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TwistyTravster TwistyTravster is offline
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Default Remix OS on Dell Mini! - 02-17-2016, 08:28 AM

Hello all,

I am brand new to the forum. How did I not find this community before now? Its too bad that its so quiet around here. I've had my Dell Mini 1012 for a couple of years. I initially tried working with Windows Starter, but it ran terribly. So I switched to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which worked fairly well but still ran slowly at times.

With the recent Alpha release of Remix OS, the Android x86 project, I was ecstatic to test it out on my Dell Mini to finally get it to function at its full potential. This is a tutorial for anyone wanting to install Remix OS on their Dell Mini.

You will need:
- A separate Windows PC
- USB flash drive with minimum 10MB/s write speed > Minimum 8GB FAT32 format.
- Empty pre-partitioned HDD/SSD > Minimum 8GB NTFS format
- Remix OS ISO (see below for download) > 32-bit or 64-bit, Legacy or UEFI
- IMGTools (see below for download) > To increase the storage size
- GMSInstaller.apk (see below see below for download) > For Google Play store

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REMIX OS INSTALLATION
-----------------------------------------------------

Start by downloading the 32-bit Legacy version of Remix OS via Torrent to your Windows PC: http://remix.jide.com/6

[If you are installing it onto a 64-bit capable machine, then by all means grab the 64-bit Legacy (Or UEFI) version from the Jide website.]

Unpack the zip file, and run the USB tool. Locate the ISO file located in the folder you just unzipped. Choose the drive letter for your USB flash drive. Click "OK".

After the USB tool finishes, you can safely remove it and insert it into your Dell Mini machine, making sure that the pre-paritioned drive is inside as well. Turn it on and press F12 to get to the boot menu. Choose the USB flash drive.

A screen will appear asking for Resident Mode or Guest Mode. Ignore it. Press 'Tab' or 'E', whichever the screen shows to edit the command line. Once there, go to the end of the command line and add "INSTALL=1". (no quotes). Press enter, and the screen should begin an install for Remix to your internal drive. Follow the on-screen commands to locate your partitioned drive. You may install GRUB and GRUB2, but the Debug part is optional. Make sure to put the full 2048MB as user data. After it finishes installing, you can run Android x86. And there you go!

Once you reboot your machine, you can unplug your USB and it will boot Remix directly from your drive.

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MAKE LARGER INTERNAL STORAGE THAN 4GB
-----------------------------------------------------

The next step is overcoming the issue that Remix OS has with user data storage. The OS is designed to be installed on a FAT32 formatted storage device, thus, it only allows a maximum of 4GB storage. We installed this onto a NTFS drive, so that isn't a problem.

You start by removing the internal drive from your Dell Mini and mounting it onto your Windows PC again. Once it is there, you can browse the drive and find the folder named android-xxxx-xx-xx based on the version you installed. Inside, there will be a file called data.img which is formatted to be the size of the internal storage - 4GB. To increase the internal storage of Remix we need to increase the size of this file.

Download IMGTools here: https://mega.nz/#!dpVFhJoB!2d4PCwnsm...Iv4ztNxG3JZLds

Find the Commands text file here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jlcxiqm8vs...mixOS.txt?dl=0

Unzip IMGTools to a folder. Press shift + right-click on white space in that folder, and select "Open Command Window Here".

Go into the commands text file, and copy the entire first line, as follows:

dd.exe iflag=count_bytes if=/dev/zero of="[PATH TO IMG]" count=[SIZE IN BYTES]

You need to input the [PATH TO IMG] as #:\android-xxxx-xx-xx\data.img. This is based on the drive letter of your Remix OS drive, and the version you installed. Make sure to keep the quotes.

For the [SIZE IN BYTES], refer to the size table in the commands text file and choose the size LOWER than what your total drive size is. In my case, I had a 320GB drive, so I actually formatted data.img to be 256GB (which is the equivalent of 274877906944 bytes). But if you had a 128GB drive, you would use 96GB. If you had a 96GB, you would use 64GB, and so on.

After all the data is inputted into the command line, press enter. Be aware, the larger the size you chose, the longer it will take. With 256GB, it took almost an hour.

