How do I go about resetting old nooks with a dead owner?
January 4, 2017 7:52 AM   Subscribe

A dead family member has left us three Barnes & Noble Nook readers. They're not screen locked, but I seem to be unable to run updates or get into the Google Play store. How can we reset them and make the usable? Can they be repurposed to general readers for books under Kindle? Model numbers under the cut:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4: SM-T230NU: Error messages when connecting to Google Play Services. Appears to be running a Nook version of Android.

Nook BNTV400 (don't have the cable)

Nook BNTV250 (looks like a USB cable)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, hey. Weird. I too have three different older tablets I'm messing with right now, although only one is a Nook. I am currently procrastinating doing this with I think it's that 400 model that a family member gave me, and my plan is to install a custom ROM, like so:

Update Nook Tablet to Android 5.1.1

I did get Google Play running with the Nook OS, so if you just want to do that, I can try to find the steps.

So you could go either route, installing Google Play and keeping the Nook OS, or installing a different custom ROM, and the steps would be different.

From what I've read, though, the Nooks are supposed to be pretty danged easy to modify, so to answer your first question, yes.

(I really really don't care for the Nook OS, and was setting up to install Cyanogenmod the day Cyanogenmod announced they were ceasing development completely, so I put that for a minute to decide on a different ROM.)
posted by ernielundquist at 8:13 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


You might have to call customer service to get them reset. The company goes back and forth about how much protection to have in case someone is trying to reset a stolen device or something.

You can certainly put Kindle books on the Samsung device with no problems at all; just install the Kindle app.

You could go into a B&N store for help with everything except rooting/modifying, but call first and see if they actually have a digital or digitally minded employee; some don't anymore.
posted by BibiRose at 9:15 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


How can we reset them and make the usable?

I'd start with a factory reset (the procedure seems to vary by model).

That should get you to a manufacture-approved, unregistered, and content free NookOS state. After that, I'd start playing with customized ROMs.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:15 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


B&N stopped updating old Nooks a long time ago, so they have an ancient version of Android underneath. I upgraded my Nook HD+ (BNTV600) to CyanogenMod 12.1 some time ago since nothing was happening on the Nook OS front.

I used the instructions here, which are a little out of date now, but I'm not sure that much has happened on the 12.1 branch anyway. Make sure you use the software that's built for the BNTV400. You can get a cable via eBay or elsewhere. There are newer versions of CM out there but figuring out which builds are good is more trouble than I'm willing to go through.

Some little annoyances exist on my tablet (have to turn off wi-fi to avoid draining battery, Kindle app dictionary always needs a redownload) and the performance is not stellar, but in my opinion it's still better than ossified Nook software.
posted by Standard Orange at 11:27 PM on January 4


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