The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!


Did your Stock Nook Color Reset and Erase Itself with the Firmware Update Bug? Try this.

Many happy Barnes & Noble Nook Color users were horrified yesterday to discover that their beloved Nook Color, during an over-the-air (OTA) firmware upgrade, had reset itself, possibly erasing all data and leaving users with a factory-fresh device they needed to re-register.  Making matters worse, many if not most of these users were then unable to register.  For some, their Nook Color would no longer connect to any wifi networks, and for others the B&N backend was either overwhelmed or simply broken.

If you were one of the many affected, I am so very sorry for the annoyance and frustration you're experiencing.

If the device didn't do a hard reset and simply de-registered and upgraded the firmware and is simply keeping you from successfully booting into the upgraded OS you should be able to regain access to your files by creating an SD-based OS install using my Guide to installing CyanogenMod 7 on SD card.

You can then browse to your internal eMMC memory and copy any of your data from there.  It'll take you about 30 - 45 minutes to make the SD-based install.  All you need to do then is browse to /mnt/emmc and that is the root of your internal memory.  Most of your files would be under /mnt/emmc/My Files and /mnt/emmc/B&N Downloads.

Let me know if this helps or if you have any questions!

^ Quinxy

PS - Once you recover your data, or even if you don't, this might be a great time to consider ditching the stock Barnes & Noble firmware in favor of the newer, better, less restricted CyanogenMod 7 (Android 2.3, Gingerbread based) OS.  Consider your options by reading this document on what OS installs you can do with a Nook Color.

Comments (10) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hi Quinxy,

    I would really like to put cm7 on a sd card with the recommended apps but unfortunately I am turning into my parents with aspect to technology. I have just been using the nook as it was intended,, reading, but liked what people were doing with the android apps. Now I can’t even use it for reading.
    Could someone just put a zip file of cm7 with your recomended apps on megaupload. Something that we could just unzip to the sd, stick it in the nook, turn it back on and run off of the card?
    I realize it might be slower than running off the emmc but I could live with that.
    Probably impossible to do but I gotta ask.

  2. You make a good point, but there are two reasons why no one has uploaded an image of a working SD card that others can simply download and flash. The first issue is legality. From what I understand, each piece is legal to distribute but certain things (e.g., Google Apps) cannot be bundled into an existing image legally, and must be installed separately. That would not stop some people from doing it, since little harm is likely to come as a result, but it’s the reason why the big official groups don’t do it. Secondly, the official CyanogenMod install steps require you to first install the OS and get networking functioning before installing the Google Apps, otherwise (from what I understand) you can end up stuck at a registration screen with no wifi to use to register; there is an option in the registration to delay it, but people speak of it like you can literally be stuck there, so I’m not sure if something else is going on. Point being there may be a mild technical issue someone would need to work out to create an image that worked and wasn’t bound (in the distributed image) to a particular Google account. Still, you are right, it would be a valuable tool, even if it was more for people to test rather than use full time. As for the speed, I have used both SD installs and internal memory installs and speed differences are negligible.

  3. I understand about the legal stuff. Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime. Thanks for your reply!

  4. I too was apprehensive of the forced OTA BN firmware update (currently have 1.1) messing with my rooted nook. I discovered a thread that talks about modifying the registry setting for BN devicemanager fota (forced over the air ?) from “auto” to “manual” OR renaming the file. This should prevent the nook from updating the firmware unless the user opts in for the manual update. The thread is @

    I have used it myself . I will update if it fails to prevent the firmware update.

  5. I had this happen to me, took all of my data off emmc drive… blanked it out…lucky for me wasn’t that much… is there a way to back up emmc drive?.., already did my SD card…

  6. ClockworkMod has a backup feature which backups the eMMC to the SD card (it looks like it just copies everything, not copying the bits into an image). I believe this is what people refer to when they speak about a nandroid backup (but I could be wrong).

  7. Hi,
    Noob here, going to buy a new nook color in a day or two. With the new 1.2, can I just follow the steps for your SD card install, as is? i thought i had heard that 1.2 has not yet been successfully rooted. thanks for the great info! very helpful.

  8. Dav,

    To the best of my knowledge (and I’m pretty sure it’s the truth) the SD install is not affected by the 1.2 issue since the Nook Color still looks to the SD card first for booting, and you don’t use the Nook Color except booting under the SD card. Therefore it doesn’t matter what’s on the internal memory. (I’m pretty sure I would have heard/read if this changed.)

  9. I can’t seem to get the update at all, either manually or through the autoupdate. Is there a way to “unroot” the nook, get the update, and then reroot it? I know very little about how this works, but I would like to get the update.

    Many thanks.

  10. Side note, I have tried to reset to factory under settings, and this did not help.

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