Nook Color CyanogenMod Install and Review

Nook Color CyanogenMod Install and ReviewIn a previous article I showed you how to root your Nook Color, which allows you to do things like install the full Android Market and run applications that were excluded from the Barnes & Noble version of the app store. As a word of caution, performing the update to CyanogenMod will cause your Nook Color to be unable to use the Barnes & Noble eBook reader features, so if those features are important to you, do not proceed. If you haven’t performed any of those steps, you will want to take a look at how to root your Nook Color before proceeding with the steps here, particularly the part about configuring ClockworkMod.

Assuming you’ve completed the steps to root your Nook Color, you can follow the steps below to install CyanogenMod on your Nook Color, which gives you Android 2.3.3 (or Gingerbread). I take the additional step of configuring the kernel to overclock the processor, which improves software performance a bit, but that’s optional.

Before you begin, make sure you have a microSD card with ClockworkMod installed, so you can copy the required components of CyanogenMod over to the microSD card. The section of the article on rooting your Nook Color titled Preparing your microSD card includes the steps to get you started.

Required Software
CyanogenMod 7 for Nook Color is the ROM you will be installing on your Nook. While there are other options, I highly recommend going with the most recent stable build.

Google Apps are necessary if you want the bundle of Google Android apps, including Gmail, YouTube, and Google Talk. If you are installing CyanogenMod 7, look for gapps-gb-20110613-signed.zip

Optional Software
Dalingrin overclocked kernel – this is the kernel update that allows you to overclock your Nook Color. If you are installing directly on your Nook Color, make sure to use the emmc version of the file. There are newer versions of the kernel than the update-CM7-dalingrin-OC-emmc-042411ext4.zip file linked here, but I was not successful in making those work, so I stuck with this older one that does seem to work.

Preparing to Install CyanogenMod
Once you have all the .zip files, it’s time to prepare your microSD card. Assuming you followed the steps to install ClockworkMod on your microSD, preparing the card is easy. You simply copy the .zip files from your computer to the card.

Power down your Nook Color and insert the microSD card in the card slot on the Nook. Power on your Nook Color and wait for it to boot to ClockworkMod. Before you install the actual files, you need to do two housekeeping items first.

Browse the menu to Mounts and storage, then choose format /system. Repeat this step and choose format /cache. In each case, you will need to confirm the format by choosing Yes from a long list of No menu items. Remember that the volume up/down buttons allow you to navigate the menu and the home button selects the item.

Once both formats are complete, you are ready to do the upgrade. Choose Install zip from SDcard from the menu. On the next screen, choose zip from SDcard. You need to install CyanogenMod first. This will likely be a file named update-cm-7.0.3-encore-signed.zip, unless you have a newer version. Here again, you choose Yes from a list of No options. After the ROM install completes, install the gapps-gb-20110613-signed.zip file. Finally, install the Dalingrin overclocked kernel. The kernel I used was update-CM7-dalingrin-OC-emmc-042411ext4.zip.

When all updates are installed, remove the microSD card and reboot. You should see the blue CyanogenMod 7 Android logo shortly after the Read Forever tagline appears on the screen. If the boot process gets stuck the first time, shut it down and try again; in my repeating of the install, I had to restart twice before I got CyanogenMod to boot completely.

When your update completes, the first time you boot you will be asked which of the Google apps you want to install. Among the things you will notice about CyanogenMod are improved battery life over the version of Froyo that Barnes & Noble installs by default. If you go to the system settings, you can overclock the processor under the CyanogenMod settings (which I show in the video below). And of course, you have all the available Android features. One annoyance in this process is that CyanogenMod thinks the Nook Color is a phone, so you have useless phone features, including wasting needless battery cycles on looking for the cell phone network. I’ll take that minor inconvenience, because CyanogenMod runs smoothly, lets me install the apps I want, and makes the Nook Color a delightful 7-inch tablet experience.

I highly recommend watching the video below to see these steps before attempting them on your own device.

