How to recover a Chromebook completely
20. Mai 2013

After buying a Chromebook and some experiments with UBUNTU Linux, I found myself stuck in a very strange problem which I couldn´t resolve easily.

I have tried to install UBUNTU following this instruction:

Frankly – I don´t think there is a problem with this instruction. I think I messed something up. Nevertheless – I wanted to go back to the factory settings of the chromebook. That is an easy task: switch back from developer mode to the normal “verified” mode and afterwards start a powerwash by hitting CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+R in the login screen.

Normally you would think everything is fine after this. But I made the experience that the internal SSD drive was full and the local folders showed only a few megabytes of free memory. Even with a powerwash something was left in the filesystem – I guess it was the unpacked UBUNTU image somewhere  that did not get cleaned up with the reset. I was not able to figure out the root cause. As I already stated, I´m pretty sure that I messed something up, maybe by entering a wrong folder in the bash screen … whatever.

The only way to recover this was to recover the whole Chromebook with a recovery image. You can create such an image by typing chrome://imageburner in your browser.

But this won´t work, because the image needs to be unpacked and you do not have enough space 😉

So what can you do?

When you start the Chromebook and press ESC + REFRESH Key before the Powerbutton you enter a screen where the Chromebook expects a recovery from a USB Drive or SD Card. And here are the instructions how to create this Image with the help of a second computer, regardless of the OS. You can do this on a PC, a MAC or even a Linux machine:

When the recovery drive or SD card is ready and you put it into the Chromebook, the recovery starts and afterwards everything is fine.