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[GUIDE] Kobo Arc, 7, 7HD and 10HD - ROOT and Development

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By dazza9075, Senior Member on 2nd November 2013, 12:04 AM
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Kobo
Arc, Arc 7, Arc 7HD and Arc 10HD


With the release of not 1 but 3 new devices from Kobo and no specific device forum I thought it time we consolidated any and all root / development available information on them under one roof. All credit for others work will be acknowledged if known.


If anyone has any info they feel should be added please post it and ill add it
The following devices and development status are list below


Kobo Arc - Root + recovery (POSSIBLE PROBLEM WITH NEW SYSTEM UPDATE, Arctic may no longer work)
Kobo Arc 7 - Root
Kobo Arc 7HD - Root + recovery
Kobo Arc 10HD - Root + recovery


Please support development on these projects, sign up to XDA and join in, we need all the help that we can get!
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2nd November 2013, 12:07 AM |#2  
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Kobo Arc

Root

Enable unknown sources In security options
Download arctic.apk to your tablet from http://zhuoweizhang.net/Arctic.apk and install, it will do the rest and install Chainfires SU


Enjoy your root access

Please note, the Arctic patch for the original arc may no longer work after a recent system update, possible solution would be to use fiddler to check what response the device receives to with the update, then hardreset device, connect to an access point directed to a proxy with fiddler running and change the response it gets, going to be a pure pain in the bum but it should work, ill maybe add that info later. Or work on a way to flash a ROM from stock recovery....


Credit to
zhuowei @ http://zhuoweizhang.net/ for Arctic.apk
Chainfire for SU

Recovery Mod
  • Root needed first!
  • And something like ROM Toolbox for all the various apps needed
  • Install the android SDK on your computer, you will need to add the google usb drivers, you will find them in the "extras"
  • Enable usb debug on the arc and install the generic google adb usb drivers
  • Plug in the device and let it install drivers, it WILL fail one device, manually install drivers for the failed "arc" device that's highlighted with an error, click on it and update the driver, browse, let me pick my own, show all devices, click next and have disc. Click browse and navigate to your android SDK>extras>google USB driver, for the correct drivers, select "ADB interface"
  • Delete or rename the file on the device located at /etc/install-recover.sh this will make the custom recovery persistent
  • Copy the recovery.img to the SDCard, either by using drag and drop in windows ( to root of "internal storage") or by adb push "adb push recovery.img /sdcard/

  • The next job is to open up a command window on your computer and navigate to adb folder, SDK>platform-tools. Type the following exactly, even better copy and paste them!

    adb shell
    su
    cat /sdcard/recovery.img > /dev/block/platform/omap/omap_hsmmc.1/by-name/recovery

    exit adb shell (ctrl+C) and type

    adb reboot recovery

    and bobs your uncle, one happy new recovery

Original ROM files

recovery Recovery
xloader Xloader
system System
misc Misc
logos Logos
crypto Crypto
cache Cache
bootlogo Bootlogo
bootloader Bootloader
boot Boot
efs Efs

Custom ROM files

Credit to
Me for recovery mod
Attached Files
File Type: zip Arctic.zip - [Click for QR Code] (905.5 KB, 2154 views)
File Type: img recovery.img - [Click for QR Code] (6.02 MB, 2409 views)
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2nd November 2013, 12:08 AM |#3  
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Kobo Arc 7

Root

  • Fully setup device
  • Download impactor on PC from http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/
  • Download android SDK on PC, from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
  • Run SDK manager and acquire the google USB drivers
  • Enable dev mode on device by going to settings, about kobo, and tap build number 7 times
  • Enable USB debug mode in developer options
  • Enable unknown sources in security options
  • Plug in device and let it install a USB composite device and a arc 7hd drive, it will fail on the third, go to device manager, and manually install drivers for the "arc" device that's highlighted with an error.
    Click on it and update the driver, browse, let me pick my own, show all devices, click next, have disc. click browse and navigate to your android SDK>extras>google usb driver\android_winusb.inf, for the correct drivers, select ADB interface
  • Run the impactor program downloaded earlier, once loaded, click on start
    Check your device screen, you should see an error message, click on decline then decline again and finally decline again, (not sure that makes any difference)
  • Go to the market place and download SU by Chainfire
EDIT: Impactor was updated which will now make the above work

