Sunday, May 22, 2011

I want to root my NC (different methods)

Lots of folks want to root their NCs, and some folks with wireless problems have to.

Note added 9/2011: Manual Nooter 4-5-18 will work on a clean 1.3 install. To migrate a rooted 1.2 to a rooted 13, you will have to start from a clean install of 1.2 followed by an update to 1.3, then proceed to rooting your NC following the third set of instructions below (Rooting 1.2.)

I am lazy and the first time I tried it, I chose not to reformat /data. This made problems because I didn't follow my own guide!

Rooting is a process where you open up complete control of your Nook Color to yourself. In theory, this voids the warranty (though if you have a hardware failure, restoring to unrooted 1.0.1 or 1.1 or 1.2 will let you confirm it is hardware, not software, and at the same time put your Nook into a returnable, refurbishable condition.)

While your device is rooted, it is no longer in a "stock" Barnes and Noble configuration.

The value for wireless incompatibility

after the 1.2 update, some NCs and some access points are incompatible. To block the auto update to 1.2, you need roll back to 1.1 and then root. The 1.2 update fails to install on a 1.1 device which is no longer in stock condition.

Rooting 1.2 brings you the bennies you expect, at the expense of losing Google Location Services (at least for now) and the Nook Android app.

This post will cover two methods for rooting 1.1 and the manual nooter for 1.2. I am only going to the point where your device is rooted.

Configuring your device to use all the nice things that are now available is an endless topic, and the folks over at xda-devs are the experts.

You only need to do one of these methods. Also, each method directs you to create a CWR disk, just to avoid reiterating that three times.

Once that disk is made, stop following the reset/restore to stock guide, and come back here to see what files to copy in and how to proceed.

Rooting 1.1:

First, read the post on "unrooting/resetting to stock"

To root a device already running 1.1, you choose between autonooter (super easy) or a manual tool called "monster root pack" -- MRP is a little more work, but with big benefits:

- you can completely back up your NC
- you can install the Nook android app on your NC

To use MRP or to root a device running 1.2 requires the ClockWork Recovery boot disk made in the unrooting / resetting process. The only 1.2 rooting tool available now is called the "manual nooter"

Mode 1: Autonooter (1.1 only):

Boot disks/prep needed: The autonooter 3.0 disk image.

This is the simplest method. You can use a small (256M) microsd card, and you do not need to issue commands.

Download the Autonooter 3 disk from this xda-devs thread:

Using diskimag or dd, write the Autonooter disk image (.img file) to a micro SD card.

Eject the card from your PC and shut down your NC. (hard power down -- > 15 sec)

Insert the card into your NC, and then connect your NC to your computer via USB.

Make a cup of coffee. The AN process is completely invisible until it's done. Once it's done, your NC will boot and look normal to you.

Power down and remove the AN card, and then go read up on the xda-devs forums if you want to unlock the full potential of your rooted NC. (marketplace, youtube, gmail....)

If all you needed to do was block the over-the-air update, you are done.

Mode 2: Monster Root Pack (1.1 only.)

Tools needed:

Clockwork Recovery Boot Disk file (leve zipped) file (leave zipped)

Put the Clockwork Recovery disk you made when you reset to stock in your PC.

Download and from

Copy those files - still zipped - to your CWR boot disk.

Power on your NC. You will be in CWR mode. (More detailed instructions on navigating this mode are in the Restore to Stock post.)

You can start by going to "backup and restore" and making a backup. Cool, eh?

Without restarting, go back and choose "install zip from SD card."

First, install, then install

Remove your microSD card and restart. You are now rooted with MRP. Setting up MRP to see the market, etc., is analogous to doing so with Autonooter. The big difference is that you can install the Nook Android app once you have the Market working.

Mode 3: Manual Nooter, Apk-Enabler (BN software release 1.2 and 1.3) and Flash Fix

Tools needed:

- a copy of the Clockwork Recovery (CWR) disk image
- a disk imaging tool such as diskimag (or use dd for mac/linux)
- a good zip tool - I recommend 7zip.
-Clockwork Recovery Boot Disk
- ManualNooter (most recent release) .zip file (leave zipped)
- Apk Enabler .zip file (leave zipped)

Grab the 4-5-18 manual nooter from

I recommend 4.5.18 because it seems to work well, and the most recent as of now installs its own kernel. There are some reports that that kernel can be unstable, leading to a boot loop.

The Android Market in 4.5.18 works "out of the box," without additional and somewhat confusing configuration.

I have needed to separately install Ham and Cheese's APK enabler as well, in order to do restore apps from Titanium Backup. (You can restore data without the APK enabler; to restore an app, it seems necessary.)

Lots of detail on the apk enabler is at

and the file itself is at

Copy both of these files to your Clockwork Recovery disk. Follow the unroot/reset to stock guide to make this disk.

Power down your NC.

Insert the CWR disk with the manual nooter zip file copied to it and power on.

From CWR, choose "install zip from sdcard."

Install the manual nooter zipfile.

Power off and remove the SD card.

Restart and you are rooted. To be able to restore apps using Titanium:

Power down, and re-insert the SD card.

When CWR boots, go again to "install zip from SD card." Now, choose the apk-enabler zipfile.

Power down, remove the card, and power up.

If you don't get the Android market working (can't see more than a very few apps) there is a workaround.

For details, see and take a close look at "Market Has Limited Visibility."

In Manual Nooter, the Zeam launcher shows all apps (BN and Android market apps) but the BN "apps" button shows only BN apps.

Preventing Boot Looping from Flash Updates (rooted 1.2)

With a microSD card inserted, install Titanium Backup from the Android market.

Launch Titanium. There may well be a configuration nag, which you don't need to worry about, and there should be three tabs:
- overview

Choose "backup/restore"

Select Adobe Flash from the list of apps.

One of the choices is "delete." Delete Flash.

Go back to the Market, and install Flash from there.

Here's the issue:

BN distributes flash in their firmware as a file written to

/system is mounted read-only by default.

The android market sees you have flash and knows you need to update it. It installs an update in /data, which it can write to.

Everything seems fine until you restart your NC. Then, the flash version in /system/app tries to unload and run, but the flash version in /data is fighting with it.

Net result, your device never finishes booting.


  1. can you provide me with idiots instructions to root my nook color 3.1? I have tried to follow instructions but am having trouble and am afraid I might smash my nook into little bits if I keep on going here. I am a reasonably intelligent person and know how to follow directions but am not a computer progammer. HELP!!

  2. The instructions for "mode 3" are about as distilled as I can make 'em. They'll let you root nook OS 1.3.

    It's very difficult to bork your nook color beyond recovery - it's an incredibly forgiving device with a well-implemented recovery mode and no attempt at lockdown.

  3. Ok, so this is very straight forward. My only question is: you mention at the end about the flash conflict, is there a solution? Or is the solution deleting the flash file, then reinstalling as per the last instructions?

  4. I would uninstall the BN flash and install Flash from the Adobe archive.

    It is no longer in the play store - Flash is no longer supported by Adobe on android, although I use the one from the archive on my older (before kitkat) android installs.