Do “enterprise locked” devices work?

Hello friends, thanks for your talk at 37c3! It was very inspiring and I’m super motivated to play with some chromebooks now. :smiling_face:

That said, I’ve found some devices on eBay saying that they’re “enterprise locked”. Is it still possible to install Coreboot on those or is it like an iOS situation where you can only use the device for spare parts as long as it’s enrolled?

Many thanks!

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It may depend on if those devices have a write-protect screw or other method of disabling write protect? Sorry if I’m not too helpful here- I myself am waiting for the Lenovo Chromebox Enterprise edition to come down in price on eBay to check out as a media machine hooked up to a TV running some gnome distro.

Best advice I can offer is to check if the devices you’re looking at have been successfully put into Developer Mode. Here’s how to throw one into Developer Mode:

If Developer Mode is disabled due to that “enterprise lock” then it may not be possible.


If device is enrolled, we generally don’t offer help with external flashing because we get many students attempting to steal devices from their schools (yes, I’m serious).

That being said - if device is enrolled, the only way to bypass it is to flash it externally.

Most machines use WSON-8 1.8V chips, which require an SPI flasher, 1.8V logic converter and probe (or de-soldering the SPI chip using hotair).


Keep in mind that enrolled devices on ebay have a high likelyhood of being stolen and that they shouldnt be bought in the first place since you can possibly be held liable for knowingly keeping stolen goods

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I disagree on the “high” likelihood. there’s no data to support this claim


I intern/work as a part time site tech for my school district. It is less common than you might expect.

In our ~150k student district we’ve only had 1 case of this so far in 2023/24 school year. And they got caught 2 days after the listing went up.

Thank you all so much for your help! I guess I will leave my idea of buying an entire lot of cheap locked Chromebooks and fixing them up for when I’m a bit more familiar with the platform. For now I’ll make my first steps with my non-locked PHASER360 that just arrived.


Whatever the actual numbers are: Its a risk i’d neither take nor recommend

Is it normal for schools to throw out / give away no-longer-used enrolled Chromebooks without bothering to unenroll them?

Yes, especially if they’re throwing away hundreds of Chromebooks at once.

I was volunteering as an interim student IT manager at a really small private school and can remember a couple of old LG Chromebases that didn’t deprovision fully (I did the deprovisioning with permission) and they got stuck on the “sending device info” screen. It could be a Google Admin Console issue or it could be schools throwing out EOL machines without bothering to deprovision them first.

You can use a BIOS programmer to flash them but it also could be stolen - maybe message the seller to see where they got it from?