How to install Ice Cream Sandwich on your netbook with Android x86

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That you would be able to set up Android onto your netbook or computer! Enormously it really works lovely smartly, due to Android's native reinforce of keyboards and mice, and the artful work of the Android x86 staff. Should you've acquired a netbook, a USB force and wi-fi connectivity, then which you can are trying it too!

If you're interested, read on – but be forewarned that if you rush through the installation and choose the wrong options, you can end up wiping your netbook's hard drive. It's easily avoided by taking your time, so just relax and proceed carefully.

1. Download Android 4.0

Step 1

The first thing you'll need to do is download an Android 4.0 x86 ISO file from the Android x86 website. Find the section called Android 4.0 RC1, then look for the "Asus Eee PC family" ISO file if you've got a netbook or "Asus laptops" if you've got a laptop. (If that one doesn't work, try the other then the other options listed, about five in all). The file should be less than 100 MB.

2. Copy the ISO to your USB drive

Step 2

We need to copy this downloaded ISO file to our USB drive now, so let's use a tool called UNetbootin. Download the utility here, and then run it; you'll see a window like the one below.

Click on the button with three dots on the right hand side and select the ISO file you downloaded. Then, choose your USB drive from the dropdown menu at the very bottom and hit OK. You'll be asked to wipe the drive, so make sure nothing important is on there!

Once the quick operation has completed, decline the offer to restart your PC and safely remove the USB drive.

3. Boot your netbook from the USB drive

Now plug the USB drive into your netbook and turn it on. If you haven't already done so, you'll need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the USB drive is checked before the hard drive. Once this is done, exit the BIOS and the Android x86 installation program should boot.

Step 4-1

4. Install Android x86

You're given two major options to begin with – either run Android x86 as a kind of Live CD (without installing it to your hard drive) or just straight up install it your hard drive. It's better to choose the first option first, just to make sure that everything – keyboard, mouse, wireless, display – works. If it doesn't, try a different ISO file.


When you're ready to install (either you ran it as a live CD and checked or you're just impatient), select the bottom option of installing Android x86 to your hard drive.

The big question is what partition to install Android x86 to. You can delete all the data and make a new NTFS, EXT2 or EXT3 partition, but you can also install to an existing partition of those types. If Windows has been installed there, it'll be detected and you'll be able to choose which to boot into when you start your computer.

You're asked how big you want to make the installed Android data drive; choose the maximum of 2047 MB. You're also asked if you want to make a directory read/write able, say yes. Finally, you're asked if you want to make a virtual SD card or boot directly into Android. Either option is acceptable, and once you're done you'll be asked to reboot.

5. Boot into Android x86

Step 5

Once you reboot, remove the USB drive so that your netbook doesn't boot from it again – you should be booting from the hard drive now. After the Android logo pulsates a while, you'll finally be into Android proper. Answer the few questions (region, time, Google account) and you'll be into the OS itself. If you can install and run apps without crashes, then you should be home safe – Android x86 on your netbook!

So there you have it. I hope it works for you – it does depend on your hardware, and not all netbooks will able to run the OS without problems.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. The whole process takes little time and isn't too risky, so generally if you can spare an hour or so and have the equipment, the best way to find out is to try it yourself.

Good luck, and thanks for reading!

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