Latest Chrome OS developer update (almost) bricks Chromebooks

It’s not uncommon for updates to break certain functionality or software on a device. But what do you do if an update rendered a device completely useless? That’s the problem Google is facing, with the latest developer update to its Chrome OS reported to be (almost) bricking Chromebooks.

Developed alongside the desktop version, the developer update 22.0.1229.12 was as routine an update as you could get. Containing bug fixes for the most part, the update was being prepared for beta classification.

Google have provided instructions to recover your device, if you’ve been one of the unlucky users whose devices have been affected. The catch is that the users are required to reinstall the OS. Chromebooks aren’t the most widely used device, and some users might not be comfortable following the instructions that Google has provided. But as this was a developer update, the users should be more confident in their technical ability.

This is a major gaff for the developers of the fledgling OS, as you would expect the update to be tested fully before release. Google will learn a lesson here, and will need to review policies and procedures to prevent a repeat of this incident we think.

Google has stated they will fix the update and resume its roll out soon.

Source: Softpedia
Image: blogs.forrester.com

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27 Comments

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"...some users might not be comfortable following the instructions".

That says it all right there. There's no screening process for developer subscriptions. The majority are just geeks who want to brag about running the latest dev build.
Most can't afford dedicated test machines so when we see a bad build it makes headlines.

"...it 'bricked' my 'work' laptop...waaah...damn G**gle..."

Who writes this crap? There is *no* update that BRICKS a Chromebook. The story title is BS and Neowin should be ashamed for posting such lies.

Xenomorph said,
Who writes this crap? There is *no* update that BRICKS a Chromebook. The story title is BS and Neowin should be ashamed for posting such lies.


Strange, a quick google search results in dozens of findings about Chromebooks getting bricked with dev update.

"Major gaff"? It's a developers build, not one pushed to users but one you select to use with full knowledge this can happen.

And those recovery instructions make installing new software on a phone look like rocket science. It does not get much easier unless there was a big button saying recover.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
You report this like these devices have any use besides being bricks since their first foray in the market.

I guess going on the internet is not something useful to you?

Meh, I don't find it that surprising. It once happened to the Wii. Nintendo was trying to intentionally brick Wiis that were modded, but it accidentally bricked some that weren't...

MASTER260 said,
Meh, I don't find it that surprising. It once happened to the Wii. Nintendo was trying to intentionally brick Wiis that were modded, but it accidentally bricked some that weren't...

Dec. 2006... I'll never forget that

Not a brick PLUS it's a pre beta developer release so I'm sure anyone running it will be able to recover fairly easily

It's not a brick if it is recoverable by internal means (eg: don't have to use an external method to 'unbrick' it). A critical bug which corrupts the install and renders the system unusable for sure, but not a brick.

A brick means that it makes the device as useful as an actual brick (Only useful for it's weight/shape but doesn't actually do anything by itself); If it can be recovered with built in recoveries, then it is more than what a actual brick can do.

jbrooksuk said,
Which never made sense to me. Bricks are used to create some amazing structures, thus they have a purpose.

Do they serve a digital purpose as a brick?

Simon- said,
It's not a brick if it is recoverable by internal means (eg: don't have to use an external method to 'unbrick' it). A critical bug which corrupts the install and renders the system unusable for sure, but not a brick.

A brick means that it makes the device as useful as an actual brick (Only useful for it's weight/shape but doesn't actually do anything by itself); If it can be recovered with built in recoveries, then it is more than what a actual brick can do.

It's a brick if some one doesn't just so happen to have an extra machine to get on the net and try to search for what might have happened!

Way to go Google!!

cork1958 said,

It's a brick if some one doesn't just so happen to have an extra machine to get on the net and try to search for what might have happened!

Way to go Google!!

So it's technically not a brick. If there is ANY means to recover it, then it isn't a brick. Just because someone doesn't have another computer to build the recovery isn't the a *bricking* problem. Plus, who doesn't have a REGULAR laptop or computer and is running on only a Chromebook.

jbrooksuk said,
Which never made sense to me. Bricks are used to create some amazing structures, thus they have a purpose.

Not saying that bricks are useless or without a purpose, but the origin of the term is because a singular brick doesn't have much purpose on it's own. Paperweight is another good analogy.

Simon- said,
It's not a brick if it is recoverable by internal means (eg: don't have to use an external method to 'unbrick' it). A critical bug which corrupts the install and renders the system unusable for sure, but not a brick.

A brick means that it makes the device as useful as an actual brick (Only useful for it's weight/shape but doesn't actually do anything by itself); If it can be recovered with built in recoveries, then it is more than what a actual brick can do.

Brick = Non-usable until repaired.

In the old days, ya it meant the hardware was dead having fried something, destroyed firmware, etc.

However today, if the user can't 'use' the device, it is bricked.

This is a major gaff for the developers of the fledgling OS, as you would expect the update to be tested fully before release.

I wouldn't expect that if it is a developer release. It is exactly why I never run development builds of anything and rarely use beta software.

Fourjays said,

I wouldn't expect that if it is a developer release. It is exactly why I never run development builds of anything and rarely use beta software.

True, dont understand why Andrew acts in the article like other Development builds are stable. Its a developer build so its not yet tested!

VdG said,

True, dont understand why Andrew acts in the article like other Development builds are stable. Its a developer build so its not yet tested!

Exactly, this is expected, Dev builds have the potential to run into serious problems. So while I'm sure Google didn't want this to happen, it did, and they are responding accordingly to it.

Fourjays said,

I wouldn't expect that if it is a developer release. It is exactly why I never run development builds of anything and rarely use beta software.

It is a developer build, but the interesting thing overlooked is that there only a handful of hardware configurations that are running this.

Added with the fact that even a limited internal 'farm' test should have caught something this big.

Maybe it is silly to expect Google to do the basic testing that other OS providers perform, and that makes this surprising.

thenetavenger said,

It is a developer build, but the interesting thing overlooked is that there only a handful of hardware configurations that are running this.

Added with the fact that even a limited internal 'farm' test should have caught something this big.

Maybe it is silly to expect Google to do the basic testing that other OS providers perform, and that makes this surprising.

A dev build is highly dependant - it can be a 0% tested nightly build to 10% unit-tested build, to full test coverage tested build. But in all cases no dev build is dubbed stable.

Breach said,

A dev build is highly dependant - it can be a 0% tested nightly build to 10% unit-tested build, to full test coverage tested build. But in all cases no dev build is dubbed stable.


Considering the little hardware it runs on, even DEV builds should go through some basic testing usually. Nightly is called such for a reason, this is very different. it even states they're just night builds of the version control they have. Dev is manually build and manually released. Can expect more from a company like Google knowing theres a ton of people using their dev builds.

but no suprise, any form of responsibility is long gone at Google.