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Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues

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Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/7/12 7:59 PM
So I know I'm going *way* off the reservation with this one, but I'm going for it anyway. I was at Google I/O last week and got the Chromebox. As a developer, Chrome OS is pretty useless, but Ubuntu will get the job done. I ordered 16GB of RAM which I installed and works perfectly. I also ordered an OCZ 120GB mSATA SSD which is installed but not exactly working properly. My plan was to first restore Chrome OS using a recovery drive, then install ChrUbuntu using the normal instructions, then resize partitions to use the entire 120GB. Unfortunately, I'm stuck at step 1.

When I boot, it says that I need to recover. I insert a USB flash drive that has the Chromebox recovery installed on it. It verifies, runs, and says everything was successful. I then remove the flash drive, the system reboots...and it says that I need to recover again. I'm not sure why the recovery process fails, but it does every time. I have tried recovering with the dev switch in both positions with the same result.

I ordered an mSATA to SATA adapter on Amazon. My next step is to duplicate the 16GB mSATA SSD (which boots) to the 120GB mSATA SSD using my Linux PC and try again, unless someone here knows a trick that will make the 120GB SSD work with recovery. Either that, or figure out some way to replace the BIOS so that it boots like a normal PC. That would also solve the problem. Thanks!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/8/12 12:35 PM
Allow me to reccommend the method of installing Chrome that's on chromeos.hexxeh.net.  Use the disk image writer on windows and the newest chromeos from his nightlies to write straight to the 120g ssd.  What this does is put a universal install of Chrome on the disk that I've used successfully on flashdrives and is bootable straight off of whatever media you choose. Get vanilla, not the lime one. 

Hopefully this works!

jcarrz1
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Stanley Crawford 7/9/12 4:17 PM
So the chromebox can handle 2   8 GIG sticks of RAM??
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Craig Tumblison 7/9/12 4:53 PM
I'd also love to know if the Chromebox supports a total of 16GB of RAM or not - and further, if ChromeOS supports that much. The thought of an i5 Chromebook with the ability to add up to 16GB of RAM is quite a thought indeed. That might just be enough to convert a few of my friends who love a powerhouse machine.

Sorry for hijacking the thread, but it would seem you're the first here to have upgraded the hardware on a Chromebox :)
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/12/12 9:05 AM
Hi  jcarrz1,
Have you succeeded in putting Chromium OS on the mSATA SSD, and then use it to boot Chromebox? From the way I understand, hexxeh method is only to boot Chromium OS on laptop with normal BIOS. Please fix me if I misunderstand anything.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 5:02 PM
hmmm maybe you're right... I thought chromeos just worked on most hardware if you selected the proper boot device.


(It jumps down the page for a reason, that's the section I think is similar)

Duckling, do you actually have a large SSD installed? does the same thing happen as Matt in the OP when you try to recover? Any suspicions about the SSD type, etc? I personally haven't even purchased an SSD yet.  I've just got experience with booting it off a flashdrive, I'm thinking same principle.

Jcarrz1
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/12/12 7:39 PM
This is the SSD that I used:
OCZ Nocti Series NOC-MSATA-120G mSATA 120GB
this might be the same one that Matt Abdou used and I experienced the same problem that Matt had. I used ChromeOSImageCreator to create the recovery USB for Samsung Chromebox Series 3 (My Chromebox is the newer one with Core i7). Then I use this USB to install ChromeOS into the Chromebox equiped with the OCZ SSD. The recovery process seems to successfully partition the SSD but when I reboot the Chromebox, it said that ChromeOS is missing or damage.
I just wonder if anybody out there successfully set up the Chromebox with a larger SSD?

--Duckling
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 7:57 PM
Try something other than recovery.  

Follow these instructions with a hexxeh vanilla nightly build (install onto USB drive using hexxeh's instructions).  Tell me what happens.  Should work...


How to boot your own image from USB

  • Build a Chrome OS image using the steps in the Chromium OS Developer Guide. It does not need to be a recovery image.
  • Turn on the developer switch and reboot to enter developer mode.
  • At a root shell, run crossystem dev_boot_usb=1, and power off.
  • Insert the removable drive containing your image into a USB slot.
  • Power on, and when you see the blue scary boot screen, press Ctrl-U.
  • It should boot your image. If for some reason it doesn't think your image is valid it will just beep once instead.
If it boots, do the command on that link to install to the disk.  /usr/sbin/chromeos-install
in the chromeos shell ctrl alt f2 or something.  
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/12/12 8:15 PM
Hi jcarrz1,
Thank you for your help. I have also tried hexxeh's vanilla build using the above instruction. Unfortunately, that instruction only works with the default SSD. Once I swap the SSD and use the OCZ SSD, Chromebox can no longer boot from USB. All I see is a blank screen (no beep either) and after a minute or so, the chromebox automatically reboots.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 8:21 PM
Oh right, so the command  crossystem dev_boot_usb=1  must not stick, right? like you run it, pull the default, swap in the 120, and it doesn't work?

What does the other pci-e looking thing on the bottom of the motherboard do? msata? if so, install ubuntu on the 16 using Jay Lee's method, http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

then, install the 120 in the other slot on the motherboard and see if it shows up in ubuntu.  If it does, put hexxeh on it with his linux instructions as if for a flashdrive. But (psst) don't tell anyone, it's actually the 120g ssd.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/12/12 8:42 PM
I have tried to put the 120G SSD into "the other pci-e looking thing". Ubuntu 12.04 didn't recognize it.
At first, I also thought that that port is an mSATA port. However, after Ubuntu didn't recognize the SSD on that port, I start to believe that port is a mini PCI-e port. I couldn't confirm this though. I don't have anything that could use a mini PCI-e port.

About your suggestion on writing the hexxeh's USB image into the SSD, I didn't get a chance to tried that since I don't have a linux box with me currently. I just wonder if anybody has done that successfully? I mean: After the image has been written into the SSD, will that SSD be able to boot up a normal laptop or a chromebox?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 8:42 PM
Hexxeh said on his twitter that it wouldn't work.  So i guess try the ubuntu thing.  Or build your own chromeos for chromebox, but not sure if it's going to work.  Maybe.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 8:48 PM
Oh also, Try putting the wifi from the pci-e on top and putting it in the bottom one.  I'm not sure how much slack the antenna wires have, but maybe it will reach.  This will allow you to test if it's mini pci-e.

And I see that the ubuntu thing doesn't work.  Darn.

If you put the image straight on the ssd, it might work, but according to hexxeh it'll have to be from somewhere else.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/12/12 9:44 PM
Thanks jcarrz1,
I really appreciate your help :). At least, we now know that hexxeh's current Chromium vanilla image will not work on the chromebox. 
I can confirm the 2nd port that looks similar to the mSATA port is actually a mini PCI-e port. I tried to move the wifi card to that port and and it works! :)
We still haven't make much progress on the SSD upgrade issue though...
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/12/12 9:47 PM
And you're sure that the msata is an msata, right? the recovery disk at least sees the 120gb volume??

The only thing to do now might be to build chromeos for the chromebox, put it on usb, and see if itll boot.

Any bios exploits for the other chromebox/book? i don't think so...
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Kevin Duane 7/13/12 1:40 PM
Did the mSATA to SATA adapter and direct copy from the old 16gb ssd to 120gb ssd work? That is what I'd like to do if it worked.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/14/12 11:58 AM
We haven't seen a reply from the OP Matt since he posted.  He also left a comment of similar topic on Jay Lee's blog about Chrubuntu.

jcarrz1
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/14/12 6:19 PM
Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply lately. I've done a _lot_ of hacking on this thing and this is what I've found:

1) It will absolutely refuse to boot from any mSATA drive except the 16GB one that it came with. I tried a 120GB mSATA and a 64GB mSATA and both failed. First I tried doing a regular Chrome OS recovery on both drives and even though the process finishes, when it boots it says that the OS is damaged and to insert a recovery flash drive. Then I tried using a mSATA to 2.5" SSD converter and my Linux PC with the dd command to duplicate the working 16GB mSATA to both the 120GB and 64GB mSATA drives, and they both still would not boot. Best I can tell, Samsung locked this thing down so that it will only boot from the 16GB SanDisk mSATA drive. If I had to guess, this is them making sure it won't be useful for anything other than Chrome OS, as there is absolutely no other reason to lock it down this way. In the future, maybe someone will figure out how to rewrite the BIOS so that we can remove this restriction. Of course at that point, it could also be re-written so that it supports initrd, then we won't have to use ChrUbuntu to get Linux on there - we can just install it like on a normal PC.

2) The slot on the bottom of the motherboard where the 16GB mSATA is inserted is a dedicated mSATA slot. There is an unused full-length mini PCIe slot next to the mSATA slot, and a half-length mini PCIe slot on top for the wifi. I'm assuming the unused slot on the bottom was intended for a WWAN radio of some kind, but it could be used for anything _except_ a mSATA drive. A mini PCIe slot has to be specifically dedicated for use as a mSATA slot due to power requirements (you can't just use any open mini PCIe) and there is only one on the Chromebox motherboard. If you insert a mSATA SSD in the unused mini PCIe slot, the system won't recognize that anything is there and you won't be able to access the drive.

3) The Chromebox motherboard does in-fact support 16GB of RAM, which is what I'm running right now. If you swap in 16GB of RAM, install ChrUbuntu and tell the script to use 10GB of space on the mSATA SSD, then use an external USB 2.0 hard drive and tweak your mount points in Ubuntu, you actually get a pretty usable system.

I was trying to figure out a solution to get around the issues of being able to boot only from the 16GB mSATA drive and not having a second mSATA port, and I think I may have found one...but it would take a little case modification. NEC makes a chipset designed to provide two USB 3.0 ports on a mini PCIe card. Since it's a real mini PCIe card and not an mSATA converter, it should work perfectly fine in the open slot. However, since we need two actual USB 3.0 ports, you would have to modify the case so that the daughterboard with the two ports could sit outside of the box. It looks like these cards are working with the latest kernel in Ubuntu 12.04, on which ChrUbuntu is based. You can find the card here on eBay for $65:


The mini PCIe spec supports 2000Mbps, while the USB 3.0 spec supports up to 4800Mbps. So even though you won't get the full potential of USB 3.0, you'll still get a drive that's more than 4x faster than USB 2.0. Unless you're using an external SSD, a single HDD will probably not be able to saturate the 2000Mbps card speed. Running two identical external USB 3.0 HDDs in RAID may offer the best cost/space/speed compromise, but we'll have to run some tests to determine how well this would work.

If this card works in ChrUbuntu (and in theory it should), you could use the 10GB partition on the mSATA drive just for boot, then use the external drive for everything else. I'm going to order one this week and hopefully get it the week after. I'm going to keep the motherboard "loosely installed" while I try it out so I don't have to modify the case to run the initial test. If ChrUbuntu recognizes it, and a drive attached to it, then I'll get the Dremel out and start working on a clean case mod.

I'll keep everyone posted on progress.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Raccoon 7/14/12 6:46 PM
I know this is horribly OT, but Chrome OS on 16gigs of ram? My god. 


