Chromebook Research

Jan 13, 2019

I recently purchased a HP Chromebook 14.

I found a cheap listed secondhand item, looked to be a bit messy - apparently it's major malfunction was a DOA internal battery - a replacement worth another $99 from a NZ Supplier.

I also have now, a redunandant 64G mSATA card - which was the OS drive for my linux server which was discomissioned after I migrated to a Mac mini & while during that migration, I suffered a massive drive failure.

After doing some investigation, I found that the mSATA SSD & the battery are basically the only two user replacable components (ignoring the daughter board).

I also remember some time ago, ChromeOS was getting support for Linux Apps.

Some investigation there's a bunch of Chromebooks that won't be getting that support, thankfully mine isn't on the list ... From what I can understand it's because of them having ARM processors? I'm not sure.

Now apparently there is not a BIOS menu, one can boot into - but appears to be more of a closed off UEFI bootloader setup; as evidenced by this video, 'Modify the BIOS on your Chromebook'.

If things go well, the Linux support might need a bit more than a 64G SSD, so I might install a 256G mSATA.

Interestingly the 14-x003tu SKU, has a NVIDIA Tegra K1 Processor, onboard 4GB RAM & 16/32GB eMMC onboard SSD.

Additionally the Maintainence & Service Guide provides two different boards a 4GB & 2GB variant, same Processor - but it also indicates 16GB & 32GB SKUs - I do have a 32G mSATA around spare, two actually but there's every potential that it might not even accept a 64GB mSATA upgrade.

After some looking around, I might be able to upgrade the memory on the board too! They appear to be FBGA chips, 1G DDR3 SDRAM. During the upgrade & battery replacement, I'll take a look at what chips my board has, it appears HP installs Micron modules on 4GB SKUs, but prefers to use SK-hynix chips for the 2GB SKUs.

I just need access to a heat gun station, it might be an interesting project - upgrading RAM on a Chromebook. I don't think it's been done before? Well upgrading RAM on a board without SODIMM slots, intended for memory upgrades.