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The original Chromebook Pixel, a high-powered Chromebook released in 2013, stopped receiving updates from Google in August 2018. While the laptop still functions (and pretty well), it no longer receives Chrome OS updates, including security fixes. Plus, Google will keep reminding you with a little red notification that it has abandoned it.

This guide will get your Pixel modernized once more, with security updates and OS improvements. Best of all, hardly anything will change about the interface or system. We will install CloudReady Home Edition. CloudReady, from Neverware, is meant to give older laptops and desktops a new life with a lightly modified version of Chromium OS, the open-source root of the Chrome OS companies put on Chromebooks.

The Chromebook Pixel isn’t listed on CloudReady’s list of officially supported devices, but given that it’s a Chromebook, it works entirely fine. I’ve used for four months as of this guide writing, and 98% is functioning: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, touchpad, touchscreen and display, even the Linux system built into newer Chromebooks. There’s a strange sound occasionally when you boot up, but that’s about it. You won’t get Android apps, but then Google never tried to put them on the Pixel, either.

Important: You will have to remove the Pixel’s write-protect screw and change the laptop’s BIOS as a prerequisite to installing CloudReady with a minimum or problems. Without doing these two things, CloudReady may not install properly; at the least, it will require you to enter a Control+L command every time you boot up your Pixel, or else hear a very loud, un-mute-able beep. The initial hassle is worth it.

Luckily, the Pixel is an easy laptop to open up and get inside. Since you’re already opening it up, consider a battery replacement if your Pixel can barely live off the charger after 6 years.

  1. Flip your Chromebook Pixel over onto its back Using a flat edge screwdriver, gently pull up to remove the rubber pads from the laptop to reveal the screws
    • Flip your Chromebook Pixel over onto its back

    • Using a flat edge screwdriver, gently pull up to remove the rubber pads from the laptop to reveal the screws

  2. Using a small Philips screwdriver, remove the four screws under the pads Using a spudger (or another flat but slightly blunt object), gently pry the laptop open You may find it helpful to start with a smaller (skinnier) head and work your way up to a larger size
    • Using a small Philips screwdriver, remove the four screws under the pads

    • Using a spudger (or another flat but slightly blunt object), gently pry the laptop open

    • You may find it helpful to start with a smaller (skinnier) head and work your way up to a larger size

  3. Gently pull up from the front of the laptop and open it up like a clamshell Gently pull up from the front of the laptop and open it up like a clamshell
    • Gently pull up from the front of the laptop and open it up like a clamshell

  4. Locate the write protect screw Remove it and you can begin flashing your BIOS!
    • Locate the write protect screw

    • Remove it and you can begin flashing your BIOS!

    Do I have to flash the bios when replacing the battery?

    Clive Gorman - Yanıt

    There is no need to flash the BIOS if all you want to do is replace the battery.

    Kevin Fessler -

    I want to install windows on to the chrome book pixel 2013 but i have concerns regarding the touch screen. Can you help? Is there any video that you have uploaded for the installation?

    Hari Krishna Bharadw Pudipeddi - Yanıt

  5. Close your Chromebook Pixel back up, working backwards from Step 3 to Step 1.  The feet should not need any adhesive to re-attach, and fit snugly. Boot up your Chromebook. The next step will wipe the Chromebook. If you have any files in your Downloads folder that you might want to hold onto, now is the time to upload them to Google Drive, or offload them onto a USB stick.
    • Close your Chromebook Pixel back up, working backwards from Step 3 to Step 1. The feet should not need any adhesive to re-attach, and fit snugly. Boot up your Chromebook.

    • The next step will wipe the Chromebook. If you have any files in your Downloads folder that you might want to hold onto, now is the time to upload them to Google Drive, or offload them onto a USB stick.

    • If you haven't enabled bookmark syncing in your Google account, you can back up your toolbar bookmarks by heading to the Bookmark Manager (Ctrl+Shift+O, or from the browser's three-dot menu, or right-clicking on the bookmark toolbar). Once in the bookmark manager, click that three-dot button in the upper-right, then choose Export Bookmarks.

