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[Guide] How to make a bootable CWM (ClockWorkMod) or TWRP bootable sd card (06-04-2013)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by colchiro, May 1, 2011.

  1. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    This only works with the B&N Nook Color. If you have a Nook Touch, this will not work.

    Should your NC be unable to boot, you should have a cheap sd card devoted to just this task. A 2 or 4 gb micro sd card is cheap, usually well under $10 and makes a nice utility to have around should you need it.

    What you'll need to have or buy:

    • Small micro sd card. 1 gb will work.
    • Adapter to plug it into your computer (usb adapter is the cheapest and works the best)

    What you'll need to download:

    TWRP images use the touch screen instead of volume, power and "n" buttons and can do everything CWM (clockworkmod) recovery does. For more info go here: TeamWin Projects - TWRP 2.5 - | TeamWin

    Create your bootable sd card (Windows):
    Install WinImage trial version (or Win32 Image Writer) and WinRar, also a trial version. Right-click on the downloaded CWM/TWRP zip file and open the image with WinRar. Click the "test" button to make sure your file is good, then extract the image.

    Flashing with WinImage:
    WinImage is easiest to install, but more difficult to use.

    Plug your micro sd card in your computer, then open WinImage and choose "Restore virtual hard disk image" from the "Disk" menu. A list of available usb drives will pop up. Choose your sd card from the list and click "OK". A browse dialog will appear, prompting you choose your extracted image. From the drop-down menu just above the open & cancel buttons, choose "All files". The file should be named CWM- or TWRP-2.1.8-bootable-SD.img, depending on which one you downloaded. (You want the img files, not the original zip file you extracted it from.)

    Flashing with Win32-Image-Writer:
    Win32 Image Writer is easiest to use, but doesn't create a shortcut for your use.


    Nothing to install with this program, just extract the files and double-click the Win32DiskImager.exe file. Click the blue folder icon and browse for your CWM- or TWRP-2.1.8-bootable-SD.img, depending on which one you downloaded. Under Device, make sure you have your sdcard selected. If you only have one sdcard, this should be no problem. :D Click the "write" button to write the image.

    You should see a progress indicator while flashing your sd card, which will take several minutes. If the disk is in use, you will not be able to copy the image to the card. Close any Windows Explorer windows and try again.

    Always try to safely eject the card when done using it. You can right-click on the drive from My Computer or find the "Safely remove hardware" icon by the clock (looks like a usb plug). O/w your card could develop errors.

    To create your bootable sd card with a Mac computer: How to burn ISO disc images - Mac OS X Hints

    Sdcard adapters:
    Some people have had issues trying to flash the image from sdcard slots on their computer. A usb adapter usually works best.

    Now what can you do with your new bootable CWM/TWRP sd card?

    • You can flash a rom. Plug it into your computer and copy your rom file to it
    • You can backup your rom. (under "backup and restore" menu.)
    • You can restore a recovery backup, should your new rom never boot.

    How to boot into your CWM/TWRP card?
    • Power down your NC.
    • Remove the existing sdcard from your NC.
    • Insert your bootable sdcard and hold your power button until your NC powers on.
    • If you boot into your rom instead of recovery, you didn't properly flash the sdcard. (Were there errors from WinZip?)

    How to navigate those CWM recovery menus:
    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.

    How to create a CWM backup on the sdcard of your current (stock or custom) rom.
    This back will be saved to the sdcard and can only be restored after booting off the sdcard. Each backup will be about 1 gb, so might not fit on a 1 gb card. (Doesn't work with the current images, which are only 300 mb in size.)

    • Boot from the bootable sdcard.
    • Using the volume up/down buttons, choose "Backup/Restore", press "n".
    • Choose "Backup", press "n".
    • Watch for errors. It's normal to see "No sd-ext found. Skipping backup of sd-ext". That is not an error.
    • Eject the sdcard.
    • Choose "reboot system now" and press "n".
    • Your Nook should boot into the current rom

    How to restore a backup from your other sdcard while booting from the bootable sdcard?
    • (This is known to work with the CWM sd card, but has not been tested with the TWRP card.)
    • Boot from the bootable sdcard.
    • Before doing anything else, remove the bootable sdcard and insert your normal sdcard (the one that contains your backup).
    • Choose Backup/Restore and restore your backup.
    • When done, choose reboot. There's no need to reinsert the bootable sdcard.

