Offline Layout for Windows Embedded Compact 7

February 14, 2012

Offline Layout


Offline Layout is a new feature that has been released with the latest update of Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Windows Embedded Silverlight Tools. This feature can create a reusable layout of all the content a user would need to install, modify, or repair the software. The big advantage of this feature is that the update patches will only need to be downloaded once. Now, when patches need to be acquired, the layout folder can be used as the source.


1. Select the options you want to add to your offline layout.

2. Select “Yes, create an offline layout.”

3. Allow offline layout to be created.

Quick tips:

· Have the original install DVD’s close by. It is quicker to use the DVD’s as a source rather than downloading. Note not all options are available for download.

· When updating and performing the offline layout only the options currently installed will be saved to the offline layout folder.

· Offline layout will only add files to the layout folder. It will never delete files from the folder.

· The folder can be shared to enable network access and the folder content can be copied anywhere.

· Uninstalling the software will not remove the offline layout folder or its content.

For more details read section below:

So how does one perform an offline layout? It is very simple. If you are installing for the first time or modifying a current install you will see a new screen titled “Install Offline Layout”. See Below:


By default, offline layout is not selected. Select “Yes, create an offline layout” to enable offline layout.


When “Yes, create an offline layout.” is selected, new controls appear on the screen. The location of where the layout folder will be created and an additional check box are displayed. This check box can be unchecked to allow only the creation of the offline layout folder without installing the product. In this case any currently installed options will not be modified. For this demonstration, I’ll leave the check box checked and click next.

The “Ready to Proceed” screen will appear, and a new icon may be displayed.


In this scenario, Platform Builder is being modified to the update 3 level, so the Update 6 patch is being removed. Update 3 is already applied to Platform builder, so only the offline layout action is performed on that package. ARMv5 is also being installed, hence the installation of Architecture Common updates.

This floppy disk icon is displayed when a package is planned to be saved to the offline layout folder, and no other action is being taken with the package.


Packages that are being installed or modified will also be saved in the offline layout folder.

The estimated size of the offline layout is displayed and added to the total disk space required.

· Tip: at this point it is a good idea to have your original install media handy.

· If your system has AutoRun enabled a second instance of the installer may start. Close it down if it does.


Once the acquire phase has completed the offline layout action will begin. The packages will be saved and the modify phase will begin. Once all modifying is complete the “Finished” screen will display.


The location of the offline layout folder is displayed as a link. Click on this link to open the offline layout folder.


The layout folder will contain the packages required for installing the options that have been selected. This includes any updates that the options may have. Performing a Full install with Offline layout will result in a layout folder like the shown below.


I have found that the quickest and easiest process is to update your current install to 7.0.2810 (Update7) without performing the Layout action. Then drop the Windows Embedded Compact 7 DVD into the drive and proceed to perform layout only action on all of the options you may ever want to install. From here on forward only new update folders will need to be acquired.

Links to more information: (Official Install Blog)


Windows Embedded Compact 7 Update

August 11, 2011

We have been very busy with Windows Embedded Compact 7. Yesterday (8/10/2011) the latest update was published. Users who are using the WEDU plug-in might have already received the notification, and proceeded with the update. For everyone else with the software already installed, selecting the Update option as described in the previous post will also allow you to receive the update at your leisure. Just in case you missed the previous post: .

This is what you will see when you check for an update:


You still have not tried the software out? Not a problem you can still download a free Evaluation copy from here:

That copy will have the updates already incorporated into the software, so you will not need to perform the update process.

I cannot say what the next few updates will be, but I can say that we are working hard to get them to you. I still plan on presenting the Modify Process, but a few other posts might come before it. Check back in for more information about Windows Embedded Compact 7. As always, I welcome questions and feedback.


