Android smartphones claim to have much more features than you could imagine. They are one investment which no one will ignore for the moment. You would want to create some solutions for your business and clients and first test them in a safe environment like on your netbook or HP Laptop.

It is very easy to run an Android on your PC. You will also not want to mess the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation which came with your PC. You need to have a Live Android CD to do this. Google has a project called Android Live which does the whole thing for you.

Live Android Explained

The Google’s Live Android is located at this link. You will find all the info plus get to download a two-part ISO file for your project. When you select on the “Download” at the project home, you will find further versions of Live Android including torrent and ISO files. If at all you think that you will be ok with the ISO file, you will need soem stitching software to join the two-part file together.

HJSplit is a great software for stitching such programs. After downloading HJSplit, choose “Join” from the first screen and click “Input file” which will take you to where the ISO files are located. If both ISO files are in the same folder, HJSplit will identify both of them and will just show you the relevant one which you need to choose – just click “Open” after selecting the shown file. Then click “Start” to start stitching the files. The files will be saved and you will need to close HJSplit and browse to where the two joined files are saved. They will have a new name called ‘liveandroidv0.3.iso‘. This is the new ISO image which you will be able to burn onto a CD.

Creat a Bootable CD/DVD

Use a CD/DVD burning software like Ashampoo, Roxio 2011 or Nero 10 to save the file onto a CD. You will need to create a bootable CD from the file. The new disc can be used to boot any PC. You will need to make necessary changes on your PC’s BIOS boot sequence if the bootable CD is not detectable. Make sure that CD /DVD drive comes first in the boot sequence.

USB Drive Booting

You can in fact set up Live Android to run from a USB drive. Your PC need to be able to boot from USB. Most current PCs do but if your PC is older, you might not be able to do this. You will also need to download a different ISO (Unetbootin) from the one above. The ISO is located on this link.

Launch the UNetbootin, connect your USB drive and then select “Disk Image” and then browse to your USB ISO image. After opening, select the right USB and then click “OK”. One all data is saved onto the USB, your bootable USB is ready. If all are OK, your PC will boot from the CD or USB and display all available screen resolutions.Select one and the press {Enter}. Your PC will go through the Android splash screen and end up at the Android Desktop.

If you weren’t able to reach the Android desktop, your hardware might not be able to support this. In theory it works with 32-bit PC but sometimes it get to picks the hardware a lot. It will hang at boot on incompatible hardware and might stick up at one of the splash screens. You might want to restart your PC and it might work at the second trial.

Set a Virtual Machine

The most simple way to standardise your hardware is through virtualisation. You might want to use a virtualisation software like VMware to do this. You will need to register so as to download this free software. After installing, launch to create a new virtual machine. Choose to install from an installer disc and browse to your ISO file for Live Android. Choose “Other” for the guest OS and select “Other” from the drop down list. Give your machine a new name but stick with the default disk size. Start your machine and let it boot from the ISO file. Select the screen resolution to boot the Android Desktop. Ignore low batter warning.

You should now be able to get your way around Android. The Android OS is more optimised for touchscreen and so might not come out well with the keyboard and mouse but you will get used to it. Use the arrow keys to move if the mouse pointer is a dark rectangle. Alt+F1 turns turns of the graphical interface and brings up the command prompt. Alt +F7 returns you to the graphical interface.

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