GPD Win Android Installation Guide

Required hardware:

  • GPD Win
  • 8GB (or bigger) USB Stick (2 if you intend to install to a USB-Stick)
  • USB Hub (required for USB-Stick installs only)

Required software:

Preparing the Android ISO to a USB-Stick:

To install Android you will (obviously) need a copy of the installer on a USB-Stick.
Follow these few simple steps to make your own Android installer USB-Stick.

  1. Download and install (or unpack) Rufus, as well as the Android ISO.
  2. Grab your installation medium USB-Stick, plug it into your PC, and burn the Android ISO onto it as shown in the image below.
  3. Wait for the process to finish, then safely eject and unplug the burned USB-Stick from your Computer and lay it aside for when you wish to install Android onto your GPD Win.

USB-Stick installation:

Follow these instructions if you wish to install Android to a USB-Stick.
This will save you space on your eMMC and (effectively) leave your GPD Win unmodified, however, eMMC installations provide a far more fluid experience due to the superior speed of internal storage.
If you aren’t sure about whether you wish to keep Android or not though, or just want to test things out before committing to the cause, this is the way to go.

  1. Grab your burned Android installer USB-Stick and plug it into your spare USB-Hub.
  2. Grab a spare USB-Stick onto which you wish to install Android and plug it into your spare USB-Hub.
  3. Plug the USB-Hub (with the two USB-Sticks in it) into your GPD Win’s USB3.0 port.
  4. Turn on your GPD Win and hold down the ESC-key to boot into the UEFI BIOS.
  5. Once inside the BIOS, keep pressing the right-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard until you’ve reached the Save & Exit menu.
  6. Next, keep pressing the down-arrow key until you’ve reached the Boot Override section of the menu.
  7. Select your installation medium USB-Stick from the available boot options and press the Enter key to boot from it.
  8. Press the down-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard twice to select the Android Installation option and press the Enter key to start the installer.
  9. Keep pressing the down-arrow key to select the Create/Modify partitions option before pressing the Enter key.
  10. Select the device that represents your future Android USB-Stick (usually sda or sdb, depending on the enumeration order of your USB Hub’s ports) and press the Enter key.
  11. When asked “Do you want to use GPT?” answer with “Yes”.
  12. Should your USB stick have pre-existing partitions listed, iterate through all of them by using the up and down arrow keys, deleting them by selecting the Delete option with the left and right arrow keys and pressing Enter.
  13. Select the bottom-most Free space entry in the menu via the down arrow key on your keyboard, before using the left and right arrow keys to choose the New option and pressing the Enter key.
  14. When asked for the first sector, just press the Enter key to use the default settings.
  15. When asked for the size in sectors or KMGTP, type 100M and press the Enter key to confirm.
  16. When asked for the current type hex code, type ef00 and press the Enter key to confirm.
  17. When asked for the partition name, type EFI and press the Enter key to confirm.
  18. Again, select the bottom-most Free space entry in the menu via the down arrow key on your keyboard, before using the left and right arrow keys to choose the New option and pressing the Enter key.
  19. When asked for the first sector, just press the Enter key to use the default settings.
  20. When asked for the size in sectors or KMGTP, just press the Enter key to use the default settings.
  21. When asked for the current type hex code, just press the Enter key to use the default settings.
  22. When asked for the partition name, type Android and press the Enter key to confirm.
  23. Next, use the left and right arrow keys to choose the Write option and press the Enter key to write your partition table to the USB stick.
  24. When asked for confirmation, type yes and press the Enter key to confirm.
  25. Finally, use the left and right arrow keys to choose the Quit option and press the Enter key to leave the partition wizard.
  26. Back in the main setup screen, select your newly created Android partition (usually sda2 or sdb2, depending on the enumeration order of your USB Hub’s ports).
  27. When asked if you want to format the partition, pick EXT4 as your file-system.
  28. When asked for confirmation, select Yes and press the Enter key.
  29. When asked whether you wish to install the EFI GRUB2 bootloader, select Yes and press the Enter key.
  30. If you receive a mount warning followed by a format request (happens if your USB stick’s EFI partition hasn’t been formatted yet), select Yes and press the Enter key.
  31. When asked whether you want the /system directory to be read-write, select No and press the Enter key.
  32. Wait for the installation to finish (make some coffee, this might take a while).
  33. Reboot into Android.

