Welcome to CloudReady!  Let's get started.

Before you Begin

Time Required 
20 minutes for USB installer creation, 1-2 minutes per machine to trigger the 20 minute installation process.

Process Overview
Deploying CloudReady is a 2 step process.  The first step is to use any computer to create a CloudReady USB installer from the file you downloaded.  You do not need to create a USB installer on a machine which you intend to install with CloudReady.  The second step is to boot from the USB installer on a computer of your choice, and install CloudReady.   

What You’ll Need
You’ll need one or more USB 2.0 drives with 8 or 16 GB of storage. Make sure there is nothing important on them - this process will completely erase them!  There is no limit on the number of CloudReady USB installers you can create.

Back up Important Data on All Machines
Installing standalone CloudReady will erase all data on your machine.

Review Important Computer Model Information
Every computer is different. Some don’t support dual-boot, and many require specific steps to enable installation.  Please check the unique information for each model by clicking on its name.

Prepare your network
If you plan to use CloudReady with a highly restrictive firewall configuration, you must whitelist the following domains entirely on your firewall or filtering system:

neverware.com (for updates and licensing)

dl-ssl.google.com (for flash updates)

archive.canonical.com (for flash updates)

s3.amazonaws.com/cloudready-runtime/ (for flash updates)

 

You may also need to allow ”.deb” file types to be downloaded.  Visit https://network.neverware.com to check connectivity.

Dual-boot or standalone?

CloudReady can be installed on a computer in two different ways.  With a standalone installation, CloudReady will be installed as the only operating system on the computer.  Any existing content on the computer’s hard drive will be erased and overwritten.  

With a dual-boot installation, CloudReady will be installed alongside your existing Windows operating system.  When your computer starts up, you will be given an option to select CloudReady or your previous copy of Windows.  Existing content on your computer’s hard drive will not be overwritten when CloudReady is installed.  

Please note:  Not all computer models and operating system configurations are compatible with a dual-boot installation of CloudReady.  Please consult the dual-boot notes section of of this guide for more detailed information. 

The Installation Process

1. Download your installation .zip file from Neverware. If you are using a free trial of the Education version, you will be emailed a custom download link at the end of the sign-up process. The same link will also be emailed to you.
  
2.  Create your USB installer using the Chromebook Recovery Utility, available on the Google Chrome Web Store.  Open the utility, click the gear icon, select “use local image” and then select your .zip file. When prompted, plug in a USB stick with 8GB or 16GB of storage. Creating a USB installer take 5-10 minutes. During the process, it is normal for the utility to show unusual percentages.

3.  Insert your installer and boot from USB on a machine you wish to install with CloudReady.  CloudReady will live-boot to a setup page - you do not need to configure any network settings yet.

4.  Click the bottom-right system tray and choose “Install CloudReady” (Fig 1.)

Fig. 1 The CloudReady system tray.

 Note the option labelled "Install CloudReady"

 

 

5.  A wizard will pop up to guide you in your installation - you can choose either standalone or dual-boot install options.  A standalone install will erase your entire hard drive.  Dual-boot installation will not work on all machines - please see these requirements for more information.


6.  When installation is finished, your machine will shut itself down.  You can then unplug your USB installer, turn the machine back on, and use it!

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Detailed Installation Instructions

Creating a USB Installer from Windows

1.  Start by downloading your CloudReady installation file. You should have received a link for the download when you signed up for a free trial, or in an email confirmation from Neverware after purchasing CloudReady.  If you have trouble with the Chromebook Recovery Utility in the next step, you may want to download 7zip and use it unzip the CloudReady installation file.  

2.  Open the Chrome web browser and install the Chromebook Recovery Utility plug-in from the Google Chrome Web Store. To install it, visit the link and click “Add to Chrome.”

3.  After the plug-in has installed, click “Launch” from the Web Store page to open the Chromebook Recovery Utility.  

4.  In the Recovery Utility, click the gear icon on the upper right-hand side and select “Use Local Image” (Fig. 1).

5.  Find and select the CloudReady .zip file that you located in Step 1.  

6. When prompted, insert an 8 or 16 GB USB device that you want to turn into a CloudReady installer. Make sure it has no important files on it, as it will be completely erased. Select your USB drive from the drop-down menu and click “Continue” and then “Create Now.”

