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Revision as of 18:06, 3 November 2012 by Symbian_Neil (Talk | contribs)

Windows Phone 8 SDK on a Virtual Machine with Working Emulator

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This article explains how to create a Windows 8 Virtual Machine and Install Windows Phone 8 SDK, and enable HYPER-V and the Windows Phone 8 emulator

Note.pngNote: This is a community entry in the Windows Phone 8 Wiki Competition 2012Q4

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Windows Phone 8
Created: joaocardoso (03 Oct 2012)
Last edited: Symbian_Neil (03 Nov 2012)



When Microsoft released Windows Phone 8 SDK it caught some people by surprise, including me, by requiring Windows 8 Pro and Hyper-V capable machine. If you as I can’t upgrade just yet your Windows 7 or earlier to a Windows 8 Pro edition, but you do have the necessary Hardware, then this guide will show you how to do just that, using VMWare Workstation Trial and Windows 8 Enterprise Developer Evaluation. This of course also works if you have VMWare Workstation licensed and Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise license.

What will you need

  • 64 bits host operation system (This article was done with a Windows 7 64 bits)
  • Strongly recommend at least 8GB of RAM for the host machine so you can assign 4GB to the Virtual Machine
  • 30-40gb of free space. At the end of this Article you will have a Virtual Machine that will have about 15GB in size. Reserve at least some space for it to grow.

You will also need this software:

  • Download Coreinfo from: This tool is necessary to check of your computer is capable of running Windows 8 with Hyper-V. Run the steps described below on “First Check” before downloading the remaining software so you don’t lose time if your computer is not supported.
  • Go to and register at their website. After registering, download a Trial of VMWare Workstation 9 or higher. This will grant you a 30 days license.

First Check – Does my computer support Windows 8 and Hyper-V?

The first you will have to do is to check if your computer supports Windows 8 Hyper-V. If it does support you will be able to Install VMWare Workstation and enable it on the VM. I’m assuming you already downloaded the Coreinfo tool. O the next steps are:

  • Open the command prompt by clicking on start -> type CMD, then right-click "Command Prompt" and Run as administrator
  • Go to the folder where you downloaded the tool to and type "coreinfo.exe –v"


C:\Tools>Coreinfo.exe -v

Coreinfo v3.1 - Dump information on system CPU and memory topology
Copyright (C) 2008-2012 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals -

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70GHz
Intel64 Family 6 Model 42 Stepping 7, GenuineIntel
HYPERVISOR - Hypervisor is present
VMX * Supports Intel hardware-assisted virtualization
EPT * Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT)

If you have a SLAT enabled CPU, you can proceed with this guide. If not, it’s time for you to consider an upgrade of your hardware.

Install VMWare Workstation 9

After downloading VMWare Workstaion 9 install it on your machine. It’s a simple procedure and you only have to follow the wizard.


One of the steps of the install is to add the KEY that you got for your trial. So be sure to have that in hand:


Finally you are ready to create your first Virtual Machine.

Create the Virtual Machine

Your first step is to select the option to create a new Virtual Machine on this screen


On the next screen make sure you select the Custom (Advanced) option. This is the best way to create your VM because it will give you full control over the settings:


And when it comes to Hardware compatibility select the highest option:


Now, a very important step. Select the option that you will install the OS later. Do not try to install Windows 8 now because the setup will fail. The reason it’s because for the Evaluation edition you don’t have a KEY and for some reason VMWare tries to create an automated setup file that Windows 8 setup then fails to recognize.


Give a name to your VM:


Configure the CPU:


And configure memory. I would recommend at least 4GB. My machine has 8GB. If you can’t use 4GB use as much as you can.


For network use NAT so your VM will share your network connection, and this means to share also the Internet connection. It’s crucial that your VM has access to the Internet or you won’t be able to install the SDK:


I left the default I/O controller selected:


And now it’s time to create a new Virtual HD:


Again I left the default type selected:


And I recommend at least 60GB. If you can reserve more, better. Also I prefer to keep my VM on a single file:


I store my Virtual HD’s on a external USB 2.0 or 3.0 hard drive. I found that having the Virtual HD on a separate disk would increase a lot the performance:


The next step is to Customize the hardware. This is very important because we will need to tweak some of the default values:


Make sure you select the option “Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or ARM-V/RVI”. This is required to be able to run HYPER-V on your virtual machine.


It’s now time to make some changes to the Virtual Machine configuration file before proceeding. Exit VMWare before making this change. If you try to Install HYPER-V before doing this step, chances are that you will have problems running it. So to ensure all goes smoothly, go to the folder where you created your Virtual Machine and find the file with extension .VMX. In my case it was “Windows 8 x64.vmx”. Edit the file and add the text marked in red (hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = ”FALSE”):


Save the file.
That’s it. You are ready for the next and final steps. For that you need to start VMWare Workstation again.

Install Windows 8 Virtual Machine

On the CD/DVD select the Windows 8 Enterprise Developer Evaluation ISO you downloaded earlier (or that you will download now):


Run your VM and follow the setup instructions for Windows 8. After your run Windows 8 for the first time, you will be asked to customize it. Follow the wizard to the end and when you have finally access to your Windows 8 installation, open the desktop and select the “Install Tools” option for VMWare:


A Virtual DVD drive will be mounted and Windows 8 may show you a message on the upper right corner with a message. Select that message or open Explorer with the Windows Key + E and find the DVD drive. Run the VMWare setup:


After all this is done, restart the Virtual Machine.

When you get Windows 8 VM up and running again, Open Control Panel and select the option “Turn Windows features on or off”:


Then select the HYPER-V options:


Your are all set. Next step is to install the SDK. Go to the download page mentioned at the beginning of this page and run it:


The setup will start. Follow the wizard:


After the installation is complete you will need to register yout copy of the SDK. Just follow the link “Register online” and follow the necessary steps.


At the end of the registration you will be provided with a Key. Copy that key, save it for future reference and future installations and use it on the Product Key box:


All done.

Now to create your first Windows Phone 8 Project

Now to test if everything is working properly, open Visual Studio 2012 express and create a new Windows Phone Project:


Select the Windows Phone 8 as a target:


And you will get a new project similar to this:


Press F5 or the Green arrow to run the project. The emulator will start to load. Be patient because the first time can take a few long seconds:


If your app take a bit to load, don’t worry. Its normal. Just give it a few more seconds and it will come up:


Congratulations. You now have a fully working Windows 8 with Windows Phone 8 SDK and Windows Phone 8 emulator up and running.

Final Words

So, I hope you liked this guide. I tried to be as simple as possible, and to include as many screenshot as I could, because a picture does worth a thousand words. Feedback and comments are very welcome.

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