Android Emulator Problems in Eclipse

I’ve recently been playing with the Android SDK using Eclipse 3.5 as a development environment.  I coded up the Hello World sample and all was progressing smoothly.  However, I then coded my own project and after a couple of runs the Android emulator simply refused to initialize.  I would always get the same error message about how the runtime had requested to terminate the emulator in an unexpected way.  A few short Googles later and it seemed as though I was not alone in experiencing this problem.

This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.
Please contact the application’s support team for more information.

I tried rebooting my machine but to no avail as well as completely cleaning out my project.  It seemed that several people had even tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Android SDK without success.  It was at this point that I remembered I’d switched some of the emulator settings right around the time that the failure started to occur.  A little investigation showed that I’d added support for an 8MB  SD card to my virtual device in an attempt to more closely emulate the G1 that I own.  I quickly adjusted the settings back to their defaults and the emulator started functioning again.  I’m hopeful that with more experience I’d have been able to diagnose the problem via logging output or a more detailed debug mode.  As it is right now I’m something of a newbie to Android development so I just figured that some temporary files for the emulator were borked.

Every so often I seem to need to do this sort of thing to remind myself of the age old truth.  If software starts to break without any clear indication of why, it’s most likely due to something seemingly innocuous that the developer intentionally changed.  Always question your own actions first. 🙂

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