Once it completes this stage, you need to enter the second command line in the text file:

mke2fs.exe -F -t ext4 "[PATH TO IMG]"

For [PATH TO IMG], it is the exact same as the previous command line, #:\android-xxxx-xx-xx\data.img.

After this step, when you reinsert the Remix drive into your Dell Mini and boot it up, you should see the full storage amount usable.

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INSTALL GOOGLE PLAY STORE
-----------------------------------------------------

For licensing reasons, Remix OS does not come pre-installed with the Google Play store. So you need to side-load it yourself.

Download the GMSInstaller.apk here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/atta...4&d=1452660239

Start Remix OS. Install APK file on it. Make sure "Unknown Sources" is selected in the Security Settings. Click on "One-click to install Google Services" (this will automatically download google play services). Go to Settings>Applications>Manage Applications>All. Select "Clear Data" for Google Play Services and Google Service Framework. Reboot OS. Go to browser and search Google Play Services. Click the link to the Google Play Store, then Log into a Google account, and click Update. Done!

Last edited by TwistyTravster; 02-17-2016 at 09:39 AM.
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TwistyTravster TwistyTravster is offline
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Default 02-17-2016, 06:00 PM

So I came to an unfortunate conclusion about my Dell Mini.

It works GREAT for almost everything that Android has to offer. It runs plenty of Android games, streams movies from a DNLA/uPnP server, accesses Social media, runs Google Office, and even certain Emulators.

However, I attempted to use Moonlight Streaming to stream full quality games from my Gaming PC to the Dell Mini, and it wouldn't work. After syncing Moonlight to NVIDIA GeForce Experience, when I tried to access Steam, it gave me an error, saying that 'This Device or ROM doesn't support hardware accelerated H.264 playback'. This came as somewhat of a surprise, because the Dell Mini has no issue playing/streaming movies in the H.264 codec on my media server. But there doesn't seem to be a way around this.

Last edited by TwistyTravster; 02-17-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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darknessblade darknessblade is offline
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Default 02-17-2016, 06:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistyTravster View Post
So I came to an unfortunate conclusion about my Dell Mini.

It works GREAT for almost everything that Android has to offer. It runs plenty of Android games, streams movies from a DNLA/uPnP server, accesses Social media, runs Google Office, and even certain Emulators.

However, I attempted to use Moonlight Streaming to stream full quality games from my Gaming PC to the Dell Mini, and it wouldn't work. After syncing Moonlight to NVIDIA GeForce Experience, when I tried to access Steam, it gave me an error, saying that 'This Device or ROM doesn't support hardware accelerated H.264 playback'. This came as somewhat of a surprise, because the Dell Mini has no issue playing/streaming movies in the H.264 codec on my media server. But there doesn't seem to be a way around this.
streaming works better with windows. (in my case)

buy a 10$ HDD cooler with 2 60mm fans
then use a usb to molex cable to power it.
it has a decent airflow. this will solve overheating issues.

my mini has 2GB ram an has windows 32bit
i have a supertalent dual wide ssd of 128GB

if you are using wifi to stream, try upgrading the wifi card, i have used a old one out of a asus laptop.

as for remix os, i might not use it, for safely means
there is also another alternative os:
reactOS (windows alternative)

Last edited by darknessblade; 02-17-2016 at 06:20 PM.
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TwistyTravster TwistyTravster is offline
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Default 02-17-2016, 07:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessblade View Post
streaming works better with windows. (in my case)

buy a 10$ HDD cooler with 2 60mm fans
then use a usb to molex cable to power it.
it has a decent airflow. this will solve overheating issues.

my mini has 2GB ram an has windows 32bit
i have a supertalent dual wide ssd of 128GB

if you are using wifi to stream, try upgrading the wifi card, i have used a old one out of a asus laptop.

as for remix os, i might not use it, for safely means
there is also another alternative os:
reactOS (windows alternative)
I already use a cooler. I really don't know how you would run the Mini without it. The lack of h.264 support is seriously a deal-breaker for me. I really wanted to stream games with Moonlight. But I think there is still a way.

I did a bit of research. It appears my Dell Mini does not have the Broadcom HD decoder. And I just disassembled it today to confirm that. However, I may try replacing the internal PCI-E Mini Wifi card with a PCI-E Mini Broadcom HD card. And then I coukd use a tiny Wifi 'N' USB dongle instead.

It is somewhat backwards of an approach, but I don't have a choice because there are no headers to install extra PCI-E cards. My only other option would be to get a Mini 1012 board off eBay that has the headers on it, as well as a Broadcom HD chip, which would make the cost unjustifiable.

The 3x USB ports on the Mini 1012 means that I wont be losing out too badly if I use 1 of the ports for a Wifi dongle small enough to not get in the way. I already have a wired network throughout my house, in case I decide to use the USB port for something else and connect a Ethernet cable.

UPDATE: I found a good deal on a Mini 1012 motherboard with the Broadcom included. I am going to install it and see how much better Remix runs. I will post an update afterwards.

Last edited by TwistyTravster; 02-18-2016 at 04:11 AM.
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darknessblade darknessblade is offline
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Default 02-18-2016, 09:43 PM

i brought a panel for the mini 910 to test to see if cutting into it and pasting on a cooler is better for cooling than only on the panel itself.

brought a 2nd one since i do not want to ruin my original panel, with a screwup that can happen.
----------
as for the wifi dongle cant you use a USB one? with a antenna?

or use the antenna cables to make 1 from small to regular antennappins


dell mini 910
supertalent dual wide ssd 128GB
2GB ddr2 400mhz ram
Realtek RTL8188SU
(not the 3G version)
hdd cooler as extra cooling
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TwistyTravster TwistyTravster is offline
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Default 02-19-2016, 12:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessblade View Post
i brought a panel for the mini 910 to test to see if cutting into it and pasting on a cooler is better for cooling than only on the panel itself.
That sounds like an interesting project. You should post a new thread with pictures about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknessblade View Post
as for the wifi dongle cant you use a USB one? with a antenna?
Yes. I bought a really cheap one USB 'n' wifi dongle and I plan to try it with the broadcom chip in my current motherboard, just out of curiosity to see if/how well it works. I'm still going to replace the motherboard, but I will try that first.
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darknessblade darknessblade is offline
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Default 02-20-2016, 10:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistyTravster View Post
That sounds like an interesting project. You should post a new thread with pictures about it.



Yes. I bought a really cheap one USB 'n' wifi dongle and I plan to try it with the broadcom chip in my current motherboard, just out of curiosity to see if/how well it works. I'm still going to replace the motherboard, but I will try that first.
i dont have the panel yet it will take around 3 weeks to buy it, it costed around 5$ (no inport taxes)

i currently use a hdd cooler, so i might not need the spare panel, or the panel mod at all, (i dont use my mini all the time, so cant test hdd cooler efficiency)

---------- Post added at 11:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:42 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistyTravster View Post
That sounds like an interesting project. You should post a new thread with pictures about it.



Yes. I bought a really cheap one USB 'n' wifi dongle and I plan to try it with the broadcom chip in my current motherboard, just out of curiosity to see if/how well it works. I'm still going to replace the motherboard, but I will try that first.
i dont have the panel yet it will take around 3 weeks to buy it, it costed around 5$ (no inport taxes)

i currently use a hdd cooler, so i might not need the spare panel, or the panel mod at all, will test its efficency in cooling.
---------------------
edit:
after 1.5 hours of cooling there is no feelable temperature change, normaly its get significally warmer
will leave my mini running for will keep it running for a few hours longer, to see if there is any more change.

the cooler cost around 10$ (no fan grill version)
fan grill version cost around 15$

you can get cheaper ones for 5$ from ebay, but i dont know if they are good, due them being mass produced and from a no-name brand
----------------------------
edit, today my 2nd panel came in the mail, will look at modding it in a few weeks, when my thermal pads i ordered today come in


dell mini 910
supertalent dual wide ssd 128GB
2GB ddr2 400mhz ram
Realtek RTL8188SU
(not the 3G version)
hdd cooler as extra cooling

Last edited by darknessblade; 02-24-2016 at 08:24 PM.
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