Friday, May 11, 2012

Fat Glowworm - using your SD card as storage for your BN downloaded and other content on the nook simple touch and nook glowworm

I just threw together a quick hack for using your sdcard to store your library without rooting your glowworm or nook simple touch.

Many folks feel that the Nook Touch and Nook glowworm just don't have enough storage.  I've repartitioned my unit so I have ~ 1 gig of onboard storage, but for folks with hundreds of books, that's actually not enough storage. 

It turns out that you can very easily (three commands) tell your Nook device "hey, use this directory for storing files from BN, willya?" - and that directory can be your sdcard.  (This approach will also work on the Tablet and Color devices;  however, enhanced magazines probably won't work using this approach.)

In addition to lots more storage, you now also can manage everything on your device using Calibre. 

I've written a flashable script for doing this - you do not need to be rooted to use this script!

In order to use it, you must download the "clockwork recovery" disk image as described here.

I have detailed instructions for working with those files posted here:

(stop at "Once you've made the disk" and come back)

Drop the file file, still zipped, on that disk.  Power off your nook touch.  Put the disk in and power on.  You will boot from the disk.

Navigate up and down with the righthand buttons;  navigate back with the lefthand upper button;  choose an item or run a command using the raised n button.

Navigate down to "install zip file from sdcard" and hit N
Hit N again to "Choose Zip File from SDcard"
Navigate down to and hit the n button
navigate to "yes - install"

Once the program has run, use the upper left button to navigate back to where "reboot system now" is highlighted.

Eject the disk, then reboot.

Put in your own SD card as the boot process starts (do NOT use the card you made here for storing your library;  every time you restart your device, you will find yourself booting into clockwork!)

Improvements by others  most welcome!  : )

I agree that requiring the sdcard to be around is hinky, but the advantage to it is that it expands the capacity for storage a HUGE amount and I don't know how to do the resize commands from CWR - and if I did, the most we'd have available when we were done would be around 1-1.2 gigabytes.

The hack is nondestructive, and in fact could be set up to be reversed (as my noshopnobrowse hack is reversible.)

I just applied to the glowworm, and it does work.

If the glowworm is booted without an SD card, it boots fine.

The library launches fine and displays what the library thinks it should have in it.

However, the library doesn't have any of that stuff in it (unless you also have sideloads on your device) and cannot download any of that stuff, since its /data/media directory is missing.

So, this is a fix for the onboard storage limit that redirects ALL downloads to your card.

If you don't have a card or your card gets borked, you will need to buy a new one (or reverse the hack)


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  2. I can't thank you enough for this patch! I own three nook simple touches, each for where I read the most, work, home and girlfriend's house, though now we're married, so she inherits that nook as hers ;).
    I have over 1,300 epubs, between B&N purchases and classic literature downloaded from Feedbooks, and obviously could not store them all on the skimpy 250 meg Barnes and Noble limits you to on this device. The archiving/unarchiving process is cumbersome and you never seem to "get back" enough space to download something else you want to read, even if you take care to archive something BIG, (like the Bible) in order to download something relatively small. Your scripts were the ideal answer and it's a godsend to finally be able to store everything I want and have it at my fingertips without having to archive/unarchive, set the nook back to factory specs and re-register, etc., all the "tricks" I had to do just to get what I wanted to read, when I wanted it. Let's not even get into what to do when something you want is "archived", and you're not near a wi-fi connection! Thank you so much for this. I feel I finally got what I paid for with the nooks, thanks to you, being able to read whatever I want, whenever I want it. Why Barnes and Noble won't fix this like you have, is beyond me, but I appreciate that you took the time to do for some of us more technically challenged users what we can't do on our own. God bless you!

  3. I'm glad this fix is still useful for people! It really is surprising that all the newer ereaders are dropping storage options. I've not looked much at the newer nook devices - I'm sure the partitioning on them can be revised, but doing that with a script would be more challenging than these scripts, which only involve making links rather than editing the partition table itself.

  4. Thanks so much for doing this. With B&N Discontinuing their PC and Mac apps, I had no way to read the books i had purchased using my Mac. Can you believe that nonsense? They used to have Nook for Web, that seems to have vanished. I have book settlement credit with them, so I needed a way to grab my library plus the books that will buy. My old Nook ST can grab the normal books, just not the nice big Hamilton book that Lin Manuel Miranda put out, so that one is basically lost unless I want to drop $$$ on a tablet. I really feel like B&N crapped on Nook users with their latest actions. At least I can grab most of my library and use Calibre to access it now. If you've got a Donate link I'd be willing to use it