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 7/15/12 8:02 AM
The power requirements are huge. Its a Linux problem. If you want to help Taylor with it, th...@google.com. Also, you can probably have a job.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 7/16/12 9:01 AM
This one works for me: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139948

But that's with the original 4GB of RAM.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/16/12 9:25 AM
Hi Bill,
So you mean the Kingston SSDNow will work with the USB recovery process?
Also, I wonder what make the Kingston SSDNow 64GB works on Chromebox but the OCZ Nocti 120GB doesn't? Is it because 120GB is too large or something else?
Thank you.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/16/12 2:16 PM
Bill, are you able to perform the normal Chrome OS recovery on the 64GB Kinston SSD, reboot, and have it start Chrome OS successfully? If that's the case I'll be ordering one this afternoon.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues jcarrz1 7/16/12 3:34 PM
Can you describe exactly what you did, and can you confirm that this is on the i5 chromebox?

Did you use recovery on usb, details?

thanks!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Kevin Duane 7/17/12 10:19 AM
any details would be really appreciated. This thing is driving me nuts!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 7/17/12 11:04 AM
I did this:
  1. Unboxed my i5 Stumpy.
  2. Booted it, went to chrome://imageburner
  3. Burned a recovery image to USB
  4. Powered off
  5. VOIDED MY WARRANTY BY TAKING IT APART
  6. Replaced the 16GB SSD with the 64GB SSD
  7. Reassembled it
  8. Powered on. It prompted for the recovery stick.
  9. Insert recovery USB, wait for it to complete
  10. Remove recovery USB, it rebooted, logged in, everything works.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 7/17/12 12:01 PM
Great work Bill. Any guess as to why the Kingston SSDNow mS100 SMS100S2/64G mSATA 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive would work and not the OCZ Nocti Series NOC-MSATA-120G mSATA 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive? I would like to see if we can maybe try an even larger drive, I think 128GB is what I would need to comfortably run Ubuntu.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/17/12 11:35 PM
lol, warranty? Are we talking about warranties here? I figured once I removed every board from the case and swapped in not only my own ram and mSATA SSD but also my own *CPU* that yeah, I was on my own if anything went wrong :-) Seriously though, anyone that's doing these kind of mods should _not_ be looking for free help from the manufacturer if something goes wrong.

That being said, I'm waiting until the 64GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD that was released today is available for purchase, then I'm ordering one of those and hoping it works. Also, I'm going to see if I can get that USB 3.0 mini PCIe card to work in ChrUbuntu. Assuming all of that works (BIG assumption at this point), I would have a system with 16GB RAM, a 64GB mSATA SSD, and two USB 3.0 ports for an external RAID array. Then it's just a matter of swapping in a PGA988 quad-core i7 (still working on sourcing one of those) and hoping that small internal power supply has enough juice to run everything. Can't wait to find out!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/18/12 5:03 PM
Just one comment on this. For step 2, on my chromebox, I need to type "chrome://imageburner"
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 7/19/12 8:25 AM
No, I have no idea.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 7/19/12 10:13 AM
Matt, 

I am absolutely loving this thread! wicked cool work, I may end up buying a chromebox (whenever the keyboard mouse accessories comes out) just to copy through your steps and up mod it.

I did want to remark a little on the following:

 If I had to guess, this is them making sure it won't be useful for anything other than Chrome OS, as there is absolutely no other reason to lock it down this way. In the future, maybe someone will figure out how to rewrite the BIOS so that we can remove this restriction. Of course at that point, it could also be re-written so that it supports initrd, then we won't have to use ChrUbuntu to get Linux on there - we can just install it like on a normal PC. 

 I've been round and round on this one with some of the google guys in this thread, and there is a difference in opinion internally as to whether you should ever be able to run the OS of your choice.  For some it is a goal, for others at least not outright hostility.

  Hopefully they'll get something figured out some day to allow guys like us to run other oses on the hardware. For example, such as using coreboot to run a seabios payload and then install the legacy os of your choice, but for now you can only count on illicit bios leaks (i.e. cr-48 insyde H2O) or outright jailbreaks (none yet). I don't think the hardware is cheap enough to generate enough interest from the general reverse engineering community (i.e. jailbreaking the first xbox) but maybe they'll see the light in future versions. if you hear of anything along those lines, please let me know.

good luck, loving the updates!

best,

r
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/19/12 12:59 PM
rlw, thanks for the reply. This all started when I received one of these at Google I/O this year. I would have never purchased one of these devices for myself as Chrome OS is just not useful for developers. But since I had one sitting on my desk, I decided to see if it could be modified into something worth keeping around. If I can get these hardware mods working and booting Ubuntu, this is suddenly a very powerful, very portable and very quiet workstation or server. I wish Samsung sold the exact same device with the same internal hardware, except with a BIOS for booting traditional PC operating systems (ok, and maybe a USB 3.0 port or two...but we have to start somewhere, right?)

The different opinions of the Google people are interesting. For regular users that are not using a computer for their professional work (writing code, graphic design, etc) a Chrome OS device is perfect. It boots fast, automatically updates itself, provides a secure environment, and gives the user just what they need. I guess my approach to the question of "do we allow other operating systems" isn't so much a question of "why should we" but a question of "why shouldn't we". If someone purchases the hardware and acknowledges that modifying it will void the warranty, why make it so difficult to install an alternate operating system?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 7/19/12 1:16 PM
"why should we" but a question of "why shouldn't we". If someone purchases the hardware and acknowledges that modifying it will void the warranty, why make it so difficult to install an alternate operating system?

So I think you nailed it.

The answer, IMO, is that they are focused first and foremost on security. 

That is, hardening the device against people who might roll their own version of the OS that also sends your data to a collection point and is used for hacking your financial/personal information. The fact that all OS images are keyed at this point prevents this, if you had a bios that ran unkeyed OSes, then you could pretty easily MITM a user, and copy out their keystroke data, etc.

This seems a little far-fetched to me, but having seen both legal shady regulatory arbitrage, and highly illegal russian mathematicians hacking payment processors, I am no longer surprised at the inventiveness to which some will go to make/steal a buck.

just my 0.02

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/19/12 1:22 PM
The answer to this problem is not only simple, it has already been implemented on all Chrome OS devices: the dev switch. In normal mode, it only runs signed images and is completely safe. Once you switch it to dev mode, then all bets are off and you're on your own. This way they know that all the "normal" users are safe from MITM exploits and other attack vectors, while enthusiasts can still modify the device. I think they just need to take the "dev switch" model one step further and give us a BIOS that we can flash with the dev switch in the on position that lets us boot anything we want.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 7/19/12 1:52 PM
yeah, I don't like that because it presents the hassle screen, that you need to ctrl-d to get past, and my solution was shot down because of a relatively small infrastructure cost.

in any case, until someone can outright replace the bios with a free bios, or someone at google decides it's a worthwhile goal to allow alternative os install, I am at a crossroads on picking up their x86 hardware, it's a little bit of a religious thing for me. YMMV

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Raccoon 7/19/12 8:37 PM
I'm pretty sure the older chromebooks allowed you to install another OS right? The Cr-48 didn't but it had that leaked BIOS. The S5/Acer allowed for you to install Windows on it IIRC. Or I think it allowed you to boot into regular Linux.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues shogun 7/19/12 9:09 PM
i was able to install a gentoo linux on my cr-48 in dev mode with out modifying the bios
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 7/19/12 9:28 PM
Pinky: Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night since the user safety screen was removed, Pinky!  Buy a bunch of Chromebooks, load them up with our look-alike OS with the built in key-logger, sell them on eBay to unsuspecting users, and eventually ... take over the world!
Pinky: Brilliant, Brain!  Oh, one quick question... wouldn't it be easier to use Windows PCs instead?
Brain: Stop being foolish, Pinky.  The key-logger can only upload via a free 3G service, it has to be Chromebooks!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/19/12 9:33 PM
I know, because it's so difficult to simply keep the user safety screen at startup and still allow people to boot whatever they want. I can't imagine what kind of genius engineer it would take to make that work.


</sarcasm>
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 7/19/12 10:15 PM
@Matt: That's exactly what we do.  @rlw is complaining about the user safety screen being there at all.  I think you need to reread his first sentence more carefully.  If you are willing to flip the dev switch and live with the user safety screen, you can boot anything you want that you sign with the Chromium OS developer keys, which is how all the Linux distributions for Series 5 and so on work today.

You could boot Windows 8, if you were willing to compile and sign this: http://www.coreboot.org/SeaBIOS, assuming you are willing to program a little to get the ACPI tables happy enough for Windows.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/19/12 10:46 PM
@Terry It appears I owe you an apology. You're right, I didn't realize @rlw said that. I do agree that for security purposes, that screen must stay. I'm sure you already know this (if you didn't write it yourself) but there's a great explanation of why it is needed here for others to read: http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chromiumos-design-docs/developer-mode

While it is possible to load whatever you want on Chrome OS hardware as long as it's signed with the Chromium OS developer keys, it is far from a trivial task. I'm hoping over time we see more of the common Linux distros (Arch, Mint, etc) available in a signed ChrUbuntu-type package, but until then the three choices are 1) Staying with Chrome OS (not useful for professionals) 2) Running ChrUbuntu (better, but the install process is finicky and I am not a fan of Unity) or 3) Signing your own build of one of the other distros. Hopefully more options will be available in the future. A high-spec Chromebook that I can dual-boot into Arch Linux for work during the day and Chrome OS for browsing the web at night would be pretty awesome.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 7/20/12 1:52 AM
Sorry for the confusion on the user security screen.

I understand why it is there, doesn't mean I like it, but the design is coherent.

Hopefully more options will be available in the future. 

+1 

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Ryan Bressler 7/20/12 8:55 AM
Following this thread and hopping people will continue to post which combinations of ram and msata drive works.

I really like chrome os, aura and the i5 chromebox but like Matt I need a bit more to use it for development work. If there was official support (ie outside of dev mode) for other linux distros in a kvm or chroot (even without x forwarding though that would be nice) while still preserving the fast boot, security and statelessness of chrome os for the desktop and non dev tasks it would become a serious os x competitor for me.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 7/20/12 9:08 AM
I have an intern who's been working on that this summer. We hope to publish instructions Real Soon Now (weeks, not months).

The basic idea is to compile seabios, but put it on the disk as though it was a developer-signed ChromeOS kernel. In dev-mode, the BIOS would find it and load it just like any other user-built Chromium OS kernel but when it runs it's just seabios, which can then look around and boot whatever else you want. Flip the dev-switch off and you're back to normal ChromeOS-only boot mode. 

We're getting close - we have seabios booting the unmodified Ubuntu and Windows 7 installers from USB, but we've only done so using seabios as the coreboot payload (that is, built into a modified BIOS flash, not chained from the disk). U-Boot can be built to chain-load from the disk using an unmodified BIOS, but it's not as useful for booting Windows (or Linux for that matter, since it doesn't provide the legacy BIOS functions that the bootloader expects).

We'll also need to play some games with the disk layout to make Windows happy - it tends to want to scribble over everything and makes invalid assumptions about the BIOS based on the disk partition scheme.

As soon as we can chain-load seabios and have at least manually managed to make Windows boot from the SSD using that, we'll post instructions so the rest of y'all can make it simpler and easier.

For the hard-core hackers, yes, it should be possible to compile your own BIOS from source - almost. A few issues there: Intel doesn't release their memory initialization code and I'm not sure if we're legally allowed to post the binary blobs, you'll need a Dediprog SF100 or something similar to repair things when you make a mistake, and we really want to ensure that anything you want to do can be done using the developer switch anyway - otherwise newbies try something they shouldn't and end up bricking their chromebooks, as has already happened with the leaked factory BIOSes. The developer switch is supposed to be safe to use. The 30-second wait / ctrl-D to get past the boot screen can be annoying, but not nearly as much as a bricked or subverted machine.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 7/20/12 11:26 AM
Thank you for the information Bill. This is a great news. I'm looking forward to hear more about seabios.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matt Abdou 7/20/12 12:28 PM
Bill, that's great news!!! Can't wait to give it a try on my Chromebox. Suddenly I feel a lot better about buying all this hardware to upgrade it :-)

I think the dev switch/boot screen is a great solution. Regular users are safe from fake builds that can grab their data, while power users are still able to do whatever they want by simply waiting 30 seconds or pressing Ctrl+D. The signed seabios solution gets us to that final step where we can boot/install like a traditional PC.

Please keep us posted!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 7/25/12 1:58 PM
Anyone try any other SSDs? I am thinking of trying this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211663#top 
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Peter Sampson 7/29/12 12:47 AM
Has anyone tried this SSD? I was thinking of getting one:
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/6/12 11:12 AM
Hi Matt, any luck with the  64GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD? I just ordered a 128GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD and am going to give it a shot. I will let you know how it works

Also could you let me know what RAM you had purchased? If the SSD is successful am going to try to upgrade the RAM.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues František LALUCH 8/8/12 11:13 AM
Hi people,
I am just BFU of Chromebox i5 (from e-bay). I would like to prolong the life expectancy of Chromebox by bigger SSD. Any news about SSD typest that do work? I did not find  Kingston here in the Czech Rep. Just other types (A-data, Crucial...)
Any news in this field? Thanks a lot.
BTW, is it possible to redirect Chromebox browser cache? (e.g. on USB flashdrive) I only know, how to redirect downloads. But the cache and its writes/rewrites on SSD is the thing, that will kill my Chromebox in some time. Otherwise it is overpowered for many years.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/9/12 6:17 AM
Frantisek, I would not bother with redirecting the Chromebox browser cache or even upgrading the SSD, when the SSD fails in 5 years or so just swap it out, by then SSDs will be real cheap. However if you are looking to also run Ubuntu or something else on it, then it would be worth it.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/9/12 5:30 PM
+Michael Moussa, let me know how that 128 GB crucial works out for you. I really want to get Ubuntu on this system with enough space to do stuff.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Zaine Ridling 8/9/12 8:29 PM
Almost the same result here. Burned a recovery image to USB before upgrading both the memory (to 16Gb) and SSD (to 64Gb), and it reboots only to a recovery screen
- I did not put the original SSD card back in, but I suspect it would work again if I did. (This is a last resort.)
- Followed the directions at http://support.google.com/chromeos/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1080595 for Linux on another Linux desktop, but was unable to get the shell script to work and create an image (I know too few command line skills, I admit). 

Should I merely reinstall the original SSD, or ask for help getting an image onto a USB drive?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/10/12 5:54 AM
Zaine, give it a shot with the original RAM and just the new SSD. Also please post what RAM you had purchased and what SSD, model number and everything. When you burned the recovery using chrome://imageburner what channel was your chromebox on, dev, beta, stable? Also give it a shot with the dev switch in both positions.

Thanks
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Zaine Ridling 8/10/12 12:34 PM
Thanks Michael.
SSD: Kingston SSDNow mS100 64GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive SMS100S2/64G
RAM: Patriot Memory Signature DDR3 16GB 1333MHz SODIMM Kit (PC3 10600) PSD316G1333SK

- I can't seem to toggle the dev switch for some reason. I reach in with a clip, but can't feel anything giving way in either direction. Detached the bottom cover and saw that it was switched LEFT, to dev mode.
- I left the RAM in, switched the SSD back and it works fine. I just need to hit CTRL+U to bypass the blue recovery screen. Going to switch the SSD back now after a new image burn and see what happens. Takes me 20 minutes with my bad eyesight.
- Switched the SSD card and installed new image from USB that was burned using chrome://imageburner. (Stable image did not work at all.) With the dev image, it just keeps rebooting into a recovery mode loop without ever getting to the login screen.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/11/12 9:24 AM
Hi Zaine, so Bill earlier in this thread said he got it working using that same SSD as you. A difference though is that Bill was using the original RAM, I would stick with the original RAM for now until you get it to work then change the RAM later. Note that Matt also ran into same issue as you and he was also using 16GB RAM too. 

So keeping the original RAM in there if you still run into issues something else must be different between you and Bill. The two things I would guess is the dev switch position and the chrome://imageburner image that was burnt. Bill did not mention which position the switch was in when he recovered and also did not mention which chrome channel he was on when he did the chrome://imageburner image. I would guess that the channel is the one that is making the difference. So Zaine, did you try creating the image in stable, beta, and dev channel and all 3 did not work? My guess is that Bill was on beta channel, because my chromebox was beta channel when I first powered it on. To complicate things more, I believe there has been a version update since Bill was successful in his test.

Bill can you let us know what Chrome OS channel you were on when you burnt the image to the USB? Also could you let us know if you did the recovery with the switch in dev mode or not?


Thanks,
Mike

P.S. My SSD should be arriving in the mail soon and I will run some tests as well.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/11/12 1:54 PM
Most likely the SSD is formatted with a Windows GPT and the recovery will fail when attempting to recover to it unless you either fully erase the disk, including the protected GPT area, or unless you reformat it with a Linux GPT.

This is a known issue for people who violate the warranty and crack the case in order to put in a larger SSD without reformatting it, and for which we do not have hardware which will reproduce the problem in house.

For the dev channel, we've made additional updates to the recovery process which we think will allow recovery to such drives, and which will eventually get to stable channel, but without a reliably reproducible case in house, they are untested for this specific failure mode.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 8/11/12 2:02 PM
so that means RSN is less than 9 days away?

not trying to bust your cajones here, but I can't buy a device that I am locked out of... hope the intern rocked.

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Joe Ellett 8/11/12 2:17 PM
Has anyone used a Linux box to format the SSD to EXT prior to installing in the Chromebox?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Joe Ellett 8/11/12 2:21 PM
Should have added ”partitioned on Linux”  as well.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/11/12 6:52 PM
Terry, thanks for the information. That is good news, it sounds like we have a handle on what the issue is. The question is then, how come Bill did not have an issue. Bill did you format the drive prior to recovery? Where you maybe on the dev channel as Terry indicated may work with?

Terry if you could give me some instructions I would be more than glad to test it out with the drive I have.

Thanks
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Zaine Ridling 8/11/12 7:32 PM
Makes sense. When I put the original SSD back in, all I have to do is hit CTRL+D each time to logon each time. Not a big deal for me. (PS: My USB drive was formatted with Linux -- no Windows machines in the house -- but you're likely right about the SSD coming from a Windows GPT.)
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/12/12 2:53 AM
Recovery is someone else's area; Bill is a low level firmware person; as far as he's concerned, kernel people are building applications to run on his platform.  When something goes into "recovery mode", that just means it's going to boot a signed kernel, and then jump into a user space image that, instead of bringing up a Chrome OS login screen, runs a recovery script to reinitialize the disk.  It's the recovery script that has to know about the partitioning, and it was written to try and not stop over areas of the disk that were explicitly modified by the user.


The common case we had is someone taking an SSD out of their Chromebook and then using Norton Ghost to load up a Windows 8 beta image on it as if it were identical hardware to another vendor's hardware (it's not, and the resulting image wouldn't boot), and not leaving any room or partitioning as expected by Chrome OS.  The restore failed when it tried to do the Chrome OS install, and it couldn't find or make the needed GPT partitions with the correct UUIDs early on on the disk where the boot loader could see it to load it into memory.

Making it work in this situation has been pretty low priority, since the first thing anyone should do if they are going to hack their machine is make a backup before writing a new image.  If you have this situation, you should try a dev channel restore image to see if it works for you (it might not, but it should at least leave logs on the SSD/USB stick you try to restore from, and reading those logs would let you/us know why it's not working.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/12/12 10:23 AM
Zero the drive. Or use dev channel recovery. Then post results.

It sucks to be an experiment, but I'm pretty sure that hardware mods mean "Hi!  I've opt'ed in!". :)
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/13/12 6:34 AM
OK, I will first try with Beta channel recovery just to make sure the drive I have does not work on beta. Then if that fails as expected, I will try the dev channel recovery and post results. If it still does not work I will try to boot Ubuntu off of USB so that I can then zero the drive and try again.

Terry could you point me to where I would find those logs on the USB?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 8/13/12 10:18 AM
We're still digging. It's allllllllmost working, but there's something really weird involving graphics initialization. This is Victor's last week, so if we're lucky he'll find the problem in the next couple of days. Otherwise, I'll just have to post a complete brain dump to the wiki and continue poking sullenly at it in my copious free time.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 8/13/12 1:56 PM
cool, thanks for the update!

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/14/12 12:41 AM
I believe it's just in the root of partition 1 (volume label C-STATE); I'm sure someone will correct me if I got it wrong.  Since it's an EXT4 filesystem, you'd need to read it on Linux.  We've been talking about dumping it on/copying it to a FAT partition so that it'd be readable under Windows.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Trevino 8/14/12 1:55 AM
So the suggestion is that I should gfdisk a new SSD before attempting to use it for upgrades?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/14/12 6:12 AM
Bill, I am not sure if this is related to the graphics issues you are seeing but I do get some miscolored pixels with one model of my monitors and hitting the input button on my monitor fixes it. Note that I am on the beta channel with the dev switch enabled and I have yet to change any hardware in my chromebox yet (I am still waiting for the SSD to arrive) also the monitor is hooked up to the DVI port. I have 2 monitors of the same brand/model and both exhibit the same issue; however I have another monitor of a different brand/model and that monitor does not exhibit the same issue (also using the DVI port).

 To tell you the truth I am not sure how the graphics initialization has to do with the fact that you change your SSD or not. I would guess it is unrelated to this topic, but you probably know better than me ;)

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/14/12 4:12 PM
I'd really like someone to capture the logs on a malfunctioning device so we can reliably reproduce the problem and make recovery in that situation part of the autotest framework that verifies a Chrome OS image is good to ship.

But if you were to use the Linux hdparm tool to trigger a secure erase of the device, that would definitely wipe it to the point that you'd likely not have any problems restoring to it.  Make sure you don't zap the wrong disk, it makes the data that was there unrecoverable, even by professional disk recovery people.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/14/12 5:05 PM
Terry, I will give it a try, I just finally got my SSD in the mail. However I just realized all my flash drives at home are 2GB. I need a 4GB. I do have a bunch of android phones (pre 4.0) with microSDs large enough; however chrome does not want to recognize it as a USB memory stick. Is there any way I can spoof it to think it is a memory stick, like change the USB vendor ID or something?

Thanks
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/15/12 2:14 AM
I'm guessing you are trying to get the phone recognized as a memory stick using its USB plug, rather than taking the microSDHC and placing it in a MicroSDHC to SDHC converter card and just using it as a normal SD?

The answer is most likely "No, your phone does not operate in target disk mode, even though its hardware probably supports USB On-The-Go operation, since it's most likely ARM-based, and most of those USB adapters can do that".  USB interfacing of phones is typically done through a higher level protocol, rather than having the phone emulate a mass storage device.  The phone probably can not be useds as a memory card reader/writer (I've never heard of one which would do so, but am willing to be surprised).
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/15/12 6:40 AM
As far as I know the chromebox does not have a SDHC slot. I would guess on the phone with root access there has to be some way to fake it into thinking it, but I gave up trying last night anyways, going out to get a 4GB stick today and I will give it a shot again tonight. By the way newer versions of Android do use a higher level protocol, but as far as I know older versions (before 3.0) had mounted the device for mass storage, I was guessing Chrome was filtering out Android phones by USB Vendor ID or something, but I may of been wrong.

Thanks
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/15/12 9:36 AM
OK, so I have some good news and bad news (well bad for Terry anyways). 

-I got a hold of two 4GB USB sticks. 
-On one USB stick, when on the beta channel (21.0.1180.78), I created a recovery image using chrome://imageburner. 
-I upgraded to the dev channel (22.0.1229.0) and created another recovery USB on the other USB stick using chrome://imageburner.
-I cracked open the chromebox and swapped in my 128GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD (it is on the bottom of the motherboard)
-I powered up, plugged my beta stick in, and hit spacebar to do the recovery. And it worked!
This was all done with the switch in dev mode.

My intent was to try the beta recovery image thinking that it would fail to verify that my SSD has a 'bad' GPT. Then to use the dev recovery image and hope for success. So either that SSD I ordered came without the windows GPT or the current beta channel recovery image works with a windows GPT. Or maybe the bios got updated when I went to dev channel and that is what made it work.

So Terry is there any logs I can get you from that beta image memory stick? Do you have any idea as to why it worked?

Mike

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/15/12 10:08 AM
It has been long enough that Don's changes may have hit beta channel already.  It was quite some time ago that I tracked down the last reported error message with the Windows 8 ghosted disk failing due to GPT.

If it worked for you and we still had an issue, it would most likely be the GPT issue, but if it worked for you, then there's no problem with the format of the SSD as it arrived, assuming it wasn't reformatted/erased.  I'd be interested in knowing if Zaine is also using beta/dev recovery images, or if they are using stable images, and perhaps that's why their problems.

In any case, I'm glad it worked for you, and happy hacking!

PS: Working logs are uninteresting, since there's nothing to fix... :)
Michael Moussa 8/15/12 11:21 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/15/12 11:37 AM
I spoke too soon. It did seem to work right after the restore, I pulled the USB when it told me, it soft rebooted, I got the ethernet setup questions and logged in with my account. But I then completely powered down, went to lunch, came back and it is asking me for a recovery when I powered back on. That is odd, I am trying the dev usb stick now. I will let you know.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/15/12 11:55 AM
Ok, so here is the deal. I just use the dev usb stick. Same deal. It said recovery successful, I pulled the USB when it told me, it soft rebooted, I got the ethernet setup questions and I logged in with my account. I then browsed the web a bit and then logged out. I then soft rebooted from command line (ctrl+alt+f2) with sudo reboot, the system came back up fine. I then shutdown completely, powered back on, I got the blue screen, I hit ctrl+d, then it prompted me for recovery with USB.

Terry, any ideas?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 8/15/12 12:16 PM
On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:12:03 AM UTC-7, Michael Moussa wrote:
 To tell you the truth I am not sure how the graphics initialization has to do with the fact that you change your SSD or not. I would guess it is unrelated to this topic

Yes, we've wandered way off-topic.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 8/15/12 12:19 PM
I've seen that myself. Terry, if you want to take a look, I can loan you the parts.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/15/12 1:14 PM
I may borrow them from you next week, since I have some high priority stuff happening this week.

My suspicion is that the FUA (forced unit access) command is ignored by the drive, and the cached data hasn't been properly written out.  The output of "hdparm -I /dev/sda" would potentially be informative; however realize that if it's the controller chip, it could be lying through its teeth about the capabilities, or claim it's executing e.g. Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE, FLUSE_CACHE_EXT, or WRITE_{DMA|MULTIPLE}_FUA_EXT without actually doing it.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/15/12 2:02 PM
Terry, see first attached image. It may be helpful, it shows my partitions of my drive. I got here by recovering and not powering down afterwards, and then the ctrl+alt+f2 to get to a shell. From what I read elsewhere the partitions look accurate. 

So I then reduced the size of the stateful partition to less than 32 GB (I did 10GB) on a hunch because of this...  https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/chromium-os-checkins/jD8I5W4yIXY%5B1-25%5D
After re-partitioning with cgpt i ran this command:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=131072 seek=1040 count=47280 
Then i soft reboot from command line
Then it came up and it said system is repairing itself, after repair it booted up fine.

I then ran hdparm as you suggested and those capabilities came up, see next attached image.

At this point I was still scared to do a full power down, so I went ahead and installed chrUbuntu. chrUbuntu installed and booted just fine.
I then set ubuntu to be default boot using sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda . Did another soft reboot, ubuntu still came up working fine again.

I did a full power down, then I turned it on. And I got the Chrome OS is missing or damaged recovery screen :(


So Terry, I can go through the recovery process again to get into a terminal on the chromebox. Next time I am in the terminal what should I try? Should I try to zero the first 1M of the disk using: dd if=/dev/zero conv=sync bs=1M count=1 of=/dev/sda    ?
Actually I would prefer to boot off of USB to get into a terminal and not do the recovery process every time I want to get in the shell. Do you know how this can be done?

Thanks,
Mike

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 8:14 AM
Mike,

If there is a problem with the SSD not flushing its write cache to disk, maybe throw in a "sync" call before you reboot?  Granted, if the SSD (controller) is reporting it supports those functions and it doesn't, I don't know how to verify this short of dumping the disk contents and diffing before and after power down.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 8:42 AM
How would I go about doing a sync call? 
But I really do not think it is a problem with the SSD, because there are 5 SSDs all together that were tested (by 4 different people), and all had issues recovering chrome os onto the new drive. It must be some issue specific to the chromebox and its bios (we are all using the Google IO giveaway i5 Chromebox). Check out Matt's second post about the issue, he even went as far as copying the original SSDs data onto the new SSD.

However I will still give the sync call a try, just give me a pointer on how to do it.

Thanks
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 9:34 AM
Hey Mike,

Real simple, once you're done just type 'sync' at the command line.  it really has no options, see 'man sync'.  It just forces changed blocks to disk (from the various write caches) and updates the super blocks on disk.  I'd really be surprised if the OS isn't requesting a sync on reboot.


Here is a good link I found to learn more about how linux treats the write caches.  It mentions that some drive manufacturers outright lie to tools (like hdparm) that they support cache flushing.  If chrome DOES support FUA as terry mentioned, it looks like the crucial m4 with it's "dreaded" marvell controller (this is 2.5" not mSata) does not support FUA.  You can probably check dmesg, look at the below thread, the post at 3:40 pm shows the output from the 256 GB Crucial M4 does not support FUA.



Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 9:44 AM
Verified, the Crucial M4 2.5" Sata SSD and Crucial M4 msata SSD both utilitize the same controller, the Marvell 88S-9174-BLD2. Unless the new firmware supports FUA, this is probably not good for chrome compatibility.

Sata

mSata
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/16/12 10:42 AM
@Greve Dan: Thanks for the legwork!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 11:20 AM
Greve, thanks a lot for the info. What should I look for on the spec sheet of the SSD when purchasing, it seems like 5 different SSDs had problems on this thread. So maybe it is common that SSDs do not support this.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/16/12 11:43 AM
SSD vendors tend to use whatever bridge/controller chipset is 3 cents cheaper per unit for the next 100,000 unit production run.  That translates to 6 cents of cost to the customer and $3000.00 in aggregate COGS.

In general, hardware that ships with Chromebooks is validated for Chrome OS functionality, and sourced based on it being known to work.  The sourcing may happen from different vendors with equivalent products, but they have all been tested and validated.  We don't validate the configurations you are hacking up in this thread, sorry :).
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 11:51 AM
Terry, 
     any knowledge if WRITE DMA QUEUED FUA EXT is required?

Mike,

     Like terry describes, they do a lot of testing to make sure chrome is supported on the drives, beyond just this one feature (FUA), caching.  Also, I don't know the specific answer for this unless I take a look at the chromium source code.  However, look at this spec sheet for the Micron mSata C400. 


Page 15, command word 84, bit 6 is turned on, thus WRITE DMA FUA EXT and WRITE MULTIPLE FUA EXT
  commands supported

Page 16, command word 86, bit 13 is turned on, thus FLUSH CACHE EXT command supported

Page 16, command word 86, bit 12 is turned on, thus FLUSH CACHE command supported

However, 
Page 15, command word 84, bit 7 is turned OFF, thus WRITE DMA QUEUED FUA EXT command NOT supported

This drive is being deployed in ultrabooks, but is not available through regular resellers it appears.  It is available on ebay, I was thinking of just picking up a 64 GB to try.



Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 11:56 AM
Terry, understandably so and I appreciate the time and info.

Greve, I was on the phone with crucial just a minute ago, and I had asked if they had a drive that supported it, and they suggested their parent company Micron's C400V not sure how much it differs from the C400


By the way, to the rest of you, the support rep said that almost all consumer drives do not support this, only some enterprise class drives.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 12:00 PM
And,

Just to make a lier out of me, it appears the c400 has the same controller as the m4, the marvell.


Mike, if you could output the section of dmesg for your SSD, that could possibly shed some light on your hardware.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 12:02 PM
Greve, I was on the phone with crucial just a minute ago, and I had asked if they had a drive that supported it, and they suggested their parent company Micron's C400V not sure how much it differs from the C400


Ill get you the dmesg output tonight. 
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 12:12 PM
Thanks Mike.

Looks like the c400v is the slightly slower, slightly smaller version of the c400.  Same controller, so probably same capabilities.  http://www.techspot.com/news/48136-micron-unveils-realssd-c400-msata-for-ultrabooks.html

This could be one reason why Google only put an 16 GB SSD in the chromebox.  enterprise == $$$

Pure speculation on my part, i haven't disassembled my chromebox from Google I/O yet, but soooon.  :D
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 12:18 PM
Greve, I would still be a bit skeptical. The rep was essentially reading from the spec sheet as you were. I would call Micron directly and ask them first to make sure.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/16/12 4:54 PM
For posterity, the model of the SSD in the chromebox from Google IO is a Sandisk P4 SDSA4DH-016G.  The Sandisk spec specifically calls out the commands that terry mentions.   http://www.ssd.gb.com/Products/ProductManuals/SSD_P4_-_SATA_-_Product_Manual_Rev1_1%20November%202010.pdf

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 8:26 PM
Grev, see attached dmesg output. Let me know if you see anything interesting.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/16/12 8:49 PM
So here is my latest findings. I am able to boot off of USB fine from a cold boot, then once booted I do a soft reboot and I am able to get into ChromeOS. If I completely power down and try to power up and go directly to chrome, I get the recovery screen. So I have a workaround where I basically boot off of USB first then I am able to boot off of the msata drive. So the issue with the drive seems to be only with a cold boot. Do you still think this is a FUA issue or more likely a GPT issue? To me it sounds like GPT.

Also another thing I noticed, when recovering I was using the recovery image I had created from the dev channel; however it restored to the stable channel, not the dev channel. So maybe I did not get your GPT fix.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 8/17/12 12:25 AM
Hey guys I've been following your posts I just purchased a 64GB mSATA Crucial m4 and I'm having difficulties getting it to boot. It seems that this specific Marvell controller isn't supported in Chrome?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/17/12 3:45 AM
I have another even better workaround. So get this, when I completely power down and it comes up asking me for a recovery usb, I put in the recovery USB, it then starts to verify it. During the verification I hit ctrl+alt+f2, then I hit ctrl+alt+delete, it starts to reboot, I pull out the recovery usb, and it boots fine. So this pretty much confirms that it cannot boot on the new SSD, but as long as you can get past the initial boot some other way and soft reset you are fine.

So Tony, is the problem you are having the same as me? That is, once you recover you can get into chrome fine, but then once you power down you cannot get back into chrome without recovering again? If this is indeed the case try starting the recovery, but then soft reboot during verification through the method I just explained above. Let us know if you see the same behavior as me.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/17/12 8:23 AM
I ran across this...

"Second, even in developer mode, the Cr-48 will only boot external drives that are signed by Google." written by wfrichar at http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices/cr-48-chrome-notebook-developer-information/how-to-boot-ubuntu-on-a-cr-48

Which made me think that the same is probably the case for internal drives. Can somebody at Google confirm this?

It seems though that first gen chromebooks don't have a problem upgrading the SSD... https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/chromebook-central/nn9bMVzVwjE%5B1-25%5D
So something must of changed in the second gen chromebooks/first gen chromebox or maybe a recent chrome os version made the change.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 8/17/12 10:01 AM
Hey Mike,

My problem is that I go and install the recovery and it finishes, and once it tells you to pull the SD card out and it will reboot it doesn't go into chrome it brings up the Missing/Damaged OS and wants me to run recovery again. I have installed the OS 4 times, mind you they complete without errors each time and it still brings up the Missing/Damaged OS screen when I go to reboot. 
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 8/17/12 11:25 AM
I don't really have a lot of time to spend on tracking this down, even if there's a lot of people excited to turn Chromebox i5's from Google I/O into media PC's running Ubuntu.

People, if you are going to hack hardware, you are really going to need to self-support.  There's a reason that Chrome OS is not a generic OS release for all hardware, and it's not just the missing TPM on hardware that can be legally exported to Asia or Eastern Block Countries.

That said, I have some information, but am not promising to look any further for a good long while, if then:

When you run, in developer mode, "hdparm -I /dev/sda" on the device, what does it say in the "Transport:" line and what does it say under the two "Standards:" entries?

In general, the device needs to support 16 byte commands, rather than 12 byte commands, and needs to be ATA-8-ACS revision 2 or later.

There's a lot of stuff that comes up with a search for:
  • ssd won't boot
that indicate a number of vendors have their device come up in IDE (compatibility) mode rather than AHCI mode, and when that happens, obviously we don't fall back to IDE because a "try-timout-try-something-different" is going to result in a slower boot time.

Most of the fixes involve going into the BIOS setup (which you don't have one of...) and selecting IDE for the interface, and then booting IDE and letting the OS reconfigure the device to turn on AHCI support after the BIOS has loaded the OS.  This also explains why warm boot is working for some people, since a warm boot doesn't re-post the hardware into the same state it would have been in, had it just been powered on.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/17/12 7:43 PM
Terry thanks for the info. You have provided us with more than enough, we do not expect support. Personally I would like to get a nice dual boot setup with chrome os as the default for quick browsing/email use, but then be able to reboot into ubuntu when I need to do some development. As far the hdparm info here it is...

/dev/sda:

ATA device, with non-removable media
	Model Number:       M4-CT128M4SSD3                          
	Serial Number:      0000000012140342CA34
	Firmware Revision:  000F    
	Transport:          Serial, ATA8-AST, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6, SATA Rev 3.0
Standards:
	Used: unknown (minor revision code 0x0028) 
	Supported: 9 8 7 6 5 
	Likely used: 9



For anybody else out there who is able to get it to work with a warm boot like me I have a decent work around and can give more detailed instructions/help if anybody needs it. But basically I use a recovery image on a USB and leave that plugged in, I hacked the recovery image so it will not work just in case so I dont wipe my drive. So on cold boot it tries to boot off of that, I then ctrl+alt+delete to do a warm boot and my chromeOS/Ubuntu dual boot environment comes up fine.

Mike

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/22/12 2:55 AM
I put a 64GB Crucial m4 mSATA 6Gb/s SSD in a ChromeBox and ChromeOS was quite happy to install on it from a recovery USB. 

When I tried installing Ubuntu 12.04 via the oyjlt script, I thought it had completed but when it rebooted I got the corrupted ChromeOS image message (and no Ubuntu boot) so I tried the ruse of plugging in a recovery USB and then hot (re)booting before recovery commenced, which got me back into the original ChromeOS install. I then went back round with the Ubuntu install, which told me that some of the downloaded files had the wrong signature, got to the end and again failed to boot into Ubuntu. 

Surprisingly, repeating the Ubuntu install yet again after a reboot with the recovery USB plugged in to get past the corrupted image message worked. I changed the cgpt table to make Ubuntu the top priority and the Chromebox will now shut down, start up and reboot into Ubuntu _almost_ all the time. I have had one cold boot where it thought a keyboard wasn't attached and it went back to the corrupted ChromeOS screen. Hot-booting with the USB recovery plugged in got past this.

I'm not entirely sure why:

1) The corrupted ChromeOS image message was popping up after the initial Ubuntu install attempts (is this referring to a screwed up Ubuntu image, or does it think the original ChromeOS is damaged?)
2) The Ubuntu install actually worked after a few iterations
3) The corrupt image message popped up again once after a boot problem but has generally been absent....... 

I've used an identical SSD on a (32 bit) Ubuntu install on a Series 5 500 Chromebook without any of this strange behaviour, though that started with an Ubuntu 11.04 install followed by upgrades to 12.04.

Any words of wisdom welcome.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/22/12 6:30 AM
It seems like the second generation chromebooks and the chromeboxes are having issues booting off of other SSDs. My guess is that it may be due to changes in the BIOS to make it boot even faster than the first gen devices with certified SSDs, but the downside is that it makes it less compatible with other SSDs. The 5 500 is a first gen Samsung chromebook and there has not been reports of issues with replacing the SSD on it. By the way these issues seem unrelated to Ubuntu itself, but just being able to boot into Chrome OS on one of these replacement SSDs. As for the Ubuntu issues with doing the install multiple times, I also had an issue where I had to run the script twice and a lot of the zips it had previously downloaded had to be re-downloaded and others where fine. I chalked it up to maybe somebody was updating the files on the server while I was doing the first download. 

So Des, Are you saying you are even able to cold boot directly off of the SSD into Ubuntu? And only sometimes have to use the USB. I actually did not try making Ubuntu the top priority, I wanted chrome as the default, but if it gets me past my cold boot issues I will give it a try. Des, another thing you could do for safety measure is use dd to zero out some of the recovery USB's root partition (ROOT_A), I zeroed out the first MB of ROOT_A on my USB, this way you will be sure that you don't accidentally wipe your drive if you leave your computer and forget when trying to cold boot off of USB.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/22/12 6:47 AM
Hi Mike, thanks for the suggestion for the restore USB.

Yes - the Chromebox is cold booting consistently into Ubuntu (so far....) without any USB restore shenanigans, apart from the one incident where there was an interrupted boot with a loose keyboard connection which threw me back to the "corrupt installation" screen.

I wasn't that interested in ChromeOS on it so I haven't tried flicking backwards and forwards. I didn't want to tempt fate :)


My cgpt setup is below, the Ubuntu kernel is KERN-C in partition 6  with priority 5.

Des

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cgpt show /dev/sda
     start      size    part  contents
         0         1          PMBR (Boot GUID: DDC656E6-FEC6-4547-B663-278371FD13B1)
         1         1          Pri GPT header
         2        32          Pri GPT table
    282624  11481088       1  Label: "STATE"
                              Type: Linux data
                              UUID: 235152DD-DF93-6F4E-B8C6-BD128E17BCD1
     20480     32768       2  Label: "KERN-A"
                              Type: ChromeOS kernel
                              UUID: 692E38D9-EEFA-7148-9A4F-B7769684F42B
                              Attr: priority=1 tries=0 successful=1
 120848384   4194304       3  Label: "ROOT-A"
                              Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                              UUID: 870E6EAE-6E97-C845-A6AC-8F016C93C572
     53248     32768       4  Label: "KERN-B"
                              Type: ChromeOS kernel
                              UUID: 043CE03B-26CA-7B40-83AF-759F3E0E196B
                              Attr: priority=3 tries=0 successful=1
 116654080   4194304       5  Label: "ROOT-B"
                              Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                              UUID: F90EB8AE-1D2D-9B40-8BE5-00A69D4C0010
  11763712     32768       6  Label: "KERN-C"
                              Type: ChromeOS kernel
                              UUID: 87E84C32-6DB5-C640-856A-D01F2F12D107
                              Attr: priority=5 tries=0 successful=1
  11796480 104857600       7  Label: "ROOT-C"
                              Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                              UUID: C84A6CD1-8087-E347-A208-B871921A17E1
     86016     32768       8  Label: "OEM"
                              Type: Linux data
                              UUID: 1B047FEB-594B-6349-84EA-F9CD21575DD0
     16450         1       9  Label: "reserved"
                              Type: ChromeOS reserved
                              UUID: BD2CABEA-DE39-3C48-842C-D194DFACCAC3
     16451         1      10  Label: "reserved"
                              Type: ChromeOS reserved
                              UUID: 1D28D6DA-A187-204C-B74F-15CED29A5C22
        64     16384      11  Label: "RWFW"
                              Type: ChromeOS firmware
                              UUID: E2E38AB2-7D91-6347-AE40-DC97E8709F62
    249856     32768      12  Label: "EFI-SYSTEM"
                              Type: EFI System Partition
                              UUID: DDC656E6-FEC6-4547-B663-278371FD13B1
 125045391        32          Sec GPT table
 125045423         1          Sec GPT header

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/22/12 7:16 AM
Des, thanks for the info, I am going to set my Ubuntu as primary then. Your partitions look similar to mine, except my chrome os STATE partition and my ubuntu root_C partition is about double (128GB SSD):

Mike

___________________________________________________________________

       start        size    part  contents
           0           1          PMBR (Boot GUID: AF7D5991-5E45-A046-A130-EE6C9E79A24A)
           1           1          Pri GPT header
           2          32          Pri GPT table
      282624    20971520       1  Label: "STATE"
                                  Type: Linux data
                                  UUID: 78D1D612-DA6E-3240-A08D-48770439CF40
       20480       32768       2  Label: "KERN-A"
                                  Type: ChromeOS kernel
                                  UUID: D767067B-0468-A945-8910-179CC1D7330C
                                  Attr: priority=1 tries=0 successful=1
   245874688     4194304       3  Label: "ROOT-A"
                                  Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                                  UUID: 7F6FB7D8-2BB7-E346-81A9-B254DED1843C
       53248       32768       4  Label: "KERN-B"
                                  Type: ChromeOS kernel
                                  UUID: C8E5E1A2-053B-6B44-9FEC-35FF11F51C6E
                                  Attr: priority=2 tries=0 successful=1
   241680384     4194304       5  Label: "ROOT-B"
                                  Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                                  UUID: 44DE0469-BA59-5540-A144-286DCDDEE487
    21254144       32768       6  Label: "KERN-C"
                                  Type: ChromeOS kernel
                                  UUID: CCF943EE-38DC-D94E-B570-F8C0991A6232
                                  Attr: priority=0 tries=0 successful=0
    21286912   220393472       7  Label: "ROOT-C"
                                  Type: ChromeOS rootfs
                                  UUID: A62992D1-249E-B34B-AC86-B583AB236B21
       86016       32768       8  Label: "OEM"
                                  Type: Linux data
                                  UUID: F1C65B9F-4F47-0247-BCB1-5040DBE17F32
       16450           1       9  Label: "reserved"
                                  Type: ChromeOS reserved
                                  UUID: 4651102C-0A74-894C-9081-5679BB25CEBC
       16451           1      10  Label: "reserved"
                                  Type: ChromeOS reserved
                                  UUID: 178D23AD-B74A-B647-ABBF-6C243EDE8BBC
          64       16384      11  Label: "RWFW"
                                  Type: ChromeOS firmware
                                  UUID: E8A8EFE6-9E69-704F-B2AC-BA34DFC4C167
      249856       32768      12  Label: "EFI-SYSTEM"
                                  Type: EFI System Partition
                                  UUID: AF7D5991-5E45-A046-A130-EE6C9E79A24A
   250069647          32          Sec GPT table
   250069679           1          Sec GPT header

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/22/12 9:29 AM
Did making Ubuntu top priority give you reliable booting? Maybe I just struck lucky with my SSD....
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/22/12 6:01 PM
Des, that did not work for me. I still need to use USB when cold booting. What version of chrome where you running when you did the install?

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/22/12 11:50 PM
I was running whatever beta channel was current this Tuesday morning - UK time :) I don't think it updated while I was messing around with the Ubuntu install(s).
I'm reluctant to go back to ChromeOS and check in case I get stuck there.....
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/24/12 3:19 AM
I rebooted back to ChromeOS to check (and it started up OK) - I'm on Version 21.0.1180.79 beta

.. and it seems to switch reliably back and forth between ChromeOS and Ubuntu with the appropriate cgpt incantations.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/24/12 6:12 AM
So something odd happened last night. I got my DP++ to DVI cable, so I wanted to hook up extended desktop with multi monitors. I plugged it in, turned on the flag in chrome os to enable it, and shut down the chromebox. Not wanting to do the recovery USB cold boot hack, I tried to turn it on right as it shut off. The thing got stock in a boot loop, I turned it on, it shuts off when starting to boot, so I turn it on and it continues to happen. So I pulled the power cable on the device, plugged it back in, and then turned it back on, I needed to do the recovery USB cold boot hack to turn it on. I then completely shut down before bed. I woke up this morning and turned it back on and to my surprise it booted up fine without having to do the recovery USB cold boot hack. I am not sure what is going on, but hopefully it continues to work fine now without the hack like it does for Des.

An another note. Greeve, did you have any success with the SanDisk SSD?

By the way I am on version 22 dev channel

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/24/12 7:31 PM
Mike, 

Actually, I canceled that order when I saw how poor the performance was on the drive (<1000 IOPS), so I just received an Adata with a Sandforce controller in the mail yesterday. Will let you know my experience over the weekend...i have some weird data corruption issues on my internet connection that may have to be resolved in the mean time and may slow me down.  


Dan
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/25/12 7:12 AM
I am able to continue to cold boot without problems right now. Setting chrome or Ubuntu as default both work without problems. I don't know what happened that caused that weird boot loop, but whatever it was it seemed to have fixed the issue.

If anybody else wants to try, this is the drive I got:


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Christopher Benjamin 8/25/12 12:24 PM
Michael Moussa, would you be able to post your entire upgrade sequence ?  It is always somewhat difficult to follow these threads and achieve the same result.

Thanks.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/26/12 8:27 AM
Mike, what was the hack you did to the recovery image to keep it from wiping your disk?

Dan
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/26/12 10:12 AM
the AData sx300 has the following hdparm

ATA device, with non-removable media
	Model Number:       ADATA SX300                            
	Serial Number:      23004............    
	Firmware Revision:  5.0.2a  
	Transport:          Serial, ATA8-AST, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6, SATA Rev 3.0
Standards:
	Used: unknown (minor revision code 0x0110) 
	Supported: 8 7 6 5 
	Likely used: 8
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/27/12 9:52 AM
Dan, the hack was basically to get past the fact that I could not cold boot and can only warm boot. So if the following is your situation you could use the hack:
-After changing the drives you were able to recover successfully and it booted into chrome successfully.
-Then when you did a complete power down and booted up again it no longer booted, instead it wanted to recover.
If that is your situation and you want to do the hack, basically all you have to do is plug in a recovery USB as if you were going to recover, but when it starts to recover (during verification) you hit ctrl+alt+delete to reboot and then it boots fine without needing to recovery. The additional hack I did was to corrupt the recovery image a little bit so that I would not accidentally go through the recovery process, I only needed to use it to reboot. So to corrupt it I used the dd command to wipe out the first 1MB of the ROOT_A partition on the recovery USB. Now when I use that recovery usb it will fail during verification so I can rest assured that it won't wipe my device if I forget to hit ctrl+alt+delete in time.

Chris, below is an outline of what I did:
-Put chromebox in dev mode using the switch inside the kensignton key lock
-Power up the chromebox (ctrl+d to skip 30 second wait) and change chromebox to dev channel (at the time it was version 21, which is the current beta channel), wait for it to actually do the upgrade.
-Create recovery image on USB using chrome://imageburner (you will need a 4GB flash disk, even though the image is only really around 1GB)
-Power down, open box, take out motherboard, switch out the mSata SSD that is on the bottom (top of the device actually, bottom from the perspective of you with it open) of the mother board.
-Close it up, power up, use the recovery usb to image the new mSata SSD
-Recovery successful and it prompts you to pull the USB out
-Pull out the USB, it reboots and chrome boots up fine.
-Shutdown chromebox, turn it back on to find out it wants you to recover again.
-Put the USB recovery back in, when it starts verification hit ctrl+alt+delete to reboot
-It now boots up fine into chrome

From here you can then go ahead and install chrUbuntu if you want. You will still have the issue of not being able to cold boot and would have to perform the last 3 steps to boot every time (this is an issue with or without chrUbuntu). To get past this issue, I have no idea what exactly fixed it for me. But it seems something happened to Des that fixed it for him as well. I would suggest reading my post from August 24th, I detailed my actions right before the issue went away.

As for how to install chrUbuntu, I used Jay Lee's method, but I did the partitioning of the disk manually, because Jay Lee's script assumes a 16GB SSD. When you partition the disk manually, you can then run Jay Lee's script and it will skip over the section of partitioning and go straight to downloading and installing. I could give more detail on how to do this, but it is probably out of the scope of this topic. See if you can get the SSD upgraded first and somehow figure out how to get past the cold boot issue and we can discuss partitioning for ChrUbuntu on larger SSDs on a separate topic.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/27/12 11:07 AM
Did Des also manually partition?  I wonder if that makes a difference. I just modified the chrUbuntu script (oyjlt) to use a value up to 128 (GB) for the ubuntu size.  

Also, my process varied slightly from Mike's in that I just did a stable recovery over to the new larger SSD, THEN upgraded to beta before creating a beta recovery (is it even different?), and recovering again.  Installed chrUbuntu, now I have the same cold-boot issue that the other two have described.  I tried using multi-monitor and trying to repower the device during shutdown to force a boot-loop.  No success there. 

So for now, I plug in the USB when I want to cold boot, and unplug it after ctrl-alt-delete during recovery verification.  

Bill, any interesting notes from the chainbooting/seabios effort which may help someone else try and continue that work?

Dan
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 8/27/12 2:15 PM
Hi Dan,
like you I manually modified the oyjlt script to increase the allowed partition size when I was installing.

When initially installing my 64Gb SSD I also used a stable recovery, then switched to the beta channel once ChromeOS was up and running on the new SSD, at which point the chrUbuntu adventures began....

Des Johnston
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/27/12 6:58 PM
Dan, I think what triggered it for me was when I shutdown from within chrome and then immediately hit the power button, I did not want to do the cold boot hack so I was hoping hitting the power button right away would allow it to work. It then would not power up, I had to pull the power cord, everything worked great after that.

Just continue using it, you may get lucky like we did.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 8/27/12 8:58 PM
Alright so I was able to successfully install a new SSD in my Chromebook. I ordered a Scandisk 64GB mSATA, popped it into the motherboard, installed Chrome OS and it booted up right away. Have Ubuntu 12.04 installed and everything is running beautifully. It seems as long as you stick with the Scandisk brand you shouldn't have a problem upgrading to a bigger SSD.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 8/28/12 8:02 AM
Tony, have you completely powered down your chromebox yet? And you had no problem booting up after that?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 8/28/12 8:03 AM
Yes I've powered up and down with zero problems.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 8/28/12 8:20 AM
Tony,

What model SSD did you get?

Dan
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 8/29/12 7:39 AM
Hey here is the exact model that I ordered off of Ebay. As I said it works powering up/down with 0 problems. 

NEW OEM EXOPC Tablet ScanDisk SSD SDTNNMCHSM 016G SDSA4DH-064G



Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 9/3/12 1:46 AM
Interestingly (or maybe not :) I had another occurrence of the "corrupted image message" when cold booting after letting the unverified image BIOS splash screen run through to beeping instead of hitting ctrl-D. The usual plugging in a USB restore trick worked to get back to Ubuntu. The ChromeBox had been quite happily cold booting up to that point (and is again).

Des
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Gavin Lin 9/8/12 9:24 AM
@Tony
Is it on you *ChromeBOOK* or *ChromeBOX*?
In your post you said you successfully upgrade the ssd on your "Chromebook"
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Tony 9/8/12 10:18 AM
Yes it was a chromebook.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Christophe Versieux 9/13/12 4:05 AM
So, the conclusion is that the SSD of the Chromebox is currently impossible to upgrade?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 9/13/12 5:20 AM
Not so, some SSDs seem a bit quirky with booting, others seem fine. 
The one I have on my ChromeBox (a 64GB Crucial m4 mSATA 6Gb/s) was fine with ChromeOS on it but a bit cranky initially when I also installed Ubuntu. 
For reasons unknown it started behaving after a while and has stayed OK.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 9/13/12 7:08 AM
I am in the same boat as Des with my chromeBox, my Crucial 128GB m4 mSata SSD was a bit cranky and I was able to work around the issue for a bit and then for some unknown reason it started behaving after a while and has been fine since, read through this thread for the details.

Someone else reported that they were able to update it without a hitch when using a SanDisk SSD (the same brand that is in the chromebox), read through this thread for the exact model.

