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Turning a Dinosaur Laptop into a Chromebook

Updated on June 19, 2013

Intro to Making Your Old Laptop a Chromebook

As a Computer Technician, I am under the belief that no matter how old a computer is, it can serve a purpose. It can be USED. And in this case, I'm speaking directly of making your old laptops, which can be something with as little as a Pentium II processor and at least 8 gigabytes of hard drive space. That's all you need.

Tools You'll Require

-An old Laptop

-A 4gb or larger USB flash drive

-Preferably at least 500 megahertz of processing power

-Preferably at least 512 megabyte of memory

-Preferably at least 8 gigabytes or more of hard drive space

-A basic understanding of how to install an operating system

-A network connection is preferred, and most old laptops don't have wireless, so wire it up

How to Install Chromium OS

Step 1:

Power on whichever computer you choose and download the latest Chromium build from Hexxeh or from another source

Step 2:

Make your flash drive bootable (there are several tools that can do this, by formatting it to work with a .iso image to be bootable on startup). If you laptop cannot boot from USB, then you'll need a live cd version of linux (Ubuntu live works) so that you can boot from the USB that way

Step 3:

Put the files for ChromiumOS on the flash drive, in the format that is specified in the download file from whichever source you received it from

Step 4:

Eject the USB drive and plug it into your laptop and boot it up from the USB

Step 5:

Boot into Chromium and find the command line by pressing CTRL+ALT+T and type "install" on the command line. If it asks for a password, type "facepunch"

Step 6:

Now it will install ChromiumOS on your old laptop and you will be able to boot into ChromiumOS whenever you turn on your laptop! BEWARE: Installing ChromiumOS will erase whatever you had on it previously, whether it was linux or windows.

Step 7:

There is the alternative of dual-booting with another operating system by installing a bootloader, so if that sounds like something you would want to do, go for it. You'll have to investigate into linux and bootloaders a bit, but it's really pretty simple, and you will have linux or windows to fall back on if you end up hating ChromiumOS.

Step 8:

Enjoy your new Chromebook. Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ are just a few of the myriad of important features that are accessible from anywhere on earth, and saved to the Google Cloud. They're all on the virtual network and therefore nothing, absolutely nothing is stored on your computer. Your new laptop is just a terminal to the infinite wonder that is the internet, and the capabilities that Google offers you for FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 385 and 1/4th days a year!

Why use Chrome and Chromebooks?

This is my personal opinion:

Google has graciously allowed us the use of its services free of charge, and in a manner that makes it easy and convenient for US and allow us to operate in an environment that is virus-free and trustworthy. You can still mess up your new chromebook by venturing beyond the capabilities of Chrome, and that's your choice, but if you stay within Google's safe haven, you'll be happy and fulfilled with your laptop that you once thought was dead. It has new life now, and has been given a second chance. I beg you to use that wisely, and make he most of what you have been given in this life, for you only live in this world, and it would be a shame to waste that. Have a good day folks, and may God's Peace and Strength be upon you!


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      wss 2 years ago

      Thank you. Exactly what I was looking for to repurpose my old XP laptop. However, I would not use the term "graciously" (as in the phrase, "Google has graciously allowed us the use of its services free of charge") to describe Google's operations. They do it for money.