Friday, July 1, 2011

Samsung Chromebook finally arrived. It won't boot.

You cannot make up stuff like this.

I had read that it came with no written documentation.  Actually it comes with lots of written stuff, just in really tiny font size and with no useful information.  Written items include Safety Instructions, which includes stuff like don't set the battery on fire or smash it with a hatchet.  The Samsung Quick Start Guide does not even indicate what color the LED should be when the battery is charged; it remained a reddish orange after a couple of hours of charging.

There is one piece of paper from google, which cheerfully states: "Plug in the power.  Open the lid.  And you're all set.".  Unfortunately, that no more useful than the tiny diagram of the proprietary function keys with their explanations in super tiny font size.

I decided to remove the charger and open the lid even though I did not know if the battery was fully charged. The lid appears to be backward because Samsung its name on it upside down.

I pushed the power button and the screen came to life.  There was a frowny face on a laptop screen with a thumb drive pointed towards it.  Underneath was this:

Chrome OS is missing or damaged
Please connect a recovery device.

I was aghast.  What the heck?  Who the heck ships a PC, especially one with a new experimental operating system, and does not bother to turn it on to see it if boots?  Samsung.

I called Samsung and after long delays concluded that the people with whom I had spoken were well-intentioned but not entirely familiar with the fact that Samsung does not have a direct sales channel but instead directs a buyer to either or  I had chosen and will call them next.

I am not inclined to try to download a version of Chrome OS to a thumb drive and install it, especially after my failed attempt to do this with Ubuntu Linux onto my SLOW Acer netbook, which is currently a brick.

Ah, progress!  While I was writing this the LED finally changed color to green, perhaps indicating that the battery is charged.  Just to check I closed the lid, re-opened and pushed power: the vulgar mask of failure re-appeared.

I decided to try the recovery URL and was re-directed here:

I learned something that Samsung could not tell me: that these Chromebooks come with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) version of the operating system (OS):

First choose the model of your Chromebook:

Samsung Chromebook Series 5

After choosing Samsung I saw this:

Before starting this process, you'll need the following:

A Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with administrative rights.
A 4 GB or larger USB flash drive that you don't mind clearing.

This is another reason I do not want to do this.  Why should I need another computer and why should I waste a USB flash drive?  The only USB flash drive I have is that stupid SanDisk that I had to re-furbish just to get it to load stupid Ubuntu Linux, which of course, failed to load on my Acer netbook. What the heck.  It's not doing me any good.

By the way: why doesn't my Chromebook come with an Ethernet port?

OK, I'm foolishly trying this recovery procedure.  Google wants me to download and run the recovery program on my semi-trusty old WindowsXP Dell laptop.  Again I must choose Samsung.

I plug it in and the "SanDisk Cruzer USB Device" is recognized.  I am warned: "All files on SanDisk Cruzer USB Device will be erased.".  Here goes ...

It's downloading.

It worked.  I managed to demolish my worthless stupid Ubuntu Linux boot devise.

I started the Samsung and then inserted the boot SanDisk Cruzer USB Device.  On screen messages that it validated the official recovery image, reset security, about to copy system image.  It will "take some time".  Hey, it's already further than stupid Ubuntu Linux from those snot nosed techies who only care about themselves and their snot nosed techie friends.  It's clear that some profit motive is necessary, not phony baloney save the world fake altruism.

System is about to reboot.  Cool.

Yikes!  I think it worked!  It wouldn't take the password for my Verizon FIOS router but it took it from a friend's Verizon Wireless MiFi 3G portable hotspot.  I seem to be online.  No idea how to make it work with the free Verizon Wireless 3G  that is supposed to come with it.

1 comment:

Henriq said...

Hmm, I was as thrilled as you when I finally recieved my Samsung Chromebook. It worked perfectly well... 2 charges... now it wont charge the battery... eeh...FRUSTRATING!
I don't know it is the power supply, (or the cables), the battery or the chromebook itself and I cannot find any way to get in contact with someone who can help me... :-(