[GUIDE] Turn your old laptop or old PC into chromebook for free

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Like me you maybe have an old laptop sitting under the piles of dust or a PC so slow to use. Today we will show you simple steps to breath new life and turn your old laptop or old PC into Chromebook.

CloudReady OS
CloudReady OS

We will use software by nevereware, it is helping schools to turn their old outdated hardware into Chromebooks.

Minimum RAM Requirements

Due to performance limitations, only machines with 2 GB RAM or more are certified for use with CloudReady. Even if a machine is certified for use with CloudReady, it must have 2 GB RAM to to be officially supported.

General Hardware Recommendations

RAM: 2GB or greater
Storage space: 16GB or more
BIOS: Full administrative access, in order to boot from the CloudReady USB installer
Processor and Graphics: Components made prior to 2007 will likely result in a poor experience. Additionally, the following graphics hardware does not meet performance standards on CloudReady: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, 3650
For Non-Windows users: Download OS 32bits or 64bits

Dual-boot Requirements

Only models listed on official Certified Hardware list as “Dual-boot Certified” are officially supported by Neverware to dual boot with CloudReady. At this time, operating systems other than Windows are not supported for dual-boot with CloudReady.

Dual-boot computers must have:

  1. The ability to use UEFI boot mode.
  2. A preexisting UEFI-mode installation of Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10.
  3. At least 32 GB of available free space in the main Windows partition you want to dual-boot with.
  4. Before performing a dual-boot installation of CloudReady, you must make the following changes to your Windows installation:

Turn OFF “Fast Startup” (in Windows 8 or later) by visiting “Control Panel > Power Options > Choose what the power button does > Fast Startup”
Turn OFF any encryption
Disable hibernation

If your Windows installation is in legacy mode, but your machine supports UEFI, it will be necessary to reinstall Windows in UEFI mode in order to dual-boot with CloudReady.

Google recommends that you attach CloudReady machines and Chromebooks to an open or unrestricted network during setup, in order to allow you to enroll your devices in the Google Admin Console. Please keep the following factors in mind when enrolling CloudReady machines:

Like Chromebooks, you can only enroll prior to the first login after installation. If you have already logged in, you will need to reinstall CloudReady to allow enrollment.
You can only enroll if your organization already uses Google Apps or the Google Admin Console. Google Apps is free for schools and non-profits, but carries a subscription cost for businesses and government institutions.

CloudReady For Mac, Linux & Chrome OS User

How-To Create a Bootable USB

  1. Install Chrome’s Recovery Utility by visiting the Google Chrome Store and clicking on the blue “Add to Chrome” button.
  2. Now open the Chrome Recovery Utility by visiting this link and clicking on the green Launch App button. You should see this screen.

    CloudReady - Chrome Step 1
    CloudReady – Chrome Step
  3. Click on Get started and then on the Settings icon on the top. Then select Use local image.

    CloudReady - Chrome Step 2
    CloudReady – Chrome Step – use local image
  4. Browse and select the .bin file you extracted earlier.

    CloudReady - Chrome Step 3
    CloudReady – Chrome Step – Select a .bin file
  5. Connect your USB and select it from the options and click on Continue.

    CloudReady - Chrome Step 4
    CloudReady – Chrome Step – Connect USB drive
  6. Wait for the process to complete. Once it is finished, you should see a screen like this.

    CloudReady - Chrome Step 5
    CloudReady – Chrome Step – Complete

That’s it. Click on Done and you’re good to go. You can now directly boot into CloudReady OS from any computer using your USB.

CloudReady Windows users

For windows users neverware offers CloudReady USB Maker (only runs on Windows 7 and newer).

The machine you use to create your USB installer does not need to match the one(s) you plan to install CloudReady on, so even if you are a Mac or Chrome OS user, Neverware recommends temporarily switching to a Windows computer to create your CloudReady USB installer.

