Dual boot Windows 10 and Android-x86 Solved

  1. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,551
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
       22 Jan 2017 #1

    Dual boot Windows 10 and Android-x86


    Excuse me if this is the wrong section, please move to the appropriate section. My colleague has an old netbook and would like to either install Android-x86 on it or dual-boot with Windows. As I am a bit more advanced, I decided to try it myself so I can help him step-by-step.

    The first attempt was to install Android-x86 only in a USB Flash drive. So I removed my test-notebook's hard disk (to avoid any accidents) and proceeded with the installation. I won't go into details as this is not the purpose of this post. After some attempts I did it right and could boot into Android-x86.

    Then I wanted to go a step further and dual-boot with Windows. My Colleague is going to use Windows 7, but I had already installed Windows 10 Pro 32-bit on my test-notebook and wouldn't want to format and install 7. Besides, how different it could be using Windows 10? So I loaded Computer Management, then Disk Manager and shrank the Windows partition by about 10GB to make room for the Android-x86 installation. To identify the space easily within Android-x86 Setup, I even created a new simple volume and formatted it as FAT32 and labeled it Android. Within Android-x86 installation there were no partition names, only sizes in KB, but I managed to identify the correct partition and install Android there. When asked I also installed the Grub boot loader to be able to boot into Android and added an entry for Windows. After reboot I expected to boot into Grub and see selections about Andoid-x86 and Windows. But instead I booted into Windows 10! So I thought to use EasyBCD to add a boot entry for Android. Using the Metro interface made no difference and the computer booted into Windows 10 again without giving me any choice. I then loaded EasyBCD again and this time I disabled the Metro interface, so I had the old good Windows 7 (legacy) boot loader. I could see the entry for Android but I could not boot into that. I tried to add a boot entry with Grub (legacy) connected to the Android partition without any success. Then I tried all other available partitions, naturally nothing again. Once I tried to add a Grub2 entry but all I got was an empty list without boot entries, so I saw a Grub command prompt. I know nothing of Grub, so I cannot use this command prompt to boot into Android-x86.

    Is anyone familiar with Grub and EasyBCD to tell me what to do? If that helps, in Windows Disk Manager I see 4 partitions and Android is installed in the third partition which is formatted as ext4. In Android Setup I see more partitions (weird) and the Android partition is sda5. Android-x86 was 6.0 RC1 Marshmallow, but I don't think that matters.

    Thank you in advance...
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  2. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,551
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
    Thread Starter
       11 Feb 2017 #2

    Solution to use Grub2Win

    Just for the record and for anyone else interested, the solution was to install the Grub2Win. This is the known Linux Grub2 boot loader but installed and configured within Windows in GUI without messing with command lines and unknown parameters which are prone to error. I installed it and added a new boot entry of type "Android". This adds the necessary parameters to load the Android-x86 kernel and boot into Android-x86. One minor correction was to change the path to Android files from
    which was the correct one for Android 6.0 RC1 that I had installed (yours may vary). Also if it happens that Android cannot boot into graphics mode with the default settings, then you must also add the parameters
    nomodeset xforcevesa vga=361
    to force VESA 1280x800 24-bit mode. Then save the boot entry. Now you have two boot entries in Windows Boot Loader, Windows 10 and Grub2Win, but to work properly you much switch from standard boot loader to legacy (Windows 7 style) boot loader. To do that open an elevated Command Prompt and give this command:

    bcdedit /set "{current}" bootmenupolicy legacy
    At next restart you should see the familiar black screen and two options Windows 10 and Grub2Win, Choose the second and then you should see the Grub2 boot loader and the option to boot into Windows 10 (default) or Android-x86. If you changed the path as required you should be able to boot into Android-x86!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    29 Apr 2017 #3

    Hey there,

    I have been trying to find out how to install android on my hp convertible tablet pc while having android on the micro sd card (the laptop itself has little memory) I see you have experience with this so I wonder If you could walk me through this?
    Yes I read your post and the answer as well but i'm still a little lost.
    I'm quite familiar with computers but this is something I've never done before and I don't wanna mess this up. (some of us don't have a test computer xD)
    Hope to hear from you soon...

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,551
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
    Thread Starter
       29 Apr 2017 #4

