Friday, May 27, 2011

Android Emulator Error unknown virtual device name

Couple of days back I got a windows system where I was required to do some changes for a Android app. So I started by downloading Android SDK and required packages. I created a AVD using SDK Manager. When I tried to start the AVD I got an error emulator: ERROR: unknown virtual device name. Below is the snapshot for the same.

At that time I googled a bit and found the solution by reading couple of articles. Today again one of my colleagues faced the same issue and I was scratching my head to find out what was the solution. Again wasted around 30mins to find the solution. Finally it got working, but 30mins gone wasted on a problem for which I already searched and found solution in past. So just to avoid any such instance, as a note-to-myself, in this article I'll document the exact steps required to fix this issue

Reason for this issue is Android SDK Manager (by default) expects the AVDs to be in C:\Documents and Settings\<win_user>\.android (in case of win xp) directory when AVD is started. But when AVDs are created (by default) SDK Manager creates it under C:\WINNT\.android directory. Here <win_user> is the name of the user using which you have logged in to Windows PC.

To resolve this, one of the solutions is to create a symbolic link to C:\WINNT\.android directory. To do so, follow below mentioned steps

  1. Download Sysinternal's Junction utility.
  2. Create a symbolic link using below command
    junction "C:\Documents and Settings\<win_user>\.android" C:\WINNT\.android
  3. Try starting your AVD now. It should start
  4. Done

Cheers !!!
- Jay


  1. I like your blog technique.This is one of the valuable post.thanks for share with us.Good post.
    Android app developers


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