Using Windows Phone Developer Tools with Windows Server 2008

I’d been meaning to try some Windows Phone 7 development for a while but could not get the tools installed into Visual Studio 2010 on Windows Server 2008 (the main OS that I run).  In vain I setup a Windows 7 Virtual Machine which allows for the Windows Phone Developer Tools to be installed but the XNA framework will not run within the VM.  I went as far as buying a new SSD drive to install Windows 7 onto when I found this great post on Aaron Stebner’s Weblog.

These are the eight steps from the above blog post:

  1. Download the Windows Phone Developer Tools web bootstrapper and save it to your hard drive.
  2. Extract the contents of the setup package by running vm_web.exe /x and choosing a path to extract to.
  3. Go to the folder you extracted to in step 2 and open the file baseline.dat in notepad.
  4. Look for the section named [gencomp7788]
  5. Change the value InstallOnLHS from 1 to 0 (zero means do not block).
  6. Change the value InstallOnWin7Server from 1 to 0
  7. Save and close baseline.dat
  8. Run setup.exe /web from the folder you extracted to in step 2

Note: none of this is “officially supported” (just like the Zune software on Windows Server 2008) but from my experience I have not had any issues.  I understand not wanting to test every OS combo but one needs to balance the cost vs. the community needs.  For stability reasons, I’ve been running Server OSs on my main development machine since Windows 2000.  I suspect I am not the only one who does this.

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