Thursday, November 21, 2013

HP Chromebook 14 ChromeOS/Ubuntu 13.10 Compatibility List

Chromebook compatibility list


HP Chromebook 14 Compatibility List


Hardware/SoftwareChromeOSChr-Ubuntu 13.10



Time from Ctrl+D or Ctrl+L to LoginAbout 8 secondsAbout 12 seconds


WifiAutomatically detects networksAutomatically detects networks


HSPA+ 3G modemPre-configured for T-mobileUser selects carrier and data plan (T-mobile)


Wired network via USB adapterWorks "plug and play"Works "plug and play"


Trackpad/scrollingPre-configuredPre-configured by Chr-Ubuntu


BluetoothWorks - tested Motorola S9 HeadphonesWorks - tested Motorola S9 Headphones


User AccountsMultiple with Account or guestMultiple with Admin, User, Guest


SoundPre-configuredWorks "out of the box"


BrightnessHotkey adjustmentAdjustable in settings


HDMI video-outWorks - tested BenQ monitorWorks - tested BenQ monitor


Video playbackSupports most formatsSupports more formats (such as .wmv)


Google Hangouts video chatPre-configuredWorks with Linux plug-in from Google


Google EarthNot availableWorks but requires recompiling .deb file


Google Drive/DocsWorksWorks


Drop BoxAvailableAvailable


Libre OfficeNot availableAvailable


Photo EditingA few good online appsMany Editor options like GIMP


USB mass storageWorks mostly including USB 3.0Works mostly including USB 3.0


Local USB printerNot availableMost work with pre-installed CUPS drivers


Local USB scannerNot availableWorks with tested HP scanner and HPLIP


USB DVD PlaybackNot availableWorks with Ubuntu restricted extras and DCSS


DVD Movie RippingNot availableAcidRip converts movies to AVI: 2.5H in 45 mins

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Local USB Printer installed...

I have a Brother HL-2240 monochrome laser printer that does the bulk of my home printing.  Trying to be clever and install the official Brother drivers wasn't working.  It was working with my Thinkpad running Ubuntu Raring Ringtail (12.04), so I checked to see what driver was installed.  Apparently I had installed HPLIP for a wireless all-in-one inkjet.  The working driver was for a Brother HL-2170W; not the recommended driver, but the HPijs-Pcl-5e driver.  I had to install the HPijs driver package (used Ubuntu Software Center), restart and then manually choose the HPijs-Pcl-5e driver.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Testing the HDMI port with an external monitor in ChromeOS and Chr-Ubuntu

I took my Chromebook to work and tested the HDMI-out port with my employer's BenQ GW2750.

First, here is ChromeOS.

Next, here is Ubuntu 13.10

The ChromeOS interface is much easier to use.  Just select your primary monitor and the pointer will appear on that monitor and you are good to go.  In Ubuntu it is a bit wonky--you have to play with it a little to achieve the desired result (i.e. get your pointer active in the external monitor).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Now Dual booting ChromeOS (20GB) and Ubuntu Saucy Salamander (100GB)

Update:  I now have successfully installed Ubuntu Saucy using Jay Lee's Chr-Ubuntu script (9sgchs). Now I have a dual-boot ChromeOS/Ubuntu 13.10 laptop. I tested the built-in t-mobile modem and it works just as it does in ChromeOS.  I tried to "plug and play" install my brother USB Laser Printer, but it didn't work.  I think I'll have to install the drivers from Brother manually.  I am still having a major ChromeOS issue.  The system crashes at the Chrome login screen and restarts to the "Chrome is missing or damaged" error when not on AC power.  It has got to be a ChromeOS problem, because using the Legacy boot into Ubuntu works plugged-in or on battery power.  I guess this is going to be mainly my Ubuntu machine for now until there is a fix.  When I have some free time I will try to test some other peripherals.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One remaining issue - software or hardware?

I can only login to ChromeOS when the AC adapter is plugged in.  If I unplug once I am logged in, ChromeOS restarts and then shows the "ChromeOS is missing or damaged" screen.  I then press the power button to turn it off, plug in the AC adapter and everything works again.  The screen will stay on forever even when unplugged so I do not think it is a battery problem.  I will have to open it up again and check my connections.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Success! Rescued and restored 128GB NGFF SSD!

Re-write GUID Partition Table (GPT) using NGFF to SSD Adapter

Here is the adapter I used to access my unbootable ChromeOS NGFF SSD:

As you can see, it adapts a NGFF SSD so that it fits into a standard Serial ATA interface port.

Pictured here is the adapter is on top of a Serial ATA 2.5" hard drive.  Notice that the connector is identical.