  6. Head to CloudReady's page for the Home Edition and follow the instructions to turn a USB drive (8 GB or more) into a CloudReady installer.
    • Head to CloudReady's page for the Home Edition and follow the instructions to turn a USB drive (8 GB or more) into a CloudReady installer.

    • It's easiest to make the USB installer on a Windows device, but you can also use a Mac, or this pre-wiped Chromebook, to make the installer.

    • If something goes wrong trying to use one USB drive, try another. They're more finicky than you'd expect for being "universal."

  7. We need to enable Developer Mode to install another BIOS and operating system.  To enable Developer Mode, we must first invoke Recovery Mode. To start Recovery Mode, power up the Pixel. At the login screen, hold down the Esc (top-left-most key) and Refresh keys (three keys to the right of Esc on this model), then press the Power button (top-right-most key) for a moment, until the keyboard's backlight turns on, and you see the display blank and restart. Once you see the exclamation mark and the message "Chrome OS is missing or damaged," press Control+D
    • We need to enable Developer Mode to install another BIOS and operating system. To enable Developer Mode, we must first invoke Recovery Mode.

    • To start Recovery Mode, power up the Pixel. At the login screen, hold down the Esc (top-left-most key) and Refresh keys (three keys to the right of Esc on this model), then press the Power button (top-right-most key) for a moment, until the keyboard's backlight turns on, and you see the display blank and restart.

    • Once you see the exclamation mark and the message "Chrome OS is missing or damaged," press Control+D

    • You'll see one last check that you really want this (you do!): "To turn OS verification off, press Enter." Press Enter. As it says, your laptop will reboot, and your data will be wiped.

  8. When your Chromebook reboots, you'll get yet another warning screen: "OS verification is off." Press Ctrl+D one more time to get past this warning. When you land inside Chrome OS, it will be as if you're setting it up for the first time. You might have to click a "Let's go" button to get to the screen where you can choose a Wi-Fi network. Select your Wi-Fi, but don't continue on!
    • When your Chromebook reboots, you'll get yet another warning screen: "OS verification is off." Press Ctrl+D one more time to get past this warning.

    • When you land inside Chrome OS, it will be as if you're setting it up for the first time. You might have to click a "Let's go" button to get to the screen where you can choose a Wi-Fi network. Select your Wi-Fi, but don't continue on!

    • Once you've selected a Wi-Fi network and successfully connected, hold the Ctrl and Alt keys and press the -> button (the second button from the esc key). You should see a stark-looking terminal screen and text prompt.

    • At the stark-looking prompt with a "localhost login," enter "chronos" as your login. That should change the prompt to "chronos@localhost," give you the permissions you need to run the next step.

    • If you're having trouble logging in at the localhost prompt, you can get back to the ChromeOS setup (Ctrl and Alt and <- button). Once you're inside ChromeOS, hold Ctrl and Alt and hit 'T', then type "shell" at the command prompt. This also makes it easier to copy/paste the command in the next step.

  9. Mr. Chromebox is a developer who is saving us all a lot of time typing in commands with an all-in-one script. Go to the page for his Chrome OS firmware script and type out the command on that page (starting with cd; curl ...
    • Mr. Chromebox is a developer who is saving us all a lot of time typing in commands with an all-in-one script. Go to the page for his Chrome OS firmware script and type out the command on that page (starting with cd; curl ...

    • You should see prompt similar to the one at left (but maybe not exactly; this is from a different device and time). You're going to choose "Install/Update Full ROM Firmware," which is usually the third option, by typing in "3" and hitting Enter.

    • When asked if you want to back up your firmware by the script, you should say (Y)es! Plug in a second USB drive (different than the one you're using for the CloudReady installer), select it when prompted, and continue along. Back up the firmware file to Drive or another safe location, as well.

    • Once the script is done installing the new firmware, enter "P" to power off.

    Mr chrome box no longer seems to have the download for the ROM does anyone else know any alternatives?

