[Guide] How to install CM9 on your Nook Color

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  1. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member


    You need to have a micro sd card installed to flash most custom roms b/c many apps need the card for storage. A 4 gb card will do, but I prefer a 16 gb. (32 gb is the biggest that will work with the Nook Color.) If you're purchasing a sd card, pick up a cheap 2 gb micro sd that you can use for an emergency boot disk, in case you can't boot your NC. How to make a bootable CWM recovery sd card.

    There are 3 sections here, depending on your situation.

    1. How to upgrade an existing version of CM7 or CM9 on your Nook Color (not sd card). :D

    For users of stock rom, rooted or not, see the section that uses a CWR/TWRP bootable sdcard.

    Wiping data will erase your personal settings on the NC, but not the external sd card, if you have one. If you have apps with settings that you want to preserve, install Titanium Backup from Market. The Pro version allows more than one backup of each app and also simplifies restoring apps so you don't have to tap "install" and "done" after ever one. See my Backup 101 for more info on this.

    While you're backing up things, why not make a recovery backup of your current rom, just in case you decide you like that better or there's a problem with your custom rom?

    • Open Rom Manager and tap the second option, "reboot into Recovery"
    • (To use recovery, up/down volume buttons are used to navigate up and down, press the power button to go back, and press the "n" button to do the highlighted task)
    • Press up or down volume button until "backup and restore" is highlighted, press "n" button.
    • backup should be highlighted, press the "n" button.
    • make sure there are no errors.
    • press the power button once if necessary until the "reboot system now" option is available, press the "n" button to return to your rom.

    What you need to know before installing:

    Stable builds or release candidates are recommended for most users, but as of this writing, none are available. New versions come out every couple months or so.

    Nightly builds: Nightly builds are created just about ever night. They are generated from the Cyanogenmod github and the contents vary from day to day with minimal testing. You maybe have good luck for many days in a row, then could end up with a stinker. I suggest making a backup in recovery before installing.

    Eyeballer and Samiam33 both build their own nightly builds of CM9. Both are good and based on the same CyanogenMod code, but often have their own tweaks and may have preliminary code not officially released. Samiam's downloads are available here and Eyeballer's here. I suggest you check out their respective threads on XDA for more info, along with other downloads that you may want to download.

    You will need to install:

    1. The rom. Download from Eyeballer or Samiam33 via the above links.
    2. The latest CM9 version of Google apps. (CM9 and CM7 have their own version, which you cannot swap.) This includes Play Store (Market) and most Google apps. A few apps like Gmail and YouTube are no longer included, but are available from Play Store.

    FORMATTING DATA: format data if you want to delete all your apps or have a fresh start. Google will still remember your purchased apps and will attempt to download the ones you've downloaded, assuming you have this turned on. See Settings... Privacy... "Back up my data" and "Automatic restore" should both be check for some time prior to installing if you want it to remember your apps and settings. Officially, formatting data is recommended for any rom install. Unofficially, I've had good results just updating my previous rom without formatting data. Your results may differ. :D The one exception? You need to format data if coming from the stock B&N rom or a different rom. Also formatting data is recommended if coming from a different rom (like CM7). If you develop instability or boot looping, boot into recovery and format data, cache, clear Dalvik cache and try again.

    Your rom can be installed from recovery on your NC (boot into recovery from Rom Manager) or by using a separate bootable CWR sd card. This tutorial will cover both installation methods.

    An easy way of downloading all this directly to your NC is to purchase Rom Manager from market, less than $6. It will download the latest stable or nightly CyanogenMod rom and the latest Google Apps. The files are downloaded to the clockworkmod\download folder on the sdcard. Although this way is easier when it works, you'll need to do the bootable CWR sdcard method (below) if it doesn't. :D

    These are generic images of RM, not necessarily current NC versions:


    2. How to install CM9 via Rom Manager (premium).

    This is the easiest way to update your rom. If you run into a problem where your NC doesn't boot within 5 minutes or so, you'll need to use the other method (installing via a bootable CWR card) to recover or repair.

    The premium version of RM will allow you to download roms directly to your sdcard without removing cards.

