Replace Chrome OS with Windows



I love Chrome OS but I also realize that it’s pretty useless without an internet connection. Okay…maybe not pretty useless but mostly useless.  I can’t game, program or do anything useful on Chrome OS other than browse the web. Luckily, if you are using a Chromebook with an Intel CPU (sorry Samsung Chromebook users)  you can replace Chrome OS with Windows. Previously, I did a tutorial on How to install Windows on a Chromebook. I would recommend that you try that tutorial first because it involves a little less work and you’ll be able to go back to Chrome OS.

Differences between How to Install Windows on a Chromebook and this tutorial:

In the first tutorial, I showed you how to install Windows without completely removing Chrome OS. Yes, Chrome OS was no longer installed but the stock firmware stayed intact. In my opinion, this is the preferable way to install Windows 10 on a Chromebook. However, in that tutorial I (mistakenly) assumed that everyone would have SeaBios installed on their Chromebook. Seabios is what would allow you to type in CRTL + L to boot from other devices after you enabled developer mode and USB booting. To my dismay, only some Chromebook models (such as my Acer 720) come with SeaBios pre-installed. Therefore, the previous tutorial will not work for every Chromebook model.

In this tutorial, we are going to avoid SeaBios altogether. Instead, we are going to flash custom firmware that will allow you to boot Windows in UEFI mode (something seabios couldn’t do). The advantage is that you will be able to use things like the HDMI out, virtualization and other hardware features available to Windows. In addition, your Chromebook will essentially be wiped of any trace of Chrome OS and you can also get rid of that scary OS Verification screen that displays every time you boot your Chromebook. Essentially, flashing new firmware (Full ROM) means that your Chromebook can be used like a normal laptop with practically any operating system, including Mac OS. The disadvantage is that you won’t easily be able to go back to Chrome OS. Got that? Good.

What You Will Need:

  • Chromebook

Step 1: Make Bootable USB Drive

First, you need to make a bootable USB drive of Windows 10. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, you can still download the Windows 10 insider preview straight from Microsoft for free. Now use a program called Rufus to make the bootable USB drive. Make sure to set your partition scheme for GPT for UEFI.

rufus

Step 2: Developer Mode

Next, you need to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. You do not need to enable USB booting.

Step 3: Write Protect Screw

This step sounds really scary, but it’s not. Because you will be flashing a Full ROM firmware to your Chromebook, you will need to remove the write protect screw. Do a quick Google search to find where your write protect screw is located. On the Acer C720 it’s located near the SSD.

Write protect screw acer c720

Step 4: Flashing new Firmware

Now we’re at the fun step. Open up a Chrome window and hold CRTL + Alt + T to go into the terminal window. Type in the following:

shell
cd; curl -L -O https://mrchromebox.tech/firmware-util.sh && sudo bash firmware-util.sh

That will downlaod the firmware utility script. Once it runs, you should see a main window appear. Press option 3 to install the new firmware. Remember, you will not be able to go back to Chrome OS…easily.

When it ask you for the version of the bios, make sure you type in U. You want UEFI and not legacy (though you could use legacy and still be able to boot Chrome OS and Windows, but then…what’s the point of doing this whole tutorial? If that’s what you want to do, simply read through How to Install Windows 10 on a Chromebook. Ignore that whole statement if your Chromebook does not have seabios installed though).

Once it gets done, turn off your Chromebook.

Step 5: Windows Installation

Now it’s time to install Windows. Make sure the USB drive is inserted. You will also need to connect an external USB mouse and keyboard for the installation. Before you install windows, you must wipe your hard drive. Go to repair your computer.

Go to troubleshoot, advanced and select command prompt. Type in the following:

Diskpart
List Disk
Select Disk 0 (this could be different depending on your setup, but most likely will be 0. Your main HDD)
clean

Afterward, reboot your computer and resume the installation.

Step 6: Drivers

So a developer by the name of Coolstar wrote drivers for many Chromebook modules out there. I am going to link you to his website so that you can download his drivers and use the onboard trackpad and keyboard on your Chromebook.

Before you install the drivers though, open up command prompt and type in the following:

bcdedit -set testsigning on

That’s it! You have successfully replaced Chrome OS with Windows 10. Leave your thoughts and comments below!

 

 

 

 

58 thoughts on “Replace Chrome OS with Windows

  1. its not working. I did everything you said but when I put the usb in it doesn’t boot, it just scrolls through text. Saying a bunch of null in the text then says shell and just sits there. what do I do.

  2. When I installed the new firmware in the terminal it never asked for uefi or legacy it just installed and was fine. I did everything its just not booting. You said we didn’t need usb booting installed just developer. I did all that. Am I going to be able to get it to work or is my chromebook a brick now.

