root Nook HD

How To Root Nook HD for Ridiculous Reading

You come home to unwrap your brand new Nook HD, and you realize that you can’t access common Android apps or stock features. We know there are some techie readers out there who want to install some sweet ROMs to expand the Nook’s possibilities. Rooting is your solution, and you really can’t use all of the Nook features without rooting the device.

Continue reading to find out how you can root Nook HD. Using this guide, you’ll be able to root both the Nook HD and the Nook HD + tablets.

Why You Should Root Your Nook HD Tablet

Even if you’re not a developer and don’t want to install third party ROMs and mods, there is still a lot that you can do after rooting your Nook HD device. Devices like the Nook HD and the Kindle Fire from Amazon come pre-loaded with a modified version of the Android OS and you can’t get access to most of Android’s stock features that you can use on other Android tablets.

Therefore, by rooting, you’ll be able to use your Nook HD as a much better device than just an e-reader.


Rooting is a risky process as it voids your warranty and there is a chance that you may end up bricking your device. You should only root your device if you’re willing to take the risk and accept full responsibility if anything goes wrong.

That being said, most users are able to root their devices successfully if  they follow the procedures correctly. In order to root the device, you’ll need Windows PC and a micro SD card with at least 4GB of free storage. The micro SD card will only be used as a booting method so make sure that you backup everything on the card or buy a new additional card just for booting. Also, you’ll need a micro SD card reader for turning the card into a bootable device.

Rooting Method

This method turns your micro SD card into a bootable recovery that you can use to install the necessary files on your Nook HD or Nook HD+ tablet. This is possibly the most effective and reliable method for rooting the device and it should work with most devices.

Note: For easy, safe and guaranteed rooting of Android Devices with 24×7 Support you can try using Once Click Root

Also, this method installs the Cyanogenmod directly during the root process, meaning that you’ll have possibly one of the best custom ROMs running on the your device.

Step 1

Download and install Win32 Disk Imager on your PC.

Step 2

Download the CWM Recovery Zip file on your PC. Do not extract this as we will use it as a flashable zip on the device.

Step 3

Download the CWM bootable Zip file on your PC. For Nook HD, use this version and for the Nook HD+, use this version. Extract the Zip on your PC. The file size will be over 3GB with a .img extension.

Step 4

Download the Google apps zip file here and the the Cyanogenmod ROM for your device using this link. Do not extract these files on your PC.

Step 5

Put your micro SD card inside the card reader and plug it into your PC. Make sure that you format the card by going to My Computer, right clicking on the drive and selecting Format.

Drive Format

Step 6

Open the Win32 Disk Imager app that you installed earlier, click on the Folder icon and select the CWM bootable .img file that you extracted earlier in  Step 3.

Win32 Folder

Step 7

Click on the dropdown menu below Device and select the drive name of your micro SD card.

Win32 Device

Step 8

Click on the Write button and wait for the process to complete.

Win32 Write

Step 9

Remove the micro SD card from the card reader and reinsert it. Copy all the flashable zip files that you downloaded earlier to the card’s root directory including CWM recovery, Cyanogenmod ROM and Google apps.

Step 10

Switch off your Nook HD device, put the bootable SD card in the device and switch it on. You should see a new Cyanoboot screen and you’ll be taken to CWM Recovery. If you don’t see this screen and your device boots normally, reboot the device again.

Step 11

Go to the Backup and restore option by using the Volume keys to navigate and the N button to select the option. Select Backup and your device should start creating a backup of your device. This is crucial if you want to backup the full firmware image of your device for restoring if anything goes wrong. The process will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

CWM Backup

Step 12

Select the Install zip from sd card option and choose the zip files that you copied to your device earlier. For example, select the the file for flashing the CWM Recovery. You’ll need to install all three zips separately.


Step 13

Remove the micro SD card from your device and select the Reboot system now option to reboot your device. That’s it! Your device will now boot with the rooted Cyanogenmod ROM and you’ll be able to use it as a regular Android tablet.


