This morning as I signed in to my trusty ASUS Chromebox, a very unfortunate and very aggravating thing began happening.
And happening again.
And, as of this article, the device is just now behaving as normal: a mere 2 hours later. Read on for the issue and the fix.
My first move was to powerwash the device. That didn’t work.
Second, I switched out of Dev mode. Also didn’t work.
After these steps, the device would behave normally at first and then begin the black screen resets (not full reboots, just Chrome resets).
My final move was to try my wife’s Chromebook. It booted up and behaved just fine in her account. I logged her out, logged myself in, and the problem began immediately.
This was the clue we needed. It appears that this is linked to my Google account, likely in the Sync settings. After a bit of searching (on another device since my Chromebox was resetting every 30-60 seconds) Gabriel came across a an article detailing this particular bug. You can read it here.
Basically, this is a bug that happens when a user switches to Beta channel and then back to Stable Channel. Though I’d not done this on my Chromebox, my ASUS Chromebook Flip is in Beta as we continue testing Android Apps on this particular device. Apparently something in Sync has carried over to my devices on the Stable Channel as well.
While this won’t affect everyone, please be aware that if you are using any device in the Beta Channel, there is a possibility that some of your Stable Channel devices could become affected with this bug.
The fix? Simply change your devices to the Beta Channel of Chrome OS. Even if your device has never been on Beta, this will fix the issue and according to the regular update schedule Google stays with on Chrome OS, 53 should be on Stable Channel within a week or two. Beta is quite good right now, so this is the simplest path to a fix.
If you are stuck in this boot cycle, it is a bit difficult to get your channel switched. I had just enough time to go to settings > about Chrome OS (up there by search) > More Info… > Change Channel > Beta Channel. It will continue to reset, but rest assured the OS Channel is changing and downloading in the background. Eventually you’ll be ready to restart and you’ll be on Beta and things will work as expected.
Another way around all this is to Powerwash, sign in a different user, and update to Beta from there.
Either way, Chrome OS 53 is coming soon and, along with it, the end of this particular bug.