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Have an old computer that you frankly just don't want to turn on anymore due to it's lack of speed? Well, Rejuvenate your old computer, and give it Chromium OS. Making it much faster and capable for simple tasks like surfing the web, file transfers, or watching videos.

We will be using a program developed by a team of really smart people who initially intended their software to be used in the classroom. Once they had realised the true potential of their program, they opened the program to the public. For free also! So today we will be utilizing that software to give life to your old computer

Simply put, the way this will work is you are going to download the OS (free) on an flash drive, plug the flash drive into the computer, boot it in usb, and you done.

Not a techie? Not a problem! This is a decently easy project, requiring little to no knowledge of computers. You will not have to dive deep into any of your computer settings or anything like that. Just download and run.

Step 1: WARNING

I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT RESULTS IN THIS PROJECT. BY CONTINUING AND PERFORMING THESE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS, YOU UNDERSTAND THAT ANY DAMAGE INFLICTED ON YOU COMPUTER BY THIS PROJECT IS YOUR PROBLEM AND YOUR PROBLEM ONLY. YOU AGREE I AM NOT AT FAULT FOR ANY UNRECOVERABLE AND LOST DATA.

Step 2: First Download the OS

Go to this link, and download the zip file. Next, take your 8g flash drive or higher and plug it into your computer. Make sure there are no important files on this flash drive when installing, because you will format the flash drive.

The following step will vary from platform so I have separated each step by platform

Step 3: For Windows Users

Now that you have the OS downloaded, go ahead and click this link. This will lead you the chrome app store. Download the Chromebook recovery utility. This is a certified google product. Open Chromebook Recovery Utility and click the gear icon on the top right. Click "use local image" and select the file you just downloaded from neverware. It should be called "cloudready-free-46.1.20.zip" and should be found in your download folder. Click next, and select your flash drive. Click Install, and the program will install. The file can take between 10-25 minutes. Once the install has been completed skip to step 4.

Step 4: For Mac Users

The way you have to install the file onto the flash drive is similar to the windows, but with one small extra step. You are going to have to install two applications. They both are certified and safe. Install The Unarchiver is here, and Chromebook Recovery Utility. Go to the file you had originally downloaded. It should be called "cloudready-free-46.1.20.bin.zip." click that file with two fingers, opening up a menu, and select open with... Unarchiver. The Unarchiver will open itself up and ask where you want the destination will be. The downloads folder should already be selected, so just hit continue and the program will go to work. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Once the file is done transcripting, (program will say so) you can close out of the Unarchiver. (You may delete this program if you wish). Now you are going to do exactly what windows users are doing.

Open Chromebook Recovery Utility and select the file. It should be called "cloudready-free-46.1.20.zip" (make sure its called "cloudready-free-46.1.20.bin" and not "cloudready-free-46.1.20.bin.zip" (the differance is the zip). This file should be found in your download folder. Click next, and select your flash drive. Click Install, and the program will install. The file can take between 10-25 minutes.

Step 5: Booting Your Computer in USB

You now have to Boot the old computer in USB mode. To do this, first, completely turn off the computer. Plug in the flash drive into the old computer. You will have to go into startup options. This varies from computer manufacturers but the below should help.

Most Dell models: Tap F12 when the Dell logo is displayed.

Most HP models: Tap F9 when the HP logo is displayed.

Most Lenovo models: Tap F12 when the Lenovo logo is displayed.

Most Apple Mac models: Hold the Option key when the computer first turns on.

If none of these work hit esc (top right of your keyboard)

Hit the corresponding key the selection you want which to "Boot device options."

Once you have all that squared away, select the flash drive (using arrow keys and enter) and let the OS boot. Congrats, You have successfully run chromium OS on your old computer. Follow the onscreen instructions to sign in with your gmail account. You computer should be able to do easy ask like it used to.

However this isn't permanent because the OS only exists on the flash drive, not the computer. To officially install the OS on the computer, or dual boot, go to the next step.

Step 6: Installing the OS

Now that you have successfully run the OS you may want the OS to permanently stay on the computer. So you have a few options. Either Install the Chromium OS over windows, or Dual boot.

Dual booting is when, each time you turn on your computer you will have the choice to either run with Windows or Chromium. Or, the other choice you have to is install Chromium over windows, completely wiping windows from the system no longer giving you the choice to run windows. Keep in mind, if you do choose to install Chromium over windows, this will completely wipe Windows from your computer including any files you might have.

Step 7: Installing Chromium Over Windows

WARNING: INSTALLING CHROMIUM OVER WINDOWS WILL COMPLETELY WIPE YOUR HARD DRIVE, ANY FILES YOU HAVE WILL BE LOST.

To install Chromium over Windows, click the tool bar on the bottom right of the screen. And click the top most selection called "Install cloud Ready." The installer will guide you through, all you have to do is click next and install. Make sure to read any warnings or terms before you install. Once the installation begins, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR COMPUTER. The installation should take up to 20 minutes, shutting down when it's done. Now, turn the computer on and your done! You have successfully installed and run Chromium on you not-so-new-computer.

Step 8: Dual Booting

To dual boot, click the tool bar on the bottom right of the screen. And click the top most selection called "Install cloud Ready." Now the installer will guide you through, all you have to do is click next and install. Make sure to read any warnings or terms before you install. Once the installation begins, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR COMPUTER. The installation should take up to 20 minutes, shutting down when it's done. Now your done! You have Successfully installed and run chromium without getting rid of windows!

Step 9: To Format Your Flash Drive

You may have realized when you plug your flash drive into a different computer to use it, it may not show up in you file explorer. You are going to have to wipe your flash drive again, deleting the install files. But before you do anything, take out and plug the USB back in. A window may pop up prompting you, saying it cant read the flash drive, and giving you an option to format (erase) your drive. Select that, and you should be fine.

Another options would to open up the chrome recover utility again, and once again click that gear icon. But this time, select "erase recovery media." now just click that blue button and you should be fine.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Ming DeMers Senior Director of Fuel Ignition Division Jet Propulsion Laboratory 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109
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