Security errors when developing for Windows Mobile

One of the first things I tried with my Samsung i600 was to start up Visual Studio 2005, start a new Windows Mobile 6.0 application (I upgraded my i600 to WM6), and attempt to debug it on the device. Note that before you do this you have to install the appropriate SDK.

If you do this, you will likely get an error beginning “The device security configuration disallowed the connection.” The reason is that even unlocked devices like mine are somewhat locked down. This is a good thing for security, but inconvenient when you want to test and debug custom apps.

How do you fix this? The answer is to install two SDK certificates on your device. On my system, the installer for these is here:

C:\Program Files\Windows Mobile 6 SDK\Tools\Security\SDK Development Certificates

I copied to the i600, clicked on it in File Explorer, confirmed the installation, and after that everything worked. This blog by Scott Yost has the details. He suggests downloading a great tool called Security Configuration Manager in order to inspect the configuration of your device.

This is not so easy with a locked device. If the security tool tells you that Grant Manager Role does not include UserAuth, you will not be able to install the CABs.

That said, there seems to be a way round this. Conchango’s Stuart Preston has the details. In essence, to lower the security settings, you need to edit the registry, so all you need is a registry editor that is already signed with a fully privileged certificate.

All good news if you want to develop apps for your Windows Mobile device.

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