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How-to Boot Android on your x86 PC

By Joe Levi July 26, 2010, 6:00 pm

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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