January 9, 2013 By: Joseph Hindy
Booting into multiple versions of Android have become kind of quite common around these parts. There are many devices that can dual boot. Usually it’s in the form of an OEM-skinned ROM and a AOSP-based ROM, which users choose to flash. Recently however, developers have been pushing a little further than that. The HTC HD2 received triple boot, where it could boot not only into three different ROMs, but those were actually different operating systems. Now, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet can quad-booting.
XDA Forum Member malloneem wrote a tutorial that allows users to flash up to three ROMs on a SD card, while leaving the stock Nook software on the tablet’s storage. That’s four total bootable ROMs. As malloneem explains:
This is a guide to use with Windows to create a 3-Boot SD card for a nook Tablet 8GB or 16 GB. After you are done you will be able to choose to boot into your regular nook OS or choose between CM7, CM9 or CM 10.
As stated by the developer, this can only be accomplished through Windows at the moment. Users will be run through the partition process in such a manner that three ROMs can run from it. That is really the majority of the tutorial. Then it’s a matter from grabbing ROMs from the various ROM developers and installing them all. It’s a long and tedious process, though, so make sure to have an afternoon to dedicate.
To see the whole tutorial, check out the original thread.
April 3, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
The SD card on the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is more important than it is on most other devices. From the SD card, you can boot Android, unbrick your Nook Tablet, and perform a number of other impressive things. XDA Forum Member meghd00t has released a method that will not only help unfortunate users unbrick their devices using the SD card, but has also added some functionality that provides a 12GB media partition to use for things like music and video.
The steps aren’t too difficult and the process itself shouldn’t take too long, but users who go this route should definitely be sure to read the full instructions to make sure nothing gets messed up. The defining feature of the method is that it does not require ADB in order to unbrick the Nook Tablet. In the words of the developer:
simple no adb required
follows B&N partition table properly
keeps the Nook serial and other Information
small size (actually the only new file here is only 5MB)
should work will all 8GB & 16GB tablets
Of course, as always, there are some negatives to the process, including:
inflexible about the 1.4.2 upgrade (otherwise no 8GB support)
you will get my chosen 12GB media partition, but I have given you all the tools to make your own
If those things don’t bother you, though, head on over to the modification thread for additional information, the full method, and a full explanation of what the process does.
When the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet was first rooted, many members noticed that they had only 1 GB in media and 11 GB in their /data partitions. Because of this sub-optimal partition scheme, many members started an effort to fix this irregularity. XDA Forum Member tselling managed to fix the problem by releasing a guide that will successfully re-partition those 11GB so that the precious memory could be used for something more useful.
Word to the wise, the process is long and complicated, so it definitely not something that should be done unless you have a lot of time on your hands. Basically, it involves making a backup—something that everyone should be doing anyway—and using ADB to re-partition the internal memory of the device. If attempting, be sure you read the commands carefully and enter them exactly or something could go very wrong. By the end, your partitions will look something like this:
1 131kB 262kB 131kB xloader
2 262kB 524kB 262kB bootloader
3 524kB 16.3MB 15.7MB recovery
4 16.8MB 33.6MB 16.8MB boot
5 33.6MB 83.9MB 50.3MB fat32 rom
6 83.9MB 134MB 50.3MB fat32 bootdata
7 134MB 522MB 388MB ext4 factory
8 522MB 1164MB 642MB ext4 system
9 1164MB 1611MB 447MB ext4 cache
10 1611MB 11.6GB 9989MB fat32 media msftres
11 11.6GB 15.9GB 4326MB ext4 userdata
March 10, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Development for the Barnes & Nobles Nook Tablet has been on the rise, and with more development activity comes more fun things for people to flash. XDA Forum Member CSX321 has released a method to get Google Calender synchronization and side-loading working on the device.
The process is a little complicated and requires at least a little knowledge of XML editing and ADB. Also, be sure you use a Unix friendly editor, such as Notepad++, because Windows Notepad could mess things up. Enabling side-loading is a hair more difficult, says the developer:
Now for enabling sideloading. I tried NT Hidden Settings, but for some reason even the latest version didn’t work for me to enable sideloading. I just fell back on the technique of manually enabling it in settings.db:
So for now, the only way to get side-loading working is by editing the settings.db.
You can find the full list of edits that need to be made, screen shots, and download links in the original thread. Just be sure to make a backup before attempting anything!
March 8, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Sometimes it only takes one exploit or one little piece of development to blow the lid off of a device’s development. For most devices, that exploit is root access. However, even after achieving root, things can go wrong. Take the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet for instance. Even when rooted, many difficulties were faced when modifying system files. Until now, that is.
