• Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Updates
  • Configuring Compact 2013 Virtual CEPC for Compact 2013
  • HVCaptureCOM (on Codeplex): Configuring and accessing VM COM ports
  • CELoader (On Codeplex): Launching a vCEPC directly from an nk.bin image file.
  • VMs and Remote Desktop Connection Manager


WEC 2013 are finally available to all including a fix for running Compact 2013 RTM on Windows 8.1. In this blog I present one of my latest tools on Codeplex, an app for capturing (like a terminal) the COM output of a Hyper-V VM. This blog edition is a bit late as I've been working on another tool that I'll present in my next blog, another wizard. This one generates an insitu Managed Code OS Subproject! Compact 2013 vNext is still coming "soon".

Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Updates

Whilst  Windows Embedded Compact Edition 2013 was released in June last year, there have been updates available to OEMs only, not to all developers. This started with the October 2013 update.  Since then updates have been posted for November 2013, December 2013, and January 2014. All updates up to January 2014 have been packaged and made available at:

  • On the second Tuesday of each month (i.e. patch Tuesday), the contents of this page will be updated.
  • The installer will pull in the most current updates to your machine (i.e. like a cumulative update)
  • When Compact 2013 vNext is released (yes were still awaiting an announcement as to its available date), these updates will seamlessly to both the original RTM and vNext..
  • Note that the January update is supposed to fix the Windows 8.1 issue with the original RTM (haven't tried it yet)

Configuring Compact 2013 Virtual CEPC for Compact 2013

A Virtual CEPC OS is built exactly as a CEPC in Platform Builder (in Visual Studio 2012/13). A CEPC is essential an x86 (32 bit) PC (with a suitable NIC (legacy)). The vCEPC is configured to exactly "mimc" the real hardware but runs as a Hyper-V VM. You create an OS project by selecting the "Generic CEPC" BSP. You then install and configure the vCEPC and then boot it via Hyper-V Manager. At startup you can press the Space Bar and set some options.  See the last few slides in the following slideshow beow. When the OS is in the BOOTME phase you can connect via Platform Builder.

Create a Virtual CEPC VM

In Hyper-V caret a new VM. It will have no pre-installed operating system. Configure it with:

  • 512 MB of memory (I have used just 250 MB OK).
  • An existing virtual hard disk using
    • hd0_sample.vhd file, located in <_WINCEROOT>\platform\CEPC\VM
      • ie C:\WINCE800\platform\CEPCVM
  • A legacy network adapter connected to an Ethernet network.


vCEPC settings in Hyper-V Manager

See V1.1  and V1.2 blogs in this series for setting up a VM.

More information (Click here)

The vCEPC screen shots during booting are in this slideshow. Click on VIEW SLIDE SHOW

HVCaptureCOM (on Codeplex):

Configuring and accessing VM COM ports

A Hyper-V Virtual Machine can output (only) to serial ports. Hyper-V streams this as Named Pipes. This app captures the stream (line-by-line) and displays it. The displayed text can be copied to the clipboard or saved to a file.This is useful for Compact VMs which typically output debug messages to COM1 during the boot phase: The link is:

You run it on the Hyper-V Host desktop (Not in VM, not in Windows CE/Compact)

  • Configure the VM in Hyper-V Manager settings to Add New Hardware: COM1 and/or COM2:
    • Set its Named Pipe to, say, VM1COM1
  • Download the zip file from the link above
  • Just unblock the zip file and run the .exe.
  • Enter the Pipe name as above and then press Start
  • Boot your VM if not already running
  • Note that if the VM reboot connection is lost. The app is configured to "Start Again" when that happens, and reconnect.

For some more information VIEW SLIDE SHOW


HVCapture capturing DHCP-Bootme phase of OS boot.


HVCaptureCOM capturing Serial Debug during download and EBoot.

CELoader (On Codeplex):

Launching a vCEPC directly from an nk.bin image file 

CELoader is a simple TFTP loader for Windows Embedded Compact Eboot developed by eMVP, Thierry Joubert to meet a definite need. That is to be able to download and start a vCEPC without using Platform Builder .. just a prebuilt image file, nk.bin.


  • Download and unblock the .exe
  • Place the .exe in the same folder as the nk.bin (Compact 2013)
  • Launch one vCEPC
  • Start the celoader.exe (No parameters required this way)
  • It will eventually connect, download and launch the OS.
  • After the download, CEloader will wait for a CERDISP packet in order to display the IP address of the target.
    • To quit this phase press <CTRL-C>
    • Given that Compact 2013 doesn't have CERDISP, you need to do this.
  • Simple!
  • Read more:
  • The source is also available for customization.


CELoader app and nk.bin in same folder.


Start CELoader


Output during download.

VMs and Remote Desktop Connection Manager

As indicating in a previous blog, it is best to connect to a Windows OS VM using Remote Desktop (RDP) rather than connecting through Hyper-V Manager as you get better screen resolution options as well as Copy and Paste (not available through Hyper-V Manger connections). Please note though that you can't connect to a vCEPC through RDP. When you need to connect to more than one VNM through RDP I suggest that you install and use Remote Desktop Connection Manager:

I have it running OK on Windows 8.1, even though it was published 2010.

  • Download and install it.
  • File—>New to create a new group
  • Right click on the group in the group pane and add "servers" .. ie VMs
  • Provide login details as required:


  • Save the group file
  • You can then simultaneously run more than one VM (or other RDP connection) nut manage their windows in a sane manner
  • Note that the RDP Windows assume a screen resolution that exactly fits within the RDCM Window pane.
  • Enjoy!


Remote Desktop Connection Manager