Easy Chromebook Boot from USB With Just a Few Steps

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How do I boot my Chromebook into recovery mode?

First, turn off your Chromebook. Next, press Esc + Refresh on the keyboard and hold down the Power button. (The Refresh key is located where F3 would be on a typical PC keyboard.) Your Chromebook will boot straight to recovery mode.

How do I boot from USB on HP Chromebook?

Press Ctrl+D again to boot into Chrome OS. Now Insert your USB Bootable drive with Xubuntu and reboot your machine. When the OS Verification screen appears you can now press Ctrl+L to enter the SeaBIOS, press “esc” to open the boot menu and select your USB drive using the relevant number.

Download Windows or Ubuntu Image file

Since you are looking to create a bootable USB on Chrome OS you probably already have an image you want to boot from. In the odd case that you don’t, you can download the latest Ubuntu 19.04 images. Ubuntu or any other Linux distributions are full-fledged desktop operating systems and are completely free. If you have a Windows 10 license, you can also download a Windows 10 image from Microsoft’s website.

Whichever image you use, you have to remember that the recovery utility wasn’t meant to handle ISO images. As such, you’ll have to rename the file and replace the iso in the name to bin. For instance, rename ubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso to ubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.bin.

Step 2. Modify the Chromebooks BIOS

By enabling developer mode, your Chromebook will always display the screen with the red exclamation mark on startup. Let’s now modify the BIOS to allow us to install Linux.

  • Turn the Chromebook on and press Ctrl + D to bypass the screen with the red exclamation mark.
  • Your Chromebook is reset to factory settings so you will need to go through the Chrome OS setup again.
  • Once complete, open a new Chrome tab and go to John’s website, at the bottom of the post (before the comments section) copy the commands.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+T to bring up a terminal window tab.
  • Type shell and press Enter.
  • Paste the commands into the terminal and press Enter.
  • Choose the option to Modify my Chromebook’s RW_LEGACY slot and follow the on-screen instructions.

Firmware

This device uses coreboot and Das U-Boot to boot the system. You can find the source in the Chromium OS coreboot git tree and the Chromium OS u-boot git tree in the firmware-parrot-2685.B branches.

Part 1. Launch Developer Mode On Your Chromebook

This is the first part of the tutorial on how to enable USB boot on a Chromebook. The first step is to launch the developer mode, follow the following steps.

Enable Developer Mode

Note that before booting your Chromebook, you must turn on the developer mode, a process that erases all the data in your Chromebook. Therefore, before thinking about booting your Chromebook, it is essential to have an external storage device or SD card to backup all the vital files and documents that you cannot afford to lose in case everything goes unexpected. 

Download Image File for Windows or Ubuntu

Before learning how to enable USB boot on Chromebook you should already have a copy of the operating system that you wish to install. It can either be Windows or Ubuntu. After safely backing up your date and downloading that operating system that you want to boot in your Chromebook you can now proceed on the next steps.

  1. Switch off the Chromebook: In the menu, click on your account photo, and then click on the power off button. Your Chromebook is now off.
  2. Insert recovery media: Press the power button +Esc + F3 buttons simultaneously. When the Chromebook turns on, it notifies you to insert a recovery medium. Chromebooks are of different models. Others will ask you to use a paperclip. Paperclips can be inserted into a small hole located on the side of your Chromebook, usually marked “recovery.” Insert the slim object on the hole while pressing the power button at a go.
  3. On the Insert Recovery Media screen, press Ctrl +D. The computer shows a confirmation message.
  4. 5. Confirm; to confirm the process, press Enter. On confirming the process, your Chromebook reboots. A message, “OS verification is OFF’ is displayed on the screen. Every time you try to boot your Chromebook, you will see this screen display.
  5. On the “OS verification” screen, press Ctrl +D buttons simultaneously. This brings your Chromebook to the Developer Mode.

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