Install CM9 (ICS) on Nook Tablet

How to install CM9a (Ice Cream Sandwich) to the 8gb Nook:

For an introduction to rooting and descriptions of other options, see our article… Intro to Rooting & Modding Nook Tablet.

Update 7 Jun 13: ICS is no longer supported. Please visit our guide to install Jelly Bean –

Update 15 Sep 12 : The current version of ICS is now 6.1. You can download CM10 (Jelly Bean). It has generally the same issues as the ICS version but offers a nicer interface. I have a step-by-step guide for installing Jelly Bean in a separate article here. See this thread on XDA for more:

Update 15 Jul 12 : You can download CM7b if you prefer GB. Get the ROM here. It will also flash to the INTERNAL memory with this same procedure. You will also need to download a DIFFERENT version of the GAPPS. That file is available here. The special “newboot.img” file is NOT required for CM7.

 [warning]This article describes a process that will ROOT the Nook Tablet (8gb or 16gb). See the intro article here for a comparison of this other ROMS. Rooting your device is perfectly legal (at the time of writing) but doing so will most likely void your warranty and also has the potential of “bricking” your device, so you do so at your own risk.[/warning]

After you have read the warnings (and disregarded them), be sure to follow this instruction closely, so as NOT to introduce additional problems in your Nook!

Actually, this process is very quick & easy. It will add some very significant capabilities:

Nook with ICS

  • The addition of the Android Play Store/Market allows the installation of thousands of previously unavailable apps
  • You will have the ability to “sideload” apps from other markets (such as the Amazon AppStore)
  • You will be using the ICS 3D User Interface (UI) (with an older Gingerbread Kernel)
  • Your Nook will be rooted which will allow you to change almost anything on the device
  • Plus others.

[important]To see a more complete listing of capabilities and to get more direct support, visit the XDA development thread for this ROM: 

BIG THANKS to chrmhoffmann who put this together and makes it available on the XDA thread. Our part here is to provide a simplified guide to installation.

NOTE: This is Alpha software are it probably will time out and stop working about a month from the publication of the each version.[/important]



  1. Copy the downloaded files (still in zipped format) to the root of the SDCard.
  2. Power off the Nook.
  3. Insert the CWM (bootable) SDCard into the Nook.
  4. Power on the Nook & boot into CWM
  5. Wait until CWM is completely initialized (blue menu appears)
  6. If using 2 separate cards – switch the cards (otherwise, just ignore this step)
  7. If you are upgrading from a previous version of this same ROM, then skip this step! Select “wipe data/factory reset” & press the Nook button / Select the “Yes” option and press the Nook button
  8. Select the “wipe cache partition” and agree
  9. Select the “advanced” option & then select “wipe dalvik” & agree
  10. Press the POWER button to go back to the main menu
  11. Select “install zip from sdcard”
  12. Select “choose zip from sdcard”
  13. Locate and select your ROM’s zip file & press the Nook button / Select the “Yes” option
  14. Wait until the update is complete (CWM menu returns active). This can take a few minutes.
  15. For NT8 Users: Repeat steps 12-14 using the file (install it the same way you flashed the rom in steps 12-14)
  16. Repeat steps 12-14 using the file (install it the same way you flashed the rom in steps 12-14)
  17. Press the POWER button to go back to the main menu
  18. Remove the SDCard from the Nook
  19. Select the “reboot system now” and press “Nook” button to execute the command.
  20. WAIT. The first boot after doing a factory reset (or flashing a ROM) will often take from 2-6 minutes (sometimes even longer).

Procedure (how to use it)

  • Your Nook should now reboot and come up in the Android setup. You must now complete the setup.
  • When you are finished with setup, the Nook will display the new ICS (3D) user interface. It is very interactive and can be changed infinitely. You will also have the Google Play Store and you can install almost every app from there. Finally, you can sideload apps from anywhere you TRUST. I suggest that you install the Amazon AppStore (not on Play Store, you must visit to get it.)
  • NEXT, I recommend that you make a BACKUP using CMW. For instructions, see our guide here.
  • Then play with the device, add apps, change the wallpaper, etc. When you have changed it to the way you like it, make ANOTHER backup.
  • Use as is, change, modify, or flash a different ROM (or even flash back to stock).

