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Jim Klein :: Weblog :: Updating Your Rooted Nook Color to 1.1 & Speeding Up to 1100MHz

January 29, 2011

nookIn my last post, How to turn a Nook Color into an Awesome Android Tablet, I showed you how to take your Nook Color running Barnes & Noble software version 1.0.1 and make it your own. Since then, Barnes & Noble has released a software update to 1.1, which brings pinch-to-zoom to the browser, along with a number of behind-the-scenes improvements to the book reader applications. In this post, I'll take you through the steps required to upgrade your already rooted Nook Color to version 1.1. These instructions only apply to Nook Colors that have been rooted according to my last (older) post. If you have a new Nook Color that is in need of rooting, follow these instructions instead.

Once this upgrade is complete, we'll have everything we need in place to speed up your Nook Color with an 1100MHz kernel, so I'll walk you through those steps as well :)

Part 1: Download all the files we need, copy them to the Nook Color, and install an app we need

For this install, we're going to need an application called Rom_Manager, and a couple of zip files that contain the updates we want. Download the following files on your computer:

Next, plugin your Nook Color to your computer using the cable provided by Barnes & Noble. The Nook should automatically mount both its internal storage and the installed microSD card under My Computer (Windows), Finder (MacOS), or Nautilus File Manager (Linux). Locate the three files you just downloaded and copy all three files to the microSD card on your Nook. The microSD card is fairly easy to identify, it will be the removable device that IS NOT named "media". For example, on a Mac, the microSD card will probably be names "NO NAME" (unless you renamed it somewhere along the way). Once you have copied the files, eject both the Nook (media) and microSD card properly (check your operating system's online help if you don't know how to do this) and unplug the Nook.

Now we need to install a file manager app, so that we can find the files we just downloaded on the Nook. I like OI File Manager for this. On your Nook, tap the up-arrow at the bottom, then Market, then the search button (at the top - looks like a magnifying glass), and search for "OI File Manager". Install the app once you locate it. When this is done, either restart your Nook (hold down the power button and power off, then power back up) or use Advanced Task Killer (see my prior post) to kill the "com.bn.nook.applauncher".

Now that that's complete, your ready to get started installing the software.


Part 2: Installing ClockworkMod Recovery

ClockworkMod Recovery is an excellent backup/installation tool for Android. We'll use it to back up our current configuration - just in case something goes wrong - and to apply the update as well as the faster kernel. ClockworkMod Recovery is installed using the ROM_Manager application we downloaded earlier. Follow these steps on the Nook Color to install:

  1. Tap the up-arrow at the bottom, then Extras, and then tap on NookColor Tools
  2. At the top, you will see a checkbox titled "Allow Non-Market Apps. If it isn't already checked, tap to check it. If it is checked, tap to uncheck it, then tap to check it again. Trust me, this sounds silly, but I have seen instances where the box is checked, but the Nook doesn't seem to know it :)
  3. Next, tap the up arrow at the bottom again, and tap Extras, followed by OI File Manager
  4. Locate "ROM_Manager.apk" and tap to install it. 
  5. Restart your Nook or kill the launcher app again, so that ROM_Manager will appear in Extras
  6. Tap the up-arrow, then Extras, then ROM_Manager
  7. ROM_Manager should download the latest ClockworkMod Recovery - when it is done, tap Flash ClockworkMod Recovery and follow instructions
  8. When this is complete, tap Reboot into Recovery

OK, your Nook Color is going to reboot into recovery mode, which will probably be unlike any you have ever seen. While in recovery mode, the touchscreen is not used - instead, we'll use all of the buttons on the Nook to navigate. The volume up/down buttons go up and down in the list, the "n" button selects an item, and the power button goes back to the previous menu. Follow these steps to install the update:

  1. Press the volume down button to select "install zip from sdcard" and press the "n" button to select
  2. Press the volume down button to select "choose zip from sdcard" and press the "n" button to select
  3. Press the volume up/down buttons to select NookColor_v1.1.0_r2.zip from the list, and press the "n" button to select
  4. Choose "Yes" to install, and wait for the install to complete. Will be a few minutes
  5. When done, press the power button to go back to the main menu, select "reboot system now", and press the "n" button to reboot

Once your Nook has restarted, the upgrade will be complete! The restart process will be a little slow the first time, as the system will be clearing a number of caches and fixing settings. Subsequent boots will return to normal.


