Installing Chrome OS on a windows laptop that has a new SSD that doesn't have an OS?

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18 comments

  • Bidwell Ely

    Brent St. Pierre, 1. You will need to go into the BIOS and set the USB to load first.

    I don't know what else you would have to do with the new SSD, hopefully, nothing.

    https://guide.neverware.com/critical-requirements/

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Hi,

    Thank you for this.  I've tried this and can't figure it out.  

    Does anyone reading this know what the procedure for installing Chrome OS via the BIOS is for an HP Elitebook 8470p?

    I changed the boot order to have the USB first but it doesn't work.   Nothing happens.

     

    Brent

     

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    The other option would be that i track down the old hard drive with windows on it - I think I can - put the old drive back in the laptop, and follow the normal procedure for installing OS. 

    But I then still need to put in the new SSD.  If replacing a drive that has Chrome OS already installed is easier,  I'll do that, but I can't find any information online on how to do this.  

    Is this possible?

    Brent

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  • Bidwell Ely

    Joel R. and Michael Clarke Do you have any suggestions?

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Yet another possible option is to reinstall the old HD - which was Windows 7 originally and I'm told was upgraded to Windows 8 - then install the replacement SSD with Windows 8 and then switch to Chrome OS.

    I *think* swapping drives that feature Windows 8 can be done, but I'm not sure.  I only have a product key for Windows 7. Even if it is possible, if it is complicated for someone with limited technical skills (me) it is likely not a good option.  But if it's the only option, I'll try to do it.

    Brent

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  • Michael Clarke

    There are a couple of ambiguities here which need clarifying, first and most important of which is that ChromeOS is not the same as ChromiumOS.  ChromeOS is a Google-modified version of ChromiumOS which is only supported on officially labelled Chromebooks.  There is a well published but unsupported mechanism for getting ChromeOS installed onto a device of your choice, which I have not tried and honestly couldn't recommend right now.

    CloudReady by Neverware is a version of ChromiumOS, compiled with a generic set of hardware drivers so that it works as well as possible on as many devices as possible.  Only x64 bit architectures are supported.  Neverware maintain a list of devices on which CloudReady is tried and tested, though it also runs on many uncertified devices as well.

    With most devices, a change of hard disk might involve a quick dive into the BIOS of the device to ensure it can detect the new drive.  Remember that some older devices were not designed for SSDs.  If your device initially cannot detect the new drive, you are better off seeking support from the device manufacturer or their forums.  If your device cannot detect the new SSD at the BIOS, you won't be able to put an Operating System on it.  There might be BIOS updates etc that improve the compatibility of older devices with newer SSDs.  Alternatively, install a standard HDD instead - ChromiumOS/CloudReady runs fine on a HDD.

    Once your device is able to see the drive, the instructions on the installation section of this website should see you through - the recognised process is the creation of a Bootable USB, followed by test of O/S from the USB, followed by installation of the O/S from the USB.  Some forum users here have encountered a minor snag once the OS is successfully installed on an SSD, whereby they need to run a few commands to tell the Laptop to boot from the SSD.  Since you are not at this stage yet, I suggest starting with investigating whether your device is able to detect and support SSDs.

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Hi Michael,

     

    Thank you for taking the time to write your detailed comments.  I appreciate the time and the effort!

    My responses to your feedback:

    - Sorry, I should have been calling this ChromiumOS or CloudReady.  I'll refer to it as CR (CloudReady) going forward. 

    - The laptop in question is an HP Elitebook 8470p.  This laptop:

    1. Can detect/use an SSD

    2. Is on the Neverware approved laptop list

    With these responses, I *think* I'm back to my original challenge of having a blank SSD in the laptop and not able to figure out how test the CR O/S from the USB and then install CR O/S from the USB.

    I can access the various tools/menus on startup by clicking F9, and have prioritized booting the USB via these tools but it's not working.  The screen just flashes over and over. 

    Please let me know your thoughts on the 3 approaches I suggested.  All have the goal of ultimately using an SSD.  

    Thank you.

    Brent

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Ilya G

    Hi Brent St. Pierre - 

    I do not think this is related to the hard-drive / SSD. 

    I believe it is related to the GPU or the USB.  The 8470p may have a discrete Radeon GPU, can you check in the BIOS to see if you can disable it and use the integrated GPU? 

    The other thing I would try is remaking the installer with a different thumb drive. 

     

     

     

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  • Michael Clarke

    Some good points from Ilya G.

    Checking the USB works as a bootable device on another laptop, and disabling any non-integrated graphics cards in the BIOS.  Non-integrated graphics cards cause CloudReady problems as they usually require specific drivers, and CloudReady is compiled to work on as many devices as possible, so includes generic drivers for integrated graphics, rather than bespoke drivers for Radeon/NVidia etc graphics cards.

    Brent St. Pierre, it might be worth posting some photos of your BIOS, especially the Graphics / GPU section, and the boot order section, maybe also Secure Boot and UEFI/Legacy Boot sections...

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    I'll take a bunch of pictures of the screens as suggested and try another thumb drive first.  I can't find any info at all on the GPU/graphics in the various screens.  

