Neutering the “developer mode” screen on your Chromebook

I am the proud owner of two Chromebooks – one Samsung Series 3 ARM Chromebook and one Samsung 550 Chromebook. Like many serial tinkerers the frowny/sick developer “warning” screen, which you get if you want to overwrite the operating system having to enable developer mode, is more of a pain than anything, much as I recognise it is for security. Having to press CTRL + D at every boot, or wait 30 seconds and endure a loud, audible beep is not my idea of slick fun. Happily, it is possible to all but disable this screen, by rewriting the BIOS with the correct “flags”. This leaves the screen enabled, but it only displays for 2 seconds, and there is no beep. Unhappily, you have to physically open the Chromebook up and disable the inbuilt BIOS write protect to take advantage of this.

The procedure is a follows:

  • Open Chromebook and enable/disable write protect jumper
  • Read existing BIOS using flashrom
  • Write new BIOS file with correct flags using gbb_utility
  • Write new BIOS file to BIOS using flashrom

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