    Morgan Watkins - Yanıt

    I just tried this today (April 14, 2020) and it worked. Try again maybe?

    Brian G. Fay - Yanıt

  10. With the Chromebook powered off, insert the CloudReady installer USB stick you made in step 6 (or go make it now on another computer if you haven't done so).
    • With the Chromebook powered off, insert the CloudReady installer USB stick you made in step 6 (or go make it now on another computer if you haven't done so).

    • With the USB stick in one of the USB ports, power on the Chromebook. You should see a new thing; a speedy rabbit at the top of your boot screen, and a message at bottom, "Press ESC for Boot Options/Settings."

    • Do it! Press Escape before the bunny disappears. You'll be given a simple prompt to choose a device. Choose the option that looks like the USB stick you've inserted. It might show the name of the maker, like "Lexar" or "Sandisk" or just "Generic USB."

    • If you miss it, just wait a moment; you should end up inside the BIOS options anyways, because there's no operating system installed. Choose the "Boot device" menu (or something similar) and look for where you can choose your USB stick for booting.

  11. You'll get a CloudReady setup prompt that looks quite similar to the traditional Chromebook setup. Hooray! But! You don't want to go through this setup—it's just for setting up a &quot;live&quot; session. To actually install CloudReady, click the icons in the lower-right corner, and choose Install CloudReady.
    • You'll get a CloudReady setup prompt that looks quite similar to the traditional Chromebook setup. Hooray!

    • But! You don't want to go through this setup—it's just for setting up a "live" session. To actually install CloudReady, click the icons in the lower-right corner, and choose Install CloudReady.

    • Follow CloudReady's installation instructions from here.

Sonuç

You’re done! Enjoy your new open-source, up-to-date Chromebook. If you ever want to switch back to the standard BIOS/Chrome OS, you can use the same Mr. Chromebox script detailed in Steps 8 & 9 to restore your stock BIOS, and use a Recovery USB stick to flash a new Pixel system.

18 farklı kişi bu kılavuzu tamamladı.

Kevin Purdy

Üyelik tarihi: 11-04-2019

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41 Yorum

I have followed your tutorial but cannot get the Mr. Chromebox script to run. I am trying to install on Pixel 2013.

Johan van Schie - Yanıt

Where are you in the process? Are you seeing any error messages? Are you using the terminal that appears when you press Ctrl+Alt+”forward arrow”, or trying to use the Ctrl+Alt+T shell?

Kevin Purdy -

Johan! I have now updated the tutorial with details on getting past the “localhost” login thing (entering “chronos” when prompted for a localhost login). My apologies for not noticing this missed step in the original tutorial.

Kevin Purdy -

Me too - same issue - enter terminal mode, run command and just returns to localhost login prompt

Peter Pavlovic - Yanıt

@pavlovic @funski A few ideas/thoughts:

+ Are you using the shell that you get to by pressing Ctrl+Alt+(forward arrow)? If not, are you using the Ctrl+Alt+T terminal, then typing in the “shell” command?

+ You’ve followed the previous instructions, and you’re sure that your chromebook is in a Developer Mode state? i.e. when it boots up, you hit Ctrl+D to get into the setup, not Space to start recovery?

+ Is the terminal seeming to ask you for a password?

Kevin Purdy - Yanıt

Yes, Ctrl-> with Dev mode set. Keeps going to a regular terminal mode login/password prompt. However, slightly punctured the battery in getting the case off so it's better to just replace it with a new Pixelbook due soon.

Peter Pavlovic -

Hello. I tried install cloudready on my pixelbook 2013 but after install when machine shut down i turn on pixel and see black screen with mapping not found

Igor net - Yanıt

Perhaps it was a corrupted install. Even one bit wrong could change something. Remake cloudready, follow the installing Chrome Os carefully, and replicate the problem. I cross my fingers pray for it to work.

Alan Weinberg -

How do you do this without the script since…it doesn’t work.

