What verygreen has developed is a new boot.img file that removes the file protection that prevented users from modifying /system. After that modified boot.img is flashed to internal memory, those /system files can be modified without danger of the device resetting. Also, one added benefit is that with the new boot.img installed on your device, any B&N update will fail. So that means once you have installed the boot.img it will stay there until the user flashes a complete new rom themselves.
The only way users can modify the /system files is to be rooted or to use zip files flashed by CWM. This thread provides zips to root using his boot.img and other zips to make other mods, like enabling Unknown Sources so apps can be sideloaded without using Play Store or the B&N Store.
Verygreen has published his boot.img zips that remove the file protection here. If you use his latest versions of recovery to flash his zip, they will ask if you want to root. It does root and it works very well. But that version of root does not include busybox or superuser which some users like.
I have updated my Universal Root zip to rev3 to include his boot.img and adds superuser and busybox. Just flash that zip with either his or my recovery and you will have root. And with this version of root, there is no danger of being reset by B&N. If you used my earlier versions of Universal Root, I recommend you use my Disable Root zip before flashing this new version.
I also have full rooted 2.1.1 stock zips in item 6 below.
WARNINGs. The CWM recovery in this thread is used to install the zips below to internal memory which are mainly to modify stock. But it can also be used to install a Cyanogenmod (CM) ROM on internal memory as described in the Dummies Guide to installing CM to internal memory here, as well as to modify CM once installed.
Be sure to use CWM to nandroid backup your existing ROM before you try to install anything here. That way if something goes wrong and your system messes up, you can boot to the CWM SD and restore your ROM exactly the way it was before you did anything.
Some of the newer HDplus devices are very difficult to get to boot to an SD. They should eventually boot but many users, including me, have had difficulty. Look at this thread (in particular, look at this post within that thread).
1. Clockworkmod (CWM) Recovery - READ THIS SECTION FIRST, IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED!
CWM recovery is a tool that you can use to install modifications to your stock that you ordinarily could not do without already being rooted. And it has lots of other features like making an exact backup of your stock so you can restore it later if you want. And you should do that before you ever start installing anything else. But the feature that is most useful here is the ability to install (flash) the zips I have here on this thread.
A summary of the below section for those looking for steps is as follows:
a. Make the CWM SD.
b. Copy the installation zips to the CWM SD.
c. Insert the CWM SD to the device and boot to it.
d. Use the CWM commands to backup your device and install the zips.
e. Remove the CWM SD and boot to your modified device.
a. Make the CWM SD.
Before you can install the modifications here you must make a bootable CWM SD. To make one, you will need a spare SD that you are willing to dedicate to use as a permanent CWM card, a card reader for your PC, and burning software.
EDIT (5/22/13) - There is a new procedure brought to my attention by another user (thanks fanoush) which lets you make the CWM SD without burning the image. It seems the OMAP4 devices are a little more liberal on the booting requirements than previous OMAP devices. This makes it easier to install on any size SD. Follow this new procedure as the old procedure sometimes is difficult to acheive:
Format (fat32) any size card with SDFormatter (free on web).
Use partitioning software (Mini-Tool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Manager, both free) to set the first (and only) partition as "active". Don't repartition, just set active. I have read that some versions of Windows will let you set the first partition active without having to use partitioning software, but I only use XP and it does not have that feature.
Unarchive the appropriate set of BOOTFILES for your device (HD or HD+) from my .rar file attached below and copy them to the SD. There should be five files. Make sure you copy the MLO file first before you copy the other four. DO NOT INSERT THE SD INTO YOUR NOOK UNTIL TOLD TO DO SO IN SECTION 1c BELOW!
Move on to item b below to copy the installation zips.
Attached at the bottom of this post you can get the CWM image zips that I have modified to work on stock. I have versions for HDplus and for the HD. You must use the version for your device, they are not interchangeable. And you must use the CWM image zips from this thread if you want them to work on stock. Download the appropriate 4GB CWM image zip for your device and extract it. You will end up with an approximate 3.7GB .img file. Burn that image to your 4GB or larger SD using Win32diskimager in Windows or use the dd command in Linux or OSX (Mac).
To use Win32DiskImager, find it on the web (here, it's free) and install it on your Windows PC. Open it (be sure to run it as administrator) and select the drive (device) that has your card reader with your SD inserted. Then in the image file box put the location where you have the extracted img file. Then when everything is set right, click on the write button. A warning will pop up asking if you want to proceed. When you have verified that you are going to write to the correct device, click on Yes. (One user overwrote their external USB hard drive by not verifying first). With this 4GB image it will take a while. If you get an error message about access denied it means you are looking at the drive with Windows Explorer. Close Windows Explorer and try again. In fact, it is a good idea to close all unnecessary windows when burning, even your browser.
