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Using the Dual-Boot Method to Root Your NOOK Tablet

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Root your NOOK Tablet using the dual-boot method, which keeps intact the original NOOK Tablet OS but provides all the features of an Android tablet. To change between using the NOOK's internal software and the root, just pull out the microSD card. This simple rooting process will take just a few minutes to open up Google Play and the apps available there.
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When the NOOK Tablet was first released, the rooting method used for the NOOK Color, the dual-boot method, no longer functioned. The dual-boot method meant that you could use a microSD card to run an alternative operating system without touching directly the NOOK Color internal software—and thus preserving the warranty. With the NOOK Tablet (indeed with the NOOK Color running the v1.4.1 of the OS), this was no longer possible and rooting required altering the NOOK Tablet’s internal software. Or at least that was the case…

Given enough time and effort, the folks at XDA Forums have developed a dual-boot microSD card rooting method for the NOOK Tablet. To reiterate, this means that after the root, when the microSD card is inserted, the NOOK Tablet boots up and gives you an alternate operating system. Power off the NOOK Tablet, remove the microSD card, and turn it back on to get to the user interface that comes with the NOOK Tablet. This process avoids tampering with the memory on the NOOK Tablet and, thus, does not void the warranty.

The rooting process is very simple. We’ll make sure that the NOOK Tablet is ready to be rooted, download some files, perform the root, and set up the rooted NOOK Tablet. The process, once you have done the preparatory steps, only takes about 10 minutes to perform.

The following instructions are written for a PC user; however, they can be performed on a Mac or Linux system as well. You’ll just need to follow the process for creating an SD card image specific to those operating systems.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A registered NOOK Tablet with Internet access.
  • A root image file.
  • A 4GB or greater microSD card.
  • Win32 Disk Imager (to create the microSD card with the necessary files)
  • A Google account (you can get one by going to https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount).

Get the Necessary Files

Use the following steps to download and prepare the files you need for the rooting process:

  1. Open your favorite browser on the PC, and go to this location: http://tinyurl.com/7bumbsp. Scroll down the page a bit until you see “SD Version Image” followed by “Download HERE…” Click Here to download the Team-B-CM7SD-Alpha_final.img.zip file. Unzip this file and save the resulting Team-B-CM7SD-Alpha_final.img somewhere handy.
  2. Open your favorite browser on the PC, and go to this location: http://tinyurl.com/73vthxf. This downloads the win32diskimager-binary.zip file. Unzip this file and store the contents somewhere handy.

Create a Disk Image

In this step, you will create a bootable disk on the microSD card. To do this, you use Win32 Disk Imager (downloaded earlier) to “burn” an “image” onto the microSD card. This creates a bootable microSD card that the NOOK Tablet will be able to use.

  1. Find the Win32DiskImage.exe file you downloaded in the earlier section. Double-click the file, which starts the program.
  2. Browse to the Team-B-CM7SD-Alpha_final.img.zip file and select it.
  3. For Device, choose the drive letter of the microSD card.
  4. Click Write. The disk image will be created. When it finishes, click Exit. (Note: I sometimes received an error at the 98% mark (see Figure 1). If that happens, don’t worry about it, click OK, and go to step 6.)
  5. Figure 1 The Win32 Disk Image Error—Nothing to Worry About.

Eject the microSD card.

The microSD card is now ready to install in your NOOK Color.

Rooting Your NOOK Tablet

The following steps begin the rooting process:

  1. Power off your NOOK Tablet if it is not already.
  2. Insert the microSD card from the steps above and power on your NOOK Tablet.
  3. The initial NOOK logo appears, but then instead of the second NOOK Tablet logo, you should see the Team B presents and then the CyanogenMod7 logo. If you do not see the Android in the middle of the screen and Welcome to Nook Tablet at the bottom after 5-10 minutes, just press and hold the power button. Reboot and then it should open up there. (Remember, this is actually the rooting activity, so this is longer than the normal boot time when the rooting is complete.)
  4. Tap the Android. The Set Up Your Google Account screen appears (see Figure 2).
  5. Figure 2 Set Up Your Google Account Screen.

  6. Tap Sign In and enter the necessary information. Tap Sign In. The sign in process begins. If you are asked to connect to Wi-Fi, go ahead and tap the button, select your Wi-Fi network and enter the necessary information and re-enter your Google Account password when asked. You then see an Important Read This message. Tap OK. You receive a Market terms page.
  7. Tap OK. A list of Google apps appears. Tap the ones you one and then tap OK. You can also tap Back. Either way, the Use Google Location screen appears. The Use Google Location screen appears (see Figure 3).
  8. Figure 3 The Use Google Location Screen.

  9. Tap Next. The Backup and Restore screen appears.
  10. Tap Next. You receive the message that your Google Account is now linked to the phone (see Figure 4).
  11. Figure 4 Your Google Account Is Now Linked to Your NOOK Tablet.

  12. Tap Finish Setup. You see a screen with a few options related to date and time format. Set these up how you would like and tap Next. The screen flashes and you should (it take take a few minutes) the Cyanogen logo and a home screen with messaging, contacts, etc.
  13. Tap the Menu button and then tap Settings. The Settings screen appears (see Figure 5).
  14. Figure 5 The Settings Screen.

  15. Tap Display to see the Display Settings screen (see Figure 6).
  16. Figure 6 The Display Settings Screen.

  17. Tap Screen Timeout and change it to something that you’d like (I find one minute is too brief for reading and other tablet activities)— see Figure 7. Tap the Home button when finished.
  18. Figure 7 Screen Timeout Options.

  19. Google Market will update to Google Play. Tap Google Play, which opens (see Figure 8).
  20. Figure 8 Google Play Opening Screen.

  21. Tap the Search button and enter NOOK. When the results appear, tap NOOK for Android. The NOOK for Android screen appears. Tap Install and then tap Accept and Download. The app downloads. Once it is finished, tap the Home button.
  22. Tap App Launcher to see a list of apps. NOOK should appear there.

Congratulations! Your NOOK Tablet is now rooted (see Figure 9). You can now switch between the rooted and unrooted versions of the NOOK Tablet by powering off and inserting or removing the microSD card.

Figure 9 Running the Root on NOOK Tablet.

Patrick Kanouse is the Workflow Services Domain Manager for Pearson Education. Always a bookworm, he has gladly adopted ebook reading technologies, while still appreciating the printed book. Patrick also teaches business technical report writing at IUPUI. Outside of teaching about writing, reading on one of his NOOKs, and writing about his NOOKs, he writes poetry and has published a PubIt book at BN.com that you can read on your NOOK. His website is patrickkanouse.com.

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