    Attached Files:

  2. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I updated the original post with version files and TWRP images. The current CWR version as of today is, which is intended to work with the new B&N 1.2 partitioning scheme.
    Casemantwo and gsutton like this.
  3. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Updating an older version to

    I haven't seen any updated images posted so here's how to update your bootable sdcard to the latest version, :D

    It's assumed you already have a bootable CWM recovery sdcard as documented above. The latest version supports the file system used by the latest NC's and you'll want to update that, especially if you have really old versions, since you'll have trouble formatting your data partition.

    If you boot off your bootable CWR sdcard and it says anything less than version (like or, you need to update.

    If it says and you don't have a brand-spankin' new NC, updating is optional (but it's still a recommended update).

    • Insert your bootable sdcard in your computer
    • Download the attached zip file
    • On your sdcard, right-click and create a folder called oldboot and move the following files into it:
      • mlo
      • u-boot.bin
      • uImage
      • uRamdisk
    • If you have problems with the card, you can move those files back
    • Unzip the contents of the attached zip file to the sdcard
    • Find the "safely remove hardware" icon in the lower-right corner of your computer, by the clock. It looks like a usb connector with a green checkbox on it. Click it and find your sdcard on it and click it. When windows says it's ok to remove it, remove the card from your computer. If it says it's in use, close any explorer windows you might have open.

    Insert the sdcard in your NC and power it on. Recovery should boot and it should say version, the latest recovery. :D

    Want to use your touchscreen instead of buttons?

    Most of the guide work the same way. You need to format some partitions and flash some files. It's much easier (and cooler) to do it with a touch screen. :D I still prefer using Rom Manager to rename my backups tho.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    • You need to be on before starting and you should test that it boots your NC ok.
    • Download "TWRP ub" file from here
    • Copy it to your sdcard.
    • Rename the uRamdisk file on your sdcard to uRamdisk.bak
    • Rename the "TWRP ub" file to uRamdisk
    • Safely unmount your sdcard and boot from it.

    Don't like it? You can delete the uRamdisk file and remove the ".bak" from the uRamdisk.bak file.

    Attached Files:

    estrnod, milesmiles, hansm and 5 others like this.
  4. Podivin

    Podivin Android Expert

    Thank you sir.
  5. N3k0

    N3k0 Lurker

    Brilliant! Thanks so much. :)
    colchiro likes this.
  6. jenwilly

    jenwilly Newbie

    The WinImage part isn't working. I did what it said, clicked the 'restore virtual image' or whatever and select the SD card, when it tries to find the image nothing comes up, even though it is sitting right there on my desktop. What am I doing wrong?
  7. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I guess you got it figured out. What did you do wrong?

    File needs to be extracted before flashing it?

    WinImage needed to be run as Administrator?
  8. jbrooks544

    jbrooks544 Newbie

    Great tutorial, thanks a ton. I think/hope I did what I should have. FYI, for noobs like me, I just found out that CWM is "clock work mod" recovery. I'd suggest you say that right at the top, so folks will know. Also, right before "How to navigate those recovery menus:" you might put something like this: "How to use this SD card with CWM recovery: 1. turn off nook 2. install this micro sd card 3 start nook and the recovery interface boots off the sd card. go to backup and restore. use the following buttons to navigate (which you do say next). Maybe I missed something, but what I did was put in the SD card, go to "backup and restore" and then I backed up the orig Nook rom that came with it. That way, I figure I can restore it if all goes wrong. Was this correct? I know you mentioned these instructions in your second update post, but I wasn't going by that, since I wasn't updating. Thanks again.
  9. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the feedback. I updated the original post with how to boot off the card and how to restore a backup from a different card.
  10. steveo41733

    steveo41733 Member

    Are there instructions anywhere to make a SD card from begining to end to have it run cm7 when you insert it into the nook?
  11. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    steveo41733 likes this.
  12. steveo41733

    steveo41733 Member

    Well I think it is time to put the nook on craigslist, this is so agrivating, I followed the steps above but I just cant get it to work. Maybe I should just buy a real tablet.....
  13. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Try changing how your sdcard is plugged into your computer (different adapter).