    If I understand correctly you want to install Android on an SD card rather on the tablet's internal storage. One big problem is to make an Android installer USB that can boot in UEFI rather than Legacy BIOS mode. The newer the Android version the easier is to do that, but the less the possibility to be fully compatible with your tablet. Of course we are talking about the 32-bit version of the Android-x86 to minimize installation footprint and to maximize compatibility. So you have to download the 32-bit version, of say Android-x86 6.0 from here: Download - Android-x86 - Porting Android to x86 (there is also a CyanogenMod version, but I prefer the original Android). There is also the Phoenix OS (Phoenix OS for x86 - Phoenix OS) that is based on Android-x86 but has the GUI modified to look as close as possible to Windows 10! Compatibility is more or less the same as the original Android-x86, so I prefer that. Of course you'll need the ISO if you decide to install Phoenix OS, the EXE supposedly installs Android alongside Windows on the same partition, but I wouldn't risk it. So download the ISO that you want (32-bit always) and then use Rufus (Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way) to open the ISO and prepare a USB Flash drive (at least 4-8GB depending on ISO size). Connect the target Flash drive to your PC and launch Rufus. In Device select your flash drive (if more than one connected at the same time). Click the small disk icon at the middle right to browse for your ISO and open it. In Partition Scheme make sure you select GPT partition scheme for UEFI (or it wont boot). Leave File System and the Cluster Size as they are. You can modify the New Volume Label to something better such as Android 6.0 This will be what you see when you connect the flash drive. Now click on the Start button and let Rufus prepare your flash drive. Now use an OTG adapter (micro USB to USB adapter) if necessary and connect a USB hub to that. On the USB hub connect the flash drive, a USB keyboard and a USB mouse (as touch may not work during installation). Make sure you have inserted the SD card in the tablet. Boot in recovery mode (in HP Stream 7, for example, this is done when the tablet is off and you hold the volume down and the power button together). Select the boot menu and if you created the flash drive properly you should see it on the list. Select that and boot the device. If you are lucky you should now see the Android-x86 installer. I was not, and I got an error message that the boot device is not registered or similar, so I could not test Android-x86 on HP Stream 7. Assuming you see the Android installer, you could first try to boot in Live mode to check compatibility. If you are stuck before you see the Android logo there is some incompatibility with graphics. This is solved if you boot again and this time select the VESA mode. If you want to set the booting parameters manually, select the live entry, then modify it to contain the parameters nomodeset xforcevesa vga=ask This will prompt you to press Enter to see available VESA modes. Select one as close as possible to your tablet's screen (eg 1280x800x32) by typing the number shown and press Enter. You should now see the Android logo and then boot into Android. If not, then probably your tablet is incompatible with this version of Android-x86, try an earlier version, or more advanced tweaking is necessary. If it does boot, then hold the power and you should be given the choice to shutdown. If you are also given the choice to restart, doing that will boot into Windows (default). To boot into Android you should again go in Recovery Mode and select the boot device. Let's now see how to install Android on the SD card. Boot into Android installer again and this time select the Install Android. I don't remember the exact steps, but I'll try to describe. You should be given the choice to install Android or to see and modify partitions first. You should modify partitions. When presented with the available disks and partitions make extra sure that you select the correct disk (the SD card) to avoid accidentally wiping your internal storage (Windows). Unfortunately disks labels are not available, so you much identify the correct disk and partition by size and type (eg FAT32 for SD card, NTFS for internal storage). Assuming you have chosen correctly, chose to proceed with GPT (MBR mode doesn't work in tablets) and if possible format the SD card as EXT4 (Linux partition). Mark it active (bootable), if given the choice, and then return to the installation menu. Select the EXT4 partition you just prepared and proceed to install Android-x86. If asked select GPT, format again the partition (doesn't harm) and then install GRUB and EFI GRUB2. If asked select read/write access to system folder (rooted device). At the end you should be given the choice to boot into Android, you can't just like this. Shutdown the tablet, remove the flash drive, but let the USB keyboard and USB mouse just in case touch doesn't work. Boot in Recovery Mode again and select Boot menu. You should see the option to boot from the SD card, do it. Again if you are stuck before the Android logo you should modify the boot entry to add the above parameters. Once into Android check if touch is working, if screen rotation is working, if Wi-Fi is working etc. Have in mind that if you boot Android in VESA mode there is little or none hardware acceleration, meaning that most games and other applications may fail to run. You can force software mode by going to Settings, Developer Options and checking the two relevant boxes under rendering (I don't remember their description right now). But even if you can then load a game this can be rather slow depending on your tablet's hardware. So the best is to boot Android in native mode (not VESA) if supported.I hope that helps. I wish you have better luck than me and succeed in installing Android-x86 on your tablet! Let us know if it worked!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    09 Jun 2017 #5

    HI ^^
    So I just got back from being away for quite a while and I came back to this awesome post. Will try this tonight and will give any additional details :) My tablet Is a tablet pc so in my case no additional keyboard and mouse are needed (I think) I will use them though just in case. I'll get back to you ASAP! Thank you!!!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,551
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
    Thread Starter
       10 Jun 2017 #6

    Good Luck, unfortunately tried this on an HP Stream 7 tablet and could not boot from the Android-x86 USB no matter how I prepared it. I hope you have better luck...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    29 Aug 2018 #7

    Thanks man, it worked very well, with Android x64 7.1 r2.
    I made a dual boot USB with Win10 and Android x64, but cannot boot into Grub, Win10 started automatically.
    EasyBCD not worked to make a new entry, but Grub2Win is awesome.
    It recognized the Android x64 by itself, the only change need to make in the code was: Android-7.1-r1 to Android-7.1-r2
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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