What is DriveDroid?

DriveDroid allows you to boot your PC from ISO/IMG files stored on your phone. This is ideal for trying Linux distributions or always having a rescue-system on the go without the need to burn different CDs or USB pendrives. It also includes a way to download popular free images right from your phone, again without the need to use a PC. You can also create images that you can use to build your own bootable images or just share files.

What does the paid version include?

The paid version has two additional features:

Custom download repositories are a way for you to create your own download list of images that you could share with others. This is most useful in companies where multiple people need images that aren't in DriveDroids official list. This can include Windows images as well as customized ones.

Image resizing allows you to shrink or grow existing images. Note that this only shrinks or grows the image, not the partitions. You still need something like GParted to resize/add/remove partitions.

What do I need for DriveDroid to work?

The following:

How to get going?

First follow the steps in the USB setup wizard. Many potential problems are filtered out and you can test your phone as well as your PC on a proven image that works in all kinds of setups.

Next you can download an image of choice.

This will download SliTaz: a 35MB Linux distribution with most useful applications installed. Once SliTaz is finished downloading go to DriveDroids main screen and select slitaz-4.0.iso from the list. Choose Read-only USB or CD-rom, whichever is available on your phone.

What are the different options when hosting an image?

When selecting an image you get a dialog with options on how to host the file. There are 3 options in total:

DriveDroid does not show the USB or CD-rom options when hosting an image

Your kernel determines what options are available on your phone. Most kernels only have USB options and no CD-rom options. Some HTC and Samsung kernels only have the CD-rom option.

If you want to have all options available, you need to have a custom kernel that has a specific patch applied to it. For a list of these kernels, check DriveDroids thread on XDA-developers.

Can I install Windows from DriveDroid?

Yes. However you do need a phone that shows up as an USB device. Follow the guide on using Rufus to create bootable USB images. Alternatively you can use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to do the same as Rufus.

Hosting ISO files directly when your phone shows up as a CD-ROM device is possible, however there is a size limitation in the kernel Android. Windows 10 ISOs are larger than this limitation.

A distribution I like isn't listed in DriveDroid, what now?

You can download the ISO or IMG from your desktop and copy over the file to your Android device. By default DriveDroid lists files that are in (sdcard)/downloads/images.

You can also create an image on your phone and burn the ISO/IMG from your desktop to that hosted image. This is described in the Rufus tutorial.

If you know the ISO or IMG works you can also mail me so that I can add the distribution to the list of downloadable images.


No USB or CD drive shows up in Windows/MacOSX/Linux

In recent versions of DriveDroid this issue should be rare. For anyone still encountering this issue, please send a support email through DriveDroids preferences.

No USB or CD drive shows up in bios

Presuming you do see a drive in Windows/MacOSX/Linux, there can be a couple of reasons.

When you're on Mac OSX the images you use must support UEFI booting. Most of the Linux distributions don't support this out-of-the-box. You need to burn the image using something like Rufus or use an image that does support this. drivedroid.img should support UEFI booting.

For modern non-Mac motherboards you often can configure whether you want to boot using UEFI or through the legacy booting mechanism. When it's configured to use UEFI, you need to make sure the image supports UEFI booting.

Installations from the USB disk halt unexpectedly

Some phones disable their USB port when it's idle. See whether keeping the phone busy during the installation helps, otherwise send a support email through DriveDroids preferences

HTC Sync Manager pops up while using DriveDroid

At the moment there isn't a good solution for this. Please send a support email through DriveDroids preferences.