Install Android USB Driver on Windows 8

With a broken power button on my Nexus S running Jelly Bean, the only way I can do a screen capture for the app we are releasing to the play store is to use Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS) tool in the Android SDK.

In the latest Android SDK, Google deprecated DDMS and introduced a new tool call Monitor as a replacement. Enabling “USB Debugging” on my Nexus S, it fails to show up on the device list.

After some troubleshooting, we found out that the problem is because of a missing usb driver that I need to install on Windows 8. Here comes the problem. Windows is unable to search for a suitable driver online. The Samsung USB driver is only for Windows 7 and below. There are complex solutions that are more than a page long and many brick their phones trying.

The solution:

If your device is one of the Android Developer Phones (ADP), a Nexus One, or a Nexus S, then you need the Google USB Driver, instead of an OEM driver. The Galaxy Nexus driver, however, is distributed by Samsung (listed as model SCH-I515).

How to install the driver on Windows 8:

  1. Connect your Android-powered device to your computer’s USB port.
  2. Right-click on Computer from your desktop or Windows Explorer, and select Properties.
  3. Select Device Manager in the left pane.
  4. Locate and expand Other device in the list.
  5. Right-click the device name (such as Nexus S) and select Update Driver Software. This will launch the Hardware Update Wizard.
  6. Select Browse my computer for driver software and click Next.
  7. Click Browse and locate the USB driver folder. (The Google USB Driver is located in \extras\google\usb_driver.)
  8. Click Next to install the driver.

After installing the driver, Nexus S will appear in the device list.