There are two reasons for this:
- With a clean post, I can incorporate some "lessons learned".
- With a clean post, new commentors won't have that sinking "oh dear, do I need to read all these before I go on" feeling. I hate that feeling when I'm starting a new project.
So here we go...
Getting Your Stuff Together
Here is a list of all the things you will need:
- A Nook Color.
- A micro SD card. There's no mandatory size / format / manufacturer for this process, but quality does matter and I have no idea how you tell the "good" ones from the "bad" ones without buying them first. I use this micro SD card - I own three of these now, all from this listing on Amazon, and two of them are running CM7 for Nook Colors so I know they work well.
- You'll need a way to connect your micro SD card to your computer - something like this.
- An image-writing program like WinImage. I used WinImage85 in my tutorial.
- The CM7 installer image here. Note that the ".gz" extension is a compressed format - you'll need to unzip it with a program like WinRar.
- The CM7 build here. (Download the update-cm-ETCETERA-.zip file. Do not unzip - just leave as is.)
- The CM7 google apps installer here. (Scroll to the bottom until you see this download link.)
Prepping Your Nook Color
A lot of people don't need to prep their Nook Color for this method, but several commentors in the initial thread noted issues with starting from scratch on an NC running 1.2.0 firmware. Because of this, I would recommend using the UnLockr method of flashing your Nook Color to the 1.0.1 firmware. The video can be found here (The UnLockr) and it's very quick and easy to follow their video -- the process should take maybe 20 minutes.
Installing CM7 to the SD Card
Now a slew of videos to follow along with:
- Video 1 is an introduction to the process and gets you from "What is this whole CM7 thing that Ana keeps talking about?" to "Mmkay, we're putting the SD card in the computer now."
- Video 2 is a step-by-step computer tutorial showing how to use WinImage to write the CM7 installer to the SD card and how to move the CM7 build file over to the imaged card.
- Video 3 shows you how to put the SD card into your Nook Color so that the CM7 installer can build CM7 onto the SD card for actual use, and what to expect when you boot up CM7 for the first time.
- Video 4 is another step-by-step computer tutorial for where to put the gapps (Google apps) installer on your SD card for installation to the CM7 build.
- Video 5 shows you how to walk through the Google apps installation process, how to connect to WiFi, and how shiny and cool CM7 is once you've done this final step.
Couple of things to note here:
- First, make sure you're right-clicking WinImage and selecting "Run As Administrator" because that will affect what options are available from inside the image-writing program.
- Second, if you're feeling adventurous you can combine the Google Apps installation into an earlier step, but I think it's best to install everything in "baby steps" to keep it simple.
- Third, if you boot up the NC and just see the little blue CM7 surfer guy but nothing seems to happen: Wait about 5 minutes. The first boot takes awhile. If it doesn't clear up, press the "n" button on the front of the device a few times. Then hold the "n" down. Then graduate to hard-rebooting (holding the power button until it turns off and then rebooting). Then move to the next step section:
Troubleshooting Your Nook Color
Three out of four dentists don't have any trouble with their installation, but some people do have some issues. Let's go through them here.
- It just doesn't work -- it's broken. This is the scariest thing, but we'll see if we can't fix it, ok? Turn the NC off. Pop the SD card out. Boot up the NC. Does it boot up with the B&N software? If no, you'll need to reinstall the firmware by going back to the UnLockr. If yes, then worst case you have to start the CM7 install over again. Wipe the SD card (you'll need a partition manager like this one here) and start over -- or you may consider trying a different SD card brand.
- CM7 boots up but the Google Market is force-closing. Yuck. Can you redo Video 4 and 5 and reinstall the gapps package from within recovery mode? This is your best bet -- probably the first install didn't go right for some reason. Or, if you're having trouble downloading from the market, you may be running into:
- CM7 boots up but the WiFi connection isn't working. The easiest way to test this is to reboot into the stock B&N OS and see if the WiFi works there. If the WiFi works on the B&N environment, but not on the CM7 environment, you may have Cynthia's problem: she managed to clear it up by going into the tablet settings and setting the "save" settings from SD card to external memory.
Backing Up Your Nook Color
You may just want to backup your system data and apps, in which case I strongly recommend the Titanium Backup and Titanium Media Sync apps from the Google Market. However, if you want to back up the entire kit-and-kaboodle of your SD card as an image, you can do so with WinImage.
- Turn off your Nook Color.
- Remove the SD card and insert it into your computer card reader.
- Open the WinImage program as adminstrator.
- Select Disk --> "Creating Virtual Hard Disk image from physical drive..."
- Pick your SD card at the prompt.
- Save the image as an "*.ima" file to your local computer.
- After the image is saved, you'll be able to browse the partitions in WinImage - just ignore this and shut it down.
To restore the image to a new SD card, follow these steps:
- Pop in a new SD card of the same size (or larger).
- Open the WinImage program.
- Select Disk --> "Restore Virtual Hard Disk image on physical drive..."
- Pick your new SD card at the prompt.
- The image will save to the SD card - when you pop it into your Nook Color and boot up, everything should be the same as it was when you backed up the initial SD card.
As a final note, credits must be given where credit is most definitely due:
- Credit to The Unlockr for the stock firmware 1.0.1 factory reset method.
- Credit to the Cyanogen team for the CM7 build, the gapps install, and their tutorial here.
- Credit to VeryGreen for the size-agnostic SD card CM7 installer.
- Credit to Quinxy von Besiex for his article on SD card vs internal memory rooting.
- Credit to Quinxy von Besiex for his bluetooth keyboard instructions which I use with this keyboard.
- Credit to the community of MobileRead for introducing me to the concept of CM7.
- Credit to all my commentors for helping me improve this tutorial!