[INTRO] So you bought a NOOKcolor, now what? (aka - A Complete Idiots Guide)

Discussion in 'Nook Color FAQ' started by faceman, Mar 4, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    Preface:
    I am by no means an Android Expert or programmer of any sort. And with the exception of where I express my personal experiences and opinions, pretty much everything in this article and it's subsequent posts is the fruit of other peoples hard labor and efforts. I will attempt to thank each and every one of them, but if I miss someone please accept my pre-apologies and let me know so I can update.

    OK, so you bought a NOOKcolor (NC) and now you are considering the possibilities beyond the stock Barnes & Noble (B&N) software. Well, there are a lot of options and a ton of benefit to going there. There are also risks involved, and you will certainly void your warranty. However, the wonderful engineers and designers of the NC made certain that unless you have a physical failure your NC can be fixed no matter how badly you mistakenly mess it up. But just because you can fix something doesn't mean that process is always easy and simple. In fact, breaking the device is almost always easier than fixing it. But that was what prompted me to create this article and compile all the information that I have included. There is no reason that with a little preperation you can't be prepared for any disaster and be ready to bounce back quickly. So here is my version of how you should approach the world of Rooting a NOOKcolor:


    Assumptions:

    Throughout this article I will assume as little as possible, and as such will outline as much as I can. To begin with, in order to do any of the things below you have to have purchased a NC. It's hard to root a device you don't have. I am also going to assume that you have at least two (2) micro SD cards. I am going to assume that you have a working computer (PC in my case) that will allow you internet access and some form of card reader for the mSD. I am going to assume that you have never rooted anything before, if you have then some things will seem trivial, but pay attention anyway because the NC is a different device than your phone.


    Definitions/Glossary:

    This is something that I think should probably deserve its own thread but I am going to leave that to someone else for now. I am going to try to include every term, accronym, etc that I use in this article. Please help if I missed one.

    • NOOKcolor: your device, it's awesome (IMHO) and is also known as 'encore' by some developers. Also referred to as NC, nook, tablet-of-the-financially-impaired-gods
    • ROM: Common term that encompasses the entire operating system. Can be either an entirely new version of the system (ie. Windows 98 v. OS-10) or a new edition of a system (ie. Windows 98 v. Windows XP) or even a themed and customized version of a system (ie. i got nothing here, anyone got a good example?)
    • Root(ing): This is simply giving the user (you) administrative rights to the operating system of the device. A basic root of the NC will appear the same as it did before you started, but you have the ability to change system level things now. Thankfully, there's a lot of people that enoy creating whole packages of changes to throw on top of the rooting process so you don't have to get dirty with the coding level.
    • Clockwork: The recovery software of choice for our beloved device. Also referred to as ClockworkMod Recovery, CWR, CMR, and 'thank-the digital-heavens-you-exist'
    • Flash(ing): This is the act of installing something new to the device via a recovery software (ie. Clockwork).
    • Burn(ing): This is the act of taking an image file (.img) and placing the image onto a micro SD memory card. A program is required to do this, and I recommend Win32DiskImager.
    • bootable SD: A micro SD card that has a bootable image burned to it, can be either a full ROM or just a bootable recovery system.
    • NAND/nand: Common term that refers to a Nandroid Backup. The original (iirc) utility to backup the Android system installed on a phone.
    • mSD: My shorthand for micro Secure Digital memory card
    • b_SD: My shorthand for a bootable mSD
    • OOBE: Acronym for 'Out Of Box Experience' - the initial set-up walk-through the NC does when turned on for the first time. This will register the device to your B&N account and connect to wifi.
    • AOSP: Acronym for 'Android Open Source Project' - "Android is an open-source software stack created for mobile phones and other devices. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP), led by Google, is tasked with the maintenance and further development of Android." (About AOSP)
    • eMMC: Acronym for 'embedded MultiMediaCard' - This refers to the internal hard drive of the NC, and is where the system lives. As well as the internal storage area (that 5gb of storage). (about eMMC)
    Willing & Unsuspecting contributors from here:
    Rico2001, Darmeen, Stelv, LocalStain, avi, AnimaTechnica, lifeisfun, gadgetrants, others I am sure I forgot

