We have a couple of Nook HD devices in our house (known as “hummingbird” platform in Android circles) and I wanted to see what options there were to run as an Android device. interestingly, there are not as many options for ROMs as there were with the Nook color. It only takes about 10 minutes to try a ROM once you have the SD card setup, but hopefully my experience can save you some time and downloads. The general steps for updating your Nook HD are:
- Create an SD Card image
- Copy CWM loader, ROM, and Google Apps zip files to SD.
- Boot SD card on nook and Wipe and Reset device. After that apply the new boot loader, ROM, and Google apps zip files in proper order.
- Reboot and enjoy.
Bottom Line: I’ve been the happiest with Cyanogenmod version 11 as long as I have the app running to deal with the screen sensitivity issues. Before you try any of these I’d recommend you read the sections below on my tips for dealing with screen sensitivity and creating your SD card for booting.
ROM options for the Nook HD Stock ROM with Root on Android 4.0
If you just want to install anything and run apps that require root don’t bother updating the entire operating system to a version of the Android open source platform. The B&N system is very stable, easy to use, and launcher has nice integration with B&N (if you bought this as a book reader that’s nice). I noticed with some applications the version on stock were not as nice (older versions). Rooting lets you run applications you normally couldn’t and side load apps without the Play Store. To install the Stock ROM with root I simply got the stock image with root and copied it to a bootable SD image with the corresponding version of CWM. Details on [this thread]. If you’ve played with different versions and want to go back to stock that thread is key!
Carbon based ROM (Unofficial) on Android 4.3
The Carbon ROM is packed with a lot of extras - JAM packed. For the average user you many not appreciate all the options, you may even be confused by them. The ROM boots fast and works very well except I found the screen scrolling to be glitchy. When you do a slow press on something before swiping (like scrolling up a web page) it often takes that as a tap. This is a general issue for me on Nook HD but pronounced enough on Carbon ROM I wouldn’t use it. I assume the solution I found after I landed on CM 11 may work for Carbon ROM as well (see below section on screen sensitivity). This one is worth a try if you’re a serious fiddler and want to play a lot with your device. It’s basically an unofficial port so your mileage may very. [More details]
Cyanogenmod 10.1.3 based on 4.2
I didn't see any reason to use this version since the newer one works as well. I did try it out for a day but seemed like I might. I had no screen sensitivity issues while using it and apps launch about as fast as the stock ROM. I’d recommend just trying 10.2.1.
Cyanogenmod 10.2.1 based on 4.3
This is probably the sweet spot of options if you want a recent ROM without having to install any applications to deal with the screen sensitivity issues that appear on on other ROMs. I found this ROM to be very stable but certainly missed the theme options and other features of version 11. If you want a 4.3 ROM jam packed with all the Android options try the Carbon ROM instead. [Install Details for CM 10.2]
Cyanogenmod 11 ROM based on Android 4.4
I tried a few snapshots and a nightly build (most recent ones). It looks great and has some of the latest theming options built in which is pretty nice (change it up to look like latest version of Android with fonts, icons, etc). My experience with the most recent snapshot was the screen was sometimes glitchy at lower dragging swipes and the apps launched very much slower than stock (compared side by side with son’s stock nook). After trying the most recent nightly the performance seems better for app launching and the screen problem seems to be addressed by the app mentioned below (good for any ROM I’d assume). I decided to stay with CM11 as my daily version and I’m pretty happy with it. I think this article is a bit easier to follow than the XDA forums for the install [Link].
I’ve noticed this on both nook devices on the stock ROM but it’s not a big problem. On other ROMs I found it made the device unusable because it was always selecting things while I was swiping. In the XDA Forums you’ll find a thread on “Glitchy Screen” and a kernel “fuzz” patch but it’s only good for the HD+. I found the SGS Screen Booster app with the default settings made this problem practically go away. The app isn’t for the nook but tweaks something that deals with the issue because after installing on my CM 11 based system all the issues in multiple apps immediately stopped. Make sure to try this [Play Store Link]!
Resolving Issues with SD cards and booting the Nook HD
On the topic of creating a boot image for your SD card I have a recommendation to avoid a lot of troubles. Many of the XDA forms recommend simply using a fresh SD card and copying the appropriate files to it instead of using a tool to burn/write an image to it. You'll also find a lot of forum users complaining about not booting from the SD card properly. Don’t bother trying any of the workarounds for ejecting the SD card or powering on a exchanging the nook, or booting 10 dozen times. While you may have to try booting the device a few times to get it to boot from an SD card your problem is likely the format of the SD card. Instead you’re best off to grab one of the Verygreen 1GB images and use a desktop tool to write that to your SD card. Then you can extract whatever files they wanted you to put on the SD card and copy them (so you’re using the image just to get a properly formatted and bootable card). I found this to be a foolproof way to get a Nook to boot from an SD card when no other options worked. [SD Image Download I used]
Good luck, hope some of my experiences helped.
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