How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on Virtual PC

Are you a big fan of Google Android OS but don't have the Android phone or tablet. You can experience Android OS without any phone or tablet. This tutorial will help you to install Android OS on your computer using Virtualization software along with Windows 7 or 8 OS.

Do you want to experience Android Operating system but don't have the Android phone or tablet or are you an Android applications developer and want to test your apps on Android OS on your system itself. If yes then continue reading this article will help to achieve this without any hassles.

Android is Linux based open source operating system, especially designed for touch based smart phones and tablets and is one of the most widely used operating system by Mobile phone and tablets manufacturers. As Android OS only supports ARM architecture based hardware so you can't run it on x86 architecture i.e. Computer or laptop. In order to run it on x86 architecture, you need to have an Android OS which supports x86 architecture luckily Android x86 project provides it for various testing purposes and you can install Android OS along with your Windows Vista, 7 & 8 operating system.

Steps for installing Android OS Ice Cream Sandwich on Virtual PC

As I am using Microsoft Windows 8 OS thus I have mentioned the steps for installing Android OS on Virtual PC along with Windows 8(learn how to install Windows 8 on virtual PC) but these steps are very much applicable to Windows Vista and 7.

- First download and install Oracle VM VirtualBox from this link ( If you already have it installed then upgrade it to the latest version

- Now visit site and head over to download page. If your system name is listed then download the Android OS ISO image from the respective link else download the ISO image especially created for x86 architecture based hardware which will work on every system (from here Also if you experience internet connectivity and audio problem with ISO image downloaded for respective system then download the generic ISO image from link given above

- Now open Oracle VM VirtualBox and press CTRL + N for creating a new Virtual Machine and also click the Hide Description button to make visible the hidden Hard drive options

- In name box write Android ICS or it could be anything which helps you to recognize it easily, in Type box select Linux option and in Version choose Linux 2.6 respectively

- Under Memory size option increase the slider to 512 MB for better performance though you can assign higher or lower memory than this

- In Hard drive option make sure "Create a virtual hard drive now" is selected, Click Create button

How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on Virtual Box

How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on Virtual PC

How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on Virtual PC

- This will create the virtual machine named Android ICS. Now you have to modify few options to optimize it for better performance. Open settings Window, navigate to System tab then to Processor tab and tick the check box against the "Enable PAE/NX" option. Now navigate to display tab and increase the video memory size to more than 10 MB and enable the 3D acceleration under extended feature

How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on Virtual Box

How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on Virtual Box

- Now mount the downloaded Android OS ISO image on DVD drive or on virtual clone drive. I would recommend using virtual drive as it will save your time as well as money.

- Now on VirtualBox Manager Window, click on start button to initiate the installation procedure

- On the next screen you will be prompted to select the Host drive on which you have mounted the ISO image under select start up disk Window

- On Android –x86 Installation Window, select the "Installation – Install Android –x86 to harddisk option". It will initiate the process of installing Android OS

- On Choose Partition Window, choose "Create/Modify Partitions" option and click OK button. It will open up cfdisk utility. Under cfdisk utility choose the options as below
1) Select NEW option
2) Select PRIMARY option
3) On next screen hit enter again to accept the default partition size
4) Select BOOTABLE option then WRITE option
5) Type yes when prompted to write the partition table to disk
6) Now QUIT the cfdisk utility
7) On next screen, select the "sda1 Linux VBOX HARDDISK" option and click OK button
8) Under Choose file system, select the "ext3" option. On the next screen, press YES option to format sda to ext3 file system
9) Press YES option when prompted to install boot loader GRUB and install/system directory as read-write
10) If you wish you can create a fake SD card by selecting the "Create a fake SD card" option else select the Reboot option.
11) You are Done with installation of Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS on Virtual PC

Note: Make sure you un-mount the Android ISO image from virtual drive else it will again the start the installation process.
Using Android OS on Virtual PC- You have to disable mouse integration to be able to use Android OS GUI. You can disable is by pressing Host key + I or navigate to Machine menu and select "Disable mouse integration"
Note: Host key is assigned to right CTRL key.

Video tutorial on how to install Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on virtual PC (VirtualBox) along with Windows 8

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Guest Author: David D.09 May 2013

What are the limitations of this virtual Android machine(on a PC)?
Can the PC's mouse be used to simulate a touch-screen? Does the virtual Android machine include a browser? From within the virtual Android machine, can one access, download and install apps from Google Store and other markets? If an app utilizes the camera and network communications, will it work?

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