     

    Brent

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Hi everyone,

    I've made progress and got the laptop to launch the installer on the USB.  Tried a bunch of things, some I should have known to do:  Too embarrassed to disclose.   

    Anyway....

    The OS seems to be running off the USB and not off the SSD.  It works ok - I log in to my google account, use chrome, etc, but this is obviously not the way to use a laptop.  

    I say this is what is happening because when I install the OS on the laptop per the instructions, the laptop does the install, and then shuts down the laptop as the instructions say it will. 

    When I then power up the laptop, I get a message saying there is no OS installed on the HD. The only way to get the laptop running again with Chromium is to boot via the USB.

    Any thoughts on how to correct this?  I feel I'm close, but not so close.

    Brent

     

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  • Joel R.

    Hi Brent St. Pierre, the laptop shutting down afterwards *should* signify a successful install. Have you changed the boot order back to put the hard drive as first? Also make sure to remove the USB drive when booting the laptop.

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  • Michael Clarke

    Glad you are seeing some progress Brent St. Pierre.  It sounds as if the installation has been successful, and you are now seeing a similar issue as others have seen when replacing HDD with SSD.

    If the steps suggested by Joel R. do not work (ie you have your SSD listed in BIOS as primary boot device, the USB key is removed, and you still cannot boot), you may wish to try the following:

    Your issue could be very similar to another user on these forums who had replaced a HDD in a Lenovo Laptop with an SSD, installed Cloudready from USB, then on removing the USB for boot, found the laptop reported no boot disk / Operating System.

    In his case, it was required to mark the SSD as a boot device from within the underlying Linux Kernel.  You should see if you can get into the BIOS to check that UEFI or LEGACY BOOT is enabled (prefer UEFI), and that the SSD is detected. The sequence was then as follows (You've already done steps 1 to 3):

    1. Create a Cloudready USB boot stick as per instructions elsewhere on this site.

    2. Boot your CloudReady USB boot stick.

    3. Install to your HD. (takes about 20 minutes then shuts down)

    4. Boot to your CloudReady USB boot stick again. Wait for the logon screen.  No need to actually log in.

    5. ctrl-alt-f2 (opens a shell window, ctrl-alt-f1 gets you back to CloudReady)

    6. localhost login: chronos

    7. password: chrome (may not need this)

    8. type the command sudo parted /dev/sda (probably sda if you only have one SSD attached) and press enter

    9. type the command disk_set and press enter

    10. hit enter once more to invert the pmbr_boot flag.

    This sequence of commands should set a flag on the SSD that tells the laptop it is the boot device. Hit ctrl+alt+f1 to get back to the CloudReady login screen, and shut down the device. When you next restart the device (without the USB stick), it should boot to the SSD as required.

     

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Hello,

    In the BIOS the Boot Mode is set to Legacy.  I'll switch to UEFI.

    There are two UEFI options.  Which should I use?

    UEFI Hybrid (with CSM)

    or:

    UEFI Native (without CSM)

    Thank you.

    Brent

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    Also, 

    I'm in the developer console right now.

     I  inverted the pmbr_boot flag

    The command now says:

    New State? [on]/off?

    What should I type?  If you want me to select "on"  what is the exact characters to type? 

    Same with if you want me to select "off"

    Brent

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  • Michael Clarke

    Hi Brent St. Pierre

    Don't muck about with UEFI / Legacy boot if you've already installed CloudReady - Setting UEFI would proably mean you need to reinstall CloudReady anyway.

    Sounds like you have Legacy Boot enabled, this is fine.  When you get the New State [on]/off? question, you just need to hit Enter - This will set the flag to On if it is currently Off. (linux usually puts square brackets around the default option, so you just hit enter to confirm the default option).

    Apologies for bad annotation, the green marks represent where you should hit enter.

    Once done, hit ctrl+alt+f1 to get back to the CloudReady interface, then shut down, remove your USB and reboot.

    You're nearly there I think.

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  • Brent St. Pierre

    We did it!

    Thank you everyone.  I'm grateful for all of the effort here, from beginning to end.  Working with someone of my technical skills takes patience.  I appreciate it.

    The laptop is being donated to someone who needs it for applying for jobs, creating their resume and managing their finances.  It's in great condition and with the 16gb of memory I upgraded it to, the new SSD, CloudReady and all of your help, I'm confident they'll be able to use it for years to come.

    The performance is pretty much on par with the new chromebook I have from work.  The laptop you all helped me with is a bit heavy and the screen is not to today's standards, but who cares?  It's works wonderfully and has a really high build quality.

    I will mention all of you to the person who receives it!

    Please stay well and thank you again.

    Sincerely,

    Brent

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  • Michael Clarke

    Round of applause for Brent St. Pierre.  Glad we could help.

    We've seen a number of these queries on the forum for older laptops where the HDD has been replaced with an SSD, and the BIOS has trouble working out that the SSD is the boot volume.  To the folks at @NeverWare,  I wonder if the frequency of occurance warrants an official CloudReady Article?  Easier to link to when someone asks the question...

     

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