Today I will describe the steps needed to install CyanogenMod on a bootable SD card for use on the Nook Color. The point of making a bootable SD card is that it preserves the stock install of the Nook Color (and your warranty). In plain English this means you will still be able to continue to purchase & share books, magazines, and apps from B&N, then when you want to use the Nook Color as an Android tablet you may “pop-in” the SD Card that has a bootable CyanogenMod 7 image.
This gives you the ability to purchase Android Market apps, use Gingerbread (Android 2.3), and lets you take advantage of the working bluetooth chip hidden from users and disabled on the hobbled flavour of Android installed by default on the Nook Color.
I read many sources of information and grateful for the information learned from members of these incredible communities: CyanogenMod Wiki, XDAdevelopers, and NookDevs. The install method I formulated is an amalgamation from information found on the Nookdevs and XDAdevelopers pages and forums.
Some prerequisites before you begin – first you will need a suitable micro SD card, I am using a PNY 8GB Class 4 micro SD card for my image, 2GB is too small and 4GB cards aren’t worth the bother. But according to this table you may wish to purchase a cheap Sandisk Class 2 8GB card for best performance.
Another hardware requirement is a way to write data to the micro SD card if your computer does not have a slot, the solution is a USB to micro SD adapter. Although I used an adapter that came bundled with another card I had purchased in the past, this and this were found on Amazon within minutes, these adapters are available at virtually all shops that carry micro SD cards, or usually bundled with a card as mine was. Cost is usually very cheap, especially if purchased online.
Upon procuring the necessary hardware, you will also need to download this short list of files:
- CyanogenMod v7.0.3 encore (stable) – found via this page.
- Version 1.3 of the “size agnostic” CM7 SD card installer – found via this page.
- Google Apps for CM7 found via this page.
After the three files have been downloaded, place all of them in the same folder. If using Mac OS X, place the files in a new folder named cm7 in your home folder, and if using windows place the files in a folder with the path of C:\cm7.
Windows users can extract using the 7-Zip application.
Now insert the card into the adapter and plug into a USB port and type this command into your open terminal window:
$ diskutil list
The diskutil list command is used to find the disk number of the sd card, the number is used to instruct the disk dump (dd) command to write a bootable partition table.
Based on the information listed, I determined that the /dev/disk3 entry on my machine matched everything I know about the sd card: the size (8GB), partition type (DOS fat 32 partition), and mount point, (I mounted this disk last). A good way to verify this is to run the diskutil list command immediately before and after inserting the sd card, comparing the tables to find the new entry that will be the number of the micro SD card. It is vital to know the correct disk number, because this information is used to write a new partition table on the card, effectively formatting it, so please double-check to ensure you use the right /dev/disk mount point number or the wrong disc will be formatted.
Run the following terminal commands on your Mac after you find the mount point, replacing /dev/disk# with the proper mount number:
$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk#
$ dd if=generic-sdcard-v1.3.img of=/dev/disk# bs=1m
Windows volk need to use the WinImage program to write the generic-sdcard-v1.3.img image file to the appropriate micro SD card drive mounted on their system.
After the image has been written to your SD card, copy the update-cm-7.0.3-encore-signed.zip and gapps-gb-20110307-signed.zip to the micro sd card (NOTE: if you do not desire access to Google Market & Apps, neglect to copy the gapps-gb-20110307-signed.zip file). Do not unzip or extract them, simply copy the zip files to the root folder (no subfolder) of the micro SD card drive most likely named “boot”. Although the following screenshots are of a Finder window on a Mac, the same exact principle applies to windows users using Windows Explorer.
Now you may eject the sdcard, ensuring that your Nook Color is powered completely off and insert the card in the corner slot of your Nook Color, turn on and begin to finalise installation of CyanogenMod 7.
You may think that the system is hung at the Flushing caches step, this delay is normal on the first boot, shortly afterword the CM7 install will be finished and the system will power down. Turn your Nook Color back on, it will now boot CM7 and so you can setup your Google Market account: