Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Skip Out Of Box Experience

Skipping out of box experience means that you avoid reregistering your device. It is a way to speed up several operations in the restore to stock process. It is also important to understand for doing full data restores - in conjunction with avoiding "erase and deregister."

Skipping OOBE is valuable if you want to use the tablet and sideload modes only, or if you want to do a full, clean reinstall and then use backups you made. For backups to work, avoid using "Erase and Deregister" and avoid reregistering even if BN reset your device (explained in more detail below.)

Specific scenarios this is valuable stuff to apply:

- you are in the process of upgrading from 1.0.1 to 1.1 or 1.2 and only need to copy files to your Nook Color to proceed

- you want to "test drive" an update or a reset before committing to using it

- Barnes and Noble has had a software problem and your device has been reset from their side, and you want to see if your sideloaded content was preserved, or you simply want to be able to use the tablet portion of your reader while they fix things on their side.

- you want to restore from a backup made with Titanium from before you did a full reset and reinstall

- you are using an NC outside of the US

This page is the simplest explanation of how to skip OOBE that I have seen:


(and the nookdevs rock, too.)

Now, what's going on under the hood:

Your Nook Color creates a token of some kind as it is registered. Skipping OOBE skips the step where that token is created. It also skips telling BN the value of that token. If BN and your device disagree on the value of the token, BN wins the argument by zeroing it on both sides and telling you to make a new one. You do need the token to shop at BN on your device.

My general advice is that it is best to use erase and deregister as a last resort. It's also best to avoid, for as long as possible, registering your device if it's in an unknown state and you might be able to restore from backup.

A Titanium backup of system settings will restore the registration token even on a fully formatted NC (/data, /system and /cache.) This gives you a chance to preserve a lot of your old environment. If you manually format, you never tell BN that you've reformatted.

When you choose "erase and deregister" you are telling BN "revoke my old token for this device, and I will recreate it next time I log in." BN purges your device info and then sends a command to your device that says "restart, then format /data." Data is where your shelves and apps live, so you want to be able to restore it if you have a backup.

But if you restore /data from a backup you present the old token to BN. On their side, this is an error. You've told them to delete the registration. So their system will look at your device and say "this device is not currently registered. It needs to be wiped since it's presenting me bad data." and they will issue a reset from their end.

If you simply format your partitions for yourself (most easily done via CWR booting) you can reinstall from backups. This could be CWR images or Titanium or a mix - ie, reimage a "known stable" CWR backup, followed by a selective app and settings restore from Titanium.

The settings restore will restore your ability to use the shop!

It is possible to re-register a device that has not been de-registered, and this will also invalidate the token.

This happened to many people after the April 2011 mass Nook Color reset - BN reset nooks and their computers made it look as if owners had to re-register them.

The problem here is analogous to the problem with a deregistered device. Once everything was running, restoring these systems became dodgy, because if the pre-reset token was restored to a re-registered NC, when the NC tried to log in, the servers saw the mismatch and reset the NC.

Users lost bookshelves and I think very few were able to restore those shelves even from backup, since there is no official BN backup tool or guidance. There are, I think, few Android devices that have something analogous to the "library" and its shelves, so the folks who used Titanium had minimal guidance on how to get the app to do what they needed.

1 comment:

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