Credit to
http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/ for the rooting tool
Chainfire for SU
howlinwolf430 for trying the unlock with the new impactor available above


Recovery Mod


howlinwolf430 has a working Recovery img up and running, tests continue but we look forward to seeing this soon!
2nd November 2013, 12:08 AM |#4  
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Kobo Arc 7HD


Root
  • Fully setup device
  • Download impactor on PC from http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/
  • Download android SDK on PC, from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
  • Run SDK manager and acquire the google USB drivers
  • Enable dev mode on device by going to settings, about kobo, and tap build number 7 times
  • Enable USB debug mode in developer options
  • Enable unknown sources in security options
  • Plug in device and let it install a USB composite device and a arc 7hd drive, it will fail on the third, go to device manager, and manually install drivers for the "arc" device that's highlighted with an error.
    Click on it and update the driver, browse, let me pick my own, show all devices, click next, have disc. click browse and navigate to your android SDK>extras>google usb driver, for the correct drivers, select ADB interface
  • Run the impactor program downloaded earlier, once loaded, click on start
    Check your device screen, you should see an error message, click on decline then decline again and finally decline again, (not sure that makes any difference)
  • Go to the market place and download SU by Chainfire
Credit to
http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/ for the rooting tool
Chainfire for SU

Recovery Mod

  • Ensure SU is working and you can get SU access with adb shell
  • download the recovery.img attached in to your adb folder
  • with the device connected to computer type the following
  • adb push recovery.img /sdcard/
  • adb shell
  • su
  • dd if=/sdcard/recovery.img of=/dev/block/platform/sdhci-tegra.3/by-name/SOS
  • ctrl-c
  • adb reboot recovery
  • Make sure you allow recovery to make changes when prompted or it will automatically revert to stock recovery
Kobo 7HD notes

Fastboot and Bootloader modes are ONLY available via adb/fastboot commands, there are NO hardware button combos.

  • adb reboot bootloader / fastboot reboot-bootloader
  • adb reboot recovery / fastboot reboot recovery

Recovery can be accessed by turning off the device, holding down "VOL DOWN" and turning on, keep VOL DOWN pressed until booted

APX mode can be accessed by plugging in a USB cable connected to a computer, turning off the device, holding down "VOL UP" and turning on, keep VOL UP pressed until booted, note that the screen remains BLACK and as far as I have worked out it is completely useless without certain files we do not have access to.
Attached Files
File Type: img recovery.img - [Click for QR Code] (6.54 MB, 2102 views)
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2nd November 2013, 12:09 AM |#5  
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Kobo Arc 10HD

Root
  • Fully setup device
  • Download impactor on PC from http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/
  • Download android SDK on PC, from http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
  • Run SDK manager and acquire the google USB drivers
  • Enable dev mode on device by going to settings, about kobo, and tap build number 7 times
  • Enable USB debug mode in developer options
  • Enable unknown sources in security options
  • Plug in device and let it install a USB composite device and a arc 7hd drive, it will fail on the third, go to device manager, and manually install drivers for the "arc" device that's highlighted with an error.
    Click on it and update the driver, browse, let me pick my own, show all devices, click next, have disc. click browse and navigate to your android SDK>extras>google usb driver, for the correct drivers, select ADB interface
  • Run the impactor program downloaded earlier, once loaded, click on start
    Check your device screen, you should see an error message, click on decline then decline again and finally decline again, (not sure that makes any difference)
  • Go to the market place and download SU by Chainfire
http://www.cydiaimpactor.com/ for the rooting tool
Chainfire for SU

Recovery Mod
  • Ensure SU is working and you can get SU access with adb shell
  • download the recovery.img attached in to your adb folder
  • with the device connected to computer type the following
  • adb push recovery.img /sdcard/
  • adb shell
  • su
  • dd if=/sdcard/recovery.img of=/dev/block/platform/sdhci-tegra.3/by-name/SOS
  • ctrl-c
  • adb reboot recovery
  • Make sure you allow recovery to make changes when prompted or it will automatically revert to stock recovery
Kobo 10HD notes

Fastboot and Bootloader modes are ONLY available via adb/fastboot commands, there are NO hardware button combos.
  • adb reboot bootloader / fastboot reboot-bootloader
  • adb reboot recovery / fastboot reboot recovery

Recovery can be accessed by turning off the device, holding down "VOL DOWN" and turning on, keep VOL DOWN pressed until booted

APX mode can be accessed by plugging in a USB cable connected to a computer, turning off the device, holding down "VOL UP" and turning on, keep VOL UP pressed until booted, note that the screen remains BLACK and as far as I have worked out it is completely useless without certain files we do not have access to.


