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Windows Azure - Windows Azure Storage Emulator: Unable to Start Development Storage Error - Fix

Posted by Karthikeyan Anbarasan Articles | Windows Azure July 14, 2011
In this article we are going to see a real time fix for the initializing error "Windows Azure Storage Emulator: Unable to Start Development Storage Error".
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Introduction:

In this article we are going to see a real time fix for the initializing error "Windows Azure Storage Emulator: Unable to Start Development Storage Error".

Overview:

This error is specific to starting Windows Azure Storage Emulator on packaging the Azure application to deploy it to the cloud. Today when I opened my new environment (Windows Server 2008 R2) and started my first application, in that environment it prevented me from building with the error "Windows Azure Storage Emulator: Unable to Start Development Storage".
After checking some resources then finally found a solution for fixing this issue. Let us see the step by step process on how to produce this issue and fix it in Windows Server 2008 R2 Environment (though the fix is the same across the environments as well).

Steps:

Open Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and Navigate to File –> New Project. We will see the new template window as shown in the screen below. Select the Cloud tab (left side menu) and click on the Windows Azure Project (if by any chance you see Enable Windows Azure then you need to download the Azure SDK and install it) and give a project name as shown in the screen below:

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Clicking on the OK button will populate a window to select the role as shown in the screen below:

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In our sample we will select the normal web role (ASP.Net Web Role) and click on the OK button as shown in the screen below:

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Now a new application will be opened and do some changes as per our requirement as shown in the screen below.

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Once we made the changes hit F5 to build and execute our application to see the end result locally before deploying to the cloud. We will see an error now as "Windows Azure Storage Emulator: Unable to Start Development Storage" as shown in the screen below:

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As the error itself indicates to use the DsInit utility from the Azure SDK, navigate to the path as shown in the screen below and we will see the utility as highlighted in the screen below.

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Just double-click on the utility; it will open a wizard to prepare for the solution, but we will see an error in that process itself indicating that the database will not be created since the Server was not found as shown in the screen below:

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The idea behind this error is, the DsInit utility needs some input parameters to process the request. So to check the possible input parameters navigate to the path in Command Prompt and give DsInit / . "/" which will provide the list of parameters required and it acts like a help form for the utility as shown in the screen below.

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As we can clearly see from the help option, the utility requires a parameter of the local instance (SQL Server instance) as shown in the screen above. So now navigate to the path and give the utility with the parameter as shown below:
DSInit /sqlinstance:

Since here I am going to point to the local server I have mentioned for remote servers we need to give the fully qualified name of the server instance.

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After providing the correct server name and click on enter the Utility wizard will again open, but this time it will process the utility perfectly since the required paramters are given as shown in the screen below and we will see the result as Installation Successful. The Storage emulator is now ready for use.

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Now close all the windows (Wizard, Folders) and go back to the Visual Studio 2010 IDE and try to build and execute the application by hitting F5 and we will see the build successful as shown in the screen below.

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Now we will see the Storage Emulator has been successfully started and seen in a running condition as highlighted in the screen below.

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Finally we will see the desired output as shown in the screen below.

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Conclusion:

So in this article we have seen the option to fix the Windows Azure Storage Emulator development start error.

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