Have an old laptop or computer system? Give it new lifetime with Chrome OS Flex

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Do you have an outdated notebook or laptop sitting down in the corner of your business, accumulating dust and getting up room? Instead of indicating that you’ll come across a use for it, one particular day, get a handful of minutes out of your day to give it new lifetime by putting in Google’s free of charge operating procedure, Chrome OS Flex. In essence, Chrome OS Flex turns any laptop or computer it’s set up on into a Chrome OS machine, giving that pile of electronics a renewed reason. 

Down below I’ll stroll you as a result of the process of putting in Chrome OS Flex, which is appropriate with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Correct now, Chrome OS Flex is in early entry, via Google’s dev channel, so not all functions will perform, and not every single notebook and configuration will be supported. So, count on to run into a handful of bugs or concerns while applying it as Google irons out the ultimate establish. 

Process needs to install Chrome OS Flex

There is certainly a very very long listing of products on Google’s Chrome OS Flex support page, every a single marked with various levels of aid. I wouldn’t perspective the record as something that if your laptop computer or computer system is not on the list you are unable to try Chrome OS Flex. In point, I utilised a Huawei MateBook D — which is not on the list at all — for this quite post. 

Google does list the bare minimum system specifications for a Computer, Mac, or Linux device to run Chrome OS Flex. Right here it is, taken right from a Google help site:

Minimum system prerequisites:

  • Architecture: Intel or AMD x86-64-little bit suitable product
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Inner storage: 16 GB
  • Bootable from a USB drive
  • BIOS: Whole administrator obtain. You can need to boot from the Chrome OS Flex USB installer and make some adjustments in the BIOS if you run into concerns.
  • Processor and graphics: Factors designed before 2010 may possibly consequence in a inadequate knowledge.
  • Observe: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware do not meet Chrome OS Flex performance specifications.

As you can see, the necessities are minimal. Chrome OS Flex is designed to operate on, a lot more or a lot less, any pc designed just after 2010. 

Other specifications

In addition to a computer that satisfies the minimal specifications, you can need to have a laptop with the Chrome browser and an 8GB USB drive that you may use to flash the operating program to the outdated laptop or computer. 

Build a Chrome OS Flex USB installer


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

To set up Chrome OS Flex on one more personal computer, you will very first need to have to produce what is actually identified as a USB Installer. The USB travel has all of the documents and knowledge important to install the functioning technique. Google produced it uncomplicated to develop the installer using the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension. Of course, it truly is an extension in the Chrome browser. Amazing, huh? 

You require to incorporate the extension to your browser from the Chrome Net Keep. This is a immediate website link to it

The moment it is extra, open up the extension and then adhere to the prompts in the window. The course of action is made up of formatting the USB drive you’re making use of (erasing everything that is currently on it, so make confident it isn’t going to have anything at all crucial). On the second display, you happen to be questioned to detect your Chromebook. Click on Select a model from a record, adopted by the Maker dropdown, then find Google Chrome OS Flex in the record and find it. Next, click Select a product or service and simply click on the only solution, Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable). Eventually, click Keep on.

From in this article, connect the USB generate to your personal computer, decide on it from the dropdown, and click Continue followed by Make now. The extension will acquire a couple of minutes to down load all of the essential files, and then produce them to the USB travel you’re using. 

Really feel cost-free to go for a walk, get a cup of coffee, or do some searching on Amazon while the extension does its occupation. It took under 5 minutes for me, but a ton of that is dependent on how quickly your online relationship is. 

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


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

At the time the installation travel has been produced, you happen to be all set to try out out or install Chrome OS Flex on your old computer system. 

With the previous computer system turned off, plug the USB set up push into it. Press the energy button, and then instantly begin pressing your computer’s boot key. If you will not know what that is, Google has a list of typical keys broken down by brand.

On a Mac, for illustration, you keep the Selection important. On a Dell, you are going to push F12. If your laptop isn’t on the checklist, you may well have to restart it a couple situations and try diverse keys although it’s booting up. Alternatively, you can search your laptop computer model moreover the boot essential to discover it. 

The method from this level will fluctuate based mostly on the sort of computer system, but the critical methods call for you to pick the USB installation generate as the push you want to boot the computer from, which in turn reboots the laptop or computer, launching the Chrome OS Flex set up tool. 

If you have trouble with this move, I recommend seeking for your precise computer design along with “How to boot from USB” in the question. 

The moment you have booted from the USB set up travel, you happen to be asked if you want to check Chrome OS Flex right before absolutely wiping your previous computer’s generate. If which is the route you pick out, then the OS will run on the USB drive. 

Or, if you’ve presently built up your head, put in Chrome OS Flex and follow the prompts. You’ll want to have your Wi-Fi facts useful, and once it is all accomplished you are going to require to signal in making use of a Google account — so make sure you have that details close by as very well. 

After the set up completes, your computer will reboot and you can be greeted by the normal Chrome OS signal-in webpage, where you can then log in with your Google account and begin making use of your old laptop or computer, with a manufacturer new operating method.

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