Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creating a CyanogenMod Bootable SD for Nook Color

I have been waiting a while for a sub $200 tablet that isn't complete junk. I came across a few blog postings mentioning the refurbished Nook Color, currently selling for $179 shipped at Buy.com. While the Nook is sold as an eReader, it can easily be rooted enabling a full Android install. In fact, you can even create bootable SD cards to run custom mods. This leaves the delivered Nook software installed on the internal memory and leaves your warranty intact.

This past week I purchased a Nook and a 32gb microSDHC card. I played around with the Nook software for about 10 minutes, then decided it was time for CyanogenMod(CM7)! I have this installed on my phone and I really think it is hands down the best custom Android mod. Below are the steps I took to create my bootable SD card for the Nook. Keep in mind these instructions are for Windows users.
  1. Create a directory on your local machine to download some install files to.
  2. Download the latest stable version of CM7 and Google Apps from here and save in your new directory. 
    • Google Apps is really optional, but you will want to install this so you can access Google Market, etc.
    • Here are the files I downloaded.
      • update-cm-7.0.3-encore-signed.zip
      • gapps-gb-20110613-signed.zip
    • Do NOT unzip these files.
  3. Download this SD installer image for CM7 and save in your new directory.
    • File can be found here from this page.
    • It is size-agnostic so the size of your SD card should not matter.
    • Use 7zip to unzip this file to get the image
      • Download 7zip if you don't have it.
  4. Next we need an Image Writer program for Windows. I used win32 Disk Imager and it worked great!
    • Program can be found here from this page.
    • Unzip the file to find the program.
  5. Insert your SD card into your computer's card reader.
  6. Open the win32 Disk Imager program
    • Select the disk image from Step 3.
    • Write the image to your SD card.
  7. Open your SD card in a File Explorer, copy the zip files there from Step 2.
    • Put these files in the root directory, no subfolders.
    • SD Card will likely be labeled boot at this point.
  8. Turn your Nook completely off and insert the SD card.
    • The Nook needs to be completely off or the installer will not work.
    • If you forget this you may need to start the SD imaging steps over.
  9. Turn on your Nook and the installer program should boot up and start installing.
    • You will see ANDROID in blue text, then scrolling log of install progress with the Linux penguin image.
  10. Once complete the screen will go blank and power off.
    • I have seen some how-to's saying you need to manually power-off. However, for me it did this by it's self.
  11. Power on your Nook, you will see the ANDROID text again and then the CM7 skateboard image.
  12. Choose Setup Wizard when prompted.
  13. Run through the Wizard and setup.
    • I chose to skip Account and Network setup in the wizard.  After it was complete, I went and setup this on my own.
  14. CM7 should now be installed.
  15. If you want your normal Nook software back, simply power off, remove the SD card and power back on.
    • There are solutions out there to enable dual boot without removing the SD card. I plan on holding off on this for awhile, but check this out if you want to try it for yourself.
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