7.  The process of creating your CloudReady USB installer will take around 20 minutes (Fig 2).  Some Windows installations may display a security prompt, click “allow” to let the process proceed.  Note: The progress bar in the Chrome Recovery Utility may go over 100% and show incorrect time estimates. This is not a problem.

8.  When the process has completed you will see a green check box (Fig. 3) - you can now remove your CloudReady USB installer and use it!  You can create as many additional USB installers as you want using the process above.  

Fig. 1 The Chromebook Recovery Utility

Fig.2 Creating a CloudReady USB installer

Fig. 3 You will see this message when the creation of a CloudReady USB installation stick completes.  

Creating a USB installer from Mac OS

1.  Make sure your CloudReady installation file (ending in .bin.zip) is in your Downloads folder or a similar location on your machine’s hard drive.

2.  Download and install the free
The Unarchiver” utility.  The Unarchiver has been verified as safe by Apple and is available through the App Store.

3.  Once The Unarchiver is installed, right click your cloudready .zip file and select “Open With>The Unarchiver” (Fig. 1).  The extracted file will be a single large file with a “.bin” extension.

4.  Proceed with Step 2 onward in the Windows installation process above.  In Step 5, select the “.bin” file instead of the “.zip” file (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1 Extracting the CloudReady .zip file in Mac OS X.

Fig. 2 Selecting the .bin file in the Chromebook Recovery
Utility.  

 

Creating a USB installer from a Chromebook

1.  Make sure your CloudReady image file (ending in .bin.zip) is in your Downloads folder or a similar location on your Chromebook’s internal storage.  

2.  Double click the image file so it “mounts” and shows as a folder on the right-hand side of your Files app.

3.  Enter the mounted folder to and copy the “.bin” file to your Downloads folder.  This may take a few minutes depending on the performance of your Chromebook.  

4.  Proceed with Step 2 onward in the Windows installation process above.  In Step 5, select the “.bin” file instead of the “.zip” file (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1 The mounted .zip file on a Chromebook, with the .bin file inside.

Fig. 2 Selecting the .bin file in the Chromebook Recovery
Utility.  

 

What is USB Booting?

To permanently install CloudReady on the computers you choose, each computer needs to start or “boot” from the USB installer you created, instead of an internal hard disk. This is called USB booting, and all computer models certified to work with CloudReady can do it.  

USB booting requires that you:

1.  Turn off the computer you want to install on.
2.  Insert the USB installer you created.
3.  Power on the machine while tapping a special key.  The special key you need to tap/hold during boot up is different depending on the machine. 

See below for tips on the correct key for various brands.  Machines may not, by default, allow USB Boot. You may need to access the BIOS in order to enable USB Boot.  If you are trying to install on an unsupported model, USB booting may not be possible.

Common USB Boot Keys

Most Dell models: Tap F12 when the Dell logo is displayed.

Most HP models: Tap F9 when the HP logo is displayed.  

Most Lenovo models: Tap F12 when the Lenovo logo is displayed.

Most Apple Mac models: Hold the Option key when the computer first turns on.

Other Common Models: Try tapping Esc, F1-12, or Enter during bootup

Set Boot Order: On some machines it may be easier to set boot order in the BIOS to prioritize USB devices first.  


If USB Boot is Not Available

Ensure you are using a supported computer model.  Depending on your school’s security policies, you may need to contact your technical admin for a BIOS security password, or to enable USB booting.  

Other Common Issues

Model-specific Quirks: Ensure you have read all notes specific to your supported model.  Some computer models have non-standard methods of booting from USB.  

USB device issues: Certain brands of USB stick occasionally encounter issues when used as a CloudReady installer.  Try making a new installer with a different USB stick. Make sure you are using an 8 or 16 GB, USB 2.0 stick.

Blank screen: If booting from USB results in a blank screen, try toggling UEFI mode to ON in your computer’s BIOS.  You may need to select EFI File > boot > efi > bootx64.efi from the boot menu of your machine.  

