Installing android to laptop

Posted: 2012/03/28 in Other/Both, Tutorials/Tips
Tags: , ,

Sometimes we want to try something new, so why not to install Android to simple laptop? For example I am going to install it to my Dell Inspiron n5030, it is quite cheap and does not have anything special:

  • Intel® Pentium® Dual Core processor T4500 2.3 GHz
  • 15.6 LED screen
  • 3 GB DDR3  1333 Mhz RAM
  • 500 GB HDD
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD

So if you want to try it also, follow steps bellow. PS: I am going to boot android image using USB and try to install it to 8GB SD card, while having on HDD Windows, Ubuntu, Bodhi and JoliCloud.

1. Download android iso image from android-x86.org .  I am going to use android-x86-4.0-RC1-asus_laptop.iso
Although I do not have Asus, but Dell. You also should choose something which is similar to your machine. As far as I have found out, you also should use this iso if you have Intel processor, if you have AMD then android-x86-4.0-RC1-amd_brazos.iso

2. After download is complete burn image to CD or use software such as unetbootin to make bootable USB/SD card, it is available on Linux, Windws and Mac. Keep in mind this tool does NOT format USB/SD, it only writes files next to them.

You also can use LILI so there are quite a lot of ways to make bootable USB/SD.

3. Boot in to CD/USB/SD, (if you do not know how to boot, I think you should not mess with this guide) you should see window which is bellow, keep in mind, that it might not be same, for example I am showing screenshot from virtual-box, but also installing it to real machine. On Virtual Box I was greeted with this screen, but on laptop (while booting from USB), I had same text, but no background, only black color, but when again tried to boot from CD, background appeared. You of course can try to go Live mode and just play around a bit, without doing any harm to your PC, VESA mode worked for me perfectly (browser, wireless, camera, internet, YouTube).

4. Select last option “Installation – Install Android-x86 to harddisk”. You will see a lot of text passing, I also had lots and really lots of errors/warning, but it still loaded without any interruption. Then I was asked where install android, I am going to add two screenshot, one from Virtual-box and second from real machine, but taken with phone.


5. Select your wanted partition, because I was installing it to SD card I have selected SDB1 and formated it to EXT2  (it is your decision to what file system format it, formatting it to EXT3 won’t make huge speed increase , but formatting it to EXT2 would make it live longer). Of-course you will get warning, that all information in that partition will by lost. Selected “yes”, then I was offered to install GRUB, again, selected “Yes”. Then I was asked if I want to make /system directory read-write, did not know really if this is needed, but selected “No”, because in Virtual-box I only had made 8GB HDD, and it seems that option requires more space, and if I was selecting “yes” it warned me that there are not enough space.
PS: On real machine I was offered to create separate disk image (data.img) for user data of 512 MB size (size can by changed), I think I missed it in Virtual-box.

6. Then I have created “Fake SD card”  of 1024 MB (instead of offered 2047 MB, because I do not know how much space is left on SD card, so tried to make it smaller)  from options menu which was shown after installation and rebooted system. Then quickly unplugged USB in which was Android installation files.

Finish line

Android successfully installed to 8GB SD card. Main HDD was not touched, so GRUB is still working and I can boot any OS I had previously.
BUT for some reason grub which was installed to SD card fails to start, in order to fix this, boot into your Linux system (I hope you have one) and edit file which is in:
/boot/grub/grub.cfg
In there search for “### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###” and paste text which is bellow, keep in mind that you must alter it to your version of downloaded android and correct line “set root”, so hd* would show which hdd (0 is first internal, 1 are external storage), msdos* is file format and number of partition

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change
# the ‘exec tail’ line above.
menuentry “Android” –class gnu-linux –class gnu –class os {
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root=’(hd1,msdos1)’
linux /android-4.0-RC1/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=asus_laptop acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode SRC=/android-4.0-RC1 SDCARD=/data/sdcard.img
initrd /android-4.0-RC1/initrd.img
}
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

EXTRA INFORMATION:
1. It has some nasty wake up system, so if it falls a sleep, DO NOT POWER OFF IT. Simply CLICK and HOLD ESC + any arrow for moving.
2. If you want to shutdown, but can not do this. Then press Alt+F1 and type reboot -p this command might sound like a reboot, but it does shutdown.

Comments
  1. akhil says:

    did it want a separate drive like c,d,e

  2. Halra says:

    is possible to have dual boot between android os and windows os on one computer?
    thank you so much!!!

    • Blogger says:

      Yes that is possible, as Android x86 uses GRUB as most of Linux operating systems. In fact it even should detect Windows automatically, however I can not be sure for that.

  3. gal says:

    Is it possible to make the data image bigger than 2047 Mb ?
    Thanks

  4. DXMage says:

    I’ve installed it on a Gateway e-155c and it is running fine for the most part except that I can’t get the ethernet to work. The wireless is working fine but I would like the wired to work as well. Anyone have any ideas? The wired side of the network uses 802.1x authentication to the network.

    • Blogger says:

      Unfortunately then it means that there is no drivers for your Ethernet adapter. Other android version with other kernel might help, but I would not expect too much.

  5. Heather says:

    How did u pick up the suggestions to create ““Installing
    android to laptop | Personal blog”? Thank you ,Lupe

  6. BANKT says:

    Am using bluestacks as my android os platform but i can not access the files on my hard disk.
    How can i do that

    • Blogger says:

      Bluestacks is emulator of OS and it is completly different thing, then explained in topic. Topic explains how to install real Android to laptop, not emulator. You should contact bluestacks for support.

  7. nitin bangera says:

    how to use internal hdd storage of 250 GB in android
    i hav installed it in hp mini 110
    os asus andriod x86

    • Blogger says:

      Good question, to which I have no answer yet. I now have latest android in SD card. Tried various apps, but still with no luck of accessing internal storage.

  8. Emil Yordanov says:

    Hi, can u pls help, how to fix this file “grub.cfg” as i try to save the changes and it says to me, that i cant save it. Because I’m not the owner of the file
    Thanks

  9. great post….let me know either bluetooth is working or not…

  10. CK says:

    Tried android-x86-4.0-RC2-asus_laptop.iso on a Dell Inspiron 6000. Live CD options failed booting and rebooted the machine.

  11. Ayman says:

    Can I port dis Android 4.0 in Toshiba Satalite C660 …..

    My C660 specifications are:
    1) RAM- 2 GB
    2) HDD- 320 GB
    3) PROCESSOR-Intel Core i3
    4) GRAPHICS- SCREEN (Intel HD Graphics)….

  12. Rbg Tablets says:

    other builds to try:

    http://www.tabletsx86.org

    select Android-x86 Test Builds at top of page

  13. Ian says:

    I cannot get the wifi to work…. i have a toshiba qosmio core i7. Is there a fix for this?

  14. Nuel Lepcha says:

    Can I port dis Android 4.0 in Dell Inspiron N4010…..

    My N4010 specifications are:
    1) RAM- 3 GB
    2) HDD- 320 GB
    3) PROCESSOR-Intel Core i3
    4) GRAPHICS- SCREEN (Intel HD Graphics)…. Wen I purchased it, there was AMD Catalyst ……something….I forgot..

    • Blogger says:

      Tested only on one computer, but it also should work, because most of info match. I3 is still Intel, so it should be okay.

  15. amit jha says:

    Nice post..
    could you please update with the test status.
    wifi bluetooth sound etc are working?

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