Windows XP on Android

Yes Virginia, you can run Windows XP on your Android device. What once took cutting edge hardware to boot, can now work on your typical Android smartphone. Don’t get too excited though, this will not replace your desktop pc any time soon. The emulation speed is unbearably slow, and you lack any sort of network connectivity. So how does this work? One word, Bochs. Bochs is an app that can emulate practically any 32 bit operating system. Bochs was designed to run legacy operating systems such as Windows DOS and Windows 3, definitely not Windows XP. Generally anything higher than Windows 95 becomes a hit or miss as far as usability.  The bottom line is that you’re about to perform something that might not work on your device, and if it does, it has no practically use to it. Are you excited yet?

Okay now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get down to business. Of course, you will first need to have a Windows XP iso file. Now, if you’re crafty enough, you can use a program called Windows builder to decrease it to 100MB in size. This is what I did to get Windows XP running on Android wear. I am not going to cover that here because it will take too long, but just know that it is also an option. We are going to use Qemu manager to install Windows XP. Unlike virtual box, Qemu is able to better handle raw image files that we can transfer to Bochs on Android. So here’s how to run Windows XP on Android.

What You Will Need:

Step 1: Installing Windows XP to Disk Image

Open up Qemu manager and create a new virtual machine. Name it whatever you like and click next.

new virtual machine qemu

Allocate it however much ram that you’re willing to spare. This is only for your pc and has nothing to do with the amount of ram 0n your Android device. Finally, select the option, do not use a virtual disk image. Click finish.

Settings virtual machine qemu

Next go to the drives tab and select hard drive 0. Then locate the blank disk image that you downloaded. You might need to make sure that all files are selected in order to see it.

Blank disk drive qemu

Next, select CD ROM and locate your Windows XP ISO file.

CD rom drive qemu

Finally, select the green arrow to start the VM. From this point, just go through the process of installing Windows XP like you would on any normal computer.

windows xp setup

Step 2: Transferring

After the installation completes, extract the SDL zip. Transfer the blank disk image (that is no longer “blank” because you just installed Windows XP to it) and put it inside the SDL folder. Rename the blank disk image to c.

sdl folder

Then open up the bochsrc text file. Where you see the word “c.img” change it to just “c”. Save and close it.


Then transfer that folder to the root of the internal memory (or sdcard) on your Android device.

Step 3: Booting on Android

Install the boch apk to your Android device. Then launch it. It should detect the Windows XP image and boot right into Windows XP. Remember, this is going to be slow! You might have to wait as much as 10 minutes until you actually get to the Windows XP desktop screen.

Windows XP on Androidwindows xp desktop



See also