Computing

How to Install Windows on a Chromebook

If you’ve always used Windows-based products and find it difficult to transition to a Chromebook, don’t worry. There are options available to bring the familiarity of Windows to your Chrome OS machine. In this article, we will guide you on how to install Windows on a Chromebook.

A Warning

Before we proceed, it’s essential to understand that installing Windows 10 on a Chromebook is a challenging task, and the end result may not be ideal. Chromebooks are designed to work with Google’s lightweight, web-centric OS, and they have specific hardware components that may not be compatible with Windows 10. Additionally, both Google and Microsoft do not officially support Windows 10 running on Chromebook-focused hardware.

Compatibility Check

To determine if your Chromebook is compatible with Windows 10, you can check CoolStar’s list. However, even if your Chromebook is compatible, the process of installing Windows on it is not straightforward.

Before You Begin

Before you embark on the journey of installing Windows on your Chromebook, it’s crucial to back up any important data you have on the system. Modifying your operating system, firmware, and BIOS can have serious consequences, and you risk losing data that isn’t backed up. In case something goes wrong, you can create a USB drive from another computer to recover the system.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Windows 10 on a Chromebook

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of installing Windows 10 on your Chromebook:

  1. Gather the necessary tools: Before you start, make sure you have all the required tools.
  2. Locate the write-protect screw: Find the exact location of the write-protect screw in your Chromebook model.
  3. Turn off the Chromebook: Hold down the Power button until the Chromebook turns off.
  4. Remove the bottom shell: Flip the Chromebook over and remove the bottom shell.
  5. Remove the write-protect screw: Locate and remove the write-protect screw.
  6. Reassemble the Chromebook: Put the bottom shell back on and plug in the power adapter.
  7. Enter Recovery Mode: Press the Esc + Refresh + Power buttons to turn the Chromebook on in Recovery Mode.
  8. Disable OS verification: When the screen shows “Chrome OS is missing or damaged,” press the Ctrl + D keys to disable OS verification.
  9. Enable Developer Mode: The Chromebook should reboot into Developer Mode. When the screen states “OS verification is OFF,” press the Ctrl + D keys to boot into Chrome OS.
  10. Open the Terminal: After booting into Chrome OS, press the Ctrl + Alt + T keys simultaneously to open the Terminal.
  11. Type shell: Type “shell” in the Terminal and press Enter.
  12. Run the script: Type the following command and press Enter to download and run a script file with root privileges:
    cd; curl -LO https://mrchromebox.tech/firmware-util.sh && sudo bash firmware-util.sh
  13. Select Full ROM Firmware: Type “3” and press Enter to select the “Install/Update Full ROM Firmware” option.
  14. Continue the process: Type “Y” to continue.
  15. Install UEFI firmware: Type “U” to install the UEFI firmware.
  16. Create a backup: Insert a USB drive to create a backup of the Chromebook’s current firmware.
  17. Turn off the Chromebook: After the new Windows-friendly firmware installs, turn off the Chromebook.
  18. Prepare Windows 10 ISO: On your second PC, follow the instructions in our separate article “How to download a Windows 10 ISO file legally and install Windows 10” to create a bootable USB drive with Windows 10.
  19. Download Windows-based drivers: Visit CoolStar’s website on your second PC to find and download the Windows-based drivers you’ll need to install on the Chromebook. Save them to the USB drive used earlier.
  20. Install Windows 10: Connect a mouse and keyboard to your Chromebook and install Windows 10 from the bootable USB drive.
  21. Install the required drivers: Once Windows 10 is installed, remove the installer USB drive and insert the USB drive with the downloaded drivers. Install the drivers accordingly.
  22. Enjoy Windows on your Chromebook: Congratulations! You have successfully installed Windows 10 on your Chromebook.
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How to install Windows on a Chromebook
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alternative 1: Use Microsoft’s Free Apps

If you primarily need access to Microsoft’s Office apps, you can simply use the free web-based versions. Just launch the Chrome browser, go to the Office website, log in to your Microsoft Account, and select the desired web app.

Alternative 2: Use Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to access another desktop from your Chromebook. It streams a Windows 10 PC to your Chromebook while enabling remote interaction through a mouse and keyboard. You’ll need a second Windows 10 machine connected to the internet to use this method.

Alternative 3: Use CrossOver

CrossOver by CodeWeavers is a software solution that enables you to run specific Windows apps on your Chromebook. However, it’s important to note that CrossOver runs only on Intel-based Chromebooks and may not support all Android devices or apps.

Alternative 4: Use Google’s Project Campfire

Project Campfire aims to provide a dual-boot setup, allowing Chromebooks to run both Chrome OS and Windows 10. Although the project was allegedly halted, recent reports suggest that Google may still be working on it. However, Chromebooks with sufficient hardware capabilities are required for this option.

Remember to explore these alternatives if you don’t want to go through the complex process of installing Windows on your Chromebook.

Article written by [OnSpec Electronic, Inc.] (https://onspecinc.com)

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