Have an outdated laptop or pc? Give it new existence with Chrome OS Flex

Have an outdated laptop or pc? Give it new existence with Chrome OS Flex

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Do you have an outdated laptop or personal computer sitting down in the corner of your office, collecting dust and getting up area? Alternatively of expressing that you can expect to uncover a use for it, a person working day, get a number of minutes out of your working day to give it new life by setting up Google’s cost-free operating process, Chrome OS Flex. Fundamentally, Chrome OS Flex turns any computer it truly is set up on into a Chrome OS gadget, providing that pile of electronics a renewed objective. 

Beneath I am going to walk you through the method of installing Chrome OS Flex, which is appropriate with Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. Proper now, Chrome OS Flex is in early entry, through Google’s dev channel, so not all characteristics will operate, and not each laptop computer and configuration will be supported. So, hope to operate into a couple bugs or challenges even though applying it as Google irons out the last build. 

Method prerequisites to install Chrome OS Flex

There’s a very long listing of units on Google’s Chrome OS Flex guidance webpage, each individual 1 marked with various degrees of guidance. I would not watch the list as a thing that if your notebook or computer system is just not on the listing you can’t consider Chrome OS Flex. In simple fact, I used a Huawei MateBook D — which is not on the checklist at all — for this very short article. 

Google does list the minimum amount product prerequisites for a Personal computer, Mac, or Linux equipment to operate Chrome OS Flex. Right here it is, taken specifically from a Google help page:

Minimum amount gadget prerequisites:

  • Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-little bit compatible unit
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Inner storage: 16 GB
  • Bootable from a USB push
  • BIOS: Complete administrator access. You will need to have to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some adjustments in the BIOS if you operate into concerns.
  • Processor and graphics: Parts built ahead of 2010 might outcome in a lousy experience.
  • Observe: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware do not fulfill Chrome OS Flex efficiency criteria.

As you can see, the needs are negligible. Chrome OS Flex is intended to run on, a lot more or significantly less, any computer built soon after 2010. 

Other demands

In addition to a computer that meets the minimum prerequisites, you are going to need to have a personal computer with the Chrome browser and an 8GB USB generate that you will use to flash the operating technique to the aged laptop or computer. 

Make a Chrome OS Flex USB installer


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

To put in Chrome OS Flex on an additional personal computer, you may 1st need to produce what is identified as a USB Installer. The USB drive has all of the data files and info important to set up the working technique. Google produced it effortless to build the installer applying the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension. Of course, it truly is an extension in the Chrome browser. Awesome, huh? 

You want to include the extension to your browser from the Chrome Net Shop. Here is a direct website link to it

After it is extra, open up the extension and then stick to the prompts in the window. The process consists of formatting the USB generate you’re employing (erasing every thing that is at the moment on it, so make sure it does not have nearly anything critical). On the 2nd display, you happen to be asked to recognize your Chromebook. Click on on Find a model from a record, adopted by the Company dropdown, then find Google Chrome OS Flex in the list and find it. Subsequent, click Select a solution and click on the only choice, Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Last but not least, click Keep on.

From in this article, join the USB push to your laptop or computer, find it from the dropdown, and click Continue followed by Generate now. The extension will get a couple minutes to down load all of the necessary information, and then generate them to the USB generate you happen to be making use of. 

Really feel no cost to go for a wander, get a cup of espresso, or do some buying on Amazon whilst the extension does its work. It took below 5 minutes for me, but a large amount of that relies upon on how rapidly your online connection is. 

How to put in Chrome OS Flex on a Laptop, Mac, or Linux machine


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The moment the set up push has been developed, you’re completely ready to consider out or put in Chrome OS Flex on your outdated laptop or computer. 

With the old laptop or computer turned off, plug the USB installation travel into it. Push the electricity button, and then immediately begin urgent your computer’s boot important. If you don’t know what that is, Google has a list of typical keys damaged down by manufacturer.

On a Mac, for instance, you keep the Choice crucial. On a Dell, you can press F12. If your pc isn’t really on the listing, you may have to restart it a several periods and attempt various keys while it can be booting up. Alternatively, you can search your laptop computer design additionally the boot key to discover it. 

The process from this issue will vary based mostly on the sort of computer system, but the important measures need you to find the USB set up push as the generate you want to boot the laptop from, which in convert reboots the computer, launching the Chrome OS Flex set up software. 

If you have hassle with this stage, I suggest exploring for your precise laptop or computer model together with “How to boot from USB” in the query. 

After you have booted from the USB put in generate, you are questioned if you want to take a look at Chrome OS Flex just before fully wiping your previous computer’s travel. If which is the route you select, then the OS will run on the USB travel. 

Or, if you have already manufactured up your thoughts, set up Chrome OS Flex and abide by the prompts. You can expect to want to have your Wi-Fi data helpful, and the moment it can be all finished you can expect to require to sign in using a Google account — so make absolutely sure you have that info close by as effectively. 

Immediately after the installation completes, your personal computer will reboot and you will be greeted by the standard Chrome OS signal-in web site, wherever you can then log in with your Google account and start applying your previous personal computer, with a brand new operating system.

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