How to Install Chrome OS on Laptop PC (Intel and AMD)

One stop guide to install Chrome OS on PC

by: - Last updated on: July 12th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Chrome OS is an operating system from Google which is aimed at providing a simple and easy-to-use experience for its users.
  • Users can run Android apps natively on Chrome OS using the Play store.
  • Google Chromebooks are known for running Chrome OS but are not yet mainstream across the world.
  • This guide will help users install Chrome OS on their old Windows PCs.

Google’s Chrome OS is gaining a lot of attention lately owing to its ease of use and overall functionality. In fact, Chromebooks cover the majority of the education market in the US. You might be wondering why I should install Chrome OS if I already have Windows? Well, the simple answer to that is performance and battery life. Chrome OS is not as heavy as Windows and hence can work relatively better on low spec PCs. Also, the ability to run Android apps natively is a bonus.

INSTALL CHROME OS ON LAPTOP

If you are a casual user who spends most of the time browsing or binge-watching the latest shows on Netflix, you should install Chrome OS on your PC. With that out of the way, let us have a detailed look at how you can install Chrome OS on your old PC.

Background Check on our PC

The PC we are using for this guide is a twelve-year-old Sony Vaio and is currently running on Windows 11 (we wrote a guide on how to install Windows 11 without TPM). The device runs on an Intel i3 M330 chipset which is clocked at 2.13GHz. Furthermore, it has just 4GB of RAM and Intel UHD graphics. We installed Chrome OS on this device, and it has been a smooth experience so far on this 12-year old machine. Let us have a detailed look at how you can do the same.

Important Disclaimer: You accept you understand the risks before proceeding further. Neither TechPP nor I are responsible for any issues you encounter.

Prerequisites for installing Chrome OS on laptop

  1. Download Linux cinnamon
  2. Download Chrome OS (Intel)
  3. Download Chrome OS (AMD)
  4. install.sh (Credits- Jagat Gyan)
  5. Brunch
  6. Brunch MBR Fix
  7. USB drive (minimum 8GB)
  8. Rufus

Quick Disclaimers

  1. All the Intel Gen 1 GPUs support only support versions up to Google Chrome OS 80. All other generations support the latest version of Google Chrome OS – (Currently Chrome OS 91)
  2. Users with legacy boot must download the Brunch MBR Fix file. That being said, users with UEFI boot should not download the MBR fix file.
  3. Both Intel and AMD CPUs are supported. Check the list for supported AMD CPUs here.
  4. All data in the disk you are installing on Chrome OS will get wiped.

Installing Linux Mint

Why are we installing Linux Mint? This might be the first question in your mind. The reason is we are first going to boot our PC into Linux Mint using a USB stick and then continue the Google Chrome OS installation process. Let us have a look at how to create a bootable drive using Rufus.

Creating a bootable drive using Rufus

  1. Open Rufus which we downloaded earlier.
  2. After opening Rufus, connect your USB flash drive to your PC. Please note- All the data on the USB flash drive will get wiped.
  3. Now choose your USB in Rufus.
  4. Once that is done, just below devices there is an option to choose an ISO file. Click on Select ISO and choose the Linux mint ISO.
    Windows 11 rufus
  5. Under the partition scheme, there will be 2 options – GPT and MBR. Now, this will depend upon your Disk. In our case, it is MBR so we chose MBR.
  6. Hit start and wait patiently as this may take some time.

Steps to check partition (MBR or GPT)

As we saw in the steps above, it is essential to choose the correct partition scheme. If we choose the wrong partition scheme, then the trick to install Chrome OS on PC will not work. Let us have a detailed look at the steps on how you can check your partition scheme.

  1. Go to the start menu and search “Create and format disk partitions” and open it.
  2. After opening, you will see all your drives. Here, click on the drive you are going to install Windows 11 on and right-click and select Properties.
  3. In the properties tab, click on Hardware and choose Properties again
  4. Look for the Volumes tab and select it.
    Windows 11 MBR/GPT
  5. Hit Populate and you will find the partition scheme under the partition style. Now, you can go back and continue making a bootable USB drive.

Managing Files (Intel)

  1. Connect the USB flash drive we just installed Linux mint to PC.
  2. Once connected, create a folder named ” Chrome OS ” inside the USB stick.
  3. Now, Extract the brunch 91 and MBR fixes file which we downloaded earlier using WinRAR.
  4. Once both the files are extracted, place the extracted files inside the Chrome OS folder in the USB stick.
  5. We also have to extract the Chrome OS file we downloaded earlier. Extract the file and place it in the Chrome OS folder.
  6. Here comes the most important step. Rename the Chrome OS file to “rammus_recovery.bin”.
  7. Finally, also copy the install.sh file inside the Chrome OS folder.

Managing Files (AMD)

  1. While the process is same for AMD users, the file names are a bit different.
  2. Where intel users renamed the chrome OS file rammus_recovery.bin. The AMD users have to rename it to zork_reovery.bin.
  3. AMD users also need to change the name in install.sh file. So lets do that.
  4. Open install.sh file with a text editor and change rammus_recovery.bin to zork_recovery.bin.
  5. Click save and continue the installation process.

