Pixel Slate users complain some devices are being crippled by storage failure
A handful of Google Pixel Slate users are reporting a mysterious bug that is forcing their devices into read-only mode, where they stubbornly remain. The 2-in-1 flagship Chromebook has had a less than smooth ride on the technical side, and frustrating bugs are nothing new, but this is on another level entirely.
According to reports gathered by Android Police, a problem with the file system on some i5-based machines is causing them to unmount the SSD and remount in read-only mode. It appears that for some yet-to-be-established reason, the machine loses contact with the storage and remounts in a safe mode. That could be down to a fault with a connector port, or the drive itself — either way, this is not a software fault — it’s either a hardware fault or a manufacturing error.
This Pixel Slate storage problem first surfaced in 2019, from where the above Reddit screengrab comes, but it was one of dozens of different issues with the firmware and thus was mostly ignored as yet another little Slate-niggle. More recently, however, the instances have grown and the results are getting worse.
The first hint comes from losing icons and favicons. The real problems start when the Android subsystem starts acting up and apps begin throwing out error messages when you’re trying to work. Eventually, read-only lives up to its name — anything which involves writing to the disc will fail. Whatever stage of the failure you’re at, there’s no user-serviceable solution so far. Rebooting will solve the problem temporarily, but it will re-manifest, sometimes immediately, sometimes a few days later. Powerwashing doesn’t help, and a hard reset is no more permanent a fix than a reboot. Even reflashing the Chrome OS operating system makes no odds, strengthening the conclusion that this is a significant failure of components.
Google has told Android Police that they are “actively working on finding the root cause” of this issue but have yet to reproduce or pinpoint its exact cause. In the meantime, users with Pixel Slate problems are directed to this page to +1 your own experience.