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Performing a System Recovery on Your HP Chromebook (Chrome OS)

This document applies to HP Chromebook computers with Chrome OS.
If you see the error message Chrome OS is missing or damaged, or if there is another serious problem with your Chromebook, it may be necessary to reinstall the Chrome operating system.
Performing a recovery on your HP Chromebook reinstalls the operating system and restores the original factory settings, removing all associated Google Accounts (including the owner) and clearing all local data from the hard drive. Locally saved files and saved networks are deleted for all accounts. The Google Accounts themselves, and any data synced to the Web through your Google Drive, are not affected by a system recovery.
This document describes how to create recovery media, and how to use the recovery media to restore your Chromebook to its original condition. Follow the steps in this document to perform a system recovery on your Chromebook.
Before you begin a Chromebook recovery
Before beginning the Chromebook recovery process, you need the following:
  • A USB flash drive or SD memory card: You need 4 GB or greater capacity on your storage device to accommodate the recovery image. All data is erased from the device when creating the recovery media, so back up any files from the device before you begin.
  • Access to another computer: To create the recovery media, use a Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS computer on which you have administrative rights and Internet access.
  • Chromebook power supply: The Chromebook must be plugged into a power source during recovery.
  • Chrome OS is missing or damaged screen: If this message is not already displaying on your Chromebook, trigger the screen manually. With the Chromebook turned on, hold down the Esc + F3 (Reload) keys, and press the Power button. The Chromebook restarts, and the screen shows Chrome OS is missing or damaged.
Step 1: Finding your Chromebook hardware model name
There are numerous variations of HP Chromebook hardware. In order to create the correct recovery media for your specific device, you must select the recovery image that matches your exact Chromebook model. This is not the same as the HP model number or product number (for example, HP Pavilion 14-c010us), and is not printed anywhere on the computer itself.
If your Chromebook is displaying the Chrome OS is missing or damaged message, find the model name at the bottom of the screen.
 note:
If this message is not already displaying on your Chromebook, trigger the screen manually. With the Chromebook turned on, hold down the Esc + F3 (Reload) keys, and press the Power button.
Figure : Model name (example)
Model name (example)
If you do not see the Chrome OS is missing or damaged screen, and you want to find the model name without triggering this screen, use the following steps to find your model name:
  1. Click the Chrome icon to open the Chrome Web browser.
  2. In the browser's address bar, type chrome://system, and then press Enter.
    Figure : About System
    About System
  3. Scroll down to the hardware_class entry. This is the model name of your Chromebook.
    Figure : Chromebook hardware class (example)
    Chromebook hardware class (example)
Step 2: Creating recovery media for Chromebook
Use the steps in in one of the following sections to create recovery media for your Chromebook. You can create the recovery media from many popular operating systems - it does not have to be a Chromebook. Choose the appropriate set of steps for the type of computer you are using to create the recovery media.
Step 3: Reinstalling Chrome OS
To install a new version of the Chrome operating system on your Chromebook from recovery media, follow these steps:
  1. Turn on your Chromebook and plug in the power cord.
  2. When you see the Chrome OS is missing or damaged screen, insert the recovery media you created in Step 2.
  3. Wait while Chrome verifies the integrity of the recovery media.
    Figure : Verifying the integrity of your recovery media
    Verifying the integrity of your recovery media
  4. If the recovery media verification is successful, the system recovery begins. Wait for the recovery process to complete.
    Figure : System recovery is in progress
    System recovery is in progress
    If you see an error message (such as An unexpected error has occurred or You are using an out-of-date Chrome OS recovery image), you may need to repeat Step 2: Creating recovery media for Chromebook, or use a different USB flash drive or SD memory card. For more information about resolving these errors, refer to the Troubleshooting tips section of Recover your Chrome device (in English) from Chrome OS Help.
  5. When the system recovery is complete, remove the USB flash drive or SD memory card, and wait for the Chromebook to restart.
    Figure : System recovery is complete
    System recovery is complete
Step 4: Setting up your Chromebook after recovery
After recovery is complete, the Chromebook needs to be set up again. Perform the initial setup process by following the steps in the HP support document Setting Up Your HP Chromebook.
Step 5: Reformatting the Chromebook recovery media (for Windows)
During the process of creating recovery media on a Windows computer, the USB flash drive or SD memory card is formatted for use as a recovery tool. After you recover your Chromebook, the recovery media must be reformatted so that the full amount of space on the storage device is available for use in Windows. The Windows formatting tool cannot reformat the device properly. Instead, reformat the device using the same Recovery Tool you used to create recovery media.
For instructions, and a link to the Recovery Tool for reformatting the storage device, go to Reformat your recovery media (in English) from Chrome OS Help.

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