[warning]Note: there is no recovery program installed at this point. That is no real problem since you can still use the bootable CWM SDCard to return to recovery. But one should probably install either ClockworkMod (suggested), TeamWinRecoveryProject, or the Stock Recovery.[/warning]

  • Optional: Flash the compatible CWM image to the INTERNAL (EMMC) memory:
    1. Download and install fastboot for your computer’s operating system.
    2. Boot the device and hold the “n” key to get into the cyanoboot menu
    3. From the menu, choose “Enable Fastboot
    4. On your computer, rename the recovery.x.xx.img file to recovery.img
    5. In a terminal/command prompt on your computer, cd to the folder where the image is located & run: fastboot flash recovery recovery.img. (With Linux, you may need to prefix the command with “sudo”)

[important]As always, your feedback is important. Please leave a comment and tell us what is good and/or bad about this guide & how it can be improved.[/important]

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27 Responses to Install CM9 (ICS) on Nook Tablet

  1. Fernando says:

    hello again I’ve done the install but I still can what the top is what is the internal memory any other way?
    lol sry ray im very noob xD!!

  2. Fernando says:

    hello ray thank you very much for all the tutorials, I’ve done everything but I can not, now every time I turn on my nook appears that:

    I have done this tutorial but still dating the same

    Im made a log

    Any idea? ty Ray!!

  3. gojoppari says:

    Thank you for the detailed guide.
    My issue is that the NT8 (stock 1.4.2; isn’t auto-updating to 1.4.3 despite being registered) won’t boot with an SDCard inserted. Not only can I not boot from the SD, but I cannot even get the power to turn on when any SDCard is inserted. Is this an issue that anyone else has reported? If so, what can be done to fix this?

    • Nathan Hopson says:

      Update: I manually updated to 1.4.3, reformatted all three SDCards I’m using with GParted, checked to make sure that both the boot and LBA tags are selected, and tried again. No luck. transferring the files from a different computer (OSX rather than Ubuntu) to test whether it was a file transfer issue. No luck. The Nook is 100% stock 1.4.3, and is registered. I have no idea what the issue is; your help would be greatly appreciated.

      Additionally, I see we are to use names, not handles. Apologies.

      • Ray says:

        As you can see from the comments, building a bootable SDCard that the Nook will recognize, is a challenge.
        1. The SanDisk 8GB class 4 or 6 cards seem to work best. I have tried repeatedly to build a boot card from NEW cards from some other manufacturers and was NEVER able to do it.
        2. I have never seen the benefit but many users report that they must “tether” their Nook before the card will boot. By this, they connect the Nook (via USB) either to a wall charger or to their computer while the card is installed. When the Nook boots (tethered) they report that it will boot from the SDCard. It may be worth a try.

    • Ray says:

      Some strange – and possibly unrelated – issues there!
      1. If you are going to root the device and flash a new ROM, there is no benefit to upgrading to 1.4.3.
      2. Power on fail with SDCard inserted – are you ABSOLUTELY certain that the Nook is fully charged? Use the stock charger/cable and charge it overnight and try again. The card requires extra current that a low battery may not be able to support on boot.
      3. What happens when you install the SDCard AFTER initial boot?

      • Nathan says:

        Thank you for both replies.
        1. Didn’t think so, but tried it anyway to make sure that I had 100% untouched stock.
        2. 100% charged.
        3. Card is recognized w/ no problems; the Nook directories are written to it.

        As for the other reply:
        1. I will try a SanDisk card when I can get my hands on one.
        2. I will try this and report back.
        I’m currently in the middle of moving cross country, so this may not happen until next month.

        Thanks again.

        • Ray says:

          No problem. Check back when you get settled. BTW, you may be interested in the new Nook HD at $129. See our front page.

  4. Phillip Hall says:

    Hi Mr. Waldo, its me again, now my cyanogen bootloader is displaying the 2 android icons. I tried your suggestion of reset to factory and reboot but its still the same way. Help!!!

    • Ray says:

      If you can use the menu and get into recovery, just install a new ROM. CM9 is outdated anyway. See my Jelly Bean guide.
      If you cannot get into recovery, you may have to use the unbrick guide.

    • Phillip Hall says:

      Hello Mr. Waldo, thanks for your help. I’ve installed Jelly Bean and TWRP, they work GREAT! Thanks for your time and patience. Its greatly appreciated.

  5. Phillip Hall says:

    Hi Mr. Waldo, nice videos. I need alot of help. My give me an error message “bad boot image magic in memory (in red text)”. What could I do?