Errors when booting from USB: Ensure  that “secure boot” and TPM are set to “OFF” or “Disabled” in your computer’s BIOS.

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Dual-boot Installation Considerations

Only models highlighted on our Certified Hardware list as  “Dualboot Certified” are officially supported by Neverware to dual boot with CloudReady. Dual-boot computers must have:

1.  The ability to use UEFI boot mode.

2.  A preexisting UEFI-mode installation of Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10.  Click here for instructions on verifying whether Windows is installed in UEFI mode.  

3.  At least 32 GB of available free space in the main Windows partition you want to dual-boot with.

4.  On the Windows installation you want to dual-boot with, you must make the following changes before performing a dual-boot installation of CloudReady:

         a.  Turn OFF “Fast Startup” (in Windows 8 or later) by visiting “Control Panel > Power Options > Choose what the power button does > Fast Startup

         b.  Turn OFF any encryption

         c. Disable hibernation

If your Windows installation is in legacy mode, but your machine supports UEFI, it will be necessary to reinstall Windows in UEFI mode in order to dual-boot with CloudReady. 

At this time, Neverware only supports dualbooting CloudReady alongside Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. We encourage users of sufficient technical ability to experiment with unsupported configurations of CloudReady, but note that your data may be at risk of accidental erasure and Neverware will be unable to assist with any issues faced in the process. 


Standalone Installation Considerations

• Any computer models listed on our certification list are supported by Neverware for standalone CloudReady use. 

•  Performing a standalone installation of CloudReady will completely erase a computer’s internal storage, including all other operating systems, user files and software.  You should back up any important information prior to installation.

• Neverware is unable to provide assistance with re-imaging installed computers, should you decide not to continue using CloudReady.

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The CloudReady Installation Process

Once you successfully USB boot, you’re ready to install.  Follow the instructions below, and make sure to read the specific notes earlier in this document regarding dual-boot or standalone installations.

Installation Steps:

1. Boot your computer from USB.  When your CloudReady USB installer has finished starting, you will see a network configuration page.  Ignore the network configuration box at the center of the screen - you do not need to configure networking before installing CloudReady.

2.  Open the system tray by clicking on the bottom right corner of the screen, where the clock is.  On the menu that appears, click the option labeled “Install CloudReady” (Fig. 1).   

3.  An installation wizard will pop up to walk you through the steps for installation (Fig. 2).  Please read everything carefully - a standalone installation of CloudReady will erase everything on a computer.  On the second page you can choose a “Standalone” or a “Dual-boot” install (Fig. 3).  

4.  Once you read and agree to all warnings, install will take 15-30 minutes. When installation is finished, your machine will shut itself down.  You can then unplug your USB installer, turn the computer back on, and use it!

Fig. 1 The CloudReady system tray.

 Note the option labelled "Install CloudReady"

 

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Fig. 2 The first page of the CloudReady installation wizard.  

Fig. 3 The second page of the CloudReady installation wizard, with options for standalone or dual-boot installation.  

Configuring CloudReady

General Setup

When you boot CloudReady for the first time after installation, you will be presented with at a setup menu where you can set language and network preferences (Fig. 1).

1. At this point, Google recommends you attach to an open or unrestricted network in order to smoothly proceed through configuration.  

2.  Once connected to unrestricted ethernet or WiFi network, click “Continue.”  You will be presented with the option to install Adobe Flash (Fig.2 ), which you can perform immediately or at any time in the future.  Your machine will check for updates and present you with the Google login screen.

3.  STOP HERE - Do not log in if you wish to enroll the computer in the Google Management Console.  If you wish to enroll the computer, press Ctrl+Alt+E.  You will be prompted for credentials for enrollment (Fig. 3).  You can read important notes about enrollment and management here.  

5.  Users can now log in. Your username must be a gmail.com email address or a Google domain registered through the Google Admin Console.  

Fig. 1 The initial network configuration menu.

Fig. 2 The Adobe Flash installation prompt.  

Fig. 3 The Google Admin Console enrollment prompt.  

Wifi Configuration

Google recommends you attach to an open or unrestricted network during setup in order to allow you to enroll your device in the Google Management Console. Once enrolled, more restricted and secure network settings in your Google Admin Console will automatically download to the machine if they have been specified.