When burning is complete, temporarily remove the card and re-insert again so the PC recognizes the new image.
If you do not have a 4GB or larger SD, you can use my small version of the image, also attached below. It only requires 120MB of space on the SD. And it has all the same features as it's bigger 4GB brother, it is just smaller. But there is not room to put backups on the card. If you use a small card, see item 11 below for workarounds on making backups.
You can use partitioning software, like Mini-Tool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Manager (both free), to can expand the partition to the full size of the SD you burned it to. But I recommend you not use a really large SD to put CWM on. Certainly no larger that 8GB. It is a waste of a big card to use it for stock CWM.
To burn using Linux or Mac, you are on your own. A user, (jfever311) just added some Linux instructions here. And recently cdaters just added some Mac instructions here.
b. Copy the installation zips to the CWM SD.
With the card still in the PC, copy to the SD card those zips (keep them as zips) that you want to install to the Nook. I recommend the Enable Unknown Sources zip, and, if you want root, the Universal Root zip as discussed in the sections below.
c. Insert the CWM SD to the device and boot to it
Remove the card from the PC and insert into your POWERED OFF Nook and power back on. CWM should appear. If it does not and boots to stock instead, power off and try again. You can tell when it is going to boot to CWM when the 'cyanoboot' logo shows. If it still does not boot after several retries, first make sure you have the right version of the image/files to match your device (HD or HD+). Some of the newer HD+ devices a very resistant to booting to SD. My new device boots to SD maybe once in ten tries. I think it is hardware related. HD's seem to boot to SD very reliably.
d. Use the CWM commands to backup your device and install the zips.
Once CWM appears, use the volume up/down keys to move the cursor and highlight "backup and restore". Then use the n key to activate it. The power key is the back button. Pick backup and it will take several minutes to backup your system. That way if something messes up you can later restore that backup. Keep the backups for future needs, don't delete them.
Then use the power key to move back to the main screen and select "install zip from SD". Pick the zip you want from the list of zips that you put on the SD earlier and select install. Do them one at a time in any order you want. You do not have to do any wiping.
e. Remove the CWM SD and boot to your modified device.
After you finish, remove the CWM card and tell CWM to reboot. Sometimes you get a message saying that it is set to flash a new recovery and do you want to fix that? It makes no difference what answer you choose, so I just say no. It should boot to stock with your changes installed.
Most of the below zips can be flashed (installed) on any version of stock HD-HDplus ROM as long as you have booted the Nook into stock at least once and registered. All of the zips below can be installed and work without the Universal Root if you don't want to be rooted. Just copy any additional zips to the SD while it is inserted in the PC, remove from the PC, insert into the Nook again and boot to the CWM and install per the previous paragraph.
There is an alternative to downloading on your PC and copying the zip to the SD card for flashing. You can download the zip on your device and store it on internal media memory. Then, when you boot to CWM to flash it, select "install zip from SD/choose zip from internal memory" and install from there.
One additional thing. Since the device is very sensitive to the apps you install later (the device will try to reset itself if you install an app that writes to /system), it is probably a good idea to back up with CWM periodically so that if you do have to restore, you won't have to repeat a lot of the changes you made since the last backup.
If you do get into the 8 failed boot process because something got inadvertently added to /system, you can recover from the reset by turning off the device before the 8th reboot and inserting your CWM card. The next boot will boot to CWM and you can restore your last back up to get back to where you were.
Be sure to keep your CWM SD for future use.
EDIT (9/18/13) I don't like or use TWRP recovery but many users have asked for a bootable SD that uses it. So I extracted the files from verygreen's internal TWRP and made bootable SD versions for each device and added them to the list of attachments below. I have both the BOOTFILES version (which I recommend using) and a burnable 4GB image version. The image version is compressed to 7z format to make it small enough to attach to this post.
You are on your own for how to use TWRP, don't ask me, I don't use it.
2. Universal Root for Stock (rev3 - 09/10/13 )and Disable Root (rev2 - 2/3/2013)
Adding Root to stock is an important step in making your device better. It gives you access to files and locations that you are ordinarily not allowed to see or modify. Many further mods to your device depend on being rooted.
This zip will detect which device you have and will root your stock no matter what version of the software (even 2.1.1). The zip is very small and is attached to this post. I added a couple of small apps to help users. Zeam is an alternate launcher to help you see sideloaded apps and AnyCut lets you put a stock Home shortcut on the zeam screen. If you do not want these apps, just go to settings and uninstall them.