Dean Dixon - Yanıt

Hi Dean - see the new details I added to Step 8. I missed a step where it asks for your localhost login - you want to enter “chronos” when it asks for your localhost login, and that should let you run the script thereafter. My apologies for missing this detail.

Kevin Purdy -

I all doing as in tutorial

Igor net - Yanıt

Igor - see the new details added in Step 8. You can enter “chronos” as your login at the localhost prompt, or you can try running the script from inside ChromeOS after a dev reset (ctrl+alt+t, enter “shell,” and go from there.).

Kevin Purdy -

Tried several times to get the prompt in step 9, but i am always getting some other shell where is asked for local host login.

Gino Bo - Yanıt

I have updated the guide, because I think I missed a step when it comes to the Ctrl/Alt/-> prompt: you need to enter “chronos” as your login, when asked for a “localhost login.” If it asks you for a password, hit Enter without entering one. That should get you to the shell where you can then run the script. I apologize for this oversight in my original guide.

Kevin Purdy -

Hi, hoping you can help me resolve some problems with my Pixel 2013. Followed your guide up to the end of Step 8, but that’s where I’m stuck. When I type “chronos” at the “localhost login:” prompt, I get the following: “chronos@localhost ~ $” At that point, it does nothing if I hit ctrl+alt+t, and if I type “shell” it responds with this: “-bash: shell: command not found”. So I’m stuck at the “chronos@localhost ~ $” prompt. Any suggestions?

Dan Cole - Yanıt

Hi Dan! Seeing that you got “chronos@localhost”, that’s good! You just go on to step 9 next, and enter the command at the linked website:

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

I realize it may not be clear that seeing “chronos@localhost” is a successful result, so I will clarify that in the guide. Thank you!

Kevin Purdy -

Thanks, Kevin, very helpful. I’m now at the step 10 sprinting bunny page, but when I press ESC nothing happens and I eventually end up at a white screen that says Continue, Select Language, Boot Manager, Device Manager, Boot Maintenance Manager. I assume that’s not where I’m supposed to be? Any ideas why ESC isn’t sending me to the “select a device” prompt”?

Dan Cole - Yanıt

FYI, I clicked on “Boot Manager” at that window and that allowed me to select the usb drive, so am installing Cloudready as I write this. Will let you know of outcome, but I think I’m there! Thanks very much for this tutorial. Really glad to resurrect the Pixel.

Dan Cole - Yanıt

Yep! You’re all set. Thank you for the verbose feedback - it’s helped me add more detail and steps to the guide that were sorely needed. It’s far too easy to assume things are obvious when you’ve done them before. Glad it’s running for you!

Kevin Purdy -

Thanks again, Kevin. Everything is running smoothly except I have no audio coming through the headphone jack. Any suggestions for how to remedy this? I have selected headphones and messed with volume in the settings, and tried restarting with the headphone jack inserted, but nothing has fixed it. Audio through the computer speakers is great.

Dan Cole - Yanıt

Glad that you’re 95% working, Dan! The audio issue is interesting - I might have suffered that myself. I’ll take a look around to see if there are any driver solutions.

Kevin Purdy -

Hello Kevin Purdy, I’m about ready tom take the plunge to convert my Pixel 2013 (I have the screw removed) .

Could you fix the link to “CloudReady instuctions “ just so I continue to the correct instructions. Thx

William Sturm - Yanıt

Fixed! Don’t know why that link went bad, but here’s what I was pointing at: https://guide.neverware.com/install-and-...

Kevin Purdy -

I removed the screw (Chromebook Pixel 2013) - went through the steps to download new BIOS from the script provided and created a Cloud Ready USB. I received the message that BIOS was downloading then it went back to ChromeOS Firmware Utility Script page and I hit P.

All looked good . However, I when I powered back up I didn’t get the black screen rabbit with my USB plugged in. It powered up normally loading Chrome. Shouldn’t the original OS be wiped at this point? I’ll wait until hearing back before proceeding. Thanks!

