How-to Boot Android on your x86 PC

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Intel has been hard at work porting Android from ARM over to x86, and they’re getting really close! Take a look at the video and I’ll show you how to setup a bootable thumbdrive if you’ve got a compatible laptop, and how to setup a VPC if you don’t.

Tested Laptops

The Lenovo ThinkPad x61 Tablet and many EeePC’s including:

701

701SD

900

900A

901

904HD

1000

1000HE

1000HD

1005HAG

S101

T91 (in VESA mode), touchscreen works

Eee Top 1602C (in VESA mode), touchsceen works

According to the detailed post (link below) “except T91 and Eee Top, all can run the native resolutions (800×480 or 1024×600) via i915 driver. Thanks to the kernel mode setting (kms) feature introduced in kernel 2.6.29.”

Booting to Android from USB

You’ll need to grab the Android x86 .iso, here, then check and see if your laptop is on the “supported” list. If it is (or if you want to see if your laptop will boot to Android), you’ll want to download this tool which help you make a bootable USB drive.

Booting to Android in a Virtual Machine

If your computer doesn’t boot from the USB drive (like mine), you can still see what Android is like using Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2007.

To go that route, download and install VPC 2007 from Microsoft.

Next, setup a new Virtual Machine with a new VHD. You can accept all the defaults to make things easier. Once that’s done, click the Start button in the Virtual PC Console. When the virtual machine begins to boot click the CD menu, Capture ISO Image, and navigate to the ISO that you downloaded earlier. If you didn’t catch it in time (and hit the “Reboot and Select proper Boot device” message) click Action, Reset.

Once you’re at the Live CD menu, choose the VESA option and Android should be up within 30 seconds.

Detailed instructions can be found here.

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About The Author
Joe Levi

Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple’s Newton, Microsoft’s Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow’s “Android Guy”.

By day you’ll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you’ll probably find him writing technology and “prepping” articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.