USB install

How to install AndEX (Android-x86_64) 7.1.1 Nougat (and my other Android-x86 systems) to a USB Pen Drive – in three ways
Note: This instruction is not valid for AndEX 10 Build 200108/200218 and AndEX Oreo 8.1 Build 180614

In case your new computer lacks a CD drive you can (must) transfer the ISO file to a USB stick and make it bootable.

A)android-logo “My” Android-x86 systems can be installed to a USB stick with persistence. I.e. all system changes are saved directly on the stick. This is how it is done.

1. Format a “good” USB stick with the ext4 filesystem. This has to be done in a installed Linux system or while running a live Linux system from CD or a USB stick.

2. Insert your formatted USB stick and start up one of “my” Android-x86 systems (Nougat, Marshmallow, Lollipop or KitKat) from CD. In the slideshow below I’m installing AndEX (Lollipop 5.1.1) to my USB stick SanDisk Contour.

Watch this slideshow (showing the install process).

What is it good for?
Well, you don’t have to touch your hard drive. Installing Android-x86 this way won’t effect your “ordinary” boot loader. And as I say above: All system changes are persistent!
You may have to reboot a couple of times before everything runs smoothly.

About error 963 and Google Play Store
You’ll have to install AndEX (prior to Build 151010) to an ext3 partition. (Otherwise Grub2 can’t be installed to the stick). You may however get the dreaded error message 963 when trying to install new apps via Google Play Store. According to many forum posts and my own experience the only real good fix is to install AndEX Nougat/Marshmallow/Lollipop to an ext4 partition. This problem can only be solved if you have Grub2 installed in another Linux system on your computer. Then you can add these lines to /boot/grub/grub.cfg or /etc/grub.d/40_custom:

menuentry ‘Android-x86 5.1.1 Lollipop 160215 (sdb1 – USB stick)’ {
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root=’hd1,msdos1′
linux /android-2016-02-15/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86 \
acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode  SRC=/android-2016-02-15 DPI=140  UVESA_MODE=1920×1080

initrd /android-2016-02-15/initrd.img

The Grub boot lines for AndEX Nougat 7.1.1 shall look like this.

menuentry ‘Android-x86_64 7.1.1 Nougat 170201 (sdb1 – USB stick)’ {
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root=’hd1,msdos1′
linux /android-2017-01-30/kernel quiet root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.hardware=android_x86_64  \
acpi_sleep=s3_bios,s3_mode androidboot.selinux=permissive SRC=/android-2017-01-30 DPI=140 \
initrd /android-2017-01-30/initrd.img

NOTE 1: The DPI=140 entry provides a hint about the display’s pixel density in dots per inch. This is an important setting – if the Android display’s icons and text look too small and crowded, increase this number. If things seem too big, make it smaller.

NOTE 2: The UVESA_MODE=1920×1080 entry describes the display size. This is also an important setting. If you know your display’s actual dimensions, enter them here. But not all dimensions work – it sometimes happens that a display specification that’s possible in principle isn’t feasible in practice.

Above I presume that you have only one hard drive (/dev/sda). Then your USB stick will get the designation sdb1 and “root” will be hd1,msdos1. This problem with ext3/ext4 (error 963) is only applicable for AndEX/Lollipop (Builds prior to Build 151010). I.e. Google Play Store will work as expected in my KitKat version of Android-x86 and in AndEX Build 160215 even if the Android system is installed on an ext3 partition. Of course also in my latest AndEX build – AndEX Nougat 7.1.1 from 170201.

Installation in Windows
The installation can also be done in Windows with Rufus (Create bootable USB drives the easy way). Download Rufus. Rufus will recognize your inserted USB stick automatically (but check it carefully anyway). Find your downloaded ISO file and start Rufus.

The created AndEX USB stick with Rufus will work perfectly! Just restart your computer and have fun! NOTE: Persistence won’t be enabled. For persistence you have to follow my advice’s under A).

Installation in Linux with the dd-command
Insert a USB stick and make sure which name it was given (/dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1 or …)

Run these two commands:

isohybrid android-x86_64-nougat-7.1.1-gapps-exton-build-939mb-170201.iso

dd if=android-x86_64-nougat-7.1.1-gapps-exton-build-939mb-170201.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=4M

(Where X is for example b c or d. Be sure to check it before you run the above commands!)

NOTE re. C): Persistence won’t be enabled. For persistence you have to follow my advice’s under A).

You’ll have to make changes in BIOS (boot order) so that your computer will start up from the USB stick before the hard drive. On a new computer you may also have to change from UEFI Boot to Legacy Boot.

Final note
The installation procedures are the same for my other Android-x86 versions. Note also that you have to use a “good” USB stick. Certain “bad” brands won’t work. They can’t be made bootable. I myself have experience of brands Kingston DataTraveler, SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 and Sony Micro Vault. The first two works (for me). You shall not use USB sticks of older model. They may work, but mostly bad. Use a USB 3.0 stick if possible. Note also that you may have to format the USB stick in advance using for example GParted. Try that if you can’t boot from the stick! You may also need to create a new partition table on the stick. I can look like this when it is done in GParted.


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17 Responses to “USB install”

  1. LiLi funkar inte till att göra installationen peristent, jag har den senaste KitKat 4.4.4 build 5

    • Nej, jag har aldrig påstått det heller. För att kunna spara dina inställningar och nya installationer m m måste du installera till USB-sticka på sätt som jag beskriver på under A).

      Om du gör så så får du en väldigt bra sticka. Använd helst en 3.0 sticka (för snabbhetens skull).

  2. Hej igen, förlåt för mina bristande kunskaper då jag inte är insat i Linux världen, jag laddade ner Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” – Cinnamon (64-bit) för att formatera ett USB-minne med ext3 som du visar men det finns bara FAT, NTFS eller ext4, vilken Linux skiva har ext3? Tack för hjälpen

    • Om du tänker installera Android-x86 måste du alltså formatera stickan med ext3. Detta för att Grub ska kunna installeras.

      Om inte GParted ger dig möjligheten att formatera med ext3 (vilket förvånar mig) så kan du använda ett kommando. Exempel: sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1

      Kolla noga först vilken beteckning din sticka fått (/dev/sdb1, /dev/sdc1 eller…) så att du inte oavsiktligt raderar någon disk.

      Se också till att det bara finns en partition på stickan.

  3. AndEX (Android-x 86 I bought this product I installed 5.0.2 GAPPS Lollipop stopped error and closes the help me. Please submit the new version exists to address the error-free Thank you.

  4. Hello!

    I was wondering if it would be possible to install this on PC Desktop machine that doesn’t have a wifi card. dvs can the AndEX|Android-x86 Custom communicate to the outside world thru a wired network card?

    Thank you sir!

    Kind Regards

  5. I installed on my laptop, all Ok, all working, but from 250Gb(hard disk) available 287Mb, How create SD Card?

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