Booting into Linux Mint Cinnamon

  1. Open BIOS settings on your laptop. That being said, the process to enter bios (boot menu) is different for different manufactures. In our case on Sony Vaio, it is the F2 key when the device is booting.
  2. After you have successfully entered bios settings, search for the boot preferences. Again, this differs from device to device.
  3. In the boot, preferences select USB device as first boot priority and restart your device.
  4. During bootup from USB, you will see multiple options, choose the Linux cinnamon option.
    linux boot screen
  5. Boom, you have now successfully booted into Linux Mint.

Installing Chrome OS on Laptop PC

  1. After booting into Linux Mint successfully, it is extremely important to connect to a Wi-Fi network. The installation process will get hampered if you do not connect to the internet.
    linux wifi
  2. Once you have successfully connected to the internet, click on the green file manager icon in the bottom left of the taskbar.
  3. In File Manager, click on the file system option in the left panel of the screen.
    file manager linux
  4. Under file manager, navigate to the cdrom folder.cd rom folder linux
  5. In the cdrom folder, go to the Chrome OS folder.
    Chrome OS folder linux
  6. Now, right-click anywhere in the folder and choose the open terminal option.
  7. Here, type ” sudo sh install.sh ” and press enter. The Google Chrome OS installation process will now begin.
    Linux terminal
  8. During the installation process, it will ask permission for wiping the data. Here, type yes and press enter. That being said, make sure the internet connection is up and running.
  9. After successful installation, it will display a message saying Chrome OS installed.
  10. Now, Shut down your pc and remove the USB drive from your PC.
  11. Turn on your PC and choose Chrome OS. Done, you have successfully installed Chrome OS on your Windows laptop.

It’s now ready to be used for browsing the internet with Google Chrome, access your Google Drive files, or anything else you would normally do with a Chromebook.

Fixing Common Chrome OS Issues on PC

After installing Chrome OS and logging in with your Google accounts, there might be chances that you might face certain issues. Like in our case, the trackpad of the Laptop was not working. Similarly, a few things might not work for you as well. Don’t worry. The developers have already found fixes for these common issues. You can check the complete list of commands here. Let us have a look at how you can apply these fixes.

Troubleshooting the Trackpad issue on Chrome OS

  1. Open Chrome and press Ctrl + Alt + T  together to open the terminal.
  2. In terminal type “shell” and press enter.
  3. Now type “sudo edit-grub-config” and press enter.
    chrome os terminal
  4. Here go down and right next to cros debug type “options= alt_touchpad_config2”. Similarly, do the same under Chrome OS debug. Check image for reference.
    chrome os touchpad fix
  5. After adding the lines, press ctrl+x and then click on Y.
  6. Finally, press the enter key and restart your device. (It might take some time to boot and apply changes)

Troubleshooting Internal Hard Disk (Applying multiple fixes)

  1. Open Chrome and press Ctrl + Alt + T  together to open the terminal.
  2. In terminal type “shell” and press enter.
  3. Now type “sudo edit-grub-config” and press enter.
  4. Since we already added a touchpad fix just add a comma and type command for the hard disk. Similarly. this way you can add multiple fixes.
  5. After adding the lines, press ctrl+x and then click on Y.
  6. Finally, press the enter key and restart your device. (It might take some time to boot and apply changes)

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Can I install Windows again if I do not like Chrome OS?

Yes, you can always go back to Windows again on your laptop or desktop if you don’t like how Chrome OS works or for any other reason. That being said, it is crucial to create a bootable Windows USB stick as a backup if you face issues while installing Chrome OS.

2. Do Android Apps work on Chrome OS running on a PC?

Yes, there is support for the Google Play store. One can simply sign in and enjoy their favorite Android apps on their PC running Chrome OS.

3. Will I get future Chrome OS updates?

The answer to this question of automatic updates is a bit tricky. Yes, you can add a command to enable Chrome OS update, but you might want to do this at your own risk. As sometimes, it might leave the PC unbootable.

4. Can you dual boot Chrome OS with Windows 7, 8, or 10?

Technically, yes. You can dual boot Chrome OS and Windows on the same PC. But the procedure is too technical for this guide. If more people are interested, we can do a dedicated guide for dual-booting Windows and Chrome OS by raising a separate partition on Windows to install Chrome OS.

5. What’s the difference between Chrome OS and Chromium OS?

Chrome OS is built on top of Chromium OS. Chromium OS is a free, open-source project that anyone is encouraged to take and freely use. Therefore, you can get pretty close to a Chrome OS experience if you install Chromium OS like Cloudready on your computer. There is, however, a certain level of technical expertise required.

6. Can you download Google Chrome OS for free?

Chrome OS was previously reserved for Chromebook users but is now available on other devices as well. Unlike Windows or Linux, it doesn’t require installation and can be used without a system. All you have to do is download Chrome OS to a USB drive and make it bootable using Etcher or some other software. We have provided link to download Chrome OS above (for both Intel-based and AMD-based PCs).

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  1. How do you enable automatic updates on Chrome OS then? I’m experimenting with it on an old laptop and don’t mind if its rendered unbootable.

  2. I am using AMD E1 processor with AMD Rdeon R2 graphics. Which recovery image should I download as I have found no recovery image compatible with my processor.