ActiveSync Remote Display for CE 5.0

Microsoft’s ActiveSync Remote Display program, which comes as a separate download with the Windows Mobile Developer Power Tools, has always been a nice tool for viewing and demoing applications. 

However, I’ve been recently working on a project on the Symbol WT4070 which does not have a touch screen and only a limited keyboard.  While its possible to access pretty much everything through the keyboard, it’s not easy.

That’s where the ActiveSync Remote Display program makes a huge difference, but unfortunately it does not natively recognize CE 5.0 devices.  However, if you copy the remote client “cerdisp2.exe” on to the terminal, everything starts working again, and you have a nice remote desktop to work from.

So here are the steps:

  1. Download the ActiveSync Remote Display program (EmuASConfig.msi) from the Windows Mobile Developer Power Tools site and install.
  2. Navigate the installation directory (C:Program FilesWindows Mobile Developer Power ToysActiveSync_Remote_Displaydevices).  This directory contains files for all of the platforms that ARD recognizes.  Find the device that best matches your terminal, for most devices this will be “wce400armv4”.
  3. Create an ActiveSync connection to your terminal.
  4. Copy the program “cerdisp2.exe” to the “Windows” directory of your terminal.
  5. Launch ActiveSync Remote Display from the Start Menu.  Note: The message “ The OS or CPU of this device is unknown to this application” will be displayed.  This can be safely ignored.

And then use it like a normal window application as in my SVTPCE application.


50 thoughts on “ActiveSync Remote Display for CE 5.0

  1. Pingback: Symbol’s New WT4070/WT4090 « Mobile Musings

  2. Hello,

    Another *very nice* solution is to compile the wincevncsvr project from sourceforge (sorry I don’t know the whole URL by now – just search with Google) for your device.

    With some simple modifications you can run a VNC server from your mobile device. So you don’t have to connect the device via ActiveSync, instead you can look at and work with the device even if it has a WiFi connection.


  3. I don’t understand step 4, Copy the program “cerdisp2.exe” to the “Windows” directory of your terminal? What is the “terminal?”


  4. In Step 4 the “terminal” is your mobile device. You will first ActiveSync the mobile device and then use the Explore icon from ActiveSync to copy the file to /Windows on the mobile device.

  5. This is an excellent musing. I need to work with a device that doesn’t have any display (well, a 2 line LCD driven my a daughter board, unrelated to the UI). This will make things much easier.


  6. No one seems to mention that ActiveSync Remote Display fails to do landscape format on the WM5.0 device. You’d think that would not be so difficult and wouldbe an obvious feature to include!


  7. I have been floundering around working on the Symbol WT4090 taking ages to work out what key sequences are required. What a relief to be able to navigate around the device using the desktop mouse. Really useful: many thanks for this info.

  8. @Mike Coon: It is obvious from the naming (wce400armv4) that this program was written for 4.0. Since landscape mode did not exist prior to 5.0, it is not surprising that the program does not handle this.

  9. Actually it does work fine for landscape and other non-portrait screen sizes. I regularly use it with the Symbol WT4090 (Landscape), and the Symbol MC3090 (324×324). Since this is a CE tool it does not have any resolution restrictions as far as I’m aware.

    Also ActiveSync Remote Display has the odd behavior of only during the current sync session. Once the connection is broken it displays a blank screen and you have to open a new display window to continue.

  10. tried on my UBIQUIO device, which has ARM926T/OMAP750 processor – DIDN’T WORK 🙁
    I receive a message “Unsupported screen depth 24, WRITE MORE CODE” (they’re laughing at me, aren’t they?).

    does anyone dealt with this problem?

  11. Thanks for this tip. What an excruciating experience trying to configure a device that is running an operating system designed for a touch screen, and the device does not have a touch screen (WT4090).

    Now, I need to find a way to custom program hotkeys!



  12. Hey all..

    I’m waiting of the answer regarding the comment number 15. I also have the same problem with “Unsupported screen depht 32, write more code”… can someone help me please? It’s very important for me!


  13. one word, WOW. i’m using the WT4090 and this applicatiopn makes up for the fool hardy decision not to have a touch screen (rediculous)

  14. Like Mr. Huffman said, ActiveSync Remote Display does do landscape on the WM5.0 device, provided that the device is already set landscape prior to running cerdisp2.exe on it.

  15. Pingback: Symbol’s New WT4070/WT4090 | StepOne Systems Mobile Technology Blog

  16. Pingback: ActiveSync Remote Display for CE 5.0 « Mobile Musings

  17. Arno, I’m a bit surprised that it is not working on a Symbol (Motorola) device. We develop mobile applications for the Symbol platform and I have not had any problems getting it to work on any of their devices (MC3000, MC9000, WT4090, MK500, MC55, MC75, etc.) on CE 5.x, WM5, and WM6. I also just tried it out on an MC9094 (WM5 Phone Edition) that I have laying around and it worked fine.

    Perhaps their is a problem with the greyscale since the colormap would be different, but that still seems odd since Remote Display was developed when greyscale screens were much more common.

    The other time I do see the black screen is if the ActiveSync connection is broken so there could be something there. Once it loses the connection, you need to restart the Remote Display application to get it do display the screen again.

    Let me know if you figure anything out.

    Good Luck,


  18. Pingback: Symbol’s New WT4070/WT4090 | StepOne Systems Mobile Technology Blog

  19. Works well on WT4090 as mentioned by other people.

    Personally, I prefer not having a touch screen on the device – it’s only the setup / administration that difficult – the function keys and keypad work well for everything else the user needs to do.

  20. And what if your screen doesnt work at all and you want to get the files from the mobile before fixing it..

    I mean my touchscreen does work, only the screen inside is broken so i cant see what im doing.

    Ive tried everything activesync mymobile etc..

    but everytime i see you have to do something on your mobile BUT I CANT!! How to get the files of my phone anywayz..??

  21. Kevin: You should be able to ActiveSync your device and then use the file explorer to transfer the data. This will work done for most data and typically doesn’t need the UI.

    If you need the UI, using ActiveSync remote may help, but you’ll need to get a connection first.

  22. Did anyone figure out a solution to the “Unsupported screen depth 24, WRITE MORE CODE” message?

    It seems the mouse will send presses to the mobile device, but no screen is visible (just white)

  23. Sounds like a problem with ActiveSync. You’ll need to be sure that you are getting a good connection on the ActiveSync application.

    If ActiveSync is OK, I’d try copying to a different directory like Temp and then moving it on the handheld itself in case there was some kind of conflict.

  24. I have used this EXCELLENT Remote desktop tool sucessfully with WT4090’s and MC9060’s – but l, like Arno – am having trouble getting anything but a black screen with MC9090’s.

    …though I have found when I click on regions of that Remote desktop black screen it DOES have a response on the MC9090 device. I just can’t see what it is I’m clicking on untill after the click because of the black screen (:<)

    John or Haven, are there any different setup steps required to use with MC9090’s? I am in a synchronized ActiveSync session, and have loaded the cerdisp2 file into temp folder as I’ve done on the WT4090’s and MN9060…

    Getting this working on the 9090’s would be a GREAT Christmas gift for me!


  25. What I am describing in my second paragraph of the 12:16 post is that with the MC9090’s the Remote console IS sending all mouse moves but I cannot “see” the MC9090 desktop.

    I have a Cerdisp.exe installed in the Windows folder.

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