Links for more information: (Official Install Blog)

Updating Windows Embedded Compact 7

July 25, 2011
1 Comment

Windows Embedded Compact 7 is a large, powerful program. To the best of my knowledge, it is the largest installed piece of software the world has ever known. A full install uses more than 50 gigabytes of drive space. Most users do not want a full install the software, as they typically only work with one or two architectures. So users can choose to install only what they need, and nothing more. This is not a new concept. Keeping the installation up to date can be a challenge for users. In the Embedded space, updates seem to occur hourly! Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Many embedded developers have to program devices at a set firmware level. Ideally all devices would be at the newest firmware, but in the real world this is rarely the case. In the past, if a developer had updated their software, and had a request to work on an older device firmware, that developer would have to uninstall the software and reinstall the software up to the point that matches the device’s firmware level. That can be a time consuming task. Now try to do that with 50 GB’s.
This is where the new approach to installing AND maintaining software comes into play. With the Windows Embedded Compact 7 installer, the user can update the software with a click of a button. And it will only update the software that is installed. But better yet, the user can add new options as they become available. Most software allows the user to add options after the initial install, as does Windows Embedded Compact 7. Not many allow an option to be removed without uninstalling all the software. Now the test to success for the Windows Embedded Compact 7 installer is, not only updating an option, but down grading an option. That is to say, revert the install level to an earlier time, without uninstalling and reinstalling all the software. I do not know of any developer software anywhere, which will allow the user to do that. Simply moving the time slider left to revert, and right to update allows a developer to change their environment in minutes. I can tell you from programming PLC’s and HMI’s, this is a big time saver. For the smaller shops working with distant customers, uploading a new program as much safer than trying to update the firmware and load a new program. Customer support issues will be much easier handle when the developer can work in the same code base as the customers device. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a presentation could be half a million words.

Here is a presentation to help show how the update process works. WindowsEmbeddedCompact7-Updating

I would like to hear about your experiences with the software, and what kind of project you are working on with it. In a few weeks I plan on creating a presentation regarding modify. Until then, enjoy the programming.

For those of you who would rather not open the presentation, I have inserted an overview of it here.


Updating an installation with Windows® Embedded Developer Update.


The update process for Windows Embedded Compact 7 is slightly different from other software updates:

•A full install of Windows Embedded Compact 7 is over 50 gigabytes. Updating a 50 gigabyte install would be time consuming if you really only need one option. This is why you are able to install only what you really want. Updates will apply only to what you have installed.

•When new features become available they can be installed with the updates.

•To keep the update process simple and quick adding or removing other options during the initial update is disabled.

Acquire the new release

•Now you know that a new release of Windows Embedded Compact 7 is available, but how do you get the update?

•Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU):

•WEDU allows you to receive information about new releases.

•Registration is required to install WEDU.

•Didn’t register for WEDU when installing Windows Embedded Compact 7? You still can, the process is simple.

WEDU Registration

•Start by locating Windows Embedded Compact 7 in the list of installed programs:


Select Update and Next.


•If registration has not been completed this screen will appear:


Click Next, and a Window will open.


•Already have a Windows Live ID? It can be used to register.

WEDU Check for updates

Select Check for Update now, and click Next.


A new version is available, click Next to download it.


Update EULA, you’ll have to agree to proceed.



Summary is displayed first. Note the slider at the top.


Ready to Proceed


Installing the updates


Finish screen


Frequently Asked Questions

•Why don’t I see any options to select?

During the update process, currently installed options receive updates.

•Why do I see an option that did not exist before?

Options that are new in the release can be selected to be installed with the updates.

•Can I remove the updates?

Yes. To do this open Windows Embedded Compact 7 from Add or Programs, select Modify. On the time line slider, select the far left position and continue to remove the updates.

•Does removing an update revert the installer too?

No, the installer will remain at the highest level, only the options can have updates removed.

•Can I hurt my system if I run the installer from the original DVD?

No, the installer will detect the newer version of itself on the system and launch that version instead.

•Can I add an option?

Yes. Open the installer and select Modify, and click Next. Select the option to be installed and proceed. Note: unchecking a currently installed option will uninstall that option.

•Can I remove an option?

Yes. Open the installer and select ‘Modify’, and click ‘Next’. Uncheck the option to be removed and proceed.

•Can I be automatically informed about a new release?

Yes. WEDU can install a plug-in for Visual Studio 2008 service pack 1 that can be configured to automatically check for an update as often as once day.

•How can I install the WEDU plug-in?

Open the installer and select Update.


Select Configure Automatic Updates.


Select Check for updates automatically and choose how often. Then click Next.


You may be prompted for source, you can use disk 1 if you installed from disk, or simply select download. It is that easy.


Now you will know when an update is available.

Links for more information: (Windows Embedded Compact 7) (Official Install Blog)