  3. i do this steps in acer c 710 , but after flashing firmware and install windows 10 my Chromebook dead and does not responding i have stock firmware in usb but i can’t flash it , any help please

  4. Before I start this process I have a few questions.
    1. Do I need to have the flash drive with windows on it plugged in whenever I want to use the Chromebook?
    2. Does Windows reset itself every time after it shuts off?

    1. no once you install windows its all set in stone actually like an idiot i didn’t unplug the USB boot so it wouldn’t install after i installed it the first time so in a sense its the complete opposite of question number 1

  5. first things first:
    My write protect screw is stripped.
    my cpu is not supported.
    I have a gnawty.
    I want to destroy it.
    so no windows for me

  6. Actually, you can install Legacy BIOS on any chromebook by running that same command:

    cd; curl -L -O https://mrchromebox.tech/firmware-util.sh && sudo bash firmware-util.sh

    You need to select option number 1, and make sure USB booting is default. I have installed the Legacy BIOS and booted to Remix OS, Linux Mint, Ubuntu MATE, but I get the “:(” blue screen a few times when I try to install Windows. It does work, so you can first try the “Install Windows 10 on Chromebook” method by doing the above after enabling dev mode, USB and Legacy booting.

  7. The website that takes me to the Windows insider says that i need to have Windows 10 in the first place. If I do not have a windows 10, is there any other way of doing this?

  8. error disk “hd 03″not found when boot windows usb drive.i have done all same things as you but at this stage getting this error

  9. On step 4 after i type in the firmware utility script and select “3) Install/Update Full ROM Firmware.” It asks me if i’m sure what i’m doing and i click yes. Then it goes over the warnings (what will happen) and again asks if i’m sure i want this. THen it says “Press Y to continue or any other key to abort” so i press Y and a red message shows up saying, “Unknown or unsupported device (CELES) ; cannot continue.” Then it says how to go back to the main menu. So what can i do to get this to work? Any ideas? Please let me know, i really would like to put windows on my Chromebook.

  10. it was AWESOME, thanks a lot, and also I have Pixel 1, and the touch screen and trackpad doesnt work, do you have any solution for that?

  11. One more problem, after installing windows, everytime I turn off my machine and turn it back on everything is gone! do you know why is that keep happening?

  12. after i put the cd; -L -O line my hp askes for password and tryed everthing i might have used is there a password i need to use please help if can

    1. Install chrome again. Then use your usb and download the file again after formatting. Then turn the computer off and plug in the usb. Do the process again but don’t do the disk thingy. Set up normally. This guy says something wrong

  13. step 1 is too vague!!!! should i download rufus on the Chromebook or a windows??? and store it where???on a thumb drive or on the Chromebook?? or on a windows computer??

    1. Download Rufus on a different Windows Computer, not your Chromebook. It doesn’t matter where you store the actual program, I just left it at my desktop of the other windows computer. While in Rufus, select your flash drive that you’ll be using to install windows 10 for the Chromebook. Also, when Rufus is done making a bootable USB, it won’t really announce that it’s done. When it says it’s complete when looking at the green bar at the bottom, just close the program. The Flash Drive will be ready to be inserted into the Chromebook.

  14. hello how is the tutorial is great and very good, but I have a big problem and I do not know how to fix it I did the whole procedure but when I turn off the laptop and turn it on again I get a black screen with a picture of a rabbit I think, then I get a box with these options
    local image A
    local image B
    verified image A
    verified image B
    alternate USB Boot
    I give to all the options but I do not leave anything the screen remains in black, is there any solution? can you help me? I would really appreciate it and apologize for the inconvenience, thanks.

      1. When I select the alternate USB Boot option I get this message,
        error: file ‘/ boot / vmlinuz’ not found

  15. so i did all the steps and this command prompt showed up saying to type an internal or external command prompt. what do i do?

  16. Your AWESOME! Thank you very much for the detail oreinted tutorial. One problem though. On my chromebook c 202s i cant seem to download any of the drivers. For on in devie manager its saying that i have no network adapters. So how could i install them? I have as well downloaded both the keyboard and mouse drivers onto a usb. I then put in the command prompt installed the drivers and they still dont work. Any help would be much much much appreciated. Thank you!!

  17. When it appears
    local image A
    local image B
    verified image A
    verified image B
    alternate USB Boot
    I had the same problem because i made the image on the usb on 32bit !!!! When you put the image on the USB try to put the windows to be 64 bit and it dosn’t appear like this
    local image A
    local image B
    verified image A
    verified image B
    alternate USB Boot

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