    Willing & Unsuspecting contributors from XDA:
    dalingrin, nemith, thecubed, brian21, samuelhalff, phiredrop, deeper-blue, Decad3nce, shad0xf0x, xawen

    Updates:
    03-06-11 - added definitions
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
    • Like Like x 6
  2. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    BEFORE YOU ROOT YOUR DEVICE
    It is a good idea to have a clean slate to start things from, and since the act of rooting your NC will immediately void your warranty, a backup of your existing ROM will make any warranty situation very easy. If you ever need to take the device back to the store for warranty, you will need to revert it back to an un-rooted state. The quickest way to do that is to just flash a backup of the original ROM. Since we have not yet rooted the NC, we will have to use a bootable mSD card. This mSD does not have to be big or fast, since it's whole purpose is disaster recovery. All it will do is perform backups and restore backups. Backup sizes will vary, the more data and apps you have installed, the bigger the backup will be. It's also a good idea to archive the backups to your computer so you can collect as many backups as you want without filling the card, and just move over the ones that you need when you need them. A 2gb card should be plenty storage and a cheap Class 2 will be perfect. These can be found for less than $10 now, so it's a very worthwhile investment. Now that you have a backup, you can always use the b_SD to restore that backup and start over again. Remember, that if you are restoring a backup to sell your device (eBay, Craigslist, etc) make sure you De-Register the device before selling it, I have already bought a few used NCs and two still had the original owners information in the device, not smart.

    1. How to create a bootable CWR/Recovery mSD card
    2. Creating a nand backup that is stored on the card
    3. Archiving your nand backups to pc for storage
    4. Restoring a nand backup from the card (This is placed here for lack of a better place in my write-up)

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    How to create a bootable CWR/Recovery mSD card
    1. If using a PC, download/install an image burning program such as Win32DiskImage (https://launchpad.net/win32-image-writer/ download)
    2. If using a Mac/Linux - find detailed instructions here (NookColor Rooting - nookDevs)
      1. Download a bootable CWR image file (New CWR v3.0.1.0 Bootable SD images)
        - This file needs to be unpacked (winzip, winrar, 7zip, etc) until you have an appropriately sized *.img file.
        -Make sure you know where this file is stored, you will have to point the image burning program to it.
      2. Using the image burning program, burn the *.img file to the mSD you have for backup use.
      3. Once the image is burned, look at your card from My Computer
        -The drive will appear to have the capacity of the *.img file you downloaded
        -You should have a drive labeled "boot" with 4 files (mlo, u-boot, uImage, uRamdisk)
      4. Open the drive and add a folder "clockworkmod"
      5. Open clockworkmod folder and add a folder "backup"
      6. Safely remove the mSD from you PC

    Creating a nand backup that is stored on the card
    1. With the NC powered off, insert the bootable CWR you created
    2. Power on the NC - you should see a skull and crossbones mini-boot animation
    3. Once you are booted into ClockworkMod Recovery you will use the physical buttons to navigate:
      (borrowed from http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...m-manager-nandroid-backup-custom-kernels.html)
      Code:
      CWR Controls:
      ~Vol + -- Scroll Up
      ~Vol - -- scroll down
      ~N    -- Select/Enter
      ~Power -- Back
      
    4. Scroll down to "backup and restore" - press "n"
    5. Highlight "backup" - press "n" to start the nandroid backup process
    6. Wait, the backup process takes about 5 minutes and will return to the main menu when completed
    7. Scroll down to "mounts and storage" - press "n"
    8. Scroll down to "unmount sdcard" - press "n"
    9. Remove the CWR bootable from the NC
    10. Press power button to return to main menu
    11. Highlight "Reboot now" - press "n" (This will reboot NC)

    Archiving your nand backups to pc for storage
    1. Insert the CWR bootable card back into your PC
    2. Open to view files
    3. Copy the clockworkmod folder to a safe place on your PC for archival purposes
    4. Safely remove the mSD from you PC - store someplace safe

