VS 2013: Windows Phone 8.1 Emulator on Windows 8 (VMWare)

Well…that title was a long one! That’s just what this post is about though…it exists because I thought I should share what I experienced, and mirror the solution, for those of you who end up searching for the resolution to the same problem. I came upon this issue innocently enough, after seeking to start up my Windows Phone 8.1 development.

I installed an instance of Windows 8 Professional (64 bit) on my VMWare, with Windows 7 Home edition as the host. Following that, and after all the updates, I installed Visual Studio 2013 (Windows 8+ only) and then the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK. What do you know, I could not test a sample phone app in the Device Emulator! It was complaining about not having Hyper-V available. So here’s what did the trick, it involves three main elements, all of which are quite elementary:

1) Virtual Machine Settings (found in the VMWare UI)

So first of all you want to make sure you’ve allotted at least 4Gb of Memory, and at least 2 processor cores. This can be done either prior to, or after, installation of the virtual Windows 8 environment.

Next, you need to make sure the property page for the processor settings looks like the one I’ve provided below. The important part here, is that there are at least two processors/cores allotted, and the “Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI” checkbox is checked; the windows phone emulator needs this to emulate devices.

2) Virtual Machine Configuration (found in the VMWare .vmx file in the directory where your OS instance lives)

For this step, you must edit the config file (Windows 8 x64.vmx in my case) for the OS instance using notepad or some other text editor. You must include a line that you will likely not find in the file already. However, scan for the line visually once you find and open the file, as the line should not be repeated if it is already present. The line you are looking for, and/or will include in the file is as follows: hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE”, include it as seen in the following image: 





3) Windows Features/Options (found in the Control Panel Programs dialog in Windows)

Last but not least, you need to ensure the feature is turned on in Windows by verifying the appropriate check-boxes are checked in the following dialog in Control Panel:

That is it! After doing that, I was able to create a new sample phone app in VS2013, launch it, and run/debug it in the device emulator to my hearts content! Now…I am all clear for Windows Phone 8.1 development take-off. I hope you are too. Happy coding!