Installing Android on Windows

2 minute read

Now that's a deadly combination specially if you are trying this out at half past one at midnight (just like I did).  Running two Operating Systems on a single machine is not a new concept. The first time I tried it was with DOS 6.2 and Linux, sometime in the 90's.  Boot up the system and a shabby menu (or OS-launch pad) that launches (courtesy autoexec.bat file) and allows you to select an Operating System you would want to boot your system. Well, that is now an fogyish way that no one uses.

Later, there came these bootable OS DVDs that are used in many Linux-OSes that have alienated the OS launch-pad and have made things much easier, faster and without occupying much of disk space (at the cost of personalization).  So one OS at a time ruled the 90's era.  Now, there are Virtual Hard Disks that enable you experience an Operating System even when you have already an Operating System in execution.  They consume same RAM, disk space and other h/w resources but now in a shared mode.  Now this is different from connecting to a machine remotely, so let's not confuse ourselves with it.

So with this concept in mind, let's get started to execute an Android on a machine that run Windows 8 Developer Preview.  Regardless of the version of Windows 8 & the  platform (x86 or 64-bit), the method to experience Android remains the same.

First the ingredients (the pre-requisities):

  • A Virtual Machine Software - you could choose any that is free.
  • A Virtual Image (ISO) of Android OS

An easier way first!

The easier way dictates using an already made Virtual Image and configure the VM for that Image (ISO).   Google has been kind enough to provide us a ISO file on its website: http://code.google.com/p/live-android/downloads/list and has multiple ways to download it.  If you have a Torrent Client with a 10MBPS line you can expect it to be downloaded in 2 mins.

Once downloaded, the steps are pretty easy

  • Open Virtual Machine Software (here Virtual Box)
  • Click on New and enter the name as 'Android'
  • In the Operating System, select 'Other' and Version as 'Other' and click on Next
  • Assign min 256MB RAM to have a better experience. Click on Next
  • When asked for Boot Hard Disk, select 'Create New Disk'
  • Click 'Next' till the Wizard ends

Voila! The cake is already half-baked. So next is to assign this Virtual Machine Host to the ISO we downloaded.

  • Right Click on Android
  • Click on Start
  • When asked for Devices, select CD/DVD ROM
  • For Media Source, select Image Source and locate the ISO file

In case you don't find the above information, please let it go through the normal route.  You will find a menu called Device in the Virtual Machine Host and you can do the same steps there.  The next you see is a screen:

[caption id="attachment_586" align="aligncenter" width="395"]Android VM Launch Screen Android VM Launch Screen[/caption]

I preferred to select the default 800x600 resolution and Android OS was ready to run on my OS in less than half a minute.

I could browse the Internet, connect thr' shared locations on my machine, play games & download apps too! Amazing experience in just 20 minutes!

The hard way - the developer way?

Well, who would want to know the hard way once you know there is an easier way to crack the puzzle.  But just ping me or leave comments on this.  I will surely pull off the curtains on the other way to do this.

Keep commenting!

Updated: