Google’s Chrome OS platform is generally pretty reliable, but power users especially can run into issues that require more work for a fix. For that, Google provides recovery images to fix any Chromebook, and soon, that feature may be built into the laptop.

As it stands today, Chromebook recovery tools are used to repair a Chromebook that can no longer properly boot into Chrome OS. Generally, the message “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” will appear when that happens. While these tools are very useful and easy to get to, they can present a challenge for users where the Chromebook is their only machine. This is because creating the USB recovery drive requires another machine, whether that’s running Chrome OS, Windows, macOS, or Linux.

AboutChromebooks recently spotted and offered a wonderful in-depth explanation of what might be Google’s fix to this. A Chromium commit details a new feature that would put the recovery features on-device, so they could be accessed with no USB drive or other machine needed. Google explains:

Add a new boot path within manual recovery mode, activated by the hotkey Ctrl+R. In this boot path, a miniOS recovery kernel is located on internal disk, and an attempt is made to verify and boot this kernel. Recovery proceeds from within the miniOS kernel by downloading a recovery image over the network. No USB disk is used in the process.

While we would hope most users never run into the need for recovery tools on their machine, this is certainly a smart move for Google, especially considering Windows has similar tools built-in. Whether or not this will come to fruition anytime soon, though, remains to be seen.

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Ben Schoon

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