As far as operating systems go, Chrome OS is undoubtedly the most dependable. You won’t have to worry with the feared “blue screen of death,” crashes, viruses, boot failures, or any of the other issues that plague Windows, Mac, and popular Linux distributions.
Having saying that, things do go wrong from time to time. Most of the time, the source can be tracked back to the user. Perhaps you attempted to install Linux and something went wrong, perhaps you messed up in Developer Mode and made an irrevocable modification, or perhaps you were unfortunate and downloaded a Canary Build that wrecked the machine.
In any of these scenarios, you may need to reinstall the operating system from scratch. Continue reading to find out how.
Try a Powerwash
Why not try the Powerwash option first before taking the severe step of reinstalling the complete operating system?
The Powerwash is equivalent to pressing the factory reset button. It will remove locally saved user data and reset the Chromebook to factory settings, but it will not reinstall the operating system. It’s comparable to Windows 10’s new Reset and Refresh features.
To Powerwash your Chromebook, go to Settings > Advanced > Reset > Powerwash after clicking on your profile image in the bottom right-hand corner.
If you accept the Powerwash, your computer will restart, according to the onscreen notification. The whole procedure should take no more than five minutes.
Keep in mind that you will lose any locally stored data. Make a backup before continuing!
How to Reinstall Chrome OS
If you’re still having issues, you’ve exhausted your alternatives. The Chrome operating system must be installed from scratch. If you receive an onscreen notification that says “Chrome OS is missing or damaged,” you’ll need to reinstall the operating system. Nothing else will suffice.
What You Need
Before we get started with the step-by-step instructions, let’s go through everything you’ll need:
- A 4GB USB stick or SD card drive (if your Chromebook has an SD card connector).
Remember that the memory stick will be formatted throughout the procedure, so make a backup of any vital data you have stored on it.
- Another Chromebook, or a Windows or Mac system running the Chrome browser.
You cannot create recovery discs from the Chromebook on which you wish to reinstall Chrome OS. Yes, that is odd. No, you can’t do anything about that.
Download the App
What app, you ask? In contrast to downloading a fresh copy of Windows or macOS, you must download an official Google software to create the recovery disc. That’s why you’ll need a copy of Chrome running someplace other than the laptop you’re restoring.
The Chromebook Recovery Utility app may be found in the Chrome Web Store (download link below).
Simply click the Add to Chrome button in the top right-hand corner and wait for the download and installation to finish.
Download: Chromebook Recovery Utility (Free)
After installing the app, start it from the Chrome browser’s Apps tab. Then, on the main window of the app, click Get Started in the bottom right-hand corner.
On the following page, enter the model number of your Chromebook. This enables the Chromebook Recovery Utility to download the most current operating system version for your computer.
The model number may be found on the underside of your Chromebook. If you notice the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” message on your computer, it will also be shown elsewhere. If you still can’t locate it, you may make your choice from inside the program by choosing Select model from a list. When you’re finished, click Continue.
The software will then ask you to install the USB device you want to use. Connect it to your computer and choose it from the dropdown menu. Remember that any data presently stored on the card will be erased.
On the final screen, click on Create Now.
Install the OS on Your Chromebook
After you press the Create Now button, the software will download a copy of Chrome OS to your portable media. The download may take some time depending on the speed of your connection.
You must first boot your Chromebook into Recovery Mode before you can utilize the downloaded file. Hold down the Esc + Refresh buttons, then push the Power button.
After a few seconds, an onscreen notification will appear inviting you to insert the USB stick.
When you insert the stick, the Chromebook will begin checking the contents of the stick. You may cancel the installation by holding down the Power button for eight seconds throughout the verification procedure.
The operating system will eventually begin to install. The procedure might take a long time to finish.
When the installation is complete, the welcome page will appear, allowing you to input your Google Account credentials and choose a Wi-Fi network. Simply follow the directions on the screen.
Format Your USB Drive
Once you’ve confirmed that everything is functioning properly, you should uninstall the downloaded operating system from your USB device.
This cannot be accomplished using standard Windows or Mac procedures. To begin, go back to the Chromebook Recovery Utility you downloaded previously.
Connect the USB to your computer and launch the app. A gear icon may be seen in the upper right-hand corner of the app’s display. Select Erase recovery media by clicking on the symbol.
Select the USB stick from the dropdown menu and press the Continue button. Select Erase Now in the bottom right-hand corner of the last screen.
After the software has finished its job, you must format the disk using the standard Windows or Mac techniques.
Have You Reinstalled Chrome OS?
I hope this post demonstrated that reinstalling Chrome OS does not have to be a difficult effort. Let’s go through the steps again quickly:
- Chromebook Recovery Utility may be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
- Download a copy of Chrome OS onto a removable device with 4GB of storage using the software.
- On your Chromebook, press Esc + Refresh + Power.
- Insert the USB stick.
As usual, feel free to share your tales, ideas, and views in the space below. Remember to share this post on social media with other Chromebook users.
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