Once downloading is finished, open your Downloads location and double click the “cloudready-usb-maker” application, to launch it.

CloudReady - USB maker Download
CloudReady – USB maker Download

Your downloaded file should appear similar to what is shown above.

Create your USB using USB Maker

The CloudReady USB Maker will launch and guide you through the rest of the steps. The first screen you see should look like what you see below:

CloudReady - USB Maker Firs
CloudReady – USB Maker Firs

Follow along with the USB Maker’s instructions. When it tells you the process is complete, you can remove your USB stick and proceed to the next step of this guide.

Plug the CloudReady USB Installer into a computer of your choice

To permanently install CloudReady on the computer you choose, each computer needs to start or “boot” from the CloudReady USB installer that you created. This is called USB booting, and all computers models certified to work with CloudReady are capable of it.

1. Make sure the chosen computer is turned off.
2. Plug in the USB installer that you created previously.

How to Boot From a Bootable USB

1. Turn on the machine while repeatedly pressing the machine’s special boot key. The special key varies between different computer manufacturers:

Dell Tap F12 when the Dell logo is displayed.
HP Tap F9 when the HP logo is displayed.
Lenovo Tap F12 when the Lenovo logo is displayed
Apple Hold Option (next to the ⌘ key) when the computer first turns on.
Other Try tapping Esc, F1-12, or Enter during bootup.

2. A small menu will be displayed on your screen. Use the arrow keys and enter key on your keyboard to select the CloudReady USB installer. Depending on the specifics of your machine, your USB installer will be described on the menu as “USB device”, “USB storage”, or a name that matches the brand of the USB flash manufacturer.

Note: The Startup Menu options differ depending on device’s manufacturer. Just Google your device’s manufacturer name along with “Startup Menu” to find yours.

Begin the installation process

1. When your CloudReady USB installer has finished starting, you will see a network configuration page. You can ignore the configuration box at the center of the screen – you do not need to configure networking before installing CloudReady.

CloudReady - Network
CloudReady – Network

2. Click on the clock at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. On the menu that appears, click the first option: Install CloudReady. A wizard will pop up to walk you through the installation process.

Install Menu
Install Menu

3. Click Install CloudReady

CloudReady - Installation
CloudReady – Installation

4. Select Dual-boot or Standalone

CloudReady - Installation Mode
CloudReady – Installation Mode

Standalone installation

Ypu can install CloudReady as the only operating system on the computer. Any existing content on the computer’s hard drive will be erased and overwritten.

Dual-boot installation

You can install CloudReady alongside your existing Windows operating system. Existing content on your computer’s hard drive will not be overwritten.

Choose the installation mode. Once you read and agree to all warnings, the installation process will take 15-30 minutes to complete.

When installation has finished, your machine will shut itself down. You can then unplug your CloudReady USB Installer and turn the computer back on.

Complete the installation

After installation, you will see same setup menu as Chromebooks, where you can set language, keyboard and network preferences. Connect to an ethernet or WiFi network then click Continue.

Network Setup

Your machine will check for updates, and then present you with the standard Google login screen. You can now log in! Your username must be a gmail.com address, or a Google domain registered through the Google Admin Console.

Optional step: enroll your machine in the Google Management Console

If you wish to enroll your CloudReady machine in the Google Management Console, press CTRL-ALT-E before logging in for the first time. You will then be prompted for credentials for enrollment.

Optional step: Install Adobe Flash and proprietary media codecs

CloudReady offers the option to install several optional multimedia components after install. These components are:

CloudReady - Settings Menu
CloudReady – Settings Menu

Adobe Flash – used by many websites to provide interactive multimedia content.
Widevine – a DRM and content protection platform used by streaming video services such as Netflix.
Proprietary media components – support for audio formats such as .mp4. For a full list, see the detailed Chromium documentation.

If you are using the Home edition, you can enable these components by logging in as any user and opening the settings menu. Enjoy your Chromebook.