How to re-root a Nook Color which was messed up by 1.3 udpate
September 18, 2011 8:00 AM   Subscribe

I have a Nook Color which came with the stock 1.2 version of the BN software. I rooted it successfully to Cyanogenmod 7 (Froyo). Everything was great; birds sang, unicorns frolicked, and all was right in the world. Then a couple of weeks ago BN decided to push the 1.3 update over the air, and while I was using the Nook, the machine rebooted itself with the update, annoying me at the time because I was in the middle of using it. I put it aside for a while due to travels & such, and yesterday just picked up the Nook to realize that the 1.3 update busted my root. Most of my installed apps are gone, Android Market is completely nonfunctional, gmail and talk are dead. How do I fix this?

I've done loads of googling and poked around XDA forums, but I can't find any clear answers in the noise. It seems like a lot of people had this problem with the 1.3 update. All I want to know is how to most efficiently get my root back? My Nook shows software 1.3.0 in the device info and has .95 free of 1GB storage. It seems to be still "half rooted" because I can still get to my Android home screen and apps screen, it's just that a lot of apps are missing or nonfunctional & it won't let me uninstall the BN bloatware that came with the 1.3 update. The BN home screen & functions seem to work fine. Just not the Android stuff.

Do I really need to unroot it entirely and go back to the stock 1.2 to start over from scratch? Or is there a way to fix the root with the 1.3 that's currently installed? Possibly complicating matters: I managed to uninstall Android Market by mistake, and now can't get it back on.

There must be a fix somewhere, right? I just can't seem to find a clear, concise list of instructions for "This is what you must do to have a functioning rooted Nook Color after 1.3 broke your machine." I'm no uber-geek so manually futzing with lines of code is a no-go.

posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy to Technology (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried just running Cyanogenmod on an external MicroSD card and leaving it unrooted? If a bootable sd card it installed it will boot from it first, leaving the internal drive untouched. Instructions can be found on XDA.

I've been using this scheme and it seems to work well. I've been meaning to upgrade the bootloader which I believe has added support for choosing which disk to boot from but haven't done so yet.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2011

Have you headed over to the Cyanogenmod forums? I think they'll be best able to help you.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2011

This is the instructions I followed. See the notes on what MicroSD brand to get (Sandisk) and if using Windows read the thread to see what software to use to write the image. I just used dd on my Mac and it worked like a champ.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2011

I'm confused. Installing Cyanogen on a Nook Color overwrites the stock operating system completely, if you're following the wiki instructions. A Cyanogen'd NC wouldn't auto-download a B+N update, and wouldn't know what do do with it if it did.

So what did you actually do? It sounds like you rooted the device, got half-way through the instructions, but didn't get all the way to installing Cyanogen on there. This might be affecting the quality of your google searches.
posted by zjacreman at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2011

I found some positive results with rooting the Nook Color running 1.3 on the Android forums here.

I followed them to the XDA dev forums here for the actual instructions.

Good Luck : )
posted by MansRiot at 8:21 AM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, it appears Clockworkmod is apparently what I used for the Nook. Apologies. (cyanogen is on my phone, which is irrelevent to this discussion.) I followed these instructions for the original rooting of the Nook Color.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:26 AM on September 18, 2011

> ... running Cyanogenmod on an external MicroSD card and leaving it unrooted

I found this to be terribly slow.
posted by scruss at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2011

MansRiot: Thanks for the links. I had seen these XDA posts. What I'd be concerned about though, is it looks like these are for rooting a clean Nook running 1.3 that had never been rooted. Since mine had already been rooted, and is still partially rooted plus also running 1.3 ... I'm not sure these instructions would apply would they? (I know it's hard to brick a nook but still I worry.)

Are there any instructions for fixing the existing root "over the top of" 1.3? Or is it recommended that I:
a.) unroot the Nook entirely & go back to stock 1.2
b.) manually update to BN version 1.3
c.) re-root from scratch?
^ all of which I'd rather not do unless I absolutely have to.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2011

It's basically impossible to brick a nook. It will always boot off an SD card, allowing you to fix whatever you did.

I think you're going to be better off reverting to stock, updating, and re-rooting. The 1.3 update clearly left a trail of digital devastation in its wake that is going to be obnoxious to clean up. Wiping a Nook is fast and easy, trying to figure out what the 1.3 update broke and undoing the damage is tedious and hard.
posted by zjacreman at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2011

There is a fair amount of help for unbricking the NC, so if you decide to try rooting as-is and it gives you attitude you won't be alone:
Various links via google

I'm pretty much finding, from perusing various forums, that people are starting from scratch. The ones who bricked, did so due to mistakes in their rooting process, not because of something similar to your issue (Which means either it hasn't been done enough to generate topics or it has been done and didn't cause problems. Which just means you have to decide for yourself :P )

I'm sure you've found instructions on returning to stock- if not, here is NookDevs' guide to flashing back to a clean factory ROM.
posted by MansRiot at 9:08 AM on September 18, 2011

Aaargh. So, I've spent almost the whole day on this & still can't get a fully functioning root. I returned it to the stock 1.2 OS, wiped it, and followed the process here and here. I applied manual nooter 4.5.18. Rooted on 1.2. I then sideloaded the BN 1.3 update from here, as was recommended in the threads above. Then finished rooting with MN 4.5.16a as instructed. Ran fix permissions with a blank SD card, followed all the tips in the forums. Rooting worked fine, except Android Market, gmail and talk do not work. And nothing I do can get them to work. (Clearing cache, fixing permissions again, forcing stop & restarting, etc.) According to various forums: It's apparently a known problem that Market is nonfunctional on a lot of rooted Nooks - something to do with a recent Market update, not necessarily with BN 1.3. So... Without the google apps, it's kind of pointless for me to have this thing rooted.

I'm ready to take a hammer to the dang thing. I've decided to unroot the Nook, use it as a plain 'ol reader, and sell it as soon as my Touchpad (ordered from the Aug. firesale) arrives. This is just way too much aggravation & isn't worth the hassle. But I do thank everyone for the info.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 1:40 PM on September 18, 2011

Buy a microSD card and do the DualBoot method. I have Honeycomb running almost perfectly off a card and it is easy to reboot back into Stock.
posted by stew560 at 9:40 PM on September 18, 2011

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