The Nook HD is a fantastic e-reader and you can use the device to read books and play media. While both the Nook HD and the Nook HD+ are great devices, they are not regular Android tablets like the Nexus 7, meaning the usability is still limited. Barnes & Noble have updated the devices and introduced the Google Play Store for downloading third party apps, but using the device will still feel very limited if you’ve have used a regular Android tablet before. In order to unlock the full potential of your Nook HD tablet and to turn it into a regular Android tablet, you can easily root the device through your PC using the steps mentioned above. Nook fans might also be interested in rooting their Nook Color.

After the rooting process, you’ll be running a custom Cyanogenmod ROM, which is one of the most popular firmwares available for Android smartphones and tablets. Also, you’ll have access to all the stock features of Android that the Nook HD lacks. Aside from getting the basic Android features that are already available on most devices, you’ll also be able to install ROMs and mods from the XDA Forums using CWM recovery. While there are several benefits of rooting your Nook HD device, rooting is definitely a risky process as you can brick your device and void your manufacturer warranty. You should only root your device if you’re willing to take full responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Make sure that you follow all the instructions properly on how to root Nook HD and feel free to shoot any questions below!

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  1. error(s) encountered amidst ‘choose zip from sd card’ Cyanogenmod ROM installation attempt:
    ‘set_metadata_recursive: some changes failed..
    error in /sdcard/cm (Status 7)
    installation aborted’

    substituted cyanogenmod ROM with CARBON ROM for nook HD (CARBON-JB-UNOFFICIAL-20131212-1039-hummingbird

    I found it troubling that none of the cyanogenmod ROM worked for my nook HD, despite trying nightlies and snapshots (I kept receiving the error noted above). Nonetheless, I recalled wanting to install the carbon ROM a couple of months ago and substituted the cyanogenmod ROM. I was relieved that the installation of the carbon ROM, cwm Recovery, and Google apps was executed without incident.

    After innumerable attempts, I now have an alternate ROM on my nook HD. Before arriving at your page, recalling a judge’s colloquial response in traffic court years ago, I was ‘a hair’s breath’ from simply ordering a Nexus or Transformer and putting my nook HD on craigslist.

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

  2. Picked up a Nook HD+ (Last one the store had) looking for a nice way to read digital comics/manga. Decided to give rooting a go since it was both a relatively inexpensive device and this makes it seem simple and hassle free enough. Will reply with results once we see what I get.

    1. Hey Mike, glad you are giving it a go. Let us know how your experience was. I am keen to know if you are able to break the lock!

    2. So I wound up with the same initial error as Ivan. Something about the cyanogen mod just doesn’t sit right with the HD+ anymore. I substituted Carbon in its place. It ran the initial boot, brings up the Carbon splash screen, and hangs. Guess it’s back to the drawing board again.

  3. I have a Nook HD, not a Nook HD+. The Cyanogenmod ROM link you provide is the Ovation for the HD+, as is the CWM recovery link. I found a Cyanogenmod ROM for the HD which is called “Hummingbird”, but not a CWM Recovery file for Hummingbird, only for Ovation. Does this make any difference?

  4. please I accidentally press ” install zip from slideload ” and it is showing me this message: Now send the package you want to apply to the device with “adb slideload “…

    so what to do and how to exit from this mode please reply and help quickly!

  5. I have tried the instructions and my nook HD+ is stuck on the Cyanogenmod logo with the rotating arrow. Any ideas what went wrong?

    I used the following:


      1. Could you suggest another ROM? I have it rooted using a different ROM, but I HATE the stock look. Any suggestions?

  6. If you follow the onscreen instructions to the letter and do it as it says step by step its simple works flawlessly. I have a Nook HD. I do thank you after about a year of reading all the how to pages tons of them. I said forget it until I came across your page. I’m a very pleased and happy Nook/Android user. I will also be adding this to my tech page for anyone that wishes to have this information on rooting a Nook HD. Again my gracious to you! Happy Holidays

    Thanks So Much for the Tutorial
    John Crowder
    Merced Ca.

  7. Follow this site to the tee and all of the download files are listed at the bottom of the page. That is what I did and I’m rooted and happy camping with out the integrated walls Nook has to go with their tablets. Remember to the poster of this page. You may want to revise your links with the ones you find at this link here.

