Have an aged notebook or laptop or computer? Give it new life with Chrome OS Flex


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Do you have an outdated notebook or computer sitting down in the corner of your business, accumulating dust and having up house? Instead of indicating that you will uncover a use for it, 1 working day, just take a number of minutes out of your day to give it new life by installing Google’s free working technique, Chrome OS Flex. In essence, Chrome OS Flex turns any computer it truly is put in on into a Chrome OS gadget, supplying that pile of electronics a renewed function. 

Down below I’ll walk you through the system of putting in Chrome OS Flex, which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. Ideal now, Chrome OS Flex is in early accessibility, via Google’s dev channel, so not all options will do the job, and not every single notebook and configuration will be supported. So, expect to operate into a couple bugs or issues when employing it as Google irons out the last develop. 

Procedure necessities to install Chrome OS Flex

There is a very extended record of equipment on Google’s Chrome OS Flex assist webpage, each one particular marked with varying amounts of assist. I would not look at the listing as something that if your laptop computer or personal computer just isn’t on the list you can’t try Chrome OS Flex. In point, I made use of a Huawei MateBook D — which is not on the checklist at all — for this extremely article. 

Google does listing the minimum amount gadget demands for a Laptop, Mac, or Linux equipment to operate Chrome OS Flex. In this article it is, taken specifically from a Google guidance site:

Minimal gadget necessities:

  • Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-little bit appropriate device
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Inside storage: 16 GB
  • Bootable from a USB generate
  • BIOS: Full administrator access. You are going to will need to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some adjustments in the BIOS if you run into troubles.
  • Processor and graphics: Factors designed just before 2010 may possibly outcome in a poor knowledge.
  • Observe: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics components do not fulfill Chrome OS Flex efficiency requirements.

As you can see, the demands are small. Chrome OS Flex is made to run on, additional or a lot less, any laptop or computer developed after 2010. 

Other specifications

In addition to a computer system that fulfills the minimal needs, you may need a personal computer with the Chrome browser and an 8GB USB drive that you’ll use to flash the functioning procedure to the old computer system. 

Generate a Chrome OS Flex USB installer

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

To install Chrome OS Flex on one more laptop or computer, you are going to first want to develop what’s named a USB Installer. The USB drive has all of the documents and knowledge vital to install the operating system. Google produced it uncomplicated to make the installer working with the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension. Certainly, it really is an extension in the Chrome browser. Great, huh? 

You need to increase the extension to your browser from the Chrome Web Retail store. Here is a immediate link to it

As soon as it is really extra, open up the extension and then observe the prompts in the window. The system is made up of formatting the USB push you’re making use of (erasing almost everything that’s presently on it, so make confident it would not have anything at all important). On the 2nd screen, you might be requested to determine your Chromebook. Click on Pick a model from a checklist, followed by the Maker dropdown, then find Google Chrome OS Flex in the checklist and choose it. Up coming, click Choose a product or service and click on the only option, Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Ultimately, click Go on.

From here, link the USB drive to your personal computer, pick out it from the dropdown, and click Continue followed by Produce now. The extension will acquire a couple of minutes to download all of the essential information, and then publish them to the USB drive you happen to be utilizing. 

Truly feel free of charge to go for a walk, get a cup of coffee, or do some shopping on Amazon when the extension does its career. It took under 5 minutes for me, but a large amount of that depends on how rapid your online connection is. 

How to install Chrome OS Flex on a Computer system, Mac, or Linux machine

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

As soon as the installation drive has been established, you are all set to check out out or install Chrome OS Flex on your outdated pc. 

With the outdated computer system turned off, plug the USB installation travel into it. Press the ability button, and then immediately begin urgent your computer’s boot crucial. If you will not know what that is, Google has a listing of widespread keys damaged down by brand name.

On a Mac, for illustration, you keep the Option vital. On a Dell, you can expect to push F12. If your laptop or computer is just not on the record, you may perhaps have to restart it a several instances and test different keys even though it really is booting up. Alternatively, you can research your laptop computer design furthermore the boot crucial to uncover it. 

The procedure from this issue will vary based on the style of laptop, but the crucial ways call for you to decide on the USB installation travel as the drive you want to boot the pc from, which in flip reboots the personal computer, launching the Chrome OS Flex installation device. 

If you have problems with this move, I suggest browsing for your particular pc design along with “How to boot from USB” in the question. 

Once you’ve booted from the USB set up push, you are questioned if you want to examination Chrome OS Flex before absolutely wiping your outdated computer’s generate. If that’s the route you pick out, then the OS will run on the USB drive. 

Or, if you’ve got currently built up your mind, set up Chrome OS Flex and adhere to the prompts. You’ll want to have your Wi-Fi info handy, and after it is really all accomplished you are going to have to have to indicator in applying a Google account — so make sure you have that information nearby as nicely. 

Immediately after the set up completes, your personal computer will reboot and you are going to be greeted by the typical Chrome OS signal-in site, where by you can then log in with your Google account and get started using your old laptop or computer, with a brand new running procedure.