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


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Do you have an outdated notebook or computer sitting in the corner of your place of work, accumulating dust and using up area? As an alternative of declaring that you can discover a use for it, a person day, get a several minutes out of your day to give it new lifetime by setting up Google’s absolutely free operating process, Chrome OS Flex. Fundamentally, Chrome OS Flex turns any computer system it can be put in on into a Chrome OS product, supplying that pile of electronics a renewed objective. 

Under I will walk you by way of the process of setting up Chrome OS Flex, which is appropriate with Windows, Mac, and Linux computer systems. Right now, Chrome OS Flex is in early obtain, by means of Google’s dev channel, so not all capabilities will do the job, and not just about every laptop computer and configuration will be supported. So, be expecting to run into a couple bugs or issues whilst employing it as Google irons out the final develop. 

Program necessities to set up Chrome OS Flex

There’s a very lengthy listing of units on Google’s Chrome OS Flex assist website page, just about every one particular marked with various ranges of support. I would not watch the list as a little something that if your laptop or laptop or computer isn’t on the record you are not able to consider Chrome OS Flex. In actuality, I employed a Huawei MateBook D — which is not on the record at all — for this pretty short article. 

Google does checklist the least unit demands for a Pc, Mac, or Linux equipment to run Chrome OS Flex. Right here it is, taken straight from a Google aid page:

Minimal product specifications:

  • Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-bit suitable product
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Internal storage: 16 GB
  • Bootable from a USB drive
  • BIOS: Full administrator obtain. You will will need to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some changes in the BIOS if you operate into issues.
  • Processor and graphics: Parts manufactured in advance of 2010 could possibly final result in a bad working experience.
  • Note: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics components do not satisfy Chrome OS Flex performance standards.

As you can see, the demands are negligible. Chrome OS Flex is built to run on, a lot more or much less, any computer built right after 2010. 

Other demands

In addition to a pc that meets the minimal needs, you can expect to need to have a computer with the Chrome browser and an 8GB USB drive that you can use to flash the running system to the old computer system. 

Build a Chrome OS Flex USB installer


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

To set up Chrome OS Flex on yet another laptop or computer, you can to start with need to have to generate what is actually called a USB Installer. The USB generate has all of the data files and data essential to put in the running technique. Google made it straightforward to generate the installer applying the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension. Yes, it is an extension in the Chrome browser. Wonderful, huh? 

You have to have to add the extension to your browser from the Chrome Net Shop. Here’s a immediate hyperlink to it

The moment it’s extra, open up the extension and then observe the prompts in the window. The process consists of formatting the USB generate you happen to be working with (erasing all the things that’s presently on it, so make confident it will not have anything important). On the next display screen, you happen to be asked to discover your Chromebook. Click on Pick out a design from a listing, adopted by the Maker dropdown, then find Google Chrome OS Flex in the record and find it. Upcoming, click Choose a product and click on on the only option, Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Last but not least, click Continue on.

From in this article, hook up the USB travel to your computer, select it from the dropdown, and click Continue followed by Create now. The extension will just take a several minutes to download all of the essential documents, and then publish them to the USB push you’re using. 

Experience cost-free to go for a stroll, get a cup of coffee, or do some searching on Amazon when the extension does its work. It took underneath 5 minutes for me, but a ton of that relies upon on how fast your web relationship is. 

How to install Chrome OS Flex on a Pc, Mac, or Linux device


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The moment the installation push has been developed, you happen to be completely ready to try out out or install Chrome OS Flex on your outdated computer system. 

With the old pc turned off, plug the USB installation push into it. Push the electric power button, and then quickly begin urgent your computer’s boot key. If you you should not know what that is, Google has a list of prevalent keys damaged down by brand.

On a Mac, for instance, you maintain the Choice essential. On a Dell, you are going to push F12. If your pc just isn’t on the listing, you could have to restart it a handful of instances and consider diverse keys although it is booting up. Alternatively, you can research your laptop computer model as well as the boot essential to discover it. 

The course of action from this issue will range based mostly on the type of computer, but the essential ways call for you to choose the USB installation push as the travel you want to boot the computer system from, which in transform reboots the pc, launching the Chrome OS Flex set up device. 

If you have trouble with this action, I recommend seeking for your specific laptop or computer design alongside with “How to boot from USB” in the query. 

The moment you’ve booted from the USB set up drive, you are requested if you want to exam Chrome OS Flex in advance of fully wiping your aged computer’s travel. If which is the route you decide on, then the OS will run on the USB push. 

Or, if you’ve now made up your thoughts, install Chrome OS Flex and stick to the prompts. You are going to want to have your Wi-Fi info useful, and after it’s all completed you can will need to sign in working with a Google account — so make absolutely sure you have that info close by as perfectly. 

Right after the set up completes, your laptop or computer will reboot and you are going to be greeted by the conventional Chrome OS indicator-in webpage, exactly where you can then log in with your Google account and start employing your previous computer, with a brand name new functioning method.