Sunday, November 11, 2018

How To Install Windows On Google’s Chrome OS Notebook - Guest Post


This Article is a Guest Post.

There are a whole lot of killer cheap Chromebooks available out there that strip out all the bloat of Windows and provide a smoother, faster overall experience.

Sometimes you may find yourself missing certain Windows programs however, and that’s led more than a few users to wonder if they can put a full version of Windows 10 on their Chromebook.

In most cases, the process is frankly more trouble than it’s worth. Getting Windows up and running on a Chromebook typically involves both hardware and software changes which will absolutely void your warranty, so proceed with caution!

We know there will be some techies who are up to the challenge however. So for all of you power users who need to tweak devices in non-standard ways, we can walk you throw installing Windows on a Chromebook.

Try Alternatives First

Before installing Windows over the Chrome OS, keep in mind there are some much easier alternatives that may solve your problem.


If you just want to use a specific Windows-based program, many of them are available in online versions or have Android app equivalents. Microsoft Word for instance has a free online version you can easily access from a Chromebook, or Google Docs offers a free alternative that works just as well.

If that won’t cut it or you can’t find a specific app to take a Windows program’s place, Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app lets you access a different Windows desktop from your Chromebook.

You do need to have a secondary computer with Windows 10 installed to utilize Remote Desktop, but this app is otherwise a solid workaround to installing a whole new OS on your Chromebook.

Finally, if you have a Chromebook with an Intel processor, you can also use the beta version of the CrossOver app to get Windows programs running directly in the Chrome OS. This tool is updated frequently, so keep checking back as more programs become supported.

Installing Windows On A Chromebook

 If none of those solutions are going to work for you, then it's time to pull out the big guns and perform a clean install of Windows 10.

The big question here is -- do you have enough storage space to actually install Windows 10? If you have a budget Chromebook model with only 16GB of eMMC storage, you won’t even be able to get Windows up and running.

You need a minimum of 20GB of space just to get the basic Home version of Windows 10 installed.

If you meet the storage requirements, first you’ll need to create a Windows install USB drive using Microsoft’s Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. You will also need a USB keyboard and a USB mouse, as your Chromebook’s keyboard and touchpad won’t work while installing Windows.

With those requirements in mind, here’s how to install Windows on your Chromebook:
  • Turn off your Chromebook
  • Remove the screws on the bottom of your Chromebook and pull off the bottom cover
  • Check to see if your Chromebook has a write protect screw on the motherboard (it will be larger than all the other screws)
  • If the screw is present, remove it so you can access the BIOS
  • Replace the bottom cover and reattach all screws
  • Hold the Escape + Refresh keys while tapping the power button to boot into Chrome’s recovery mode
  • When the “Chrome OS is missing” message displays on the screen, tap the combo CTRL + D and then tap Enter
  • After Chrome reboots, tap the combo CTRL+ALT+T to bring up a terminal tab
  • Type “shell” and tap Enter
  • Type the phrase “sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1” into the shell and tap Enter
  • Next, type the phrase “sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1” and then tap Enter
  • Connect the Windows installation USB drive to your Chromebook
  • Plug an external USB keyboard into your Chromebook
  • Plug an external USB mouse into your Chromebook
  • Tap Ctrl+L to boot the Legacy BIOS
  • Tap Escape, then choose to boot from the USB device
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to go through the standard Windows installation steps

This process will wipe all your data on your Chromebook. If you’ve got a Google account most of your files will be backed up on the cloud, however, so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Keep in mind that the Chrome OS has drivers built directly into the operating system, while Windows 10 does not.

That means you are going to need to download and install drivers for every single hardware device on the Chromebook (such as the keyboard) -- and you may not be able to get the touchscreen working at all, depending on your specific model.

Getting The Most Functionality Out Of Your Device

Whether you use the Chrome workaround apps or fully install Windows, you should be able to get a whole lot more functionality from your Chromebook after following these steps.

Of course, you could save yourself a significant amount of time and headaches by just buying a cheap secondary Chromebook or Android tablet -- but where would be the fun in that?

Have you found any other apps or workarounds for using Windows programs in Chrome OS without completely installing a new operating system? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what tools we should be trying out!

Author Bio:
After more than a decade of working the tech industry, from building gaming rigs to tracking the latest software trends, Ty Arthur knows a thing or two about staying afloat in an increasingly complicated world. He'd like to share that knowledge with all of you through his work at PortableMonkey.com, where his writing focuses on finding the perfect solutions for any kind of computer user.

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