Remember, I am a Newbie ‘n Novice at Chromebooks ‘n such ‘Thangs as “Write Protection,” so if I can do it then you probably could also. I am also a Newbie ‘n Novice at writing on how to accomplish such technical tasks, so be sure to Double-Check my methods.
Ordered my 1st Chromebook on May 23, 2021 – a HP Chromebook 14a-na0023cl named ‘Chromebook’. Had discovered that Chromebooks has something known as a Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date before ordering my 2nd Chromebook on Jun 04, 2021 – a Samsung 12.2″ Chromebook Plus V2 XE521QAB-K01, which I have named ‘Sam’ (short for Samantha). Ordered my 3rd Chromebook on Jun 23, 2021 – a 11.6″ HP Chromebook – 11a-nb0013dx that is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Monday), and I’ll named it at some point.
In the $149 Chromebook for tests – will Linux work on it?!? post I try to briefly cover a CPU’s “codename” and the platform/family it belongs to. Since I find it impossible for me to follow MrChromebox.tech’s advice to use the “Board Name” in this process, i.e. I haven’t been able to find a Chromebook’s “Board Name” when trying to buy it, so I focus first on the CPU’s “codename.”
I am looking for low priced Chromebooks, with only 1-3 years before the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date arrives. New Chromebooks, with 7-8 years before their Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date arrives, are very expensive in most cases. Since the “Board Name” is too difficult for me to find (when looking to buy one), I am checking the Intel CPU’s “codename,” and then attempting to match it in this MrChromebox.tech’s table:
I am going for the UEFI Firmware (Full ROM) option, which requires the CR50 WP Method (WP=Write Protection). In this case, I am getting the Intel CPU codename for the Intel® Celeron® Processor 3965Y in my Samsung XE521QAB-K01US – which is Kaby Lake.
- A complete firmware image which includes updated/customized versions of the hardware init component (coreboot) and UEFI boot payload (Tianocore); Chromeboxes have the option of a Legacy Boot (SeaBIOS) firmware also, since some specialized Linux distros run on them are not yet UEFI compatible (e.g., roon).
- Removes the developer mode boot (white “OS verification is OFF”) screen.
- Completely removes the ability to run ChromeOS (and ChromeOS Recovery Mode), creating a small risk of bricking your device.
- Offers the best support for booting all OSes besides ChromeOS.
- Adds full hardware support for virtualization (vmx / VT-x).
- Fixes many bugs and/or idiosyncrasies associated with the stock firmware.
- UEFI firmware contains updated EC firmware as well, which brings additional fixes on most Chromebooks (mainly keyboard related).
- Requires installation of a UEFI-compatible OS after flashing.
- Essentially turns your ChromeOS device into a “regular” PC / laptop.
The (UEFI) Full ROM firmware is the best option for all users who no longer need/want to run ChromeOS (ie, want to run Linux/Windows exclusively), and who don’t mind opening their device to disable the firmware write-protect.
Instead of “Linux/Windows,” I am wanting to run Linux ???/Linux CloudReady OS “exclusively” since I am purchasing Chromebooks with just 4GB memory, Celeron CPU’s, and small eMMC storage space. 😉 No area for a SSD, and Windows 10 11 isn’t going to install to a SD Memory Card or USB or a 32GB eMMC storage space.
I also “don’t mind opening” my Chromebooks “to disable the firmware write-protect.” The CR50 WP Method has worked on my Samsung XE521QAB-K01US, it won’t work on my HP Chromebook – 14a-na0023cl, and I haven’t tested that method on the HP Chromebook – 11a-nb0013dx yet. The HP Chromebook – 11a-nb0013dx has an Intel® Celeron® N3350, codename Apollo Lake, and similar Chromebooks in that same platform/family (on the table) with the same CPU work with the CR50 WP Method.
That worked with the Samsung XE521QAB-K01US, and I’ll know if the CR50 WP Method works on the HP Chromebook – 11a-nb0013dx after it arrives tomorrow. I have a close match, in the same Apollolake platform/family.
When it arrives, I’ll go into the back of it, disconnect the battery, and plug the USB-C power adapter in for power. Then I’ll boot it up to see what the ChromeOS Firmware Utility Script will allow me to do…that’ll be in Fragment 3 of this series.
Will add this post to the Chromebooks page…
LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!