    If anyone needs further assistance or you just want to get this done mail me a SDCARD to 526 Moomjean Ave Merced Ca, 95340 and I will be happy to send you one prepared for you with all the files you need. 8 gig card is fine. Do not forget to leave me a return address to ship it back to you. I may go ahead and do a tutorial on my blog site and upload the files on the cloud where folks can access them if you just cannot grasp how this words. Once you do this once its like riding a bike really simple/

    Thanks John

    1. This what you will receive when its all said and done. Thanks again for starting this out for us whoever did this. I love this Android switch out. I got mine when it was $356.00 and Google Play was not even hooked up with it anyone remember that.

      Also the Nooks have a great battery life I have had mine now for two years and still the battery is still taking a great charge and not leaking out. “Holding” So again once you do the root your in for a world of fun and this makes the Nook worth having to tell you the truth. John

    2. Thank you so much! I knew something wouldn’t work when I noticed that ovation was for the Nook HD+ I have a Nook HD, I thank you for adding this link to the xda site, it was thorough yet concise enough to follow. 🙂

  8. I thought I did every thing correctly, but now when booting up my Nook HD+ it remains frozen with the blue circle going round and round the cyanogen Mod android Fellow. Any ideas? everything was going great until my Nook got stuck on that circular android.

  9. I installed the CW-recover and the gapps-jb zips, but when I try and install CM-11-20150101-nightly, I get a message saying Can’t install this [ackage on top of incompatible data. Please try another package or run a factory reset.

    What should I do?

    1. Stephen
      Try wiping data first before flashing or try wiping cache before flashing. This might fix it. Otherwise, your device is probably not supported 🙁

  10. Followed your process and it worked very well. Very happy with the results except that I can no longer read the magazines in my Nook library and there seems to be no work around. Disappointed with that but overall much improved.

  11. I’m getting the spinning circle on cm-11 and cm-10.1.3-ovation and cm-10.2.1-ovation. Do you have any suggestions for Nook HD+ 9″


  12. Update: I cleared cache and it didn’t work. Then I wiped data and it worked. I am soooh happy! It’s an Android. What drove me crazy is there was no back button on the standard Nook. Thank you for taking the time to make easy directions. The only issue is the link is for the cm-11 roms not the cm-10.2.1. in the directions.

    thanks again,

  13. HI,

    i am having nook HD 7inch 2.2.0. i have followed the instruction which you mentioned correctly and also repeated the steps many times but nook is not boot through my SD card. it is not working for me. Please help, i am trying for the past one month to root my device.

    1. Eswar,
      Rooting is not guaranteed to work on all devices. What exactly is the problem that you’re facing? Did you write the cwm image on your sd card?

      1. Hi Dani,

        Yes. I write the CWM image on sd Card.
        Everytime device is booting through normal nook boot not through SD card.
        i changed 2 SD card but still it is not working.


  14. I have tried the above several times on Nook HD+ and trying different microSD cards. I keep hitting this error when attempting to install the file. I have tried different nightly builds – this last time:

    wipe data/factory reset
    wipe cache partition
    advanced -> wipe dalvik cache

    install zip from sdcard -> choose zip from sdcard ->
    (that succeeds)

    install zip from sdcard -> choose zip from sdcard ->
    (that succeeds)

    install zip from sdcard -> choose zip from sdcard ->
    Installing: /sdcard/
    Finding update package…
    Opening update package…
    Installing update…
    set_metadata_recursive: some changes failed
    E:Error in /sdcard/
    (status 7)
    Installation aborted.

    Able to create backups of the original Nook HD+ and have recovered multiple times no problem.

    Please advise.

  15. Excuse me but I noticed that the cyanogenmod download was for Ovation (Nook HD+) Rather than Hummingbird (Nook HD) I also noticed this for the CWM Recovery file. I kept the Recovery one Ovation but downloaded hummingbird for the bootable. Will this work? Dont wanna brick my device! XD

    1. Jacob
      if you flash with the right firmware, then it shouldn’t brick. But still rooting is a risky process. Good luck!

