So, I’m starting to do a bit of embedded Windows development again. For this particular project, the target environment will probably be CE 6.0, so I went ahead and installed the CE 6.0 Platform Builder (eval) on my system.
My first goal was to make sure that I had a decent development environment, including a CE 6.0 emulator that I could use to test and debug my app from VS 2005. It looked like PB for CE 6.0 supported the creation of an SDK and that SDK could include an ARMV4I emulator. Great — that sounds like exactly what I needed. I quickly configured and built an OS image along with an SDK. Everything was looking good.
I installed the SDK and saw that my new CE device and emulator were available for selection within VS. Still looking good. I threw together a quick test app and hit F5 to start debugging. I selected my new emulator as the target device and waited. And waited. And waited. The emulator (version 2) started, but the OS wouldn’t deploy or boot — all I had was an emulator with a black screen and VS just sitting there hanging, trying to deploy the OS image.
Since I didn’t have much experience with this process, I figured I must be doing something wrong. Probably something very simple. After all, I was able to start the emulator and boot the image under Platform Builder, but not from my C# app in VS.
After about 2 days of researching the problem, it turns out that the KITL option in the CE 6.0 image was the problem. KITL is Kernel Independent Transport Layer and is used to debug CE devices. According to this post and a couple of others that I found, KITL and DMA (which is used by VS 2005 to communicate with a device) don’t mix very well. The solution is to turn off the “Enable KITL” option in my CE 6.0 image.
I rebuilt my image and SDK, reinstalled the SDK and tried again. This time the emulator booted up just fine, followed by my test app. Perhaps this is documented somewhere and I just missed it. In any case, thanks to Barry Bond at MS who posted this solution. He really hit one out of the park on this one (sorry).