From what I understand it seems like the newer generation chrome devices from samsung need SSDs that support some of the newer commands and a lot of SSDs have not come up to speed with the latest specs. From all the SSDs used only the SanDisk SSD and Crucial m4 SSDs were ones that have been reported as working. There were maybe 3 or 4 other brands that were reported as not working, again read through the thread for the exact models.

Mike
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 9/13/12 1:30 PM
The reason some drives are quirky is because the BIOS on these systems is coreboot + u-boot, and u-boot assumes that the SSD will POST (power on self test) into a particular command state.

When it does, there's a particular (longer) command format that the SSD will accept, and everything Just Works(TM).

For SSD disks which do not POST into the correct command state (6 byte CDBs), they only accept a limited subset of commands.  These are the SSD devices you guys are buying.

Once u-boot boots from a USB device/SD card, it loads the kernel off the USB/SD, and the kernel initializes the device more completely than u-boot, which is minimalist and does not have fallback code paths which would impact boot speed (read: it does not expect to fail, and therefore does not deal with failure gracefully by trying something different which would require making its code larger and adding normally unnecessary initialization code, branch points, and error checking and recovery).

The act of booting the Linux kernel, therefore, initializes the devices more fully, and they end up with their controllers in a software state that they are willing to accept the more complex (faster) SSD commands.

Thereafter, if you warm boot from the devices, you are OK, but if you cold boot them, they POST again, and go into "I'm a stupid SDD instead of a smart SSD" mode again.  This explains the so-called "boot hack".

You could argue that u-boot should be made more complicated and/or use the slower commands by default, but since the SSDs which are shipping don't have the problem that the SSDs that are being bought to replace them, increasing the default configurations boot time in order to allow unnecessary upgrade of local storage is probably not a winning argument.

In developer mode, you could write the writable firmware (BIOS) area with one you built yourself that supported the broken (but larger) SSDs, which would allow you to skip the "boot hack".  This would require you to enable the config options and have a Chromium OS build environment, but it could be done.

If you are hacking it larger to get Ubuntu on it anyway, this is probably not a very big issue, at least for the person doing the Ubuntu distribution, assuming you aren't building your own kernel, whoever gives you the kernel to run needs to fix it for you.

It really boils down to this: if you are hacking the device to do something other than its intended purpose, expect to have to hack  unfun things to enable you to hack fun things.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Joe Ellett 9/13/12 4:58 PM
Thanks @Terry for the succinct explanation of what's happening. That boils the whole thread Q&A down to one post:-)
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 9/14/12 1:18 AM
What's going on with drives like mine, where they are initially cranky and need to be warm booted and then suddenly "decide" to work, even with cold boots?
Are they being left, by chance, in a suitable state after Ubuntu shuts down?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Terry Lambert 9/14/12 2:35 AM
There are two many variables in the situation for me to do more than guess at exact causes, and assign estimated probabilities to the guesses.  Finding out exactly would likely require a lot of work, and might involve a microscopic soldiering station.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 9/14/12 2:43 AM
No problem, just curious.... :)
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Trever 9/23/12 12:29 AM
Hi Bill,

Any status update on the Seabios effort?  I haven't seen the published instructions you mention...

Thanks,

Trever
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 9/23/12 7:30 AM
+1

rlw 
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bill Richardson 9/24/12 9:52 AM
On Monday, August 27, 2012 11:07:23 AM UTC-7, Greve Dan wrote:

Bill, any interesting notes from the chainbooting/seabios effort which may help someone else try and continue that work?

Sigh. No, that hasn't worked out the way I'd hoped. It appears that U-Boot is leaving something in an odd state that prevents seabios from booting properly, but we haven't been able to figure out exactly what's causing the issue.

Quick summary of where we stand:
  • Seabios works fine if we make it a coreboot payload (which requires reflashing the read-only firmware) instead of bouncing through U-Boot, so it really is a Simple Matter of Programming.
  • My intern has returned to school. :-(
  • I've been on vacation for a couple weeks. :-)
  • My current highest priority tasks involve new devices, not existing ones. Dual-boot support is one of the considerations, though.
  • I've asked Ron Minnich, our coreboot expert, to share how he's been running alternate OSes in a VM on his Samsung Series 5 550. He's started a page here, but it's not fleshed out very well yet. Keep watching, though.
  • Ron, Stefan, and I are having dinner with Jay Lee this week to share some thoughts on all this.
  • I hope to be able to devote more time to this effort in Q4, including providing more how-to-do-it documentation so that others can help.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matthew Glass 9/26/12 10:47 PM
I'm sorry if i am not following protocol here, as its my first post ever and im not sure even how to post a reply correctly but I have been reading and following closely and feel like this is something I can do but I am having difficulties figuring out how to boot into Chrome or Ubuntu after i have fully powered down and unplugged my machine, I have invested in a 128 gb msata and have yet to install it because i would hate to lose everything just because i wanted to move my chromebox.

if it can be explained on if its best to shut down the machine via chrome or ubuntu 

also as far as the boot up, i try starting up with my recovery usb and doing ctrl alt f2 and then ctrl alt del but when do i pull out the usb? i cant seem to jump start (or warm boot i guess?) into anything.

i think this stuff is AMAZING and i want to thank you all for everything you do, im still in school and only beginning c+/java and have a long way but its projects and positive helpful attitudes that motivate me to learn more
i appreciate your replies and i will not post back here about this as to keep the thread more oriented to the goals vs my misunderstandings and not bloated
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 9/27/12 7:10 AM
Matthew. First off I must warn you, if you have any critical data on your original drive back it up first. With that said, if you take out the current 16GB msata drive you should not lose the data because it is all still on that drive. So if you are not able to get it working you should be able to put the original drive back in and be all set. Also note that the doing a chrome os recovery will wipe whatever drive you have in the box at that time. The warm boot thing only works on some drives, other drives wont work at all, and other drives work fine (most consumer drives seem to fall under not work at all). Let us know what drive you purchased the model number and everything. If you are lucky and your drive can at least warm boot, you will know because after doing the original recovery onto the new drive, it will reboot fine into chrome os and it will seem like it is working, until you power off completely and find out you can no longer boot. If this is the case for you the warm boot hack may work. To do the warm boot hack start to recover with the recovery usb and when it is verifying hit ctrl+alt+delete to reboot (if you wait past the verification step you will lose data on your drive), then you hit ctrl+d to get past the sad/scary screen and it should boot into chrome OS. You do not have to pull out the recovery usb. Assuming you can get this far, then I would say go ahead and install chrUbuntu.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues rlw 9/27/12 8:54 AM
@Bill Richardson

Hey, the fact that anyone cares about booting an alternate os on your partner hardware is heartening! 

Hacker friendly hardware that has a secure mode is something of a holy grail, I'm impressed it is still one of the considerations. This doesn't seem to even be a consideration for MSFT on ARM.

Keep on keeping on! =)

rlw
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues sawabon0904 10/3/12 2:18 AM
Has anyone tried the dual-boot,chrome os and windows on this box? Is this doable?


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Matthew Glass 10/4/12 6:13 PM
Okay, sorry i didnt thank you guys before, but i was able to get my 120 gb msata hd to work with my chromebox booting with the dev recovery only, also it worked just fine with 16 gb of cheap komputerbay memory, BUT i was unable to run jay lees script giving ubuntu 110 GB to ubuntu, it would start fine but a lot of the files would give super fast errors i couldnt read.  i have run the script just fine before on my chromebox with 16 gb and also on my chromebook with a 32 gb hd so i am comfortable with the script. anyway i was looking for some advice, i have a msata to sata adapter and an external housing and a laptop running ubuntu, so can i get some advice to how to format my msata to try it all again ? i am thinking Ext4, thanks for your help, also i can  let you know everything step by step that i did but it looks like a dev recovery and warmbooting should do it for almost everyone, this is good news! also on a side note my goal is to run vmware, but the kernel headers arent right, i guess this is why we need a custom bios to do a full installof ubuntu vs chrubuntu
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 10/5/12 8:06 AM
Hi Matthew, can you post what brand and model SSD you got working, and while you are at it what brand and model memory you used? As for the ubuntu issues, jay lee's scripts assume a 16GB SSD, it needs to be modified slightly or you need to partition it manually and jay lee's script will skip over the partition part. However this is a bit out of scope of this topic; if you need some additional help on this please start a new topic or find an existing one.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Christophe Versieux 11/4/12 3:01 AM
Would it be difficult to modify the script so we can get a partition bigger than 10Gb?

I plan to upgrade my SSD, but if I will still get stuck with the same storage in Ubuntu, that's useless!
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 11/4/12 9:23 AM
The script is easy enough to modify. The concern is getting an SSD that will work. Read through the post to see which SSDs worked for people and which did not. Just as a warning most of them did not work. If you get an SSD that works and you are able to recover chrome OS they you can move on to the script.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Des Johnston 11/4/12 12:06 PM
I'd no trouble modifying the script to increase the size allowed for Ubuntu - but like Michael Moussa says many SSDs are rather cranky with more recent ChromeOS machines.

I'd no trouble with upgrading the SSD on a Samsung series 5 Chromebook, but a similar SSD on my Chromebox (very) occasionally fails to boot and needs to be hot booted with recovery image to get going again. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when it decides not to boot.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bob Fraser 11/5/12 9:59 AM
How do you make a "developer recovery"? Is it as simple as going to chrome://imageburner when you are on the developer channel? I ask as I am having trouble adding a Kingston 64GB SSD. I can't even warm boot. No errors when it restores recovery to the new SSD, just the "Chrome OS missing or damaged" loop. The ctrl-alt-delete-on-recovery trick doesn't help. I may have the problem mentioned elsewhere that it is not rewriting / writing a valid partition table. Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bob Fraser 11/5/12 10:01 AM
BTW, I have the google I/O chromebox and a Kingston SSDNow mS100 64GB
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 11/5/12 1:11 PM
going to chrome://imageburner will give you a stable channel recovery even if you are on dev channel, that is what I experienced. Before buying an SSD please read through this thread to see what SSDs have worked and what have not worked for people. I think there was only one as reported as working without issue and that was a SanDisk. There were a couple of us who got it to work with a warm boot hack using a crucial m4. There were a couple people who used the Kingston with mixed results, one was able to get it to warm boot I think and the other I am not sure if he got it to work at all.  To see if it will warm boot for you, after doing the recovery and then you go to boot and it tells you to recover again, start the recovery again, but this time hit ctrl+alt+delete to reboot during verification. If warm boot works it will boot you into chrome after reboot.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bob Fraser 11/5/12 2:23 PM
Sadly, warm boot doesn't work for me.  I tried the ctrl-alt-delete reboot during recovery verification. No joy. I read elsewhere on this thread that the recovery doesn't reinitialize the partition table if there is one there and that could be the cause of my problem. Any ideas on how to zero / initialize my partition table?

Otherwise, I think the Kingston gets returned and I get a SanDisk SSD.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 11/6/12 6:17 AM
You can plug it into a linux computer that has a mSata slot and use the dd command to 0 out the first megabyte or so of data. Here is some more info on dd:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dd_(Unix)

However I am not sure if it will resolve the issue or not, but it is worth a shot.