  • YeAh THaTs ME

    so when it gets stuck on the colorful nook color screen we should reinstall every again follwing all the steps.. starting at formating system etc…

  • YeAh THaTs ME

    so when it gets stuck on the colorful nook color screen we should reinstall every again follwing all the steps.. starting at formating system etc…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AA7KA6DP2VFFL2HKJQWMQLF47Q Anonymous

    If I go ahead and do the the CyanogenMod 7 is there anyway to ever restore my nook back to its original B&N state?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AA7KA6DP2VFFL2HKJQWMQLF47Q Anonymous

    If I go ahead and do the the CyanogenMod 7 is there anyway to ever restore my nook back to its original B&N state?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NJ73ZYIQDOENFOXSF4AOHP5MIU tc

    I am also getting the same Nook Color logo.. can someone help? Im using a 2gb car if that makes any difference.

    i repeated steps several times and no dice. please help!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NJ73ZYIQDOENFOXSF4AOHP5MIU tc

    I am also getting the same Nook Color logo.. can someone help? Im using a 2gb car if that makes any difference.

    i repeated steps several times and no dice. please help!

  • Joe Barco

    I followed your directions, ran into the continuous color loop like many others.
    I went started from scratch, which is quick the 2nd time around, and did one extra step that worked for me and may work for others also.
    When you are in the ClockWork boot menu, before you install the cyanogenmod, format the system, data, and CACHE folders.
    After doing that I then installed the mod and then the google apps. Removed sdcard, rebooted, and worked for me.
    So if you’re stuck in the Color Nook boot screen like I was, give that a try.

  • Joe Barco

    I followed your directions, ran into the continuous color loop like many others.
    I restarted from scratch, which is quick the 2nd time around, and did one extra step that worked for me and may work for others also.
    When you are in the ClockWork boot menu, before you install the cyanogenmod, format the system, data, and CACHE folders.
    After doing that I then installed the mod and then the google apps. Removed sdcard, rebooted, and worked for me.
    So if you’re stuck in the Color Nook boot screen like I was, give that a try.

    • Cvsurg2001

      Joe Barco nailed it with his tweak on the installation.  Did what he said, and I got it on the first try.  Udaman!

    • Cvsurg2001

      Joe Barco nailed it with his tweak on the installation.  Did what he said, and I got it on the first try.  Udaman!

    • Cvsurg2001

      Joe Barco nailed it with his tweak on the installation.  Did what he said, and I got it on the first try.  Udaman!

  • Joe Barco

    I followed your directions, ran into the continuous color loop like many others.
    I restarted from scratch, which is quick the 2nd time around, and did one extra step that worked for me and may work for others also.
    When you are in the ClockWork boot menu, before you install the cyanogenmod, format the system, data, and CACHE folders.
    After doing that I then installed the mod and then the google apps. Removed sdcard, rebooted, and worked for me.
    So if you’re stuck in the Color Nook boot screen like I was, give that a try.

  • Anonymous

    Everything worked great EXCEPT I cant get it to shut off. Goes through the shut down cycle, spinning circle, then stops dead. I mean dead like a dear caught in headlights. Have to hold the power button for 10 seconds to turn off. Any ideas to help out.

  • Anonymous

    Everything worked great EXCEPT I cant get it to shut off. Goes through the shut down cycle, spinning circle, then stops dead. I mean dead like a dear caught in headlights. Have to hold the power button for 10 seconds to turn off. Any ideas to help out.

  • Mark

    I did what Joe said and it worked for me.  Thanks Joe!!!

  • Keelers

    Anybody getting stuck at the cyanogenmod boot screen? I’ve been trying for a few days now, and it doesn’t seem to want to get past the blue boot screen. I also tried to format the data, but it says something about an error on doing that…

  • Keelers

    Anybody getting stuck at the cyanogenmod boot screen? I’ve been trying for a few days now, and it doesn’t seem to want to get past the blue boot screen. I also tried to format the data, but it says something about an error on doing that…

  • Deardustin

    I was going through the boot loop… did everything as per instructions, even followed Joe Barco’s method of formatting data as well… no luck… UNTIL… I realized that for the first time around I should only attempt installing the cyanogenmod & google apps… and hold off on the overclocking mod. Worked like a charm.

  • Deardustin

    I was going through the boot loop… did everything as per instructions, even followed Joe Barco’s method of formatting data as well… no luck… UNTIL… I realized that for the first time around I should only attempt installing the cyanogenmod & google apps… and hold off on the overclocking mod. Worked like a charm.