  6. Asuka Jr. says:

    Hey. Thanks for an interesting instructional. Too bad I can’t use it…
    As every version (especially here) requires the CWM memory stick, and to make THAT you have to be able to read a memory card in linux, and for THAT you have to either have linux installed or use a ‘live’ boot version (cd or jump drive), and no matter what I do I can’t get the ‘Try Linux’ version of Ubuntu to read an SD card plugged into the computer without getting the:
    Unable to mount USB DISK
    Adding the read ACL for uid 999 to ‘/media/ubuntu’ failed: Operation not supported
    error, and so cannot get a CWM memory stick made, I’ve beaten my head against this for the last several hours with any ‘helpful’ instructions listed online not actually explaining ANYTHING…
    (I could fix it by using the method sheutlin recommended:

    # Add a folder
    sudo mkdir /media/USERNAME

    # assign the folder to my user
    sudo chown USERNAME.USERNAME /media/USERNAME)

    Only without having to learn all about how everything in linux works (not what I was trying to do), I have no idea WHERE this ‘folder’ is supposed to be added, what the F**K sudo is, and why I’d have to use what appears to be a command line user interface command inside a graphic user interface, and WHY I’d need to ‘assign’ that folder (wherever I was supposed to be making it) to my username (whatever THAT designation would be in a non-installed version of linux) JUST so I could finally (supposedly) make my CWM memory card… Really? Just as simple as that, eh? Huh, thought it would at LEAST require I hand-code an exact duplicate of Deep Blue’s chess algorithm from scratch, without any knowledge of coding or chess… sigh.

    So I give up, Ray. I had no problem rooting/ROM flashing a friends’ Kindle Fire using straightforward instructions online, and he’s been overjoyed with it since, and have hacked numerous Sony PSPs from as far back as the LCS 2.0 exploit, but I have never had so much difficulty even making the FIRST STEPS in a hack process as I have trying to unlock the tablet potential of a Nook. All this hell, just cause I wanted to have a tablet without a camera (I work in a government secure facility, so no cameras), and expandable memory (micro SD, anyone?), but it’s looking like I’d have had a much easier time just living with the limitations of the Fire…

    I apologize if I seem bitter or whiney, but my head hurts, my hack won’t work, and my friend’s wife (he’s currently napping while I try to root both of our Nooks) has no sympathy, as she’s an Apple fan, and was perfectly happy with the Nook before she gave it to her husband (after he bought her an iPad), as she mostly just wanted an e-reader… So I figured I come cry here a little bit, just to get it off my chest.

    Congratulations to everyone who has been able to get this thing to work, as the Nook really seemed like a great price for a full function tablet, but without being able to make any progress on this has really soured me on the Nook, but thanks for at least trying to help me out with what should have been straightforward instructions… I guess I really shouldn’t be trying this stuff any more. Must be too old for new tech…

    Thanks again, and I wish you and all the modders out there all the best, and hope anyone else that tries to root their Nook meets with perfect success!

    Yours, in despair-
    Daiki Asuka Jr.

  7. Chris says:

    Can you use this ROM on other tablets like the off brand ones?

  8. Ray Juod says:

    Yeah, i guess i should have gone the CM7 ->CM9->CM10 updates route. Now that i’ve gone through it once, i’d be better at picking my files next time. I feel he experience has given me a lot of bonus’s what with linux, android, and the factory reset on the nook probably cleaned out the email and web service “fail -> force close -> dismiss button” nasties that were interrupting my reading with increasing frequency.

    • Ray says:

      I purposely did the progression to assure that it would work. All of these ROMs and such are a balance of pros and cons and each has some weirdness involved. I try to develop processes that (if followed exactly) will work. There may be valid shortcuts that also work but I cannot try every alternative and then support that so – my one-way guide (grin).
      Don’t stop “rooting” – let this prove to you that there is almost always a way out. It may be a bit frustrating and take way too much time, but you are on the “cutting edge” of some neat stuff!!

  9. Ray Juod says:

    ok, i’m back to stock nook again. kind of happy with what i have now, as opposed to a brick. I must have flubbed a step or 2. May try again at some later date. Upside is i like playing with live linux. I had to use knoppix though as they have a readily availible dvd live. my 2 computers are both built before USB booting 🙂 Thanks for your help

    • Ray says:

      Well, glad you got back to something usable. Don’t give up, though, using JB on the NT is much better than stock.

  10. Ray Juod says:

    After the flash of the,, and gaaps.zp, my nook boots into the cyanogen bootloader displaying the 2 android figures. Now what?

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