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I have a chromebook which ... someone ... may have messed up some partitions using fdisk while ubuntu was installed. Now, after doing a recovery re-install for chromeOS I'm unable to install ubuntu again and have noticed strange issues.

I have root access and would like to completely wipe this hard drive and start from as scratch as possible.

First, is this possible since chromebooks have some physical hardware that does some mystery magic making it always recoverable?

Can someone suggest where I can find instructions to do that plan, if it's possible?

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I never used a chromebook, but as far as I understand they use a kind of minimal local installation and fetch most of the data via network.

Hence you should have all kind of boot configuration on the local hard drive and most of the user data somewhere in the "cloud".

If you really want to get rid of all the "mystery magic" and just install a plain ubuntu you can "destroy" your hard drive with something like dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda, which will completely wipe out the given disk by filling it up with zeros.

But I am not sure if it is really a good idea to use a chromebook without the "mystery magic".

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If he will destroy all the contents on the /dev/sda, how he will install ChromeOS? It would be better to use the official Google-provided tools for that. – IDvoretskyi Apr 3 at 5:52

The best way to start from scratch - to use the the official Chromebook recovery utility.

You may find the detailed information about it here - https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1080595?hl=en&source=genius-rts.

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