Tip: Upload firmware file to Google Drive before overwriting ChromeOS firmware

I always upload the firmware file to at least Google Drive to be sure I don’t lose it. Someone here cough cough (someone who recently made a post) overwrote the partition that contained the backup file and their Chromebook is bricked. I think a message telling users to upload the file to Google Drive before flashing would be helpful to not avoid losing / deleting files stored in a USB drive.

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Yeah that probably would’ve been smart for me to do…

This implies that readers’ options for data storage are limited to 1) USB drives and 2) remote storage provided by one specific service provider.

More general advice, without the advertisement for Google, would be to ensure that one has a backup of this important file.

But is “ensure that your important files are backed up” really appropriate for this audience? My understanding is that people who don’t know to make backups of critical data are not really the target users of a project that enables one to replace a computer’s firmware and install a different operating system on it.

The only reason people wouldn’t already be using Google Drive is if they bought a Chromebook specifically to install a different OS and they’re just using ChromeOS in guest mode to run the script. But I think most people have a Google account and did use ChromeOS for at least some time.

Some people don’t make multiple copies of the backed up file (even though it’s the smart thing to do) and many people have lost their backup because they lost their physical USB drive or they accidentally erased the USB drive. Putting it in some online storage such as Google Drive makes them less likely to lose or delete it.

If only a single instance of some data exists, then it is not a backup; it is the primary copy.

When someone copies their machine’s firmware off the chip and stores it in a file, they have only one copy of that file. It might be reasonable to consider that copy to be a backup if they plan to leave the firmware on that chip, but once they overwrite said firmware on the chip with something else (and, arguably, even before then), the file they created is not backed up unless and until they back it up.

I don’t use Google Drive. I have three Chromebooks:

My backups are stored on a NAS in my home and on remote storage at rsync.net. Although Android makes it difficult for me, I strive to avoid Google and seek to disentangle my life from their services whenever I can.

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