Do you have a slow old PC? People just like you are salvaging old PCs by turning them into fast Chromebooks.
It’s not as hard as you think.
Today, we’re going to show you how to refurbish old PCs and turn them into Chromebooks – just like one New York City startup that is refurbishing the old Windows and Mac computers at schools and turning them into Chromebooks that students can actually use.
That startup – Neverware – then charges schools a licensing fee for every machine that it refurbishes. However, the software is offered for free to individual users like you.
Thanks to Neverware’s software, you can download the software for free and setup your old PC to dual boot into both its original operating system (Windows or Mac OS) without getting rid of anything important.
In fact, you can install Chrome OS just to check it out, or have as a backup plan, if you really like.
You can also install the Neverware software as a standalone OS. In fact, dual boot isn’t supported on all systems (see the bottom of this tutorial). If you choose the standalone OS option, then all your existing data will be deleted.
Step by Step Guide
The software you’re going to download is called CloudReady. It’s available for free online. The entire installation process takes about 40 minutes (20 minutes to create the USB installer, and then about 1 minute to start the 20 minute installation process on your machine).
What You Need:
-1 or more USB 2.0 drives with 8 or 16GB of storage (make sure there is nothing important on these drives, as the installation process will completely erase them)
-A computer running Mac OS or Windows
CloudReady can be installed on your computer in two different ways: you can install it as a standalone installation, in which case it will be the only OS on the computer. Or you can install it in a dual boot setup.
Let’s look at the step by step guide:
Step 1) Go to http://www.neverware.com/freedownload (the download will start automatically)
Step 2) Plug in your USB stick with 8GB or 16GB of storage space
Step 3) Download the Chromebook Recovery Utility for free from the Google Chrome Web Store. Open the utility, click on the gear icon (settings), and click “use local image” before selecting the .zip file you downloaded in step 1. This should then take 5 to 10 minutes to create the USB installer. You may see unusual percentages during the installation process – so don’t worry too much.
Step 4) Insert your installer and boot from USB on your Mac or Windows machine (you may have to go into the BIOS to do this). Upon boot, CloudReady will boot to a setup page, although you won’t need to configure any network settings at this point.
Step 5) Click the bottom right system tray icon and select Install CloudReady. A wizard will pop up to guide you through the installation. This is the point where you can choose the standalone installation or dual-boot option (although dual-boot won’t work on all machines). Dual boot is available only on models listed on the certification list seen here. That list features an extensive selection of PC models from brands like Dell and HP as well as Apple computers.
That’s it! The OS will begin to download and you’ll be able to enjoy your blazing fast new OS.