Re-purpose Your Old Laptop to Make Your Own ChromeBook

You’ve got an old laptop that doesn’t fly anymore on Windows but you still don’t feel like it’s the time to dump it. You’ve also looked at those ChromeBooks on the flyers and have been wondering what they are and what you can do with it. Hmm…what about putting the Chrome OS onto your old laptop and see how it works out?

I think it’s a great idea, especially if you are already using Google’s many services, such as search, email, or docs. And it’s very easy and straightforward.

Prerequisite

It’s very minimum. All it needs is one USB drive at minimum 4GB, and a laptop that has WiFi.

Chromium OS on USB

Now, let’s go to Built by Hexxeh to download the latest ChromiumOS Vanilla build. The download size is around 300MB, and it’s wrapped up in a ZIP format.

Once you have it downloaded, extract the IMG file from the zip file to a convenient location, i.e. your download folder.

To load it up to the USB drive, you will need a tool called Windows Image Writer, which is a free portable tool that writes IMG file directly to a USB drive and makes it bootable as well. Make sure back up your USB drive first, as it will be reformatted to a format Windows doesn’t recognize.

Windows Image Writer

Now, plug your USB drive to the laptop and boot from it. If everything goes well, you will see a Welcome page within a minute.

Chromium OS Welcome

Chromium OS on internal HD

The Vanilla built of Chromium OS requires a USB drive. But with a bit of work, we can actually get around and make it on a hard drive, which is even better.

Basically, you can pull out the internal HD from your laptop and put it into a USB enclosure to make it as an external USB hard drive. Then use the same procedure explained above to load up the Chromium OS into that external HD. Once it’s done, put the HD back into the laptop. Hooray!!

Now boot it up, and enjoy your very own home-made lightening fast ChromeBook. What’s even better is that if you have been using Chrome browser, all your apps, bookmarks, and even settings will be automatically synchronized over.

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