Use an Android Device to Recover Your PC [DriveDroid]

Encountering a computer crash or data loss can feel like a nightmare. But what if we told you that an unlikely hero is waiting in your pocket or bag, ready to come to the rescue?

Yes, you heard it right! Your trusty Android device can be the ultimate saviour when it comes to recovering your PC.

This article will guide you through the steps to use your Android device to recover your PC data and get your computer up and running again.

What to Do When Your Windows Get Corrupted?

It’s possible for a Windows system to crash for a number of reasons, such as a malware infection or hardware failure, and you might assume that you’d need a computer to create a boot disc. You might benefit from this if you have an Android device that supports USB On-the-Go and is running Android 3.1 or later. An appropriate OTG cable for the USB port is sold on the market, regardless of whether it is a USB C-port or a micro USB port.

An Android device can be connected to peripherals like mice, keyboards, USB flash drives, and more thanks to USB OTG support. Consequently, it can be used to download the recovery disc ISO file using a USB drive attached to an Android device. Connect the drive to the Android device, then use a specific app to burn the ISO to the drive.

Using Android As a PC

If you happen to have an Android phone or tablet nearby, you might be able to use it to repair your PC if it supports OTG. For instance, you might only need a new version of your preferred operating system or a special recovery disc. Choose the recovery disc, though, if you’re unsure. Find a disc image ISO file that suits your needs and download it to your Android device if it has enough storage space. Try a tiny Linux distribution if you’re short on space.

Use your home network instead of mobile internet, please. An operating system download will consume several gigabytes of data, potentially using up all of your mobile data.

Create Bootable ISO Media With an App

You’ll require a programme to burn the ISO once you’ve downloaded it. There are a few options, but ISO 2 USB is one of the most reliable. However, you’ll also need an OTG adapter to use this. You can buy this cable for a reasonable price from mobile phone retailers or online. The OTG adapter cable will let you connect a USB flash drive once it is attached to your phone. You can use this location to write your downloaded ISO.

Begin by connecting the USB drive via the OTG cable, then tapping the first Pick button. Choose your USB drive, then proceed to the second Pick button to choose the ISO file. Be sure to accept Android’s permission requests throughout; you’ll be asked to allow access to your media files and the USB drive.

With both selected, you can then tap Start to begin writing the data. It shouldn’t take long to complete; remove the USB device, insert it into your PC, and begin recovery. Remember to change the boot order in your computer’s BIOS to enable booting from USB.

Turning a Phone Into a Bootable Linux Environment

If you don’t have a USB flash drive or a USB-to-OTG cable, but do have a rooted Android device, you can try an alternative approach. DriveDroid is a useful utility that lets you boot your PC directly over a USB cable using any ISO or IMG file stored on your phone. You just need your Android smartphone or tablet and a suitable cable—no flash drives are required. DriveDroid is available in free and paid options.

It’s crucial to remember that rooted devices are the only ones that can use this option. Even so, there is a chance that some phones won’t function properly because of kernel quirks. Also keep in mind that your device must support USB Mass Storage for this solution to work. Despite the fact that USB Mass Storage is not supported by current versions of Android, DriveDroid’s website states that “DriveDroid has various methods of enabling Mass Storage.”

How to Recover a PC Using DriveDroid

After installing DriveDroid, head to a desktop computer and download the ISO you plan to use for recovery.

Run DriveDroid and Grant root permissions. Next, click the Download button, and select an OS to download to your phone. A massive selection is available, from Ubuntu to ZorinOS, Tiny Linux, Gentoo, Arch Linux, and other top Linux distros. However, if you’re trying to recover your PC, the best options are boot-repair-disk, or CloneZilla if you need to clone the contents of your dying HDD.

Note that when you select an OS, you’re given a version to select. This is typically a recent build, in 32-bit or 64-bit flavours. Be sure to select the OS that suits the build of the PC you’re attempting to recover. With the OS selection made, wait while it downloads to your Android device. The ISO file will save in the Downloads folder, but will also appear in the main DriveDroid screen. Select the ISO, then wait while the options are displayed. Choose standard USB storage, read-only USB storage, or CD-ROM. This will determine how the ISO behaves when you reboot your computer.

You can then connect the Android device to your PC, and reboot. As long as your computer’s boot selection screen is configured to default to USB devices, the downloaded operating system will boot from your phone. You can then use this to recover your PC, or even install a brand-new OS.

Two Options to Recover Your PC With Android

If your PC is out of action, you can install a new operating system or run a recovery environment thanks to Android. Two solid options are available:

  • ISO 2 USB: This lets you burn an ISO file directly to a USB flash drive over USB-OTG.
  • DriveDroid: This enables you to store bootable ISO files on Android.

By now you should have either a USB stick with a disk image installed or an Android device with one or more ISOs ready to boot your PC.

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and When not working, he plays Valorant.

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