing though, and I’ll post it here before I email you, in case someone else runs into this.  I’ve been to that link before and I can’t get the VS2005 file to run.  It is an IMG file and no matter what I do, I can’t install.  Any thoughts?

  18. @Jeff I am sure others will want to know this response. Although I don’t know of all the tools (WinImage is one) out there used to read a .img file, there are some such as Nero which allow you burn the .img to a DVD for use. If you are familiar with ISOs then an IMG is much the same I hope that helps.

  19. Jeff says:

    I wanted to post this here since I think others may run into this as well.  I am having an issue with the boot disk that I created from MakeImageDisk.exe that comes with CE 6.00.

    I have a drive that is FAT32.  When I hook this drive up to the PC as a slave, I can see it as FAT32.  When I boot the PC with a Windows 98 boot disk, DOS will see this drive as C: and everything is as expected.  However, when I reboot with the CE boot disk, that version of DOS (6.22?) can not see the disk.  When I try and change to C: it gives me the "Invalid Drive Specification" error.

    Why?  Certainly something is wrong with the version of DOS on the CE boot disk, no?

  20. Jeff says:

    Ok, in regards to my last post…the drive needs to be FAT (aka FAT16) and not FAT32.  The docs should be updated to reflect this.

    However, I’m still not out of the woods yet.  When I boot I get an error that says

    "nk.bin: Error opening file – No such file or directory"

    even though I can clearly navigate to C: and do a ‘dir’ command and see NK.BIN right there.

    What gives?

  21. FriedaJ says:

    I have the Windows Embedded CE 6.0…..and am unable to connect to the internet.

    Help !!

  22. @FriedaJ unfortunately I am not the right person to help you out. Please check out the CE forums at the following location for help to your issue.…/threads

  23. Tom Hadley says:

    Hi i recently got a net-book with Windows embedded CE 6.0 the problem is that my USB wireless device will not work with this OS. Can I upgrade and what is embedded 7 is it an embedded version of  Win 7 ?

  24. @Tom Hadley

    Windows Embedded CE 6 is not a regular OS like Windows and cannot be "updated" the same way Windows can. In addition adding device drivers is something that is not made the same way as in Windows. The manufacturer of the device would be the one providing resources and information on support for external peripherals, firmware upgrade and so forth.

    I recommend you contact the device manufacturer.

    To your question about version 7 of Windows Embedded, the response can be a bit long… :-). I recommend you take a look at the web site that provides extensive information on what Windows Embedded is about and that gives you a good overview of what the differences between the different products.


  25. Brian Rogers says:

    helló! gyors segítségre lenne  szükségem! A VirtualDj programot nem tudom beállítani, hogy megfelelően USB külső hangkártyával a keverőn külön külön szóljanak a csatornák.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content