    Restoring a nand backup from the card (This is placed here for lack of a better place in my write-up)
    1. With the NC powered off, insert the bootable CWR you created (make sure it has the backup folder you want to restore)
    2. Power on the NC - you should see a skull and crossbones mini-boot animation
    3. Once you are booted into ClockworkMod Recovery you will use the physical buttons to navigate:
      (borrowed from http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...m-manager-nandroid-backup-custom-kernels.html)
      Code:
      CWR Controls:
      ~Vol + -- Scroll Up
      ~Vol - -- scroll down
      ~N    -- Select/Enter
      ~Power -- Back
      
    4. It's a good idea to wipe some areas to ensure a clean restore:
    5. Scroll down to "wipe cache partition"
    6. Press "n" button to enter or go to next sub-menu
    7. Scroll down to "yes - wipe cache"
    8. Press "n" button to execute
    9. Once complete, you will be back to main menu
    10. Scroll down to "advanced"
    11. Press "n" button to enter
    12. Scroll down to "Wipe Dalvik cache"
    13. Press "n" to go to next sub-menu
    14. Scroll down to "yes - wipe dalvik cache"
    15. Press "n" to execute
    16. Once complete, press power button to go back to main menu
      (If CWR locks up after wiping Dalvik it's ok. Just press and hold the power button until the NC reboots, it will boot back into CWR thanks to the bootable CWR SD.
      (Once both caches are wiped, proceed to performing a full system restore)
    17. Scroll down to "backup and restore"
    18. Press "n" to go to next sub-menu
    19. Scroll down to "restore"
    20. Press "n" to go to next sub-menu
    21. Scroll to the backup image (by date) you wish to flash (install/restore)
    22. Press "n" to execute (pick image)
    23. Scroll down to "yes - Restore"
    24. Press "n" to execute
      (Once the restore is complete you will see a "Restore Complete!" message.)
      (note: A full restore will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to complete.)
    25. Scroll down to "mounts and storage" - press "n"
    26. Scroll down to "unmount sdcard" - press "n"
    27. Remove the CWR bootable from the NC
    28. Press power button to return to main menu
    29. Highlight "Reboot now" - press "n" (This will reboot NC)
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    • Like Like x 6
  3. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    NOW THAT WE HAVE A BACKUP, LETS PREPARE TO ROOT THE NC
    The rooting process requires a mSD card, and this card will be completely erased in order to do the rooting, so a different card than the one we used to make our backups with is recommended. You could use the same card and just recreate it later when you need it, but for the cost of the backup card as explained above is just not worth the hassle. The rooting process does not need a large or fast card either, but since you only need it for the actual rooting process and are done with it, most folks create the rooting mSD, root, then format the card to use it for expanded storage in the rooted NC. So, if you are going to buy a decent card for storage you can use it to root and then use it as your storage card. There has been much discussion about what the NC can take advantage of as far as card class and such, it's common consensus at this point that a Class 6 is the fastest speed the NC can take advantage of, but many report that Class 4's are equally good. Class 2 are slower and most folks notice this difference when it's used for video and movie clips and such. The NC can read up to a 32gb card. As of the time of this writing (03/2011) an 8gb Class 6 mSD can be found online for around $20. That's a great value and is what I am currently using.

    You will also need to have already registered your NC with your B&N account. In order to gain access to the Android Market (and that is the primary reason anyone roots) you will need to have a gMail account and link that account to a YouTube account. All of this can be done for free, however B&N wants to have a credit card on file in order to process book purchases. Even free books are processed through the purchase system as $0.00 items and require a CC. I used a temp MasterCard from my Paypal account to establish my account. Having all of the accounts created, linked, and ready will make the rooting process go smooth so make sure you have them all done before you start to root.


