Install Android on Old PC

Do you have an old computer just sitting around? If you are like me, then you probably have a couple of old PC’s that once ran Windows XP but serve no useful purpose now. Of course, I could always just install and very lite version of Linux on it and call it a day. However, Linux takes a lot of time (compared to Windows) to set up and is a big learning curve for people who are unfamiliar with it. The advantage of using Android as the OS is that you will have the same user experience on your PC just like on your phone. Alternatively, if you are using a Chromebook, installing Android on it will give you far more options than Chrome OS. But then again, if you have a Chromebook, you might as well install Windows 10, but I digress.

The hardware I am using is relatively modest. An Intel Pentium 4 processor with less than 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. As far as performance, Android runs very smooth on this. There is one minor issue however. The version we are going to be using is an x86 port of Android. This causes an issue with a lot of Android games because a lot of them depend on third party libraries that are only designed for arm. Pretty much, you won’t be able to do any major gaming on your Android PC. But still, Android makes for a surprisingly pleasant desktop OS experience. Here’s how to install Android on PC.

What You Will Need:

Step 1: Downloading Android x86

The first thing that you need to do is download the Android x86 iso. I provided a direct link to the Kitkat build RC2 which is the latest build at the time of writing this. To see other builds, go to the downloads page.

Step 2: Bootable USB

Using the program Rufus, we are going to create a bootable USB drive. Select your USB drive from the drop-down menu and choose the Android x86 iso file and hit start.

Install Android on PC Rufus

Step 3: Booting from USB

Now on your PC, insert your USB drive. When your computer starts, go into the boot menu. This is usually done by pressing the  F12 or Delete button, but could differ depending on your system. Make sure to choose the option to boot from your USB.

Install Android form PC booting from USB

Step 4: Installing

You should now be at the bootloader screen. Select the option to install Androidx86 to hard disk. The next screen will ask you about partitions. Personally, I have no use for Windows XP so I am going to completely format the drive and use the whole thing for Android. Of course, you don’t have to. You can just choose your primary hard drive from the list and make sure not to choose the format option on the next screen.

In my scenario of completely formatting the drive, here’s what I am going to do. Go down to create/Modify partitions. And choose sda.

Install Android on PC partitionInstall ANdroid on PC SDA

In the Disk Utility I am going to delete the existing partition then create a new partition (make it the primary). Finally, I am going to change the type to Linux (number 83 on the list) and finally write the partitions out to disk.

Install Android on PC Partition DeleteInstall Android on PC Partition NewInstall Android on PC Partition Type

Finally, I am going to choose the new partition that I just created. On the next screen, I am going to choose EXT3 as the format.

It’s going to ask if I want to format it, I am going to choose yes.

It’s going to prompt me if I want to install the grub bootloader. I am also going to choose yes.

Choose yes when it prompts for installing the directory as read-write.

Once it’s done, make sure to select reboot.

Step 5: Setting up Android

After you reboot, it should briefly go into the grub bootloader before going right into Android. From this point, you can set it up like you would on any normal phone. One quick note, if it asks you about wifi network and you’re connected via ethernet, just choose to skip the wifi setup. It will still detect your Ethernet connection.

Install Android on PC WifiInstall Android on PC WifiInstall Android on PC Homescreen

So if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

29 thoughts on “Install Android on Old PC

  1. Hi, I did everything exactly the same. But I can not get it to work on my P4 with 512mb ram, nor on my newer P4 with 1Gb ram. it installs and I reboot but when booting up, I get to the boot manager and then I leave it to autorun and then I get “ANDROID [email protected]:/#” and then it all disappear to a black screen with a small white flashing stripe and there it stays.

    I can not live boot either…

    I tried on my core I3 laptop and worked 100%, live boot and install, but I do not want it on my laptop, I want to use the old pc’s.

    please help!!!

    1. i had the same problem is it because i have 1 gigabyte of ram or is it because i am using a laptop

      I guess i can use any operating system on it now

      i hope that he responds

  2. Have Android working on a Lenovo idea centre (small PC) but KODI won’t work – just get a black screen. Have tried twice – same result both times. Any ideas??

  3. Thanks for the post! for some reason, when create the partition, I’m not allowed to extend from 100000 to 300000MB which end up in “no sufficient memory”. What can I do about it?

  4. Looks like a good tutorial, but I see Superuser in the app drawer in the video thumbnail. Is this rootable/prerooted?

  5. So I followed the steps completely, it goes into the boot process, then it shrinks to the top left corner of my screen. Then after a few minutes the system reboots. What do I do?

  6. Hello, I have install this Android with your tutorial. I did it, but I have a problem with internal capacity. I have 250 GB Harddisk on my pc, and its just 500 MB appear as my Internal memory. I have follow all of your tutorial correctly but still I have this problem. Can you help me pls ?

  7. Hi there, I followed steps 1 to 3 ok but on step 4 I didn’t want to fully install it so chose option 1. However, after 1 min all I had was a black screen and the cursor in the corner.. I retried it but chose option 3 (debug mode) which came up with various error messages. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated

  8. Hi Dave, I need your help… as guided by you i could sucessfully install Kikat on my Dell Insprion 3558, but my wifi and bluetooth arent working and also facing audio clarity issues…

    Pls Help

  9. When I try to install on virtualbox, if I select yes for bootloader then nothing happens. It wait for me to enter a command ???
    If I skip both bootloader, then it installs, but afer boot I just see “Android” no graphical interface lanched…
    Don’t know what to do.

  10. Hi When I Try To Edit The Partition I Get The Error: FATAL ERROR: Bad Primary Partition 3: Partition Ends In The Final Partial Cylind. Please Help, I,m Trying To Make A Tablet For My Little Sister And I’m Stuck. Thanks.

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