XDA Forum Member jichuan89 has published a method that allows Nook Tablet owners to modify their system files. As for icing on the cake, the developer used the exploit to give copy/paste functionality on stock, rooted Nook Tablets—an exploit and a feature add-on in the same day! Essentially, /system/bin/uim-sysfs can modify the /system partition, as long as it changes everything back before the reboot. In the words of the developer:
and discovered that /init.omap4430.rc starts /system/bin/uim-sysfs with root permissions at boot, but /system/bin/uim-sysfs does not actually exist. In addition, /system/bin/uim-sysfs is not in /manifest00 or /manifest01, and is thus not verified by /init.
For those who aren’t so technically inclined, it basically means that uim-sysfs can do whatever it wants to the Nook Tablet, as long as all stock settings are restored before rebooting so that it doesn’t get caught by the built-in security of the device.
The method for the Copy/Paste functionality uses this fun little exploit, and is quite simple. Simply drag and drop files into the folders specified. However, it’s best to make a backup before attempting the Copy/Paste mod, as it can throw the Nook Tablet into boot loops.
Head on over to the exploit thread for all the nitty-gritty on uim-sysfs. Those looking to incorporate copy/paste functionality should head over to the copy/paste thread for download links, a video tutorial, and additional information.
Vastly generalizing things, mobile devices have two bootloaders—a primary bootloader and a secondary bootloader. While many devices obtain S-Off via replacing the secondary bootloader, not every device receives a completely customized secondary bootloader to replace the factory offering. Luckily, however, the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is now one of those lucky few.
XDA Recognized Developer fattire has released a secondary bootloader dubbed CyanoBoot. The bootloader itself is based on the open source U-Boot project that was then customized by XDA Forum Member Bauwks. In the words of the developer:
CyanoBoot (working title) is a “second bootloader” in early development, which is based on the open-source “u-boot” project, as further customized by BN & Bauwks. It is similar to the bootloader provided by Bauwks but has additional enhancements to make booting unsigned partitions easier and to generally enhance the booting experience on the Nook Tablet (aka “acclaim”) device.
There are also a whole bunch of features, including:
Started with “UB1” (aka u-boot, “first boot”) source code
Includes changes to support new 512MB model
Includes Bauwks’ repairs to fix “locked bootloader” malware
Many duplicate UB1 functions removed
One-build-boots-all (emmc or SD card, custom OS or stock)
Boot device indicator (top-left corner)
Bootcount indicator (top-left corner)
On-screen feedback to let you know what it’s loading.
Console-based boot menu
Support for key-combo shortcuts for menu/recovery
Alternate “Altboot” multiboot support allows 2nd OS.
Emmc setting for default boot profile (normal/altboot)
Emmc setting for default boot device (emmc or sd)
Emmc setting for automatic bootcount clearing
Boot fallback for stock firmware (0 bytes + sec. header)
Boot fallback for bauwks’ uboot (256 bytes)
Numerous visual enhancements
Unused bulky images removed (smaller file)
FASTBOOT support (w/menu selection)
On-screen build timestamp so you know version
Now, the important thing to remember is that it’s still in a very early beta stage so many of these features may have bugs so it’s very important to not attempt unless you’re a developer looking to help out or you’re comfortable enough with the risks to flash it, which can include bricking the device entirely.
CYANOBOOT (WORKING TITLE) IS HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED BY NON-DEVELOPERS AND/OR THOSE UNWILLING TO ACCEPT FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY UNTOWARD CONSEQUENCES OF USING (OR ATTEMPTING TO USE) THE SOFTWARE. ALL SUCH ACTIVITY MUST OCCUR *ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK* AND YOU ACCEPT ALL CONSEQUENCES FOR DOING SO
For those feeling particularly brave and don’t mind that they’re doing this at their own risk, or for developers who want to help you, you can check out the original thread for what amounts to a short novella of information—including what it is, how to use it, feature list, download links, and of course, the shout outs and thank yous.
January 30, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
It’s hard to throw around some words in the Android development community. Some mods are superb, some ROMs get tens of thousands of users and their threads have millions of views. Some themes are universally loved and some things people just can’t imagine living without. Even so, there are very few releases that can be described as truly great.
So, as a result of my work, I would like to present the first ever Ubuntu Recovery. This will totally wipe your device. With the exception of the ROM Partition which contains serial information, every single partition will have zeros written to it then flashed with just enough to perform an initial factory reflash. Normally when you perform an update or flash of a device, it is simply formatted. A formatted device can be unformatted. A zeroed device cannot be unformatted. All information is overwritten with zeros.
This will also work if you’ve damaged the bootloaders or recovery partition.
The recovery will wipe your device clean sans some important ROM information and the parts that allow for a factory re-flash and could be helpful for those trying to restore back to 1.4.0 firmware on their Nook Tablets.
For additional information, screenshots, full instructions and even a nifty how-to on creating a recovery SD card, you can find everything you need in the original thread.