  16. I was so hopeful that this easy step-by-step guide to rooting my Nook would work for me as it did for many others. I stumbled very early in the steps. In step 9 after re-inserting the SD card and selecting it in Explorer, I get a Microsoft Windows message: ‘You need to format the disk in drive M: before you can use it….’ I repeated the steps several times with the same results. My computer is running Windows 8 64.

    Did I miss something?

  17. I just finished the comments and found no answer nor anyone who had the same issue as me. I finally found a ROM that worked and I thought it would work, but after updating, when it showed the home screen, I unlocked it and constantly a message saying “Unfortunately, CyanogenMod Account has stopped.” and every time I press OK, the message diapers for a split second and returns again.

  18. Hello Dani,

    I am very pleased that you have put this rooting process in such a detailed and straight forward document. I was excited to find this and try it. Unfortunately I hit a wall at Step 9.

    After re-inserting my SD card and trying to open it in Explorer I get a message box that says:
    ‘You need to format the disk in drive M: before you can use it.’

    I then click on the OK button and get a second message box:
    ‘M: is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make…’

    I re-formatted the drive and started over several times and got the same result each time.

    Here is my environment:
    Windows 7 64 Professional
    SD Card: SanDisk Ultra 16GB 1

    Any ideas on what the problem might be?


  19. I see several ppl here having difficulty rooting their Nook HD+ (HD Plus).

    (1) Did anybody successfully root it?

    (2) What was the necessary tweak to do so?


  20. I have tried every single Cyanogen Ovation ROM on the site provided for my Nook HD+ and cannot get any of them to work past the boot screen with the swirl. Does anyone have a link to a ROM that works with this ROOT?

  21. Hello,

    There is some missing information that might help others be more successful with rooting their device.

    After you Backup your old Nook HD(+) data you need to do the WIPE USER DATA option BEFORE installing from the zip

    Also the ZIP files need to be installed in a certain ORDER. Install the CM-10.*.* version you are planning to root first . Then Install the recovery. Then install the google apps zip.

    Also it should be noted that some versions or Google Apps do not work with every CyanogenMod version .. if you get a version miss match ANDROID KEYBOARD will not work properly.

      1. I have followed all the steps to the backup, but found it threw and error during the data backup portion. Trying the backup a second time, it fails right away. Where is the backup going? Is there a hidden partition to find and clear out?

  22. I could not get the SDcard to boot until I used Linux Gparted to add the LBA flag to the sdcard.
    Soon as I did that it booted normally. I also wasnt able to install the CyanogenMod as well as I got an error. I found another guide that said to factory default the tablet from clockwork mod and then it would install. I am in the process of backing up the stock rom and then will try that.
    Here is the other blog I found:

  23. Does the root process wipe all data and original Nook features like the library from the Nook HD? Obviously important to backup first but I’m curious if all the books and apps remain or have to be re-installed. Will it still function as a Nook reader but without the B&N restrictions?

    Also, is the magazine reading feature known to not work or just for the one user whose comments are listed?


  24. It Seems a rooted Barnes/Noble nook hd plus is the most cost effective deal for an Android. What others are better?

    1. Hi Nick,
      You are having problems installing due to elevation. Running a program as administrator means that the program has more access to the computer when it runs: It has elevated privileges. This is often necessary to do in Windows to ensure that certain programs run properly. In regards to the link, thank you for letting us know. We will take care of it. =-)

  25. I tried step 9 but I was told SD card needed formatting.
    Could you please help?
    This maybe the first of many Q’s lol

    1. Hi Bill,
      Formatting an SD card is easier than it sounds. What kind of phone do you have? Don’t worry about asking a lot of questions, we’re here to help and you can ask as many questions as you want. Don’t worry. =-)

  26. Hello,
    I got a Nook HD+ from the stone age, and I would like to know if rooting it would make it any faster, and if the interface would look any different to what it originally does. Most apps aren´t even running because they´re not supported due to newer updates don´t take into consideration the OS it came with.
    Thank you!

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