How to check the current install level of Compact 7.

December 1, 2011
Leave a Comment

There are several ways to determine your Windows Embedded Compact 7 install level.

For the typical developer the easiest method is to launch the WindowsEmbeddedCompact7.exe to the Modify screen. Here at the top left section the screen Current Install Level will be displayed under Found Version.


For those who would rather use a log file entry to determine the install level, you can search near the end of the last WindowsEmbeddedCompact7.00**.log in the user temp directory.



The third method is for more advanced users.

Warning: Changes made to the Windows Registry may affect the operations of the computer. Making a backup of the registry is highly recommended. Use Registry Editor, or other methods to access the registry at your own risk. For more information about the Windows Registry please go to:

As of version 7.0.2807.0, (October 2011 Update ), the value of the InstalledLevel is stored in the registry.

Registry Editor can be used search for the value of InstalledLevel. Regedit.exe can be used on the cmdline or with the GUI.

For 32 bit machines:


For 64 bit machines:



The RegRead method is also able to programmatically retrieve the value of InstalledLevel.

More information about that method can be found here:


Windows Embedded Compact 7 releases October updates.

November 15, 2011
Leave a Comment


Updates are available for Windows Embedded Compact 7. These updates include changes for DCHP, MSFLASH, and NETIO. There are also changes to the installer software. There are two features added to the software that most people will never see, but will appreciate if they do. Sleep is now blocked by the software when content is being acquired or when an action is performed on an option. This will not over write the system’s power settings. Some updates can take a considerable amount of time to download, and to be applied. This feature prevents the system from going to an idle state where Sleep, Stand by, or Hibernate can take effect.

Of course there are still times when the system can enter into Sleep, Stand by, Hibernate, or even Shutdown while the software is running. To address the issue of having to uninstall everything in the event of an interruption to the software progress, a resume feature has been added. Previously the software was able to recognize that the state of the installation was compromised and an uninstall action would be performed to return the machine to a clean state. This can be annoying and costly in terms of time. The resume feature will keep track of the progress of the software. In the event of an interruption, such as a power loss, the software will store the current state. When the user logs in again the installer software is launched and will attempt to resume the action it was taking prior to the interruption. In the event of a reboot or power loss, the software will launch automatically when the user logs in.

One bug fix that is worth noting is the behavior of the download all check box and Shared Source. A user can select to download all of their content. Shared Source cannot be downloaded. Previously if a user with a retail version of the software wanted to install an option like Platform Builder and Shared Source but did not have Disk 1 in their DVD drive, they would be prompted for source. The user could select to download all the content. The software would proceed to download all of the content until it reached Shared Source. The user would not be able to uncheck the Download All check box, and would have to cancel the out of the software. Now the user can uncheck the Download All check box, and browse to the location of Shared Source.

Please let me know if you have a questions or comments.


Links for more information: (Official Install Blog)

Update 3 has been released for Windows Embedded Compact 7

October 15, 2011
Leave a Comment

Friday, 10-14-2011, Update 3 was released for Windows Embedded Compact 7. This is a very useful release that includes updates and fixes for Platform Builder, and Compact Test Kit. This is a larger download for each architecture than the previous updates. A lot of hard work was done to make the update as small in size as possible. You will see a Service update, an Update 3, and an Update 3.1 package get downloaded. Most of the the files that require an update could be delta patched. Which means the file will be edited in place. This greatly reduces the size of the package that handles that part of the update. Files that could not be edited on disk, are replaced with a whole file. The number files that required this was relatively low, which helped to the keep the size of the update lower.

Files will now be backed up if they have been edited. Users who have edited files to suit their needs will appreciate this feature. When updating, the user’s work is now safe. The edited file will be backed up to a sub-folder in Wince700 folder named Backup.

Finding log files for Windows Embedded Compact 7

August 14, 2011
Leave a Comment

This post is a condensed version a post wrote and had published at

So please go to the above link for more detailed information on trouble shooting, or to ask a question about this topic.

