Have you had any experience with "Chrome OS is missing" and "Chrome OS is damaged" errors? If yes, you might feel that these errors resemble the Blue Screen of Death on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.

How do you fix the "Chrome OS is missing or damaged" error and prevent it in the future? Below are the common causes of this error and the best methods to fix it.

In this article
    1. Reboot Your Device
    2. Use the System Recovery Tool
    3. Do a Factory Reset
    4. Reinstall Your Chrome OS

Chrome OS Is Missing or Damaged Error Causes

The Chrome OS is missing or damaged error is a frustrating Chromebook problem that commonly occurs during your Chromebook startup. It prevents you from using your laptop successfully. When you encounter such an issue, you'd probably want to know what causes it.

The causes could include the following reasons:

  • 🐌ChromeOS fails to load – your Chromebook will show this error during startup when the device fails to load its ChromeOS.
  • 🚨Hard disk failure or corruption – if it occurs randomly while using your device, there may be a problem with your hard disk, or your hard disk data may get corrupted.
  • 📎Input/Output system glitches – the most common causes of this annoying error are system corruption and software glitches.

The worst thing about it is that it could cause you to lose your data. Follow the steps below and fix this depressing issue.

How to Fix Chrome OS Is Missing or Damaged Message

Here are the top three methods to fix the Chrome OS is missing or damaged error.

Reboot Your Device

The first fix is to reboot your Chromebook to see if you can solve the Chrome OS is missing or damaged error.

Rebooting or restarting your device allows your laptop to shut down the unnecessary background processes that consume the system resources and may lead to system issues.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Turn off your laptop by pressing and holding the Power button;
  2. Press the Power button again to turn your device back on;
    reboot your chrome os
  3. Allow your laptop to boot normally.

If the problem persists, move to the next method below.

Use the System Recovery Tool

You can also consider using a professional Windows system recovery tool to recover your operating system in case the worst happens. Wondershare Recoverit is a reliable Windows recovery tool that can help you recover critical system files and data from a system-crashed Windows computer.

It can effectively and successfully mitigate a wide range of known causes of Windows system crashes, such as:

  • 💻OS errors.
  • Driver conflicts;
  • Corrupted system files;
  • Hardware failures;
  • Software issues;
  • Insufficient system resources;
  • Buggy system updates;

Recoverit can fix all these problems and recover all file types and formats from a crashed Windows device, including your files, emails, music, videos, photos, documents, and more.

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Recovering Windows with Recoverit is a simple process. Download and install Recoverit on a working Windows computer, then follow the steps below to recover a crashed Windows system.

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Note: Before Windows system recovery with Recoverit, you'll need a blank USB drive to create a bootable media for rebooting Windows on your computer.
  1. Launch Recoverit on a working Windows computer;
  2. Navigate the main File Recover menu to System Crashed Computer;
  3. Click Start to launch the Windows recovery process;
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  4. Connect the USB drive to the working computer to create a bootable system drive;
  5. Allow Windows to detect the USB drive;
  6. Select it to create a bootable media and click Create;
    wondershare recoverit usb bootable media
  7. Format the USB drive to create a bootable media by clicking Format;
    format the usb drive
  8. Once you format the USB bootable media, create a bootable drive;
    creating bootable usb drive
  9. Connect the bootable USB drive to your computer;
  10. Restart the crashed PC, press the F2 key to access BIOS, and set it to boot from the bootable media drive;
    press the f2 key to access bios
  11. In the BIOS menu, use the key arrows to select the Boot tab;
  12. Hit Enter to access it;
    bios boot menu
  13. Select Removable Devices to set your bootable USB as the primary booting source;
  14. Hit Enter to confirm and exit BIOS;
    set the usb drive as the booting source
  15. Once your crashed device becomes bootable again, select Data Recovery to choose a hard disk and scan it for recoverable Windows files;
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  16. Allow Recoverit to scan the selected drive for retrievable system files;
  17. Once Recoverit completes the scanning process, select where you want to save the recovered Windows data and click Recover to restore your Windows system.
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Do a Factory Reset

If you can log into your Chromebook, you can fix the Chrome OS is missing or damaged error by doing a factory reset. That should restore your device to factory settings and solve any existing system errors.

Here's how to do a factory reset on your Chromebook:

  1. Sign out of your Chromebook;
  2. Press and hold Ctrl + Alt + Shift + r and select Restart;
    chromebook factory reset
  3. In the new window that appears, select Powerwash > Continue;
    chromebook powerwash factory reset
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and sign in with your Google Account;
  5. Follow the steps to set up your Chromebook and see if the problem is solved.
    factory reset your chromebook

Reinstall Your Chrome OS

If you still can't fix the Chrome OS is missing or damaged error, the last resort is to reinstall your Chrome OS and give your laptop a fresh start. You'll need recovery media, like a formatted USB flash drive, to reinstall the operating system on your Chromebook.

Use a working computer to download ChromeOS and save it to the USB drive. Then, use the USB drive to install ChromeOS on your laptop. Here are the steps.

  1. Access the Chrome browser on a working computer;
  2. Navigate to the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension page;
  3. Click Add to Chrome to install the extension on your computer;
    reinstall chrome os
  4. Launch the extension and click Get Started;
    chromebook recovery utility
  5. Enter your Chromebook model number (you can find it in the Chrome OS is damaged or missing message);
  6. Click Continue;
    identify your chromebook
  7. Connect the USB drive to the working computer;
  8. When your device detects the USB drive, select it and click Continue > Create Now;
  9. Remove the USB drive once the download is complete;
    insert your usb drive
  10. Press and hold the Esc + Refresh buttons, then press Power once and release the keys to boot your Chromebook into recovery mode;
  11. When the recovery screen appears, click Recover using an external storage;
  12. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the Chrome OS installation and fix the Chrome OS is damaged or missing error.

How to Prevent Chrome OS From Getting Damaged in the Future

Here are some previous tips to help you prevent Chrome OS from getting damaged or corrupted in the future:

  • 💻Check for Chromebook updates regularly – system updates help you avoid software bugs, security vulnerabilities, and file corruption that could lead to system errors and crashes.
  • Frequently back up your Chromebook data – prevent data loss by creating multiple backups of your files and storing them on an external storage device or Google Drive. You can also tap into an intelligent data backup tool called Wondershare UBackit to create multiple backups of your hard disks, files, folders, and partitions automatically and incrementally.
  • 🚨Avoid installing shady software – do not download and install third-party software from shady sources, or you could cause permanent damage to your Chrome OS.


Though the Chrome OS is missing or damaged error is a common problem many Chromebook users face sooner or later, it can be easily fixed with the correct methods. These troubleshooting tips here will help you learn how to eliminate this annoyance once and for all. Just remember that a complete OS reinstallation or factory reset could cause you to lose your precious files.

If you don't want to risk a complete data loss of critical system files, we recommend using a reliable system recovery tool like Wondershare Recoverit to protect your entire operating system and precious files from data loss causes like file corruption, system crashes, and virus/malware infections.

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Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia Apr 15, 24
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