I inserted my 128GB NGFF SSD into the Adapter:

Then, I inserted the Adapter into a USB to Serial ATA drive Adapter:

I connected this drive to my Ubuntu-Linux laptop and fired up GParted:

Next, from the GParted menu I chose Device/Create Partition Table:

From the drop-down box select "gpt".

I did not create any partitions.  I just left it unallocated:

Next, I opened up my Chromebook and replaced the stock SSD with my 128GB SSD.  I plugged in my recovery USB memory stick and ChromeOS (Falco) was restored and is working properly again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Here are the mechanics of the NGFF SSD removal and installation

NGFF stands for "Next Generation Form Factor".  SSD is of course, "Solid State Drive".  These drives are 22x42x1mm (aka "2242").  There are also NGFF SSDs that are much longer (2260,2280...) and those will not fit in the Chromebook.  On the left is one I installed, on the right is the original HP part.

Note:  I had problems with this 128GB drive.  

ChromeOS somehow was corrupting the GPT and would not boot.  I tried Chrome recovery and now this drive will not boot at all.  I am trying to figure out how I can repair it. I think I will get an adapter so that I can connect it via USB and re-write the partition tables. I re-installed the OEM 16GB SSD and everything is working again using ChromeOS and Crouton/Saucy Salamander.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Things you will need:
    • HP Chromebook 14 (Late 2013 model; ChromeOS version is "Falco")
    • NGFF SSD
    • #0 and #1 Phillips screwdrivers
    • Plastic prying tool (I sharpened the end of a plastic fork with a file)
    • You should wear a grounded Anti-static wrist strap
    • I recommend you take photographs as you go along for reference when you get to the re-assembly stage
  2. Backup any important files stored locally on your Chromebook.
  3. Create a ChromeOS Recovery on a USB memory stick.   Remember, your version is "Falco".
  4. Power-off Chromebook, disconnect external power, disconnect all peripherals, remove SIM card. Close the lid, turn it over and remove the 13 screws on the bottom.
    I've circled the 13 screw locations. Four of the screws are covered with small pieces of silicon rubber. You can pry them loose with a small knife. They have adhesive on them that can be re-used to attach them when you re-install the screws.
  5. Turn the unit back over and open the screen.  Power-off the machine using the software-power-off button which appears when you click in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.  Gently pry the keyboard from the edge of the case using a plastic tool.  Start on either side of the trackpad and work your way around to the rear of the case.  The most difficult area will be below the center of the screen.
  6. Hold the keyboard at an angle above the base of the unit.  First, disconnect the battery.  Next, disconnect the two ribbon cables for the keyboard and trackpad.  
    Here are the locations of the Battery, Keyboard, Trackpad and USB Ribbon cable connectors. You will be disconnecting these in that exact order.
    The flat, ribbon-like cables are removed by first flipping-up a small plastic latch.  Then pull the cable straight out of the connector.
  7. Place the Keyboard aside.  Next, disconnect the Motherboard to USB Ribbon cable, Speaker cable, Cooling Fan cable and Wifi Antenna cables.  Connector locations are shown below.
  8. Remove the 3 screws that hold down the battery and remove it.  While lifting the battery, shift it slightly to the left because the SIM Card PCB overlaps the right edge of the battery.
  9. Remove the screw that holds down the Wifi mini-PCI card and remove it.
  10. Remove the 3 screws that hold the Cooling Fan in place and remove it.
  11. Remove screw and loosen PCB board adjacent to right-hand side of the screen's hinge.
  12. Remove 3 screws, lift and slide Motherboard to the right.
    To access underside of Motherboard by lifting the lower edge up towards the Chromebook's screen. You may wish to cover the screen to prevent possible scratching.
  13. Remove the screw that holds down the NGFF SSD and remove it by pulling it straight up.
  14. Install the replacement NGFF SSD. It will only fit one way with minimal force.
  15. Reassembly is to follow the steps in reverse. You will need to make sure you angle the Motherboard down and to your left to make sure you get the external connectors inserted through the case openings.
  16. Before you close up the case, make sure you have connected all of the cables correctly and that they are routed to avoid any possible stress. When you close the case, apply pressure as shown.
  17. When the Chromebook powers up (as soon as you connect the battery) you will see this screen. Insert your ChromeOS recovery USB memory stick.
  18. Following, are the remaining screens that will walk you through the recovery process (should take about 5 minutes).

  19. Remove your USB memory stick and the system will reboot. Connect to a network, log-in and type "chrome://quota-internals" into the search bar.
  20. Now you can see your new storage capacity.