This version of root also changes how the boot sequence looks. It briefly shows the original Nook logo, followed by the Cyanoboot logo, followed by the normal stock boot up sequence. After the first boot when the stock home screen comes up, press the n key and a dialog box pops up asking which launcher you want to use. Click default and select zeam. To put a stock home shortcut on zeam, long press the zeam screen, choose shortcut, choose AnyCut, choose activity and scroll to home and select it Then press OK. There will now be a shortcut installed to get back to the stock home screen. An alternative way to switch back and forth between stock home and zeam is described by natefish here.
I also added another zip to disable root if you already rooted your device. It is only to be used if you rooted using rev2 or older of the Universal Root. It will leave all the other things installed by the zips below, just root will be gone. And you can always add root later again if you want by flashing the Universal Root zip. It will not work on rev3. If you want to remove the rev3 root, just go to item 6 below and flash one of my plain stock ROMs. It will take everything back to plain stock including removing the Cyanoboot loader and the root files (and CWM or TWRP if you installed them to internal memory). This is handy if you need to return it to B&N under warranty. But it will leave the Unknown Sources setting enabled if you had flashed that zip.
If you prefer not to be rooted, all of the other below zips can be installed and work without having root.
If you have a previous version of root and get updated by B&N despite setting OTA to manual per item 7 below, just flash this root zip again and your root should be back. Breaking root will not effect your installed apps unless those apps specifically required root. One of the side benefits of the rev3 root is it causes any B&N update to fail, so the root sticks.
3. Enabling Unknown Sources - (rev0 - 09/08/2013) (formerly the Extras zip)
I have a new stand alone Enable Unknown Sources zip and attached it below. It replaces the former Extras zip that is now obsolete. This zip changes a hidden setting in stock to allow apps to be installed from other sources besides the Nook Store or Play Store. You will need to have booted and set up stock before flashing this zip. But you do not need to be rooted.
And I now have a version of the old Extras zip (which included enabling Unknown Sources) for 'Stock installed on SD' by verygreen. Get it here (WARNING! This version of the extras zip is only for users running stock installed on an SD, NOT for users running original stock installed on internal memory. Do not install it on stock on internal, it will do nothing.)
4. Swapping "sdcard" and "ext_sdcard"
Many users have complained that on the HD/HD+, like many phones, the internal media is named "sdcard" so that apps can store their files there. Some users would like them stored on their external SD. This mod will swap "sdcard" and "ext_sdcard" so that apps will store their files on the external SD. The external SD will show as "sdcard" and the internal media will show as "ext_sdcard". And it shows swapped using MTP also. It can be a little confusing since we cannot control the names, but they are swapped. If you don't have an external SD in the slot, both sdcard and ext_sdcard will display the internal media.
I have two zips attached below, one to install the swap feature and one to remove the feature. Just flash the one you want and on the next boot it will become effective. These are for stock only.
I also now have a version for the official CM10.1/CM10.2 on emmc for the HD+ and HD.
WARNINGs This swap is kind of a kludge, so some things are troublesome. For these swap zips to work, your SD must be formatted to fat32. And the settings, storage option in CM does not provide accurate information. In fact, it may hang your device if you try to view it. If it hangs, just reboot. Also another issue is you cannot install apk files from the new sdcard. You must move the apk to internal media memory before installing.
5. New CWM (v6036) for internal memory (emmc) and Restoring stock recovery to emmc (HD/HD+)
Now that verygreen has made available his native CM10.1 ROM and has matching native CWM and TWRP recoveries that can be put on internal memory (emmc), I have made three more zips. The first two are my versions of a repackaged verygreen CWM (v6036) for internal memory for HD (here or here) and HD+ (here or here) that work on both stock and internally installed CM. If you are already on the newer CWM for CM11 (v6045 or newer) that cannot flash older zips and you want to go back so you can, I have modified this zip (rev2) to be flashable with the newer CWM. That way you can go back to v6036 to be able to flash older zips.
The third is a zip to return the stock recovery to internal memory should users want to return their devices to pure stock. A nandroid restore of an earlier stock backup will restore everything except the stock recovery. So if you have installed verygreen's or my recovery to emmc and you want to go back to pure stock, flash my HD+ zip here or here and my HD zip here or here. Both are also attached below.
6. Plain Stock HD/HDplus 2.1.0/2.1.1/2.2.0, Full 2.1.1 Stock with Root (latest 12/23//13)
Warning! All of the zips in this section must be flashed with CWM v6036 or earlier. v6045 or later will cause the installation to abort with assert errors.