The SanDisk SSD mentioned in this thread wasn't a consumer one that you could just find anywhere, but a commercial one that is typically only sold in bulk to computer manufacturers. They were able to find one on ebay. It is essentially the same SanDisk SSD that comes in our chromeboxes but in a larger size. It looks like though SanDisk has declared end of life on those pSSD series in favor of these newer U100 SSD devices, no one has tested out the newer on yet though on their chromebox. Here it is if you are interested:
http://www.sandisk.com/products/ssd/sata/u100/
http://www.ssd.gb.com/Products/SanDisk_Industrial_and_Enterprise/Industrial_Embedded_SSD/Solid_State_Drives/SanDisk_U100_SSD/SanDisk_U100_SSD_mSATA/index.php

It says right on their product description support for Google Chrome OS:
OS Support : Windows® XP, Windows® 7, Google Chrome™ OS
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bob Fraser 11/7/12 3:42 PM
I am throwing in the towel. Too much effort to find a linux mSata slot to zero the partition table.

For the folks at home keeping score on the Kingston SSDNow mS100 64GB, we have one winner who installed, used the recovery USB and was good to go. Even cold boot worked. Sadly, I was not so lucky. I can't get recovery to write a good image. Warm boot does not work for me.

At the end of the day my Chromebox is sitting next to a Netgear WNDR37AV with a USB drive attached. So, 16GB will get me fast (dual) boot and I've got 2TB of networked attached storage over gigabit ethernet.  I should be just fine. Just have to make sure I get all the remote mounts set up right so there are no surprises with /tmp or logs or such.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Michael Moussa 11/8/12 5:59 AM
Bob, I think you are the second to report it not working at all with the Kingston SSDNow. I think the person who said it was working, later clarified that it did not work after a complete shutdown, so he had it warm booting.

I think the SanDisk U100 will work, because it mentions support for Google Chrome OS. It is meant for OEM only though, and I cannot find it anywhere. So I contacted them about ordering a bulk quantity to find out what the minimum is, below is their response. If there is enough interest I can pursue this request.

"
We understand that you would like to purchase U100 mSATA SSD's, however we would like to inform you that U100 mSATA SSD's are OEM drives and are normally supplied to the Original Equipment Manufacturer's in bulk and we do not sell them as this support is for Retail SSD's, however if you are looking for these SSD's in Bulk then we can forward your request to our OEM department and they will get back to you regarding the same.
 
If you are interested bulk purchase please provide us with the following information so that we can forward your request to our OEM team

1. Name:
2. Phone:
3. Email address:
4. Company Name:
5. Physical address:
6. Line of business:
7. Company's website:
8. Product:
9. Forecast purchases (per month/year)
10. Summary of customer request:
 
 
Please feel free to contact us for any further queries.
"
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Broc Seib 11/8/12 7:30 AM
I've put a Crucial CT256M4SSD3 in my Chromebox (the i5 one from Google I/O).

Putting some facts together from this thread:
1)  Out of the box, the Crucial devices (and others) do not seem to come alive in AHCI mode.
2)  After "tinkering", a couple of you have had surprise success in getting your Crucial devices to cold boot, which implies that they have found their way into AHCI mode by default.

Shall we look at getting the device into ACHI mode? The AHCI spec http://goo.gl/vE0j2  in section 3.1.2 shows which bit of which register to enable.

Offset 04h: GHC – Global HBA Control, bit 31
When set, software shall only communicate with the HBA using AHCI. When cleared, 
software shall only communicate with the HBA using legacy mechanisms. When 
cleared FISes are not posted to memory and no commands are sent via AHCI 
mechanisms.

I guess the only way to set this is to hack the bios, right?

But why would your Crucial devices be able to "remember" the (whatever) setting to keep it in AHCI mode? Or is it *not* remembering, and your Chromebox is somehow setting that mode?

If it is the former, then perhaps some info from Crucial will help us change the startup state of their device, maybe in their firmware. I'm inclined to go down this road with Crucial first.


Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Broc Seib 11/12/12 7:02 AM
Looks like in the u-boot code the call to achi_host_init() is what puts the device in AHCI mode. See http://goo.gl/qxxSi

It actually happens on line 109:
  writel_with_flush(HOST_AHCI_EN, mmio + HOST_CTL);

This is the only line of code in all of u-boot that puts the device in this state (i.e., no one ever uses HOST_AHCI_EN elsewhere in the code).

So the question is, where should we call this that would be early enough in the boot process? I am not an expert at BIOS stuff...

Broc
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 12/21/12 9:50 PM
Hi Bill,
I bought one of those and installed it, but it doesn't work for me, not cold boot, nor ctrl-all-del during the verification phase of the recovery.  Booting off a USB flash drive with a chromium build, I can login and see in the dmesg output that it's recognized as an ATA-8: KINGSTON SMS100S264G, S5FAM014, max UDMA/100

I wonder if the drive I've got and the one you've got identify the same?  
hdparm -I /dev/sda shows:

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 12/21/12 9:52 PM
Oops, premature post.
hdparm -I /dev/sda shows:
  Model Number: KINGSTON SMS100S264G
  Serial Number: ...
  Firmware Revision: S5FAM014
  Transport: Serial, ATA8-AST, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6
Standards:
  Supported: 8 7 6 5
  Likely Used: 8
...
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 12/23/12 8:33 AM
I wonder if the act of pulling the power on the drive at just the "right" time caused it to stay in AHCI mode across power cycles?

I just returned my Kingston SMS100S2/64G that Bill R. seemed to have working. I had no trouble getting ChromeOS installed on it with my recovery (normal channel) USB drive.  Using another USB drive to boot from with Chromium OS I could see that the Kingston SSD looked fine as far as partitions and some of the data, but I couldn't even get a warm boot to work.  I'm setting up this Chromebox i5 as my email/DNS/Web server, and so don't need a ton of space, but even with the secondary ChromeOS Root-B shrunk to 1 block, it's going to be tight (I shouldn't be such an email packrat I guess :-)

Anyway, I'm looking for other drives to try, so I'm curious if you are still having success with your Crucial drive?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 12/23/12 8:37 AM
Tony, I've seen two of those on eBay right now, but I'm a little concerned that the pictures for them show the Firmware Version as 8.10, whereas the one in my Chromebox is VER: SSD_8.14  Do you remember what firmware version your drive shows?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 12/23/12 8:57 AM
Broc, I think you're mistaken about that code. What seems to me to be going on there is that the u-boot code is putting the HBA (the controller chip in the computer) into AHCI mode for the kernel/main cpu to communicate with the HBA. It does nothing to the form of communication between the HBA and any attached SATA drives/SSDs.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues spartahawk 1/8/13 4:37 PM
Not necessarily expecting any surprises, since I think I would have noticed an update somewhere. But, just to make sure, have there been any updates regarding Seabios etc?
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Duckling 1/8/13 5:26 PM
I'm also interested in the Seabios for Chromebox. If that project could be released, it would be wonderful.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 1/10/13 9:04 AM
Not sure how it worked out for Michael, but I got a 128GB Crucial m4 mSATA SSD, and had no luck.  I'm thinking my next step is to try a 64GB version of the model that's stock. Trouble with that is I have to get it from eBay, and no returns...
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Jason Love 1/16/13 7:24 PM
Another strike against the Kingston 64gb ms100.  It won't boot off with my Google I/O Chromebox.  Recovery goes through the motions, says it completes, but won't boot.  Neither cold boot nor warm boot works.  Guess this drive is going back to Amazon.  
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Ruben Casillas 1/22/13 4:49 PM
long story short, can I replace the Samsung Chromebook's 16gb ssd with a 128gb ssd?

specifically this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147192&Tpk=20-147-192
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Joe Ellett 1/22/13 10:33 PM
Ruben, there are other several posts that address this issue in detail, so search the forum. Bottom line is that some SSDs work and others don't. There are long and detailed explanations of why in some of the other threads so I won't copy them here.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Jason Love 1/23/13 8:06 AM
Sent the Kingston back.  Tried the Sandisk 32gb U100 last night.  This also did not work on my Chromebox.  Same situation as before - recovery completes, no error messages, but still refuses to boot off the drive.  This model is the same as the stock drive, it's just the 32gb version.  

Any suggestions on troubleshooting this?  Could there be something wrong with my restore usb image?   I'm thinking this may be the case.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Dan Greve 3/24/13 7:28 PM
I'm in the same boat with you Jason.  I hadn't tried recovering my chromebox since Oct/Nov of 2012.  I had corrupted my disk partitions while switching between chrubuntu and chrome, so I had to perform recovery and used the latest image using the chrome recovery tool on windows.  Unfortunately, I always end up with the green screen of recovery death :/

I too am using the original sandisk drive model, not the Upgraded drive I was using earlier.  

Interestingly enough, my warning boot screen and recovery screen are now either in spanish or portugese.  I assume something got corrupted at the bootloader level.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Bob Fraser 3/24/13 7:43 PM
These posts break my heart. Wanted to love the ChromeBox. Really. Super quiet. Dual boot Chrome and Ubuntu, awesome.


Repeated failed attempts to upgrade the SSD drive and lack of support for CIFS (Samba) were too much for me. Flipped it on eBay and got a Zotac with all the memory and SSD I wanted.

I wish you all the best of luck and a clean boot.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues spartahawk 3/24/13 10:11 PM
My parents love their Chromebox. They're always telling people about how great it is when they come over. Never wait for it to boot, so fast, never have anything to upkeep on it. Totally quiet, and super small. And barely cost anything.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Aleksander Zywot 4/5/13 8:28 AM
So I believe that I may have found a solution, at least in a somewhat abstract way. Instead of replacing the original ssd I left it in place and installed a USB 3.0 card. The card I purchased was $30 and is small enough to fit inside the box without any problems but it will require some work. Here is a link to the card: http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-3-0-20-Pin-Header-Mini-PCI-Express-Card-w-USB-A-Dual-Female-to-20-Pin-Cable-/390505380073?pt=US_Internal_Port_Expansion_Cards&hash=item5aebef38e9

Since the PCI slot is underpowered I had to pull 5V from a USB port and route it to the card to get it to work. Once I did that however I had no issue with the card. As of now I can confirm that the ports work but I have not tested the speed yet. If this in fact gives us full USB 3.0 speeds then there might not be a point to even switch to a large SSD. I uploaded a picture showing how I currently have things running.

I removed the mini IO board with the display ports since I dont need them and I can confirm that the computer functions just fine. I am going to put the USB 3.0 card on the bottom next to the ssd and run the wires up and mounting the USB 3.0 ports in the empty Display Port slots.

Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Aleksander Zywot 4/11/13 6:22 AM
So with some further testing I can confirm that the USB 3.0 works. I put a 5400 1tb laptop harddrive into a USB 3.0 external case on managed to get ~20mbs read speeds on the standard USB 2.0 ports. On the USB 3.0 ports I got ~120 mbs read speeds. Using a SSD or 7200 rpm drive with usb 3.0 could prove to be very beneficial. I will post updated pictures one has have finalized all the soldering and ran more benchmarks.
Re: Chromebox mSATA SSD Upgrade Issues Robert Thille 6/15/13 9:02 PM
I wonder if this Mini PCIe SATA controller card could be made to work.  Too bad the connectors are on that side, instead of the other. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815158276
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