Part 3: Upgrading to 1100MHz

Now that you are a pro with ClockworkMod Recovery, the rest is easy. We're going to follow the same steps as in part 2, but this time we'll install the faster kernel. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the up-arrow, then Extras, then ROM_Manager
  2. Tap Reboot into Recovery
  3. Once in recovery, press the volume down button to select "install zip from sdcard" and press the "n" button to select
  4. Press the volume down button to select "choose zip from sdcard" and press the "n" button to select
  5. Press the volume up/down buttons to select kernel-1100mhz-omap3630.zip from the list, and press the "n" button to select
  6. Choose "Yes" to install, and wait for the install to complete
  7. When done, press the power button to go back to the main menu, select "reboot system now", and press the "n" button to reboot

When the system reboots, the upgrade will be complete, and your Nook will be faster. There is one quirk to be aware of with this kernel: on first boot, the touchscreen will be very unresponsive. When the lock screen first comes up, briefly press the power button to turn the screen off, and wait for 30 seconds or so. Then press the power button again to turn the screen back on, and all will be well.

Enjoy your newly updated (and faster) Nook Color!

Hat tip to Decad3nce for the heavy lifting on the sideload update zip and arodey for packaging up Clockwork for the Nook.

Keywords: Android, Nook, Nook Color, Nook Color 1.1 Update, Tablet

Posted by Jim Klein | Share This


  1. Thanks for your blog post! This makes it all seem so much less scary...

    Fwamston on Saturday, 29 January 2011, 16:40 PST

  2. Update: If you have trouble with Softkeys back and menu buttons working after rebooting, go to Extras:NookColor Tools:All Settings:Development and make sure that USB debugging is checked. If not, check it. If it is, uncheck then re-check. Next, reboot and all should be well.

    Jim Klein on Sunday, 30 January 2011, 12:28 PST

  3. First - Amazing posts. I have just finished with this update and it works great. Thanks for the info on how to do this.

    Second - Any thoughts on the rumor that B&N is pulling all the Nook Colors off the shelf today for 2 weeks? Wondering if the are installing a de-rooting patch. Hope not.

    Thanks again.

    BrianRH on Thursday, 3 February 2011, 11:25 PST

  4. Great post.  I liked the detail step by step instructions.  Very well documented and take the guess work out of doing the v.1.1.0 upgrade.  Much appreciated!

    Guest on Thursday, 3 February 2011, 12:49 PST

  5. Sorry for a newbie question, but here goes. 

    I bought a nook color today, and it had 1.00 installed. I rooted it with 1.0 as I was afraid that if I allowed it to update, I would be upgraded to 1.1, I wouldn't be able to root it. Will your instructions work for a rooted 1.0? 

    Thanks for your help. 

    Scott Fox on Thursday, 3 February 2011, 21:48 PST

  6. I thought I would try the overclocking kernel, but had a few questions. Have you seen a noticeable impact on battery life or any other potential negatives from overclocking? Also, haven't flashed an overclocking kernel before - if it turns out I want to revert, what's the process for that?

    Thanks for the help on this!

    Owen on Friday, 4 February 2011, 17:03 PST

  7. @BrianRH  Based on the development schedule for the Nook Color and what I have heard from B&N people, I don't think this has anything to do with an elaborate effort to lock things down. B&N is saying it is due to a "receiving problem" which suggests that they feel they have an inaccurate inventory of Nook Color stock at the various stores (many are out, some have stock, etc.) and that they are trying to solve that problem by having the stores ship their stock around. That would be surprising, but certainly possible. I personally believe that, while the inventory issue may be true, what they are really doing is planning for a big splash when they announce their "app store" and are pulling back units to install the new software on so that they can ensure they have some inventory when they make the announcement.

    @Scott I haven't personally tried to apply the 1.1 update over a rooted 1.0 Nook Color. It would probably be safest to do a complete wipe according to instructions here, update to 1.0.1 manually with the 1.0.1 sideload update (copy the file to your Nook Color and eject - it will install by itself and reboot), re-root with according to my instructions here, and then apply the 1.1 update.

    @Owen I've been running the overclock kernel for weeks and have experienced no discernible impact on battery life. If backup first using ClockworkMod, you can use ClockworkMod to restore should you decide you don't like the new kernel for some reason.

    Jim Klein on Saturday, 5 February 2011, 10:48 PST

  8. I have been following your posts as well as those on Android Central.  In your opinion, is it better to root the NC to the internal memory or use a SD root?  

    Thank you. 


    David on Monday, 7 February 2011, 08:23 PST

  9. If you will be using the Nook as a Nook (and not as a generic Froyo/Honeycomb tablet) the only way to root it is to use internal memory. If something goes wrong, you can always restore it to stock.

    Jim Klein on Monday, 7 February 2011, 09:46 PST

  10. I can not get out of clockwork mod after loading the zip. Any ideas?

    Guest on Monday, 7 February 2011, 19:51 PST

  11. I followed your instructions and had no problems at all.  Thank you.  Is the Android that I installed 2.1 or 2.2?



    David on Wednesday, 9 February 2011, 15:25 PST

  12. It's Android 2.1. There are both a2.2 build and a 3.0 (Honeycomb) build out there, but you have to give up the all the Barnes & Noble features that make the Nook great. They essentially turn the Nook into a generic Android tablet.

    Jim Klein on Wednesday, 9 February 2011, 15:33 PST

  13. i have intermittant boot freezes and slow touch screen after this proceedure got any clue why?

    petem on Thursday, 10 February 2011, 14:50 PST

  14. How to do you uninstall the overclock? it makes the touch screen less resposive and it heats up more so i dont want it.

    Guest on Friday, 11 February 2011, 06:03 PST

  15. @petem & @guest As I said above, when you first boot the Nook with the faster kernel, the screen will be less responsive than normal. This is a know quirk with the speed boost. All you have to do to fix it is briefly press the power button when you first see the lock screen at startup to put the device to sleep, wait 20-30 secs, then briefly press the power button to wake the device back up. Everything should then work properly.

    If you still have trouble or wish to go back for some other reason, follow my instructions on this post to re-apply the auto-nooter to your Nook, which will install the original kernel and re-do the root settings.

    Jim Klein on Friday, 11 February 2011, 08:50 PST

  16. is it possible to use bluetooth to get a physical keyboard attached?

    Guest on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 10:40 PST

  17. No one has been able to get the bluetooth completely working on the Nook Color just yet, but there are a number of people who are trying. Stay tuned!

    Jim Klein on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 10:45 PST

  18. Can barnes&Nob. remove a book remotely?

    Guest on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 10:53 PST

  19. I imagine they could if they wanted to, just like Amazon can with the Kindle. Wouldn't be smart, however, considering all the bad press Amazon got for it.

    Jim Klein on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 11:07 PST

  20. Uh, I did the 950 kernel. Dumb move. It's not much faster than stock, and it's not all that stable. Oh, and I had to use a bootable CWR card to load the OC kernel, so it didn't maintain my backup. How do I go back to the regular kernel? Or can I? I hope! What if I decided I wanted to use the 1.1 GHz instead? Can I install this on top of the 950 kernel? (When you install a new kernel, does it automatically replace the previously-used one, with no residual effects?)

    Scott on Monday, 21 February 2011, 12:21 PST

  21. If you install the 1100 over the 950, it should be fine. New kernels replace the previous ones.

    Jim Klein on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, 10:49 PST

  22. Jim - Have you tried Honey comb Yet

    can I just flash a rom On My rroted 1.1

    do you have a Link with Instructions


    Dave C on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, 20:53 PST

  23. I have run it from a 4G+ microSD Card, and it works OK. You can get the image file here: http://goo.gl/S3eUB . Copy it to the microSD the same way you did for the auto-nooter.

    Jim Klein on Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 10:03 PST

  24. Have you made any attempt to disable the "look for cell service?" If 'yes', has it helped battery life? If 'no' why haven't you? Thank you!

    Par Seven on Wednesday, 9 March 2011, 17:27 PST

  25. Yes and yes, although it's a bit complicated, as you have to get the Android SDK installed and working on your desktop/laptop, then execute a number of commands in Android's Linux command line using the ADB app in the SDK. A bit complex for your average user.

    Jim Klein on Wednesday, 9 March 2011, 17:30 PST

  26. Jim, great instructions for upgrading the NC. It worked like a charm. (newb question alert) After install can the files put on the SD card be deleted?

    Steve Bennett on Thursday, 10 March 2011, 15:31 PST

  27. @Steve Yes, the files are no longer necessary.

    News on Thursday, 10 March 2011, 15:57 PST

  28. Jim:


    I like the straight forward and understandable language you use to explain what to do, but I'm still a little confused.

    1. Is NookColor_v1.1.0_r2.zip just a backup of the NOOK "Operating system".  I'm just not sure what this is and why to install it.  Can't I just back up the existing files on my NC?

    2. Which version of the kernel is the best?  I see that xda developers have new updated versions. 

    3. Is the version you link to updated?

    4. Is the kernel you linked to different from the ones xda is working on?


    Sorry for the noob questions, but I'm new to this.

    Walt on Monday, 14 March 2011, 16:00 PDT

  29. @Walt It sounds like you haven't rooted your Nook Color yet, in which case you should go to the current post for instructions (see the top of this one for a link to the new post). These instructions are only for Nooks that were rooted already, but have not yet been updated to 1.1. The zip file is *NOT* just a backup, it is a pre-rooted image - you won't lose any of your files. The kernel I am using is from xda-developers. I haven't tried the newest one yet, so I can't promise that it works (although I assume it will). I will check it out and update the post if it does.

    Jim Klein on Monday, 14 March 2011, 16:54 PDT

  30. Jim:

    Sorry I wasn't too clear on that.  I have rooted my nook.  I got it a week ago and has 1.1.0 so I used autonooter 3.0.  I have iit pretty much set up with a bunch of apps and its working well, but I am interested in extending the battery life, and I've read that the 1.1 GHz processor does that. 


    I've read other posts on overclocking, but I still have some questions.  I guess my main questions are:


    1. Why do I need to install the NookColor_v1.1.0_r2 update?

    2. Why can't I use CMR to backup the files that are on the NC to my SD card right now?  It seems if I install the 1.1 GHz kernel and decide it's not for me, that it might be better to restore the files I had on the NC prior to the changes.

    3. Is there an advantage to doing either?

    It seems to me I am missing part of the big picture, and I'm sure it's due to my ignorance.  Any advice you care to offer will be appreciated.  Thanks for your patience.

    Walt on Monday, 14 March 2011, 18:37 PDT

    1. You don't. This is for people with 1.0.1 Nook Colors that want to update to 1.1. You are already 1.1, so you do not need this update.
    2. You should be able to back up, so long as you have a formatted microsd card in the Nook when you boot into CMR. There really is no risk. It's just about impossible to brick a Nook.
    3. The battery life gains for the 1.1 kernel are negligible, the primary reason to go with it is for a more responsive Nook. If you are happy with your Nook, then you don't really need to upgrade.

    Jim Klein on Monday, 14 March 2011, 19:12 PDT

  31. Thanks.  That is what I needed to know. 


    Keep up the great work. 

    Walt on Tuesday, 15 March 2011, 04:33 PDT

  32. So i dont need to update to 1.1 to install this kernel?

    Guest on Friday, 18 March 2011, 20:10 PDT

  33. No, it works on both.

    Jim Klein on Saturday, 19 March 2011, 12:18 PDT

  34. Jim, thanks for the help. I am not a techy wiz and after reading your instructions, was able to accomplish the task and get my nook up to the latest and greatest with a cpu that is a screamer. Cruising the web on my nook has improved 10x.


    Thank you so much!!

    OleTimer44 on Thursday, 31 March 2011, 08:13 PDT

  35. First off, I want to thank you for such an easy, step by step guide. For the most part it worked great. I am having trouble when flashing the kernel-1100mhz-omap3630.zip file in the Clockworkmod recovery screen. When I cilick yes to install the zip file it will find, open and start to install the update, however it gives a Installation aborted message. I checked my setCPU app to see if by some chance it did install, but its still showing 800MHz. Any ideas?

    CLB on Thursday, 21 April 2011, 19:05 PDT

  36. Sounds like there is something wrong with the download file. 

    Jim Klein on Tuesday, 26 April 2011, 21:04 PDT

  37. Can this also be used to update the NC to 1.2??

    Guest on Thursday, 28 April 2011, 09:21 PDT

  38. NO! Still working on a 1.2 update. Will post when I have it all worked out. 

    Jim Klein on Thursday, 28 April 2011, 09:35 PDT

  39. hello...i have finally got o try this...got everything but i cant find that setting where it should allow side loading...please help 

    razz.florea on Wednesday, 25 January 2012, 07:35 PST

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