If you’ve got an older Windows PC with XP or Vista and as Windows 10 becomes even more aggressive and intrusive, there’s another option that I’m exploring – change it into a Chromebook.
Neverware.com shows us just how to do that on their site. The software is mainly used for schools who have older computers, but it will also work for individuals.
For the individual, it’s free.
Here’s a list of supported hardware. The list is not very long, but if you have one of the listed computers it’s worth a try. If you don’t have one of those listed, it’s still worth a try.
Also, if you look at the list, you will see that some Apple Mac products are included.
The most important thing is to backup all your data off the computer and onto an external hard drive. You should probably make two copies. The computer hard drive will be wiped/formatted, so all your data will be lost.
First off, there are two different versions you can download. One for older computers and one for newer computers. Make sure you download the version appropriate for your computer.
What I discovered is that I couldn’t create the USB drive on a Chromebook. I kept getting an error around the 72% mark.
My solution was to move the .zip file over to a PC. I then unzipped the file and ran the Chrome Recovery Utility and chose the unzipped .bin file and was able to create the Chrome flash drive. I did find on the Neverware site a comment that it might be better to use a PC to create the drive.
I am using the CloudReady thumb drive on a HP G60 laptop with a Pentium chip.
It’s interesting to note that you can boot and use the thumb drive as a carry-along operating system and just boot from it. However what I wanted to do was install the Cloud Ready software onto the SSD which I had installed.
I did install it onto the SSD without any trouble and will now boot into the CloudWare software.
Computer Test #1 – I installed this on an older HP G60. The problem was it only showed 1.8 gb of space free. Even when I added a SD card, it wouldn’t allow me to save to the SD card. It forces me to save to that tiny 1.8 gb area. Chromium is not as robust as the regular Chromebook. It also forces me to download and install Adobe Flash if I want to use it. In the end, I threw away this older computer rather than spend more time on it.
From NeverWare and CloudReady, here’s the video below for the process.