chromebook recovery disk and external monitor

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chromebook recovery disk and external monitor

November 3rd, 2012 by Jeanne Boyarsky

I bought a Chromebook and have been using it/testing it out before actually giving it to my mother.  This weekend, I tried to create a recovery disk and hook it up to an external monitor.  Here’s how it went.

Recovery disk

The Chromebook help page covers how to create a USB drive with a bootable ChomeOS recovery disk.  It took me a few tries though:

  1. Inserted 8GB USB flash drive into Chromebook and went to chrome://imageburner.  A third of the way through the 300-400 MB download it would fail with an unclear error message.
  2. Tried Chrome OS Image Creator on Mac.  However it asks for a model number like “Sams Alex2 Gamma0-US 1234.”.  I emailed the “Chrome Ninja Team” (google support) as I would like to know the answer to this.  I then guessed one and tried to download onto USB.  Same error.  I’ve used this USB drive for other things but maybe it is the drive.
  3. Tried a 4GB USB flash drive and created recovery disk successfully.
How to find your chromebook model # 
Per the Ninja team, if your machine still works, you can enter:
 chrome://system   (which shows a lot of interesting other info too; at least interesting if you are a geek)
How to find your chromebook model #   – approach 2
Per the Ninja team (parens are mine)
  1. Follow the steps 1 – 4 via this link http://support.google.com/chromeos/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1360642  (I didn’t feel the switch move but it clearly did.  I hadn’t shut down fully (or knocked into the power button while doing this and had to do this twice.)
  2. Step 5) Press the space bar and then you will be able to see your model number.  (This worked.)
  3. (Flip switch back and restart – I got prompted for my internet connection again and given the welcome message so I think it did a partial reset.  But all settings are in the cloud so this isn’t a big deal.)

External monitor

My goal was to hook up the tiny 12.1 inch Chromebook screen to an external monitor.  I already have a VGA cable.  The Chromebook does not have a VGA or HDMI port.  Check what your model has.  Mine has a Display Port.   I learned it isn’t easy to buy a Display Port to VGA adapter.  Here’s what happened:

  • Radio Shack: Sells mini display port adapter because Mac’s use it.  (I already have one of these)
  • PC Richard: “That doesn’t exist; tvs use wifi now.” (Not true and useless advice)
  • Best Buy: Sells same things as Radio Shack.  Recommends buying it online
  • B and H: I suspect B and H does have this adapter in stock.  The trains aren’t fully running yet so I don’t feel the need to go into Manhattan to find out.  And they were closed today anyway for the holiday.
  • Amazon: I bought this on Amazon.  Will find out how it works in a few days.

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