January 6, 2012 By: Cameron Wright
The Nook Tablet, launched with a hardware security hole
The device was released allowing ADB to be accessed. Barnes and Nobel quickly patched this hole. o XDA Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a reversion package imediately, and XDA Senior Member Dean Gibson worked on restoring this ability in 1.4.1. AdamOutler then released a Nook Tablet HackPack, discovered a method to boot the Nook Tablet securely from SDCard and showed us how to set up UART with the assistance of XDA Senior Member Pokey9000.
Finally, pulling together all the techniques learned, member hkvc was able to totally bypass the device’s security at the bootloader. He calls it NOP Based Security Bypass. hkvc’s technique loads a custom kernel into memory, modifies security registers, then executes a custom kernel. This requires a hardware modification and may lead to the first mobile device with a modchip. However, using the power of booting from SDCard this will be an unpatchable security exploit and allow custom ROMs like CyanogenMod and Ice Cream Sandwich to run on the Nook Tablet eventually.
Score one more hack for XDA-Developers.
Reversion Package: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1402190
1.4.1 restored: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1413734
Booting nook tablet from SDCard: http://forum.xda-developers.com/report.php?p=20888654
Nook Tablet Hack Pack: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1411379
Setting up uart: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1423009
NOP Based Security Bypass: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1425044
December 25, 2011 By: liwen
A few days ago, we reported how an OTA update for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet fixed a hole that allowed you to sideload apps. It worked like this:
After pointing the browser to an APK and downloading it, a notification will pop up. When trying to install the APK with “Package Installer”, a hidden settings menu appears where you have to check the box labeled “Unknown sources (Allow installation of non-Market applications)”. Doing this once will enable you to install any APK through the browser (for instance a third-party launcher, since those sideloaded apps won’t show up on the stock Barnes & Noble homescreen).
Now, forum member brianf21 developed an app that allows you to easily access said hidden settings menu. Actually, in addition to the application settings mentioned above, his app also covers development and accessibility settings, and he’s promised to add more once they’re discovered.
Head over to the forum thread to download the app.
Just a few days ago, we wrote about how the Kindle Fire was rooted, cracking the doors wide open for development. We were then unshackled from Amazon’s chains the very next day with full access to Google’s Apps. With all that development work so soon after launch, we assumed that Amazon had stolen Barnes & Noble’s niche.
Perhaps we were a bit too hasty. Today, we are proud to state that the Barnes & Noble’s latest device, the Nook Tablet, has been rooted as well. XDA forum member Indirect achieved root access using the zergRush method, similar to what death2all110 used to root the Fire. Six forum pages later, iShepherd found out that the same method for installing Google Apps on the Fire also works on the Nook Tablet.
I have gotten zergRush to work on the nook tablet as well as created a batch script for you to run to allow you to root your tablet. This does NOT unlock the bootloader software/hardware checks this is just so you can remove whatever unnecessary crap you wish to get the **** off your device.
If you’re the lucky owner of a Nook Tablet, head over to the original thread to get started. Once you’ve achieved su, get in on the Google Apps fun by following these instructions. We all know that’s the real reason you bought an e-reader.
November 9, 2011 By: egzthunder1
As we said last time, we are getting closer to the all mighty holiday (shopping) season and because of that we will likely see a flurry of new devices coming at us from all different directions. Several manufacturers started this game a tad early, HTC and Samsung to be more precise. However, there are a few odd manufacturers who will release new devices in order to stay competitive, even if you don’t expect them to. Barnes & Noble is one such company. They just released a brand new device into their already famous Nook family of devices. This time, the Nook Color received a big brother dubbed as the Nook Tablet, which boasts a dual core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on board storage, and a low glare, quasi-180º viewing angle screen capable of 1080 playback. This neat piece of technology is aimed to be a direct competitor to the Kindle Fire by Amazon. Let’s see who wins this race.
On other news, HTC released a new Verizon device named HTC Rezound, which aside from being similar to the Sensation XE in a few areas such as the 1.5 GHz dual core processor, this one comes loaded with much heavier specs in other departments such as a boost to 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. However, the biggest feature on this device is the HD (not qHD but actual HD) Super LCD screen with resolution of 1280×720, which really is a first for any mobile phone out there.
Last but not least, we also added a new forum for the HTC Vivid. This device is pretty much up to par with the Rezound in most departments with the exception of the screen resolution (not that a qHD screen is a bad thing). However, what it doesn’t have in the resolution department, it makes up in size. The Vivid offers a slightly larger screen at 4.5 inches (as opposed to 4.3 on the Rezound). So, if you needed an excuse to get out of your old Inspire 4G, now you got one.
If you already have any of these devices or are planning on getting one (or all 3), make sure that you visit the new fora for up to date news, hacks, tips, and more.
You can visit the Nook Tablet forums here.
You can visit the Vivid forums here.
You can visit the Rezound forums here.
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