If you have trouble connecting to wireless networks after installing CloudReady:

1. If your organization uses Google management, ensure you are connecting to an unrestricted network (like WiFi hotspot, guest network or ethernet network) and then enroll your device.

2. If your organization does not use Google management, make sure to set up any proxy or special network settings required within your organization.

3. If your machine shows “WiFi disabled”, OR shows “Wifi is on” but no networks appear. 

     a.  Make sure you are using a certified computer model, and try restarting your machine.  

     b.  If the machine is still unable to detect any wireless networks, try toggling WiFi off, and then on using the WiFi icon in the system tray.

     c.  If there is still no WiFi connectivity, check for and toggle any physical WiFi switches on the computer, and verify that WiFi is enabled in the BIOS.  

Using CloudReady With Proxies and Filters

As with wireless network settings, Google recommends you attach to an open or unrestricted network during setup in order to allow smooth enrollment in the Google Management Console. Once enrolled, your device should automatically download proxy settings, network passwords, and other security settings that will make it easier for your to use your CloudReady device.

• If you do not have an open or unrestricted network available to you and your organization requires a proxy for network access:

• Consider connecting to a cellphone WiFi hotspot for enrollment.

•  Set up a proxy manually by clicking “Proxy” in the networking section of the system tray.

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Enrollment Notes

Google recommends you attach to an open or unrestricted network during setup in order to allow you to enroll your device in the Google Management Console.  Please keep the following factors in mind when enrolling CloudReady machines:

• You can only enroll prior to first login. If you have already logged in, you will need to reinstall CloudReady to enroll your device.

• You can only enroll if your organization already uses Google Apps or the Google Admin Console. Google Apps is free to schools and non-Profits, but carries a subscription cost for businesses and government.

Chrome Management Licenses are sold separately from CloudReady.  You can purchase them from Neverware, or from other Google resellers of your choice. If you do not enroll your CloudReady devices, you will be unable to manage updates, restrict user-access to machines, or set up secure kiosk mode.

Possible enrollment errors:

“You do not have sufficient privileges” - Verify that the username you are using to enroll is in a Google Management Console user OU for which enrollment is allowed.

“You do not have enough licenses” - Verify that you have purchased Google Device Management licenses for your CloudReady machines.

For other errors, try reinstalling and enrolling again. If enrollment still fails, please contact support.


Admin Notes

• CloudReady licenses are assigned according to a “Hardware ID” comprised of the computer’s ethernet MAC address and the word “CloudReady.” This Hardware ID appears in the top-right corner of your CloudReady login screen.  Enrolled devices will show up in your Google Management Console under this name. For example: “CloudReady-AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF.”  You should record the hardware IDs of CloudReady machines for easy asset management and transfer of software licenses.

•  CloudReady licenses are completely transferable, so you can move them from device to device if a piece of hardware breaks.  Contact Support with the Hardware ID of the device you are no longer using to transfer that license to another piece of hardware.

• CloudReady software updates work similarly to Chromebooks, but come out 1-3 months later to ensure stability and security. You can learn more about why we do this on our website.

• CloudReady is most easily installed via USB, but for larger deployments it may be possible to use a mass deployment or network deployment tool. Contact our support for more information.

• If you have an issue with a CloudReady machine and contact support, you should include the Hardware ID and other info you see in the top right-hand corner of the machine’s login screen. This information will help our support team quickly diagnose your problem.

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Getting Support

User Forums

For users of the free version of CloudReady for individuals, support for CloudReady is available through our online support community.  

Chat Support (paid Education version only)

For paid CloudReady users, online live chat support is available by clicking the green Neverware symbol at the bottom right of any page at neverware.com.  The live chat function is staffed by our New York City based team between 8AM and 5PM Eastern Standard Time.  

Phone Support (paid Education version only)

For paid CloudReady users, phone support is staffed between 8AM and 5PM Eastern Standard Time at 855-979-9199. 

Email Support (paid education version only)

Paid CloudReady users are entitled to support at any time via [email protected].  Our team aims to reply to all email support requests within 1 hour or less during weekday business hours.  

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