September 2018: Format and recovery, for when things go wrong with Chromebook

If something’s gone wrong with your Chromebook and you can’t even get to the login screen, there’s still one more option: completely wipe the storage drive and restore it from remote media.

Warning: this process will completely wipe the operating system and storage of your Chromebook, making it entirely unusable until the recovery is completed. Google recommends you take a few precautionary steps first.

To complete this process, you’ll need a separate computer running the Chrome browser, and a 4GB or larger USB drive or SD card that you can completely erase. It’s also a good idea to plug in your power cord.

To completely format (erase) the operating system from your Chromebook, hold down the Esc key and the Refresh key (top row, fourth from the left, with an arrow icon that makes a circle). While still holding those keys, press and release the Power key. Keep holding the Esc and Refresh key until you see a screen that says, “Chrome OS is missing or damaged.”

chrome os missing

Now switch over to your other computer. Insert your USB drive or SD card. Open Chrome and install the Chromebook recovery utility from Google, then launch the app. Click “Get started.”

Enter the model of your Chromebook, which should be displayed on the error screen — it’s the text at the bottom. Make sure to copy the text exactly. Click “Continue.” On this screen, select the USB drive or SD card you inserted earlier — make sure it’s the correct one, so that you don’t accidentally erase other drives connected to your computer. Click “Continue.” Click “Create now” on the next screen, then wait for the writing process to complete. If the operating system asks you to confirm any software installations, do so.

chromebook recovery

Click “Done” when the process is finished, then remove the USB drive or SD card and insert it into your original Chromebook. The device will restart automatically and begin the recovery process. When the message “System recovery is complete” appears on the screen, remove the USB drive or SD card.

Your Chromebook will automatically restart. Set it up, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and log in with your Google account. That’s it! You’re ready to go.

If Chrome OS is still leaving you hankering for a standard Windows machine, you could always install Windows on your Chromebook.

Approved by the technical department WOUGNET and sourced from DIGITAL TRENDS

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