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Cannot identify Chromebook model or perform recovery

cagedconchcagedconch Posts: 5Member



I bought a second-hand Acer Aspire One Chromebook off eBay recently and I have been trying to wipe it and restore it to stock.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out the model of the machine so that I can use the Chromebook Recovery Utility to reset it to stock.


There is no sticker on the underside of the Chromebook -- I can't find a serial number or SNID on this unit so I can't even send an email to Acer support.


The unit is having a few issues, it's stuck on some really old version of ChromeOS.

The unit can browse the web through the "Browse without signing in" option but I can't sign in with a Google account.


It reports the following versions (that are really, really old):


ChromeOS - (Official Build 8dfec374) dev

Chrome browser: 6.0.466.2


What I've tried so far:


* Signing in to the Chromebook - I get an "Invalid login http://developers.google.com/accounts/docs/AuthForInstalledApps" error

(according to the linked page this method was obsoleted in 2012) and I don't think any Google account could sign on from this Chromebook tbh.


* Powerwashing the Chromebook - I held Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R at the sign-in screen, nothing happened.  A "Restart" button is supposed to appear, nothing did.


* Installing Chrome extensions - As there is a guest browsing feature available, I thought I might be able to install the recovery image writing extension on the unit itself.  Ss the Chrome version is so old each "Install" box instead reads "Available for Chrome" and there is a banner at the top stating "Your Chrome version is not supported by the Web Store, Download the latest Google Chrome"


* Checking the update status in Chrome - I clicked the spanner --> "About Google Chrome".  It reports the versions above, states that Google Chrome is up to date (!)

* Entered Developer mode - I ficked a switch in the battery compartment to switch it to developer mode.  The unit tells me that Chrome OS is missing or damaged and to press SPACE to continue.  It then goes to another screen, with a blue background and a green ":/" emoticon on a laptop, with the following error message:

"Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please connect a recovery device. http://help.google.com/MC82"

I am told this screen should tell me the model number to input to the Chromebook Recovery Utility, but it doesn't show me any model information.



* Getting access to consoles - As the developer mode is (currently) enabled, apparently I should be able to get access to a shell by inputting "shell" after pressing Ctrl+Alt+t.  This command errors out.

I also tried going to one of the VTs (Ctrl+Alt+F2/forward).  The "chronos" account is locked out and I cannot figure out the password.  The chronos account is either passwordless or has a few common settings, each which I've tried and did not work (e.g. chrome, facepunch, password)


* Accessing "about:system" in Google Chrome - This is where things start to get interesting.  The CHROMEOS_RELEASE_BOARD is x86-agz (which I can't find any information on).  cpuinfo tells me it's an Atom N455 and meminfo tells me the system has 1Gb RAM in total.  I have searched, but I can't find any Acer Aspire One Chromebook with this specification.


I hope you don't mind the length of this post, I'd just like to emphasise that I've done my best to investigate this to the best of my ability.  Is there anyone who can help to get to the bottom of this?

FAQ & Answers

  • cagedconchcagedconch Posts: 5Member


    I've put some photos into an imgur album:




    I thought it was an Acer AC700 initially but restoring from those images (both Wifi and 3G) in the Chromebook Recovery Utility didn't work.  I tried to restore from the CR-48 recovery image too (I was thinking along the same lines) but that didn't work either.

  • @Ironfly: May be I can find the model with the motherboard.

    @cagedconch: If you remove the big door, do you see a white sticker with a bar code?

  • cagedconchcagedconch Posts: 5Member

    @laurent_14: Yep, there's a barcode with a number on it.  Should I post it here or message it to you?

  • Give me only the first ten characters located under the bar code.

  • cagedconchcagedconch Posts: 5Member


  • Not this one. Do you see a string of characters starting by MB  .....?

  • IronFlyIronFly Posts: 18,415ACE Trailblazer

    something is not correct on this laptop:

    1) keyboard layout is not chromebook standard, top keys are too far from each other (i can't find a Chromebook with that layout)

    2) front cover and touchpad area seems to have stickers or some kind of wrapping

    3) N455 was only used on 2010 on a Google laptop

    4) Acer used N455 on Aspire One D2xx models and all are windows machine

    5) that chromium version, seems a recompiled kernel for x86 CPUs


    So at the end:

    1) one of the first Acer chromium test

    2) someone mixed some parts between D2xx models and third party chromebook keyboard

    I'm not an Acer employee.
  • cagedconchcagedconch Posts: 5Member

    There's a long thin white sticker with a barcode on it on top of the RAM socket, I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for.  The other stickers that I can see are just MAC addresses for the various network adapters.




    (The zero's could be D characters either, they're difficult to read)

  • billseybillsey Posts: 8,284ACE Trailblazer

    I'm guessing it's a prototype that was loaned out to someone before Acer publically released any Chrome OS models. Likely based on one of the laptop designs that were current or in development at the time. I doubt it'd help, but the first six digits of a MAC address is specific to a manufacturer.


    I've had decent luck using my phone to take pictures of a tiny serial number, then expanding the image to read the numbers.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
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