    Also make sure your computer can actually "see" the card and gives it a drive letter before proceeding.
  14. gadgetmonster

    gadgetmonster Android Enthusiast

    Hi guys, couple noob questions: I'll be making this CWM on Tuesday or Wed this week. After i make this CWM recovery card, can i just put cm7 on it and install it in the nook when i get to recovery? The caveat of course is i have to wait until the nook comes so i know if its the blue dot or older dot model...if blue dot, i have to do the partition correction first.
  15. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Unless you somehow somehow found an old model, it really should be a blue dot.

    If you read the CM7 installation from the sticky post above this one, you'll find directions that say to copy your rom and Google apps to this disk to install CM7.
  16. gadgetmonster

    gadgetmonster Android Enthusiast

    ok, thanks, yes, i did find those........your right, it probably is blue dot so partition will be step2 after creating the CWM..........i will post and let y'all know how it goes.
  17. gadgetmonster

    gadgetmonster Android Enthusiast

    Thanks for all your help guys, CM7 is up and running..................time to give it a few days to see what happens and then think about overclocking.........
  18. skee572

    skee572 Lurker

    i was wondering if i could get some help making a bootable CWM card. i've downloaded all the files and when im and the step to write the image to the sd card it fails evertime it says "error reading file" everthing else works fine up until that point. WinImage version 8.50 run as administrator do restore virtual hard disk image on physical drive from the disk tab it finds my sd card just find and i can find the image file that matches my sd card size i click on that file and a hit ok when the warning message come up just before it wirte to the sd card anyways it ok the it writes about 90-95% compelt before the error reading file message up.
  19. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Hi skee, have you read the previous posts?

    What comes to mind...
    When you open the file with WinRar, did you test it to make sure it was valid?
    Did you try a smaller file?
    New sd card or used? Did you try to format it from your computer first (maybe it has bad blocks)?
    Did you see where people that had problems used a different adapter?
  20. skee572

    skee572 Lurker


    I have tried various files and file sizes. I've also verified all MD5sums on them all and checked to make sure they were all correct. I changed my adapter, tried a few different sd cards and formatted them all. None of those worked. I will try getting a brand new card and adapter tonight. Just to make sure I'm getting this right, you have to leave the file zipped after you download it?
  21. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    NO. See first post...
    I was going to suggest that maybe you were flashing the ZIP file, but thought it was too obvious and didn't think WinImage would let you do that. :D

    You leave files zipped to flash from recovery, but that's about the only time.
  22. skee572

    skee572 Lurker

    hey THANK YOU for your help and your time. i was able to get everthing working and now have a new rooted nook color 1.2. it was do to a user error hints (ME) i was thinking about when you flash manual nooter you leave it zipped and for some reason i wasn't thinking i guess but all in all everthing it good to go now thanks again.
  23. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Glad you got it going.

    I was impressed you checked your md5 hashes. :D
  24. tanalee

    tanalee Lurker


    Thanks so much. I'm a 61-year-old newbie, and managed to do this successfully (the first time) all by myself.

    I would have one favor to ask: Where you wrote "Right-click on the downloaded file and open the image with WinRar," may I suggest that you specify which of the FOUR files we just downloaded it refers to? Ie, "Right-click on the downloaded bootable cwm ( file and open the image with WinRar."

    Nice job. MUCH appreciated!


    Using: Nook Color 1.2 (Blue Dot)
    Walmart San Disk 4G micro SD card (on sale for $9.88, usually $12 and change)
  25. colchiro

    colchiro Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Done. :D

    Thanks for the feedback. There was just the one file originally, but I later updated it with the version and missed that part.

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