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The multiple minute delay where Visual Studio freezes doing this is easy to fix and related to checking for necessary components on the target; it's actually down to the Platform Verification Task defined in the MS Build targets for the compact framework, but in .NETCF 3.5 you can just skip it by adding the following build rule (or you can set this up to apply to your entire system using the environment variables screen):-

set SkipPlatformVerification=true

Pre .NETCF 3.5 I think you need to manually add this as a constraint on the target, just google for SkipPlatformVerification for an example of how to do that.