    1. Create a B&N Account
    2. Register NC with B&N (complete the OOBE)
    3. Create a Google GMAIL Account (http://mail.google.com/mail/signup)
    4. Link your GMAIL Account to a YouTube Account (sign into youtube.com with GMAIL Account, opt to link accounts)

    ROOTING THE NOOK COLOR

    There are a few different methods for rooting the NC, and I have tried most of them. I believe that the autonooter from nookdevs.com is the easiest and most commonly used. It is their method that I will outline here:

    1. root using the autonooter instructions (NookColor Rooting - nookDevs)
    2. complete first boot process (follow-up stuff @ NookColor Rooting - nookDevs)
    3. Once you have completed the autonooter procedure it recommends some things, but isn't as hands-on as I like for new folks, so here are my suggestions:
      • -Open 'Market' and download a launcher - I recommend Zeam to start off with if you aren't sure or have a favorite yet.
      • -While in the 'Market' I recommend downloading these apps that I feel are core and everyone should have (ROM Manager, Titanium Backup Free)
      • -While in the 'Market' select the 'Downloads' from the menu and open Zeam (or whatever launcher you installed)
      • -Open the AppDrawer to see your apps and select 'Softkeys' since it's not quite ready/easy to use yet.
      • -touch the settings button (a hammer/wrench icon)
        • Options in screen order:
        1. SoftKeys Service
          • -Run Service: Unchecked (this will remove the persistent 'popper' button that opens softkeys, but we don't need it the way I configure the "n" button)
          • -rest of these options are personal preference
        2. Virtual Home Button
          • -Normal Press: set to your favorite launcher
          • -Long Press: SoftKeys
          • -Return After Back: Unchecked
        3. Physical Home Button
          • -Home Button: Single Tap = Softkeys, Doubletap = (favorite launcher)
          • -Double Press Time: personal preference
          • Rest
          • -personal preference / leave alone for now
        • -This softkeys configuration will allow your NC to operate like this:
          1. Pressing the "n" key once will pull up the softkeys and give you access to these buttons: Back, Home, Menu, Search, Vol-, Vol+, Config, Close (which can also be configured from within softkeys, but these are default)
          2. Pressing the "n" key again will take you back to your favorite launchers home page
          3. -How you use softkeys (or another soft button app like buttonsavior) is completely personal preference, but this set up gives a decent starting point that you can experiment from.
    4. Format the autonooter SD card to return it to a storage card using nookdev instructions (NookColor Rooting - nookDevs)
    5. Follow Rico's instructions to create a nand backup that is stored on the storage card (http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...m-manager-nandroid-backup-custom-kernels.html)
    6. Archive the post-root nand backup to PC and bootable CWR card
    You now have a backup of your rooted NC with basic setup but nothing more. This is a good "clean" backup just in case your first few days of using the NC get you in trouble. Having the backup on your storage card will allow you to restore it without much trouble as long as you can boot normally. I recommend that you copy this backup folder to your archive on the PC where you saved the pre-rooted backup to, and also to your CWR bootable card just in case that trouble you got in to prevents you from booting normally.


    PLAY WITH YOUR ROOTED NOOK COLOR

    You now have a rooted NC, a backup of the freshly rooted system on the storage card, a backup of the freshly rooted and prerooted systems on the other bootable recovery card. You can feel pretty safe to play at this point. I strongly recommend that you perform a new nand backup before doing any major changes to your NC. Some things that I consider as major:

    • flashing ANYTHING via CWR - kernels, roms, key mods, etc.
    • prior to any major software updates - cwr, rom manager
    • planned trips - or anything where you might physically damage your nook, this way you can restore to a new NC when you warranty the broken device. :)

    As well as full system backups (nand backups done via CWR), you should also consider a software backup tool such as Titanium Backup. The free app will allow you to do batch backups of all your installed apps and their data which is a great way to manage your apps. The paid version will allow you to batch restore them without having to "allow" each one while reinstalling. This is good for when you flash a different rom and have to start over again with apps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2011
    • Like Like x 16
  4. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    Still working on:


    • Complete Idiot's Guide to the 1000 Ways to Recover a Dead/Nuked/Bricked/Slagged/Borked/Screwed/PeedOn/Sticky NOOKcolor
    • A hundred and one ways to miss work/school because your NOOKcolor made you do it
    • The Just Barely Smarter than an Idiot's Guide to Installing CyanogenMod 7/8/9 (and other freakish custom ROMs)

    Thanks for your support.
    • Like Like x 12
  5. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    updated 2nd post... new CWR Bootable SD files available.
  6. faceman
    Offline

    faceman Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOKcolor on CM7 nightly w/ 1.1gHz OC
    Please use this thread to discuss this article or offer suggestions or questions.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

Nook Color