ASUS Chromebox Owners Rejoice!

I have a fix for the nasty bug which stops you booting from USB in SeaBIOS on the ASUS Chromebox. It’s an updated CBFS filesystem for the RW_LEGACY slot of the firmware, which contains an updated version of SeaBIOS. Simply download the file and apply it in the Crosh shell like so (you don’t need hardware write-protect disabled)

sudo flashrom -w -i RW_LEGACY:asus-chromebox-SeaBIOS-new.bin

md5sum dc200444a02eafcce0486fedf86bf4f1

Beer me on your way out!

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79 thoughts on “ASUS Chromebox Owners Rejoice!”

  1. Perhaps try Matt DeVillier’s version off the community and see if that is any better. I take it your keyboard is otherwise in perfect working order?

  2. After applying the SeaBIOS update to my Asus Chromebox (Celeron), I was able to boot USB 2.0 devices including the SD card but I have no luck with USB 3.0 devices. Any ideas?

  3. No, I did not try Coreboot. I want to continue running Chrome OS and have ability to boot Puppylinux off of SD card or USB stick occasionally.

  4. I am having an issue with no video, here are the steps I used and where I am now. Any advise would be helpful.
    1. Downloaded the asus-chromebox-SeaBIOS-new.bin from a windows machine to a USB drive
    2. Started up the Chromebox, entered CTRL+ALT+T and then “shell” to get to the command prompt
    3. Put in the USB key containing SeaBIOS and navigated to /media/removable/USB Drive. Once there ran the command “sudo flashrom -w -i RW_LEGACY:asus-chromebox-SeaBIOS-new.bin”
    4. The process reported one error (“Block protection could not be disabled!”) but otherwise said it completed fine.
    5. I removed that USB drive, inserted the one with my OS on it, and restarted the box. On the screen telling me that ChromeOS verification has been turned off I press CTRL+R and get a black screen.

    I am looking for help with two items. One, is the above process missing anything important? Two, has anyone else had this black/blank screen issue and knows how to fix it?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  5. I’m not familiar with “CTRL+R” being used as a boot combination. What is it supposed to do on stock Chromebook/box firmware?

    That doesn’t even sound like you’re booting the legacy slot, so if that’s the case, it has nothing to do with you flashing that file.

  6. Maybe I am confused and forgive me if I am way off base. I ultimately want to install Ubuntu on the Chromebox and believed that this BIOS would allow me to install the new OS off a USB key. Is that at all what this BIOS is intended to allow you to do?

    Also if anyone has any advise on where I can get info on how to install Ubuntu on the Chromebox (for a somewhat novice user) please let me know (yes I did Google it, and no crouton
    does not work, the instructions fail on the download step).

  7. The statically linked flashwrite worked and your new BIOS can see the USB keyboard. Thanks for saving me from a near-bricking. Here’s a few bucks to help the cause.

  8. Thanks. Matt DeVillier’s version worked for my Silicon Power Blaze B10 32GB USB3.0 flash drive, but not for my Lexar S33 32GB USB3.0 flash drive.

  9. They were both formatted FAT32 with grub4dos. By the way the USB 3.0 card reader did not work either. They all work on another machine with USB2.0. My Chromebox is the only USB3.0 machine I have.

  10. Well, we can try various versions of SeaBIOS in the LEGACY slot, and we can try a full firmware, to see if we can get something that “does it all”. If one of the SeaBIOS’ from the last couple of years doesn’t work, would you consider a full flash?

  11. John,

    First off, thanks for all your hard work. I am the proud owner of an asus chromebox which I intend to turn into a headless server. I’ve flashed your latest bios and installed ubuntu server. Everything works fine if I have an HDMI display attached. However, if I remove the hdmi cable the chromebox does not boot. Plugging the cable back in shows it sitting on the bios screen to press ESC to boot etc. Shortly after the cable is plugged in the boot process continues. Is there anything that can be done avoid this requirement. Note: if the monitor is plugged in that ESC message disappears within a second and the boot completes. It’s as though a display is required to get past it. Thoughts? And thanks in advance.

  12. Well,

    I went ahead and tried the 0×489 on this ASUS chromebox I have sitting here, before I knew of the built in seabios USB keyboard bug. Any way to recover?

    I tried recovery mode and a recovery install of the chromeos but it hangs on boot. Will chromiumos boot from legacy seabios? Perhaps I could try to instlall chromiumos to the SSD card via revcovery mode?

    Thanks for any help.

  13. Tried Matt DeVillier’s build, but nothing happened after it showed message that it started booting from USB..
    Is this build issue or my USB device issue or the Ubuntu 14.04 installation file I have on my USB?

    Thank you!

  14. Hey
    I applied your bios update just after I got the Chromebox but now I wanted to add a new RAM stick and it won’t work. There’s a chance this stick is defective, but it’s brand new and 100% compatible. The system doesn’t detect it though. I’ve read somewhere that at least HP recommends owners of their Haswell laptops to update their BIOS in order to avoid some issues with adding more memory, could the same be happening here, could it be that the BIOS is preventing the new RAM stick from being detected?

  15. It’s possible – I had a Samsung Series 5 550, and the first time I built upstream coreboot for it, it would only recognise 2 of the 4 GB of RAM. However, I think it is more likely to be the RAM stick that’s the problem at this point. Which Chromebox have you got?

  16. I have the Asus one, the Celeron version. I tried Matt’s latest version of the legacy fix as well but still no luck.

  17. The RW_LEGACY slot just contains SeaBIOS, which likely won’t have much effect on memory recognition. There’s a chance that Matt’s complete build might sort the problem out (if it isn’t the memory that’s the problem), as it’s built using a different codebase (upstream coreboot) to the stock ROM (which uses a branch of CrOS coreboot).

  18. There are no patches. These ROM’s are built on coreboot or CrOS-coreboot depending on model.

    If you aren’t accepting of binaries, don’t use Intel hardware, it contains 3, the biggest of which is 1.5 MB and a closed box …

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