Friday, 15 April 2016

Run android x86 with persistence from E2B

android-x86-4.4-r5.iso can be added to your E2B USB drive, but to get it booting with persistence, we need to create a .imgPTN file as follows:
For UEFI-booting and >4GB persistence (see here).
  1. Download android-x86-4.4-r5.iso (approx 450MB).
  2. Drag-and-drop the file (.iso or .img versions will both work) onto the MPI ToolKit MPI_FAT32 Windows Desktop shortcut.
  3. Change the default size and add whatever size you want for the persistence store - e.g. use 2500 for 2GB of storage.
  4. Copy the resultant android-x86-4.4-r5.imgptn file to your E2B USB drive (e.g. \_ISO\MAINMENU)
  5. Run \_ISO\SWITCH_E2B.exe and double-click on the android-x86-4.4-r5.imgptn file to switch to it.
  6. Run RMPrepUSB and select the E2B USB drive.
  7. Click on Make Ext2 FS button and specify a file name of data.img and a size to use up any remaining free space on the USB drive (e.g. 2000). You can use any name for the volume name (I used casper-rw, but I think any volume name will do). Keep the file in the root of the E2B USB drive. Max size 4GB.
  8. [Edit] Make all files contiguous using the /MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd script.
That's it!

To boot to android, use the second 'Alternate MBR boot' menu entry in the CSM menu, or UEFI-boot.

After the initial sign-up, you should be able to reboot and the settings will be persistent. You can also download and install apps, etc.

Note that some versions of android have two alternate downloads, .iso for MBR booting and .img for UEFI booting. The android-x86-4.4-r5.iso download seems to support both MBR and UEFI booting.

Tips if running from VBox

1. Tick VBox - Input - Mouse Integration to make the mouse cursor visible.

2. As soon as possible, turn-off Auto Rotate to prevent any app from rotating the screen, by dragging down the black bar from the top-right of the screen:

3. You can shutdown android by using the Power Off button (as in picture above).

4. Always shutdown the VM 'nicely' to avoid corrupting the ext2 persistence file! Make a backup of the data.img file (or the whole .imgPTN file) just in case, once you have your apps, etc. installed!

5. You may need to boot from a real system to test UEFI-booting, I had problems UEFI-booting via VBox (using Clover or UEFI).