How to update a NOOK Tablet to OS 1.4.1 and still have root access

Rooted NOOK Tablet

The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is a 7 inch tablet with a dual core processor, 16GB of storage, and an excellent display. It comes with a custom version of Google Android designed to work with the B&N book and app stores, but customers have been hacking the NOOK Tablet since it hit the streets in November.

Rooting the tablet lets you install the Android Market and make other changes which make it much easier to install third party apps that aren’t available from the B&N Shop. You can also dramatically change the look and feel of the tablet once you’ve enabled support for third party apps.

Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble rolled out a software update which made it much more difficult to root the tablet. There is a way to sideload apps even if your’e running software version 1.4.1, but it’s not as simple as it was on NOOK Tablets running OS 1.4.0.

Fortunately xda-developers forum member DeanGibson has found a way to root a NOOK Tablet running OS 1.4.1. Or rather, he’s found a way to upgrade from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 while enabling root access in the process.

The steps are a little complicated right now, and they’re subject to change. Eventually DeanGibson may offer an automated script that users can run, but right now the tools are still in beta and there may be some kinks to work out.

The long and short of it is that if you want to run OS 1.4.1 on the NOOK Tablet and have root access, now there’s a way to do it. Barnes & Noble’s software update fixes a number of bugs found in OS 1.4.0, so this is generally a good thing.

You don’t have to hack the tablet to prevent it from downloading the software update if you follow DeanGibson’s guide — although if you want to prevent your tablet from updating to OS 1.4.2 or whatever comes next before you’re ready you may want to attempt to block future over-the-air updates.

There are a few caveats:

  • If you’re already running OS 1.4.1 you’ll have to roll back to 1.4.0 by performing a factory restore. This will wipe your data.
  • DeanGibson’s tutorial assumes you’ve already installed the Android SDK or at least enabled adb access to the tablet using other tools.
  • You’ll probably void your warranty if you attempt to root the tablet and nobody’s responsible for anything that goes wrong except for you.

If that doesn’t scare you off, you can find instructions, tools, and more information at the xda-developers forum.

Latest NOOK Tablet news and tips:

  • Bernie

    Too much hassle for a “tablet” that doesn’t have bluetooth and GPS among other things. I returned my Nook Tablet to B&N a few days ago and bought a Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Now, for my needs, I don’t have to root. I have ereader apps from Amazon, Google, and Nook with access to all my ebooks. I can use apps like Poynt and Google Navigation that require GPS location. My interest is more functional. I didn’t want a tablet that I have to “tinker” with to make it function like a real tablet. Sideloading apps worked just fine on the NT and then the 1.4.1 update came along. I admire and respect the people over at XDA-Developers who have worked hard on the Nook Tablet.

  • lori

    I still have the version 1.40 and have not gotten the update yet. Which link do i follow? I haven’t downloaded anything yet.

    • Caf360

      if you are still on 1.4.0 get “Titainum back up”  the paid verson and Freeze you verson 1.4.0

  • Nancyofthedesert

    Thanks for the idea, I’m likely going to follow you on that switch-up Bernie. B&N is giving until Jan 31 to return these bricks so unless they back off the app blocking, they can have it back. I’m I was totally cool with it and sideloading about 50 apps, but no way do I want to spend all my time tinkering with the thing now just to keep them updated or to grab anything new. I mean anything new that’s actually cool–which means nothing from the B&N “app store”.

    Look, they marketed this thing as a tablet, and yes, it’s priced ok for what it does, but if i can do everything the Nook does and literally infinitely more things with something like the Galaxy for a hundred bucks or so more, i’m there. for someone like me who appreciates, but doesn’t enjoy rooting and doing all the work-arounds, am i missing something here?

  • JTOTS410

    So, my question is, now that this supposed fix or workaround is in place, does it work?  Talk of an eventual “script” to ease the process of was said to have been in the making, does anyone know if that has happened yet?

  • JoanOfOverlandPark

    If you appreciate the workaround, then give it the due required to enjoy it. Are you worried you’ll learn too much for your job grade