Notes on booting Cyanogenmod 7.1 from an SD card on your Nook Color

I decided to install Cyanogenmod 7.1 on a microSD card that my Nook Color can boot. I get a nice tablet to play with and none of the original firmware gets touched. Win-win! Much has been written about how to do this, but there are a few scattered things which will make your life easier.

  • If using Linux, you’ll want to write the image file to the block device (/dev/sdb, etc.) and not the partition (/dev/sdb0, etc.).
  • If using a procedure documented for 7.0.x, the boot partition will not be big enough to hold your 7.1 installation and ZIP file. Expanding the (only) partition to 200 MB works fine. Note the current version of GNU PartEd tools won’t be able to do this (they don’t like something about the particulars of the FAT32 image). Use the Windows7 disk manager or the free version of EaseUS.
  • To get the boot menu up (if ever you need it), hold down the “n” nook button while powering on.
  • Slow microSD cards will make your Android run very sluggishly and cause a lot of force closes due to timeouts. Check the spreadsheet and buy something that has a high “Random Write 4KB QD=32” value. I first tried on a PNY class 4 card (0.029 MB/sec on that spreadsheet) and it was neigh-unusable. Note that a lot of class 10 (fast sequential write) cards have absolutely horrid random write performance.
  • Once you have Cyanogenmod booting into the setup wizard, you’ll need to follow a few steps to turn on WiFi before you actually run the Google account sync.


  1. I discovered that you can skip the parted/EaseUS step if you simply: copy the cyanogenmod image and do *not* copy over the Google apps file. Boot up the device, let it install cyanogenmod, and once you’re into the UI, shut it down normally. Then copy the Google apps zip onto the SD card (first partition, the one with uImage, etc.), put it back into the Nook, and boot up normally.

  2. Thanks for that tip re skipping partition/EaseUS step by loading gapps in a second step.

    One tiny note: When you reboot up with gapps on the boot partition, you need to reboot into recovery so gapps gets loaded:

    “Boot normally into Android, then from desktop hold power key until a poweroff menu appears, In the poweroff menu choose “reboot”, in the next menu choose “recovery” and press “OK”. The nook would reboot straight into recovery.”

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