Barnes & Noble Sends NOOKcolors Back to Store Shelves With No Rootkit


Much was made of the reason why NOOKcolors had disappeared from certain store shelves nearly a week ago. Some guessed it was just a slight hiccup in Barnes & Noble’s shipping schedule, while others feared the worst: that they would introduce a new version to prevent folks from rooting and installing custom ROMs. (The most popular theory being because they didn’t want to give folks the ability to buy digital books from other stores.)

At that time, we learned that information may have been wrong – there was just an inventory bug they had to take care of and the flow of available NOOKcolor devices dried up a bit as a result.

Thankfully, NOOKcolor devices are starting ship back to retail shelves and they seem just as hackable as they always have been. In fact, the only changes seem to be the exclusion of a light and proximity sensor that once sat left of the NOOK logo. The serial number structures have also changed. One rooter specifically tried to load Honeycomb via his SD card onto his new model to see if he’d be denied:

More thorough testing is needed. It is still possible that some software changes happened that could mean the currently popular ‘Autonooter’ rooting method might need tweaking. At the very least, however, a nookcolor owner can boot off the SD and flash a rooted ROM over the internal memory and theres absolutely nothing stopping it, or run the OS completely off the SD card if they wish to leave the internal memory intact.

So put those pitchforks down – all is well in the land of nooks, and as far as we can tell, nothing’s going to keep you folks from freeing your devices. [Thanks, EarlyMon!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. looks good its a fun little device

  2. Can’t wait to get one.

  3. Windows Phone ads are as lame as the OS. You might want to talk to whoever does your advertising about that.

  4. An article calling the all clear after one person managed to find one and boot from SD?
    Kinda silly don’t you think?
    They were never pulled from the store near me and still had the 1.0.0 firm on them.
    We haven’t even hit the middle of the month shipping date that they had all been delayed until.
    I couldn’t even get a new charger that would actually fit into the nook shipped until next week.

    I hope this is all true, but I think it is a bit early to call it all good.

  5. Weird. I guess they removed those sensors to save on manufacturing?

    I am glad that the Nook Color is just as hackable as before. That would have been a shame if they changed something major.

  6. B&N would be real dumb to make color nook unhackable. Its the best 7″ tab for the money and there us a whole market of modders. I am holding out for the 10″ tabs before I decide what I will do.

  7. Nonsense title. Nonsense information. Business as usual here!

  8. @danbutter – “I hope this is all true, but I think it is a bit early to call it all good.”

    The earlier articles dispelled that they were being pulled or discontinued. The only stores getting new stock are likely to be the stores that were out of them. The newly stocked models are not locked down, but more time is needed to assess all changes – as the article notes. ;)

  9. It’s really too bad about the light sensor. They haven’t ever been enabled in the existing software, but the nook needs automatic brightness really badly and I was hoping they’d enable it in a future software update. It may not sound like a big deal, but this thing is pretty bright even on it’s lowest setting, and having to manually tweak the brightness every time you open it gets old very quickly. It sounds like they’ve gone the wrong direction on that one.

  10. I bought a Nook Color two days ago as soon as they returned to shelves. I had it rooted, flashed back to stock, and rooted again within an hour. I’m also still using it as a regular reader and have bought one book from the Nook store. It shipped with 1.0.1 and I used the standard Autonooter process from Nookdevs.

    So yeah, I have legitimate first-hand accounting of them NOT messing with the software :)

  11. Are there going to be new apps released in an update this month?

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