William Sturm - Yanıt

Kevin, Thanks for all the info. After I changed networks I was able to load it perfectly. Now running latest version of Chromium on my Chromebook Pixel 2013. Thanks again!

William Sturm - Yanıt

Thank you for this tutorial, it did work for me on my 2013 Chromebook Pixel. I switched from Manjaro Linux to CloudReady … I had previously installed GalliumOS and then pop!_OS before that.. all of these Linux distros suffered performance issues and after a few weeks, constant freezes were the norm.

So far so good!

Thanks again

Softwea Injinia - Yanıt

My wife wanted one too after seeing mine. Sold her HP Chromebook purchased another Chromebook Pixel 2013 on eBay, followed your instructions and viola. Thanks again for your detailed instructions.

William Sturm - Yanıt

Hi Kevin, finally found the time to try again. This time all worked as per your instructions. I am now a happy chap. Thanks

Johan van Schie - Yanıt

I just wanted to say thank you for this guide, you have breathed new life into my Chromebook Pixel 2013 and that is a beautiful thing.

Currently up-to-date and running CloudReady 78.4.3 Home Build stable-channel (64-bit).

For those wondering, the guide is still accurate although some of the screenshots are not. However, this is not really an issue as the steps are well explained.

Many thanks!

Gregor McElvogue - Yanıt

Thanks to your detail guide, I could renewal my Acer C720 to CloudReady and it’s working fine.

Thank you so much!!

Katsuhiko Ashiya - Yanıt

Hi I have just purchased a pixel book that is out of date and grateful for your tutorial. Before I void the warranty, I notice that a lot of apps (i.e. hbomax) are triggering pop up boxs that asks for google verification. Will this cause a problem when I have changed the O\S as directed above?

T Proctor - Yanıt

Cheers! Worked exactly as explained.

Kristofor Webb - Yanıt

Just went through this guide. It was Perfect.

Jeff Crilly - Yanıt

Went through the guide and install the cloudyready on google pixel 2013, but no sound. How to fix that?

taoranlu - Yanıt

Having to install CloudReady on another Chromebook CB001 since the backlight went out on the other. The updated script isn’t working but the original which says it’s for “Linux” does. But then I can’t backup my BIOS either when prompted. What to do? Thanks

William Sturm - Yanıt

any tips on what do do with black screen? I got through the whole thing; pressed esc on the bunny screen; however the instructions were different to what was shown; chose my usb installer as the boot option which I’m thinking was a mistake.. It booted up into cloudready version 83. but everything was very slow. My guess is that instead of installing cloudready on the chromebook pixel 2013 it instead ran it right off my usb drive. To test my theory, I shut down & pulled the usb & tried booting up again. Now nothing, no bunny, just black screen; tried re-inserting the usb.. still nothing. Surely the new bios is still there right? (e.g. the bunny)

Reece Griffin - Yanıt

nevermind; found the bunny again. My suspicions were true that I was in fact booting off the USB installer. Missed the cloudready install in the bottom right to “install os”. Found more info reading cloudready’s official install instructions were a bit more up to date / precise. Thanks otherwise though, this was super helpful.

Reece Griffin - Yanıt

haha.. sorry for spamming the comments.. just another thought that might help others; the commands on the mrchromebox.tech didn’t work for me as presented; e.g. I tried typing them as 3 separate commands; e.g. type one command press enter then type the next. The only way I could get it to work was to put double ampersands with spaces on each side “ && “ between each command. This was alluded to in a previous comment.

Reece Griffin - Yanıt

Hi, I successfully followed your instructions all the way to the speedy rabbit logo (step 10), but whichever options I choose, just take me to a page with ‘Chrome - your system is repairing itself’. And then it just goes back to the bunny. I am trying to update an Acer C720P Chromebook.

Any idea what the problem might be?

Mike Carrington - Yanıt

My stupid fault - made the USB without specifying the correct (CloudReady) file. Everything is now working perfectly!

Mike Carrington -

Once again worked perfectly installing CloudReady on a Chromebook 2013.

William Sturm - Yanıt

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