Here is a clip of the post that is focused on finding the log files that Windows Embedded Compact 7 creates. These log files are in the user profile temp folder, of the user who ran the software. The easiest way to get to that folder is to click on Start and Select Run.



In the text window type %temp%, click Ok.



That will open your temp folder and you should see the log files listed.


All four of log files shown were created by the software. When some prerequisites are not found, an entry like the highlighted one here will explain why you are having a problem.


The snippet above is an entry showing that Visual Studios 2008 could not be found on the computer.


When Visual Studios 2008 is found at the proper version, an entry like this can be found in the log. clip_image011


If you are having issues, please visit this link: (Official Install Blog, Trouble Shooting post)

I have few posts lined up. Once I have them finished, I will be publishing them. Please check the site for updates in the next few weeks.



Links for more information: (Official Install Blog)

Modifying Windows Embedded Compact 7

August 11, 2011
Leave a Comment

The installation of Windows Embedded Compact 7 can be very large and complex. Users have the ability of installing, repairing, adding updates, removing updates, adding options, and removing options without ever uninstalling the product. Some users will work with one or two architectures, other users may develop for many architectures, based on several points in time. For that user, Windows Embedded Compact 7 has been deployed to allow the user to quickly and easily select options at a point in time that they require.

For example, a developer has installed on their system Platform Builder, English Documentation, and ARM v5 Architecture at the July 2011 Update level. The project that developer was working on is finished and the next project requires Arm v6 Architecture at the RDP RemoteFX Update level. So how does the developer configure their system for this project? It’s simple; let me show you how.

Start with opening Programs and Features from the control Panel, or in this case, Add or Remove Programs for XP, highlight the Windows Embedded Compact 7 entry and select “Change”:



Then Select Modify



The next screen will show the user what options are currently installed, and what level they are installed at.



The user will need to move the slider to middle spot, and will see that the label to the right now states “Revert to RDP RemoteFX Update”. The user also wants to add ARM V6 Architecture, so they check that option. The user decides that they no longer need English Documentation so they uncheck that option. Note that unchecking an option will result in that option being removed from the system:



When the user clicks on Next, the Ready to Proceed screen will appear and show the user the actions that will be performed. This shows that English Documentation will be uninstalled:



Scroll down a little and the user will see that the Update 2 for ARMV5 Architecture will be uninstalled:



Scroll down a bit more, and the user will see that ARM V6 Architecture will be installed at Update 1 level:



At this point the user can click Back to change the plan, or click Modify to proceed with the actions.


The options to be installed will be acquired first:



Options to be uninstalled next:



Options will be modified and installed last:



When the action has completed, the user will have Platform Builder, ARM v5 Architecture, and ARM v6 Architecture installed at the RDP level.

Key notes to remember:

· Any option that is NOT “Checked” will be uninstalled.

· Any option that is “Checked” will be installed.

· All options will be at the current install level. There will not be a time when ARM v5 is at update 1 level and ARM v6 is at Update 2 level at the same time.

Please let me know if you have a questions or comments.


Links for 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)


July 25, 2011
Leave a Comment

For my first post, I will give a brief introduction of myself. I own a small technology company that started with PLC programming, and has progressed to software testing and quality assurance. Along the way I have performed tasks in mechanical and electrical design, CAD, CAM,  system integrations, automation, motion control, simulators, SCADA, CNC, and network management. Currently I perform contract work for Microsoft, in the Windows Embedded Compact 7 setup team. There was a learning curve involved with setup the team as it uses WIX, MSIEXEC, C#, C++, HTML, as well a number of other tools. As team setup, we have a main focus of Windows Embedded Compact 7 software installation. However we also support several other customers.
This blog’s focus will begin on the offerings of WindowsEmbeddedCompact7.exe. Primarily the focus will be on the installation and maintenance of the software. The next blog will explain update process the user will experience when using the software. Other points on the software will be explained in future posts. Other topics may also arise such as: PLC programming, CNC machines, and possibly a UAV side project. I welcome questions; I will answer them to the best of my ability.
Thank you for reading.

Links to more information:

« Previous Page