    1. To maximize battery performance, make sure your battery is charged to 100% before flashing. I prefer to let it charge during the flashing process.
    2. Open Rom Manager. Make sure you have the latest version of RM by tapping the top the top item, "Flash ClockworkMod Recover" if your version isn't at the same as the current version ( as of this post)
    3. Tap "Download Rom". Tap CyanogenMod. You should get a list of stable Roms.
    4. Tap latest stable version, if available or a good rated nightly. It should give you a notice that's it's downloading.
    5. Hit back. Tap "Google Apps".
    6. Tap the latest version, which will be the first one (20120317 as of this writing). Again it should give you notice that it's downloading.
    7. When everything is done downloading, RM will prompt you to install. Although this will probably work. I prefer to use recovery to install b/c that's the method you'll need to know how to use should you ever need to repair an installation.
    8. Cancel the prompt to install the rom and tap "Reboot into Recovery" and tap OK at the prompt.
    9. (To use recovery, up/down volume buttons are used to navigate up and down, press the power button to go back, and press the "n" button to do the highlighted task. Only briefly press the buttons since it's easy to skip a step by holding down a button too long.)
    10. Press up or down volume button until "mounts and storage" is highlighted, press "n" button.
    11. use up/down to highlight "format /system", press "n"
    12. highlight "yes - format", press "n" (always watch for errors)
    13. when that finishes, highlight "format /cache", press "n"
    14. highlight "yes -format", press "n"
    15. IF FORMATTING DATA (see above description. Most people can safely skip this step), highlight "format /data", press "n". (You need to format data if coming from the stock B&N rom.)
    16. press power button briefly to return to previous menu
    17. select "install zip from sdcard", press "n"
    18. select "choose zip from sdcard", press "n"
    19. select "clockworkmod/" folder, press "n"
    20. select "download/" folder, press "n"
    21. select download.cyanogenmod.com, press "n"
    22. select "get", press "n"
    23. select your CM rom, press "n"
    24. highlight "Yes - install... (rom filename), press "n"
    25. Make sure your rom completed successfully (up to 5 minutes), then flash Google Apps.
    26. select "choose zip from sdcard", press "n"
    27. select "clockworkmod/" folder, press "n"
    28. select "download/" folder, press "n"
    29. select "goo-inside.me/", press "n"
    30. select "gapps/", press "n"
    31. select your gApps version, press "n"
    32. highlight "Yes - install... (gapps file name), press "n"
    33. Make sure your gApps completed successfully, then press power button to go back until "reboot" is visible. Select "reboot system now", press "n"
    34. Let your nook sit for 5 minutes to settle
    35. If you formatted data, you'll need to do these steps:
      1. Connect to your wi-fi: drag status bar up from bottom (you'll see a wifi icon on it), choose wi-fi and enter settings. O/W Settings > wireless and network > wi-fi settings
      2. Set your clock: Settings > Date & Time > Uncheck

    Attached Files:

  2. iamsmitty

    iamsmitty New Member

    Great job on this guide! Worked like a charm. Only suggestion would be to be to include the fact that after downloading the Zip files-do not unzip the files, but rather copy the zip files to sd card. Otherwise great guide, thanks again.
  3. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    Is that what you did? :D
  4. TalkieToaster

    TalkieToaster Active Member

    It worked, thanks!
  5. thunder18

    thunder18 Well-Known Member

    Will definitely be trying this soon. How is the performance on CM9 vs. CM7?
  6. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member


    Stick with CM7. The NC is too old, too slow and doesn't have the hardware to run ICS. Maybe Jelly Bean will be better, but CM7 is faster on the NC.

    ICS on my dual core Galaxy Nexus = Fast
    JB on my quad core Nexus 7 = very fast

    Even CM7 on the NC isn't fast. (Sorry)
    thunder18 likes this.
  7. 2acclaim

    2acclaim Well-Known Member

    i haven't checked a while, how complete is CM9 for the nook now? Last i tried things like netflix weren't working at all.
  8. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    It's pretty slow. I restored a Mirage cm7 backup on my wife's NC and it's MUCH faster.

    I love ICS, but IMO the NC doesn't have the power to run it. Maybe JB will run better.
    iamsmitty likes this.
  9. 2acclaim

    2acclaim Well-Known Member

    well I tried the ICS rom again. Agreed not enough horsepower under the hood to properly run the build. It's not horrible but ideally not the best setup.

    I did get jellybean on my I777 and the speed tweaks are noticeable. Not sure if it'll help on the Nook or if Jellybean utilizes the multi cores better.
  10. asdfzxcv

    asdfzxcv New Member

    Does this process boot CM9 from the mSD card or the internal EMMC memory?
  11. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    asdfzxcv likes this.
  12. dorianny

    dorianny New Member

    Even with all the efforts of the cm7 team there is no getting away from the fact that jelly bean was not designed for tables. CM9 running ICS was designed for tables and it is even more enjoyable then upgrading to windows 95 from 3.11
    It is an absolute joy and now I find myself regularly taking the nook with me instead of the over-sized ipad2. You will want to install the opengl version of the nightly.. Note that the first thing you will want to do after installing is to go the the Performance settings and set the minimum cpu speed to 800mhz. This will make the system very responsive. Setting the maximum to a overclocked 1200Mhz and choosing the performance governor will make things awesomely fast. Currently I am playing Spectral Souls, a fully 3d game ported from the psp, and it runs at full speed with no slowdowns whatsoever.
    Having said all of that CM9 is still very much alpha software and it comes with lots of issues. The nightly I am running seems to have memory allocation issues and exiting or switching applications sometimes crashes the system.
    Deep sleep doesn't work for me (not a problem as far as I am concerned as I simply keep it plugged at night). netflix doesn't start at all (a deal breaker for some but I never found netflix to be a enjoyable experience on such a small low -res screen). install gmd gesture control from the market makes the system even more enjoyable (Note they you will have to select single finger gestures as multifinger doesn't work and you will have to go under advanced and select the HC_FT5x parser)
    Making a backup and taking CM9 for a spin is definitely a fun weekend project.
  13. tchudson

    tchudson Member

    If I decided to give it a try, can I upgrade an SD running CM7 to CM9 without losing any apps?
  14. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    My experience is the Nook Color is too slow (not enough memory or cpu) to run CM9 or CM10. I considered both to be unusable. On my wife's NC, when I tried either, I always came back to CM7.
  15. dhizzy

    dhizzy New Member

    hey i followed ur step by step instructions on what to do and have come across an error.
    my nook color running on fw 1.4.3 gets an error about "unfortunately, android keyboard has stopped"
    i am clueless as to what to do..please help
  16. colchiro

    colchiro Well-Known Member

    At what point did you get the error? Were you able to activate it by entering your gmail acct? Were you able to install any apps? Or did you get it right away?

    Did you flash 20120317 gapps or a different version?

    What rom did you flash? Was it a nightly?

    Did you format cache AND Dalvik cache?

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