How To Boot Your PC Directly From Any Android Device
If you regularly enjoy modding your Android smartphone or tablet by running custom ROMs and such, it stands to reason that your tendency to dabble would also stretch to your computer. XDA Forum Member FrozenCow has, it would seem, taken this idea of a ‘modding mentality’ to the next level in the development of his DriveDroid app which, as the name implies, allows an Android device to double up as a convenient boot device for your computer.
Once DriveDroid has been installed, you can then use your smartphone or tablet to boot your PC into numerous operating systems from image files such as .ISO or .IMG. As if that wasn’t convenient enough a feature, users also needn’t bother with the rigmarole of downloading images to the PC and transferring over to the device – DriveDroid features its own, nifty little menu offering a bunch of distros ready to download straight to your device’s SD card.
It’s nice, particularly from a modder’s point of view, to be able to perform a boot straight from a device. If anything, it’s a geek’s dream. However, there are also very practical uses associated with having a booting-from-device option – a complete recovery can be kept by your side at all times. This means, of course, that if you’re a frequent traveller and want to recover / boot a particular distro at any given moment, you needn’t unnecessarily lug around a USB drive or CD / DVD.
It’s a fledgling project, so don’t expect miracles, and the app does rely on the kernel’s ability to support USB mass storage mode. However, since most kernels in fact do support UMS (it’s usually just a case of enabling it), users should not have a problem getting started with DriveDroid. Also, the app automatically checks whether UMS is enabled on the first run, and will run you through the steps on how to do so if, as may well be the case, UMS is in fact disabled.
If you wish to check it out, you may download it from the Play Store from the link given below. As I say, it’s currently a work in progress, and unless you’re a pretty seasoned developer / modder, you’d probably better skip this app until some of the kinks have been ironed out.