Last week, you may remember that I showed you how to install Remix OS on a USB stick that you could then use to boot your computer. After a week of testing Remix OS, I decided that I wanted to install it on my laptop’s hard drive. So, I decided as part of this process that I would treat you all to a how to guide on how to install Remix OS on your laptop hard drive.
What Is Remix OS?
In case you didn’t catch my last post about this operating system, I will first talk briefly about what Remix OS actually is for those of you that are unfamiliar with it or have never heard of it at all.
Remix OS is an operating system designed for Intel based systems that is built on Android, or more specifically the Android x86 project. This project is designed to bring Android to traditional desktop processors, and Remix OS is built upon that project bringing with it its own custom user interface designed to make Android much more user friendly when used on a regular PC laptop or desktop.
It looks and feels much like Chrome OS in many ways, but trust me it is all Android. You can install Google Play and load apps from the Play Store. While I haven’t run into a problem as of yet, there are some apps that aren’t designed to run on the Intel architecture. When that happens the apps either won’t install or won’t run properly if you do manage to get them installed. Still, your main apps made by the large app makers are all compatible, and you can easily create a functioning desktop using Android in only a few minutes of your time.
Where It Works Best
While you can install Remix OS on almost any laptop running Intel processors, I have found that it works best on machines with touchscreens. Sure, out of the box the OS is built to use a mouse and keyboard. That means that anyone can use it pretty well. However, when you get into apps on the Play Store, you may have issues. Don’t forget that many of those apps have been designed with your fingers in mind. As such, I believe you will have the best experience if you use a machine with a touchscreen as well as a keyboard and mouse or a laptop with a trackpad.
Installing Remix OS Your Laptop
Now that we all know what it is, let’s talk about what we need to do to get it installed and up and running on your system.
Prepare Your PC
Before you can install Remix OS, there is a little work you need to do to your PC. First, you must reboot your computer, go into the BIOS and turn off Secure Boot. Where this is will vary system to system but you should be able to find it easy enough.
Once that is complete, you need to create a new hard drive partition on your drive so Remix OS has a home. In the installation instructions on the Remix site, they fail to mention this step. Be careful. Do not install it on your C drive or you could run into issues!
There are a couple of ways you can setup a new partition on your drive. The first is by using Disk Management.
1. Run Disk Cleanup and clean out any unneeded files on your system. This will free up as much room as possible.
2. Run a defrag of your hard drive to reorganize files to give you even more free space and a much more efficient hard disk.
3. Run Disk Management.
4. Right-click on your drive, and select Shrink Volume.
5. This should free up space that you can then assign a new drive letter and format.
Sometimes, this won’t give you a large enough partition. When that happens, you will need a third-party tool to do the job. For this I used Partition Wizard, a free tool that can help you create and manage partitions.
1. Download the free version of Partition Wizard here.
2. Open Partition Wizard.
3. Select the Drive you want to partition.
4. On the left, choose Split Partition.
5. Specify the size of the partition then click ok.
6. In the upper left corner, click Apply.
7. Partition Wizard will then try to create the new partition. During this process, it may need to reboot to create the new partition. If it prompts you, reboot and let the process finish. When done, it will boot Windows and you will have an extra drive that you can use for Remix OS.
Whatever you do, don’t forget this very important step. They don’t talk about it on the Remix OS website and you will find several instances of users installing it on the C drive and then having issues booting their systems. In some cases, it requires a complete reformat of Windows or, at the very least, a restore to correct the problem.
Installing Remix OS
The installation process is rather simple, and that’s a good thing. With just a few clicks, you will easily be up and running.
Download Remix OS and unzip it. You can grab the files you need from here. Once the download is complete, unzip it to your desktop or wherever you prefer.
1. Run the Remix OS for PC tool.
2. Specify the drive letter of the new partition you created above and then select the ISO from the same folder as the tool. Click Ok.
3. Wait for the tool to run and then restart your system. When you get to the boot loader, select Remix OS and hit enter.
4. The first load time will take a moment, so be patient. Future boot times will be much shorter. During this process, it will finish setting up your file system and installing the operating system.
Installing Google Play
It doesn’t come with Google Play right out of the box, but you can easily install it during setup. You will be asked to install Google Play Services during the setup process. When prompted, answer yes and let the install complete. When finished, go ahead and reboot your system before you try and use the Google Play Store.
Your All Set
Congratulations! You have now installed Remix OS alongside Windows 10 on your system. You can choose which system to launch each time you turn on your computer. If you are anything like me, you will spend more time in Remix OS than you will Windows. Even if you don’t, having it on your system is fun and it’s nice to run a few mobile apps right on your laptop. I encourage you all to play with it and give it a shot. Remember, you can always install it on a USB if you don’t like the idea of setting it up on your hard drive. Check out that guide right here.
As I mentioned in the last article, there are issues that you may run into when using Remix OS on your laptop, even when you have it installed on your hard drive. Here is a quick list of issues I have encountered and what I did to work around it or fix them.
- Sound issues – This has been the most troublesome of all the issues I have run into. The problem seems intermittent and just comes and goes for no apparent reason. I have also experienced the problem on both the Remix OS side as well as the Windows 10 side. This leads me to believe that it is either hardware or driver related, or perhaps both. In most cases, a reboot on either side takes care of the problem.
- Slow Network Connection – Once connected, my Internet runs great. It’s fast and reliable. However, on occasion, I have noticed that on the Remix OS side, my Wi-Fi is slow to connect. In some cases, I have to manually connect to my Wi-Fi network to get it up and running. Like the sound issues, this problem is intermittent and just comes and goes. For this issue, just connecting manually does the trick.
- Installation Issues – For the record, I didn’t experience any issue with my install. However, some have had issues, although in most cases they are easy to overcome. One issue I did have was that Disk Management wouldn’t resize my partition for me so I could free up the space I needed to install Remix OS. In the end, I had to use Partition Wizard to take care of it for me.
Maybe you were happy with the guide I did to install Remix OS to a USB drive, and if you want to give it a good test, I highly recommend you go that route. However, it runs even better if it is installed on your hard drive and it’s nice to use your laptop without a big USB drive hanging out the side. If you want a true Android desktop experience, this is by far the best way to do it, and Remix OS is one of the better versions of Android for PC available today.
Have you given Remix OS a shot on your computer? If so, did you try and install it on your hard drive or did you use a USB drive? If you put it on your hard drive, how did it go for you? Let me know your answers to these questions and your opinions of Remix OS in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.