I feel like a gorram hacker.
TL;DR: I said to my Chromebook CB5 what Diana Chang (a Conan O’Brien staffer) said to a van she was passing when learning to drive: “You’re my bitch.”
After the Crouton install failed last night, I decided I had enough of messing with ChromeOS. I discovered that Chromebooks are write-protected in two different ways: hardware and software. This is to prevent noobs from screwing up their Chromebooks. I’m not a noob. So I found out how to disable the hardware and software write protection before I fell asleep.
Fast forward to today. I took the back off the CB5 to remove the hardware write-protect screw. Since my apartment is mostly packed up in a PODS container sitting in my driveway, I thought I could get away with using my Leatherman (aka a “diggit” in Navy terminology; I’ll talk about the origin of the name in a later post) and its attached Phillips screwdriver. Well, that worked for the screws on the back, but once I got to the motherboard, the diggit’s screwdriver was way too big. I walked down to the POD and got my drill and a Phillips bit that I though would work. Wrong! I stripped the screw head so I had to go back down to the POD to get a drill bit to drill out the screw. Annoying; I hate making multiple trips but hey, I was initially lazy and paid the price. I got the write-protect screw drilled out and replaced the back. Then came the matter of disabling software write-protection, which turned out to be much easier to do; the hardest part about it is enabling Developer Mode, and it’s really not that hard. Then I just flashed the new firmware and just like that, I have a fresh new computer waiting for a Linux installation!
Of course, much more techie people than me came up with all this stuff; I just followed the directions. Also notice that there isn’t just one source to go to; rather, you have to know what you want to do, then find resources that will get you to that point. Maybe making a flow chart would help, but that’s not my style.
Now I’m just waiting for my USB stick to finish formatting, as I made the terrible mistake of unchecking “Quick Format” on my Windows machine when I decided to format the stick. An hour and still going….
I’ll post another update when I get that custom ham Ubuntu installed on the CB5’s SSD.