Try and run Android from your Windows PC

Here's a cool way of trying out Android for a spin using only your Notebook, Netbook or Desktop PC, even if you do not have any Android device. This tip is very suitable for those who are curious about the Android Operating system and would like to see it in action without spending a single cent for an android phone or a tablet. All you need is your Windows desktop or laptop PC, a working internet connection and a little knowledge in installing software application in a Windows PC.

For a start, download Oracle Virtual box and install it into your windows PC. Oracle Virtual box will serve as your virtual PC inside your windows OS where you will install Android into. Nothing will be changed into your PC's configuration but I suggest caution in doing the procedure  in the part where you will install the Android OS. In that part, you will have to choose whether you would like to install Android into  a Virtual Hard disk which you will create in the process or you will choose to run the live CD.

After downloading Virtual Box, download the latest version of Android 3.2 Honeycomb at Google's website.
The file is 130MB so it will take a little while for you if you have a slow internet connection but if you have a high speed broadband, the download will be a breeze.

While the download of the Android OS is on-going, you may proceed with the installation of the Oracle Virtual Box. The installation is really such a breeze and very quick and you will find it very hard to commit a mistake in doing, so I will leave that  part to you.

Here is Vitual Box's appearance once installed in your PC, yours will be a bit different though because you do not have any VM (Virtual Machine) installed yet while in this case of mine, you will see the "My puppy" linux highlighted which is actually Android version 2.2 that I have installed way back prior to this tutorial. Yours will be blank, please take note:

Assuming that you already downloaded the Android 3.2 Honeycomb ISO files, you can now proceed with it's installation of the Virtual Box. Click on "New" at the upper left side of the interface and you will be directed to a wizard and click next:


Enter the name of your Virtual machine, in my case I used "Android 3.2" for easily identification once I add more virtual machines later on. In this case, Android 3.2 is my second virtual machine on the Virtual box. For the operating system and OS type, choose "Linux" on the drop down option and then "Other Linux" on the second drop down option. Click Next:

Leave the recommended 256MB memory allocation as this is the optimal memory needed to run Android on your PC, it will run on a lesser memory but it will be less fun so I highly suggest 256 MB:

Now here is the part where you will decide whether you would like to create a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) or you would like to just toy around with the OS and run the live CD only. For the purpose of this tutorial, and to avoid complications in creating VIrtual Hard Disk for newbies, we will only run the live CD. Uncheck the "Boot Hard Disk" box and skip the creation of the Virtual Hard Disk.

After clicking next, your Android VM will show up on the list on the upper left portion of the interface. We're almost done but not yet. We will have to mount the ISO which you have downloaded earlier.

While "Android 3.2" or any name that you made for your VM is highlighted, click on "Settings" at the upper left corner of the interface (the yellow icon that resembles a gear wheel) and a new dialog box will appear as shown:

On the settings dialog box, click on "Storage". Under "IDE Controller" you will see a CD icon that says "Empty" next to it. Select the CD entry and another CD icon will appear next to it. Click it and select "Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file". Another dialog box will appear and navigate to where you saved the ISO file of the Android Honeycomb which you downloaded earlier. Select it then click OK.

Finally, it's time to run and boot the Virtual Machine. Select the VM you just created and then click "Start". The following pictures are a series of  screen shots showing the Android Honeycomb in action from boot-up to run time in my laptop. By the way, upon the first boot up of your Android Virtual Machine, you will be prompted by several dialog boxes like "Mouse Pointer Integration" which you will have to turn off in a moment to take control of the Virtual machine. To go back to your windows environment, hit the right "CTRL" key and you will take back control of your windows system. Go and try out Android Honeycomb in your PC. Enjoy.

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