Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Nook Color Ice Cream Sandwich

Last summer I installed Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on my Nook Color. I used a technique described on the XDS Developers forum that let the Nook boot Gingerbread from a microSD card. The developer (verygreen) of this technique has apparently moved on to new challenges.

In the meanwhile, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich - ICS) has dropped and there are nightlies for the Nook Color but the installation techniques install ICS to the eMMC, the internal flash drive. I still like the simplicity of booting from a microSD card.

The thread above has continued to get comments and questions and leapinlar has been very helpful in fielding these.

So here's how to install CyanogenMod 9 (CM9) Ice Cream Sandwich on a microSD for a Nook Color.

Use a Sandisk Class 4 8GB microSD card as recommended here. Use a microSD USB adapter and inset the microSD and USB adapter into your computer.

leapinlar has updated verygreen's microSD image to support ICS. Download the latest generic-sdcard-v1.3-ICS-large-Rev[?].zip from here. Unzip and extract generic-sdcard-v1.3-ICS-large-Rev[?].img.

If you're running Windows, download from here. Unzip and extract the folder win32diskimager-RELEASE-0.3-r27-binary. Run Win32DiskImager.exe and write leapinlar's image (generic-sdcard-v1.3-ICS-large-Rev[?].img) to the microSD card.

After Win32DiskImager is done with writing, eject the microSD and USB adapter and re-insert it into your computer.

Download a CM9 nightly build from here. Pick the newest that does not say opengl. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of that page to get the newest build.

Download the Google apps for Ice Cream Sandwich (currently from here.

With the newly imaged microSD and USB adapter back in your computer, copy the CM9 nightly build zip and Google apps zip into the root partition (the only one you can see) of the microSD card.

Eject the microSD and USB adapter from your computer.

Make sure that the Nook Color is powered down and insert the new microSD card into the Nook. Power it up.

If the Nook doesn't boot at this point, revisit the microSD and USB adapter and the downloaded .img file. Explore alternatives perhaps using a different microSD and/or USB adapter and redownloading the .img file.

Sit back and watch. It will take a few minutes and lots of messages will scroll by. Then the screen will go black. Power up the Nook.

Ice Cream Sandwich!

I still had to use the Google Play Store to install Gmail and youtube.

See also the errata.


Unknown said...

Many Thanks for the ICS to Nook Color
guide. After a couple of false starts the latest nightly for ICS loaded. The build is a little herky jerky but when I freezes I just re-boot.
Best Regards,

Ben Moore said...

I'm still running the 7/30 non-openGL build. It works fine. My Nook Color hardware is getting old and problematic. The microUSB plug is not dependable. The volume buttons don't always work. The Bluetooth (which isn't even supposed to be there) is hard to get to connect. Still not bad for a 2 year old "e-reader" running Ice Cream Sandwich!

Anonymous said...

Just found this today (9/15/12). Thank you, it worked flawless for me with generic-sdcard-v1.3-CM7-9-10-larger-Rev4, the latest version of CM9 (cm-9-encore-20120904-0700-unofficial), gapps-ics-20120429-signed, and the latest diskmanager (Release 0.6 (r46) - The "Tax Free" release).

Jason said...

Hi, Ben.

Thanks for the straight-forward directions on how to install CM9 on a microSD card. Like Anonymous, I used the same files and so far, it's working like a charm!


gx4dad said...

Ben you are the bomb, everything worked like a champ and I am now enjoying a device that has new life :)

Regards, J

Anonymous said...

How does one go about copying a file to the SD cards partition? Im running windows 8.

Ben Moore said...

I just use Windows Explorer. I open the the location of the CM9 nightly build zip in one instance of Windows Explorer and the SD card in another instance of Windows Explorer and then drag and drop from the first to the second.