Flash the InsydeH2O BIOS on the Cr-48


The InsydeH2O BIOS will make your Cr-48 function like a standard Intel-based laptop, allowing you to install a wide variety of operating systems including Windows and various flavors of Linux.

Follow this guide to safely back up your original Cr-48 BIOS and install the InsydeH2O BIOS.

Your Chrome OS installation will not be altered by this process and will continue to operate properly, however Chrome OS updates will not install while the InsydeH2O BIOS is in place.

Please note that EVERY step is critical and skipping ahead could render your computer unusable. Also, this guide ONLY applies to the Cr-48 and is WILL NOT work with any other Chromebook.

  1. CRITICAL FIRST STEP: Open the computer and disable the BIOS protection using the instructions here

    • If you skipped this step and are now stuck at the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" screen, see this guide for a solution
  2. Set your Cr-48 to Developer Mode using the instructions here

  3. Create a Chrome OS recovery drive using the instructions here

  4. Log in to Chrome OS and press ctrl + alt + → (→ is the forward arrow where the F2 key would normally be)

  5. Type chronos and press enter

  6. Type sudo su and press enter

  7. Type flashrom -r backup.bin and press enter

  8. Type cp backup.bin /home/chronos/user/Downloads and press enter

  9. Press ctrl + alt + ← (the ← is the back arrow where the F1 key would normally be) to return to the normal Chrome OS interface

  10. Go to Gmail (or whatever email you use) and compose a new message addressed to yourself

  11. Select "Choose a File to attach," select the folder "File Shelf," select the file backup.bin and click "Open"

  12. Send the message. Keep this message safe - you'll need it if you want to restore your Cr-48 to its original state.

  13. Download the InsydeH2O BIOS for the Cr-48 here: cr48.bin.tar.gz

  14. Press ctrl + alt + → (F2)

  15. Type tar -xvzf /home/chronos/user/Downloads/cr48.bin.tar.gz -C /home/chronos and press enter

  16. Type flashrom -w /home/chronos/cr48.bin and press enter

  17. Ignore any SPI erase errors. You will see a confirmation message after the system verifies that the BIOS has been flashed correctly.

  18. Shut down the computer.

  19. Restart the computer and immediately press the → key (F2) to modify the settings of the new BIOS.

Original source of Cr-48 InsydeH2O BIOS: http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/f99/t284626/
Discussion thread on ubuntuforums.org: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1641911&page=40&p=10299420#post10299420

Restore the Original Cr-48 BIOS

If you do not have a backup your original BIOS you can flash a "stock" BIOS

  • A stock BIOS image for FISH models is available here: fishstock.bin
  • A stock BIOS image for PONY models is available here: ponystock.bin

Note that a stock BIOS will not contain certain information specific to your Cr-48 such as the serial number. For most users this will not present a problem.

  1. On another computer (or on your Cr-48 if you have installed Windows), download Ubuntu 11.04 here: http://releases.ubuntu.com/natty/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso

  2. Follow the instructions to create a bootable USB here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

  3. Boot your Cr-48 into Ubuntu from the USB and launch Ubuntu Software Center

  4. Install the application called flashrom

  5. Copy the backup of your original BIOS (or the stock BIOS) to your home directory

  6. Open a terminal window and type sudo flashrom -w backup.bin and press enter (If you are using one of the stock BIOS images, replace backup.bin with either fishstock.bin or ponystock.bin)

    • flashrom may require additional text as a safeguard against "bricking" your computer.
    • If prompted to do so, modify the command in step 6 to read sudo flashrom -w backup.bin -p internal:laptop=force_I_want_a_brick
  7. Ignore any SPI erase errors. You will see a confirmation message after the system verifies that the BIOS has been flashed correctly.

  8. Shut down the computer.

  9. Recover the Chrome OS using the guide here

Source: http://www.chrome-review.com/flashing-your-cr-48-bios/