EDIT: 16th Feb 2014


Arc 10HD received an OTA update "update-ota832-ota932.zip" around the 10th of Feb. Initial look in to this suggests not only are there some system updates the but the bootloader is updated too, its only about 17MB
Attached Files
File Type: img recovery.img - [Click for QR Code] (6.98 MB, 2130 views)
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10th January 2014, 03:13 PM |#6  
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Edit 6
10HD received a OTA update


Edit 5

thanks to howlinwolf430 Arc 7 now has root, I need to confirm this and the method but I believe the new impactor has added another vulnerability that allows ROOT Thus the guide for the 7HD and the 7 is the same

Edit 4
Recovery img is now complete for the Arc 10HD and 7HD! There are some small configuration changes needed to fix some mounting issues but it backs up and restores just fine



Edit 3
Source code now available for all arcs, git for everything available https://github.com/dazza9075
Recovery Roms for Arc 7HD and 10HD almost complete, just testing to see if it restores correctly

Edit 2
Please note, the Arctic patch for the original arc may no longer work after a recent update
Bootloaders on the 7HD and 10HD appear to be unlocked.

Edit 1
Development on the Arc 7 has stagnated and I no longer have one to directly play with although I do have access if need be.


Sent from my arc 10HD using xda app-developers app
4th February 2014, 10:53 AM |#7  
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Support needed!

Hi everyone, if your reading this and have some experience in building custom ROMs for unsupported devices and wish to give us a guiding hand please jump on board and help where you can. We currently have working custom recovery's on all devices ( Arc 7 needing a little bit of testing ) but we are needing some support for the next steps!


Many thanks!
9th February 2014, 03:16 PM |#8  
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Arctic,apk
I have ordered a Kobo Arc online. Any idea if the Arctic.apk does or does not work on them with the system update. Just looking for confirmation
9th February 2014, 06:23 PM |#9  
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Thumbs up Nice work...I hope it won't remain an isolated effort
@dazza9075: I just ordered the Arc 10HD - can I safely update the software once I get it and root it AFTER? I didn't see any notes indicating otherwise, but I know from my other Android devices that usually the root/recovery methods are tied to a specific version.

Note I don't even know yet if it will require an update - I'm super-new to the Kobo ecosystem.

BTW: thanks for the work done - I never use an Android phone/tablet/media device that does not have root access and a recovery mechanism to save the day.
9th February 2014, 07:46 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayge

I have ordered a Kobo Arc online. Any idea if the Arctic.apk does or does not work on them with the system update. Just looking for confirmation


after the most recent and probably last system update it is disabled. I stopped my arc from updating so cant confirm without a full reset but the original author of the arctic apk has said it no longer works, I cant see any reason for him to lie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ipse_Tase

@dazza9075: I just ordered the Arc 10HD - can I safely update the software once I get it and root it AFTER? I didn't see any notes indicating otherwise, but I know from my other Android devices that usually the root/recovery methods are tied to a specific version.

Note I don't even know yet if it will require an update - I'm super-new to the Kobo ecosystem.

BTW: thanks for the work done - I never use an Android phone/tablet/media device that does not have root access and a recovery mechanism to save the day.


ok, Kobo will do a system update as soon as you turn the thing on, you cant even get around that (although some fiddling with fiddler might fool it if we can ID what is going on). however, to date there hasn't been an update that disables it. and if there was we can simply flash my stock ROMs which already have root and are flashable.


what we are lacking however is a custom ROM for any of the arcs. More importantly than that we are lacking people to help us!
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13th February 2014, 05:09 AM |#11  
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Weird, I could not install the ADB drivers from the SDK (Win 7 64-bit Enterprise). Had to use my trusted Nexus Root Toolkit and worked fine with that.
I'm liking it so far....appreciate your work to document the rooting procedure.
Let's hope development will pick up at some point, it's a good device (I have the ARC 10HD - got it on sale + coupon in Canada).
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10hd, 7hd, development, kobo arc, root

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