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System requirements for the emulator for Windows Phone 8

August 19, 2014

Windows Phone 8 Emulator runs as a virtual machine on Hyper-V, the virtualization technology for Windows 8. To run the emulator, your computer must meet the requirements to run Hyper-V as described in this topic.

The setup program tries to configure these prerequisites for you silently when you install the SDK. When setup successfully configures the prerequisites, the emulator simply works as expected. Otherwise you may have to enable these prerequisites manually. If you have to configure the prerequisites manually, the steps and tools are described in How to enable Hyper-V for the emulator for Windows Phone 8.

Important noteImportant Note:

The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 setup program checks the prerequisites for running Windows Phone 8 Emulator. It displays warnings if the prerequisites are not present, but it does not require them.

If your computer or your network doesn't support all the requirements for running the emulator, you can still install the SDK and develop apps for Windows Phone 8. You can only debug and test them, however, on a registered Windows Phone 8 phone.

The requirements described in this topic do not apply to the Windows Phone 7.1 Emulator. Windows Phone SDK 8.0 installs both the Windows Phone 8 Emulator and the Windows Phone 7.1 Emulator.

This topic contains the following sections.

Here is a quick checklist of the requirements for running the Windows Phone 8 Emulator. For more detailed info, see the subsequent sections in this topic.

System requirements
  • In the BIOS, the following features must be supported:

    • Hardware-assisted virtualization.

    • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).

    • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

  • 4 GB or more of RAM.

  • 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro edition or higher.

Network requirements
  • DHCP.

  • Automatically configured DNS and gateway settings.

Hyper-V requirements
  • In the BIOS, the following features must be enabled:

    • Hardware-assisted virtualization.

    • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).

    • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

  • In Windows, Hyper-V must be enabled and running.

  • You have to be a member of the local Hyper-V Administrators group.

Your computer must meet the following requirements:

BIOS

In the BIOS, the following features must be supported:

  • Hardware-assisted virtualization.

  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).

  • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

RAM

4 GB or more.

Operating system
  • Windows 8

  • 64-bit

  • Pro edition or higher

To check the BIOS requirements, see How to enable Hyper-V for the emulator for Windows Phone 8.

To check requirements for RAM and Windows, in Control Panel, click System and Security, and then click System.

System information window for computer

Your network must meet the following requirements:

DHCP

The emulator requires DHCP because it configures itself as a separate device on the network with its own IP address.

Automatically configured DNS and gateway settings

It’s not possible to configure DNS and gateway settings manually for the emulator.

For more info about networking in the Windows Phone 8 Emulator, see Windows Phone Emulator for Windows Phone 8.

To troubleshoot networking issues in the emulator, see the following topics.

For detailed info about how to check and enable the requirements for Hyper-V, see How to enable Hyper-V for the emulator for Windows Phone 8.

Hyper-V requirements in the BIOS

Your computer’s BIOS must support the following requirements, and they must be enabled:

  • Hardware-assisted virtualization.

  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).

  • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

Hyper-V requirements in Windows

When your computer and BIOS settings are already configured to support Hyper-V, the setup program for the SDK enables and starts Hyper-V. Otherwise you may have to enable these requirements manually.

Requirement

How to check and enable this requirement

Hyper-V must be installed.

See How to enable Hyper-V for the emulator for Windows Phone 8.

Hyper-V must be running.

Check the status of the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service in the Services snap-in.

For more info about managing services, see the following topics:

You have to be a member of the local Hyper-V Administrators group.

To run the Windows Phone 8 Emulator without a recurring prompt to elevate your rights, you have to be a member of the local Hyper-V Administrators group. If you are already a local administrator on the computer when you install the SDK, the setup program for the SDK adds you to the Hyper-V Administrators group. Otherwise you may have to enable this requirement manually.

When you run the emulator, if you are not already a member of the Hyper-V Administrators group, you are prompted to join the group. Joining the group requires administrator rights. After you join the group, you have to log off or reboot for the change to take effect.

Warning displayed if you are not an administrator

To add yourself to a group manually, open the Local Users and Groups snap-in. For more information, see Add a user account to a group. (This Windows 7 topic is also applicable to Windows 8.)

If you try to run an app on the Windows Phone 8 Emulator while you are running Windows from a bootable VHD, the emulator typically takes several minutes to start or fails to start. When the emulator fails to start, you see the following message: App deployment failed. Please try again.

This configuration is not supported. For information about related issues, see Troubleshooting the Windows Phone 8 Emulator.

On a hard drive configured with the NTFS file system, the virtual hard disk files used by Hyper-V must be uncompressed and unencrypted. Make sure that the following directories are not compressed or encrypted:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v8.0\Emulation\Images

  • C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\XDE

On the ReFS file system, the virtual hard disk files must not have the integrity bit set.

The Windows Phone OS 7.1 emulator requires a DirectX 10 or later graphics card with a WDDM 1.1 or later driver. You can check whether your graphics card meets these requirements by running the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, dxdiag.exe.

After you start the tool, on the System tab, check the DirectX Version.

Checking DirectX version in the DxDiag tool

Then, on the Display tab, check the Driver Model.

Checking WDDM driver version in the DxDiag tool

To find answers and solve problems as you work with the tools in Windows Phone SDK 8.0, visit the Tools for Windows Phone Development forum. To see all the forums for Windows Phone development, visit Windows Phone Development Forums. To review other support options, visit MSDN Troubleshooting and Support.

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