I have plain unrooted factory 2.1.0, 2.1.1 and 2.2.0 zips for each device. They will take you back to stock with no root (and with file protection) so you can let B&N update you to the latest ROM version if you want. They also restore the recovery to stock in case you had previously installed CWM or TWRP to internal memory. The plain stock 2.1.0 for HD is here or here, and the HD+ here or here. Plain stock 2.1.1 for HD here or here and HD+ here or here. The plain stock 2.2.0 for HD is here or here and the plain stock 2.2.0 for HD+ is here or here. If you are flashing these so you can return a device to B&N, be sure to also factory reset/wipe data with recovery (CWM or TWRP). Also an added warning if you are using TWRP and flashing these plain stock zips. After flashing and telling it to reboot, it detects that the plain stock is not rooted and asks if you want to install SuperSU. Tell it to not install as that will cause the plain stock to reset itself.
I also have full stock 2.1.1 rooted ROM zips. They can be flashed with the CWM above and have the verygreen boot.img that removes the /system file protection. They also are rooted and have superuser and busybox. Get the HD version of the rooted stock here or here and the HD+ version here or here. They can be flashed over whatever version you have. You can do it without any wiping so your installed apps and settings will remain intact. This version does not include Enable Unknown Sources, but if you had previously flashed the new Enable Unknown Sources zip, that is a setting and should stick and not need flashing again. The ROM zips will replace your entire /system so any other zips you flashed here like Extras or swaps will be gone. After flashing this ROM, you will need to reflash any mods you want from this thread (except the new Enable Unknown Sources if you had flashed it earlier).
These zips are quite large (over 400MB) so expect long downloads.
7. New OTA (Over the Air) update block
Another user (thanks greenya!) has come up with a new method to block OTA updates from B&N that seems to work. I have tested it with AdAway. I tried to manually update my 2.0.5 system in settings. It says there is an update available but does nothing when I push download. I removed the block and hit download and it began downloading immediately. So it does block them.
If you are rooted, you can do this yourself with AdAway. I have a description in my HD/HD+ Tips thread linked in my signature, here. See item 4.
Another possible block would be to put CWM or TWRP on internal memory per item 5 above. I don't think updates will install without stock recovery installed. They usually fail with CWM or TWRP.
Edit: I just did some testing and if the new boot.img has been installed, the B&N updates fail and abort. See my post here.
8. The Importance of doing Backups
Some users have not made backups because they have installed CWM to a relatively small SD. You need to have backups with these devices because they can and will reset themselves, especially if rooted.
Save your CWM card and the backups because you WILL need them again. I recommend you make a backup of the device before any modifications and another when you think you have it the way you want it. Keep both backups because you may someday need to get back to pure stock so you can update. Some of my mods interfere with updates.
Also, being rooted adds the danger of being reset by some app that modifies /system. So, if you are rooted and you want to install a new app that requires root, make a backup of your device just before installing the app in case it causes a reset.
To restore, go to the backup and restore menu and select restore. That will restore the whole device if you are recovering from a system reset. Or can go to the advanced restore menu to just restore /system if you caught the reset before it completed. There are other times you might want to just restore /data, like just after a clean device update.
9. Modifications to verygreen's New SD Scheme
With bokbokan's help, I modified bokbokan's Cyanoboot to work on verygreen's New SD so the menu works. It is now easy to boot back and forth between stock and CM10.1 with verygreen's New SD Scheme. Just flash the NookHDplus-verygreen-New-SD-add-bokbokan-Cyanoboot zip attached below.
The second zip allows stock to see his emulated media SD partition as ext_sdcard in stock. Just flash the NookHDplus-verygreen-New-SD-fix-stock-to-use-New-SD-Media zip attached below.
Both zips can only be flashed with verygreen's New SD CWM (early 7.1).
10. Recovery Bootloops - (Device boots only to CWM or TWRP recovery)
Occasionally the /rom partition (p5) will get corrupted. That partition contains vital information necessary to operate your device. When that happens it tries to boot to stock recovery so that it can repair itself. But since many users have replaced stock recovery with CWM or TWRP, it boots to one of them and does nothing. Rebooting again does the same thing. So you end up in a recovery bootloop. And restoring your original stock backup does not help since it does not restore the stock recovery nor repair the /rom partition.
To fix it you need to restore the stock recovery by either flashing one of my stock recovery zips attached below or flash a whole plain stock zip from item 6. Then when it reboots, it can repair itself.
Obsolete zips have been moved to the next post.