Booting from a Android USB-Stick:

  1. Plug your Android USB-Stick into your GPD Win’s USB 3.0 port (directly, or via a USB-Hub).
  2. Turn on your GPD Win and hold down the ESC-key to boot into the UEFI BIOS.
  3. Once inside the BIOS, keep pressing the right-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard until you’ve reached the Save & Exit menu.
  4. Next, keep pressing the down-arrow key until you’ve reached the Boot Override section of the menu.
  5. Select your Android USB-Stick from the available boot options and press the Enter key to boot from it.

eMMC installation:

Follow these instructions if you wish to install Android to the GPD Win’s internal storage, allowing you to dual-boot between Windows 10 and Android.
Keep in mind that this process modifies your GPD Win’s eMMC partitioning and UEFI settings.
Failure to follow these steps to the letter can result in data-loss or other negative side-effects.
Be warned, proceed with caution!

  1. Search for and open the Create and format hard disk partitions tool in your Windows start menu.
  2. Right click Disk 0’s Local Disk (C:) partition and select Shrink Volume…
  3. In the field Enter the amount of space to shrink type your wanted Android installation’s partition size in MB (for example 8192 for a 8GB Android installation).
  4. Press the Shrink button to shrink your Windows installation.
  5. Right click the newly available Unallocated space and select New Simple Volume…
  6. Leave all the settings at default and keep clicking next, etc. to create a new Volume.
  7. Grab your burned Android installer USB-Stick and plug it into your GPD Win’s USB3.0 port.
  8. Reboot your system and hold down the ESC-key to boot into the UEFI BIOS.
  9. Once inside the BIOS, keep pressing the right-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard until you’ve reached the Save & Exit menu.
  10. Next, keep pressing the down-arrow key until you’ve reached the Boot Override section of the menu.
  11. Select your installation medium USB-Stick from the available boot options and press the Enter key to boot from it.
  12. Press the down-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard twice to select the Android Installation option and press the Enter key to start the installer.
  13. Select your previously created Android partition (usually mmcblk0p… plus some random number at the end, usually it is the one with the highest trailing number, for example mmcblk0p4).
  14. When asked if you want to format the partition, pick EXT4 as your file-system.
  15. When asked for confirmation, select Yes and press the Enter key.
  16. When asked whether you wish to install the EFI GRUB2 bootloader, select Yes and press the Enter key
  17. When asked whether you want the /system directory to be read-write, select No and press the Enter key.
  18. Wait for the installation to finish (make some coffee, this might take a while).
  19. Reboot into Android.

Booting from a eMMC Android installation:

  1. Turn on your GPD Win.
  2. Pick Android from the Grub2 boot menu.

Restoring the Grub2 boot menu after Windows deleted its boot record:

Windows sometimes overwrites the EFI main boot record, essentially preventing you from booting into Android by completely bypassing the Grub2 boot menu.
When this happens, simply follow the following instructions to restore the Grub2 boot menu:

  1. Turn on your GPD Win and hold down the ESC-key to boot into the UEFI BIOS.
  2. Once inside the BIOS, keep pressing the right-arrow key on your GPD Win’s keyboard until you’ve reached the Save & Exit menu.
  3. Next, keep pressing the down-arrow key until you’ve reached the Boot Override section of the menu.
  4. Select the UEFI: Built-in EFI Shell option from the available boot options and press the Enter key to boot into it.
  5. Wait until the EFI Shell has fully booted (the countdown has reached 0).
  6. Type grubx64.efi and press the Enter key to boot into the Grub2 boot menu (this will restore the Grub2 boot record, at least until Windows decides to delete it again).