Buying a laptop involves a direct choice between two operating systems: Windows or OS X. But now there’s Google’s Chrome OS, which offers a third, low-cost option. Chromebooks running the cloud-based operating system have become very popular and it’s easy to see why.
They’re handy as long as you have to do most of your work on the web and in your browser, they don’t require extra processing power.
Like playing on an old, low-end PC
The same principle can be applied to an old PC, so even if it can’t run the latest version of Windows, your old computer may still have more than enough power to run Chrome OS.
CloudReady brings the Chromebook experience to your PC and can replace your existing Windows installation or run in parallel. The operating system is commercially intended for schools, but is distributed free to home users.
What you’ll need to install Chrome OS on your PC
In addition to the CloudReady image file, which is a 600MB download from the website, You will need recovery utility of the Chromebook. This is an official Google tool that allows you to create recovery drives for Chromebooks but can also be used to install Chrome OS (via CloudReady) on your PC.
Requires Chrome browser to function. You also need a blank USB drive (or SD card) to write the installer. This should have a capacity of at least 8 GB, although 16 GB would be better. You can buy one on Amazon for a few euros.
Can I install Windows 10 on my old computer?
- ascend www.neverware.com/freedownload and select the 32-bit or 62-bit download file. Do not unzip the CloudReady download yet, as this may cause problems.
- Insert a blank USB drive (or one you don’t mind losing data for), open the Chrome web browser, and then install and run the Chromebook recovery utility. Do not click the button It begins. Instead, click on the gear icon and choose Use a local image.
- Navigate to the saved file and select the media you want to use for installation and click You open.
- Make sure you select the correct drive, then click Keep on going.
- Then confirm that the data on the next page is correct. Assuming they are, click Create now.
- Accept the displayed UAC prompt.
- Creating a recovery image should only take a few minutes – do not disconnect the USB drive during the process.
- Once done, restart your PC and boot from the USB drive. The CloudReady installer will load.
- Set the language, keyboard, and network, then click Continue to start the installation process.
- During installation, you will need to agree to install Flash, then sign in to your “Chromebook” using your existing Google account. If you don’t have an account or want to create a new one for use with CloudReady, click Other options and choose Create a new account.
- click on Before and enter the password.
- Choose an image to use for your account and you will be given the option to visit your new device. All apps can be accessed through the launcher in the lower right corner. The taskbar provides access to the settings, where you will find the option to install CloudReady.
- Click on the button Install CloudReady. You will have the option of installing it as a standalone operating system (which will completely erase everything on your hard drive) or as a dual boot alongside Windows. If you select the latter, you will be able to choose between loading Windows or CloudReady at startup.