One of the most unusual but also most versatile Chrome OS devices ever produced is ASUS Chromebit (CS10). In its heyday, the tiny PC on a stick was capable of turning your TV or HDMI monitor into a full-blown Chrome OS desktop. While the Chromebit is still capable of running Chrome OS, the aging Rockchip processor and 2GB of RAM are sorely underpowered to run all that Chrome OS is capable of these days. That said, there’s another area where the tiny Chromebit shines in tens of thousands of devices that cross our paths each and every day and we don’t even realize it.
The kiosk and digital signage markets are projected to reach nearly 30 billion dollars by 2024 and there isn’t much “sign” that it’s slowing down. From display advertising to consumer interaction and point of sale, Chromebits and Chromeboxes play a major role in this expanding space. Despite the Chromebit’s minimal computing power, it’s likely there are companies still using fleets of them and perhaps are even looking to repurpose the stick PC for basic digital signage that doesn’t require a lot of horsepower. If you’re looking to reset your Chromebit but want to re-enroll it as a managed device, a simple powerwash won’t do the trick. You’ll to do a full “Wipe” of the Chromebit before you initiate the enrollment process. Otherwise, your company’s account policies and preferences will not be installed. Here’s a breakdown of how to Wipe your Chromebit to prepare or re-prepare it for enterprise enrollment.
- Step 1: Disconnect the power cord from the Chromebit while keeping it plugged into the HDMI port of your monitor or display. (You will need to keep a wired keyboard connect to the Chromebit.)
- Step 2: Using a paperclip or SIM tool, press the recovery button located on the bottom side of the Chromebit. While pressing the recovery button, reinsert the power cord. (You should be greeted by the Chrome OS recovery screen)
- Step 3: Press Ctrl+D on the keyboard
- Step 4: Using the paperclip, press the recovery button again. The Chromebit should restart and a new screen with a red exclamation point should pop up. Don’t panic. You’re good
- Step 5: Press Ctrl+D again and the Chromebit will now transition into Developer mode. This should take no more than 10 minutes. If force re-enrollment is enabled, it should take even less time.
- Step 6: The Chromebit will restart after the wipe is complete and you should see the Chrome OS verification screen. Press the Space Bar to re-enable OS verification.
- Step 7: Press Ctrl+Alt+E to begin the Enterprise enrollment process with the credentials provided by the Admin.
There you go. You’re all set to start using your Chromebit as an enrolled, managed device. Now, the ASUS Chromebit is only guaranteed to get updates through November of 2020 but that doesn’t mean it will just quit working. It just means that you may stop receiving the latest version of Chrome OS. For a digital signage application, this probably isn’t a big security risk but it may be a good idea to start looking for a viable replacement. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a new Chromebit hit the market and I honestly don’t know if there will be. It’s a great form-factor for these types of use-cases but you’d probably be better served buying a low-power Celeron-base Chromebox from a company like CTL that specializes in kiosks and digital signage.
I hope you found this tutorial useful. Is there something else you’d like to learn about Chrome OS? Drop a comment below and we’ll get it on the list of How-Tos from Chrome Unboxed.