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Hi there,

Having recently acquired a very cheap and almost new Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, I have been searching around the XDA forum collecting together as much information as I can easily find about the device and what it runs.

It is clear to me that development on the device has long since become almost abandoned here, many a year ago.

Upon reaching out here regarding my Nook rooting and customisation desires, @nmyshkin has without fail replied and been active and supportive, and with their help I have succeeded in fully converting my unsupported UK Nook into a (somewhat).supported US nook with UK localisation, newer firmware and full root and customisation.

I am now looking to start building proper step by step detailed guides, and a central list of resources available for the Nook Simple Touch / Glowlight, essentially a one stop shop for the majority of the available resources. This post may be edited to be that very thing, or at least link to it.

I am aware of the limitations of CPU and RAM on the device, however this does not out me off nor make me consider the device obsolete. I think there's plenty of room for improvement since the most exciting developments happened almost a decade ago now!

I hope you don't mind the mention, @Renate, as I have seen myself across the forum and in general discussion with @nmyshkin that you seem to be knowledgeable in this and other devices. Do you (,or anyone else) happen to have any answers to the following questions and requests which might assist in my development and learning endeavours:

  • Any known-good US or UK GPL sources for any NST/G firmware, preferably 1.2.2 or worst case 1.2.1?
  • Information about board pinouts, voltages? I am aware UART exists, maybe JTAG does on the same connector? Do you know what connector is on the board?
  • Known hardware names for Linux for things like the infrared touch sensor and EInk panel?
  • Is there a known way to completely wipe the entirety of the device (after a full byte by byte backup) and restore it to a fully functional state? By full I mean wiping/blanking onboard flash entirely, to the point the bootloader likely wouldn't start (unless it is in a separate chip? See next questions) and SD boot into CWM wouldn't work?
  • Is the ROM calibration, serial and MAC etc data stored in strictly read-only memory which couldn't be erased by tinkering or does it reside in normal flash?
  • Is the bootloader in a separate storage device or ROM, protected from tinker erasure?
  • Is factory.zip in a separate storage device or ROM, protected from tinker erasure?
  • Sources or binaries for custom community kernels, important augmentation APKs (like USB audio, mod manager etc) and add-on patches like FastMode/2, NoRefesh, USB Audio, Multitouch etc?
If there are any more questions, I shall ask them as a reply to this thread then append them also to this top post.

Thank you for reading and your time in advance!
 

Renate

Inactive Recognized Dev / Recognized Contributor
Feb 3, 2012
2,913
1,285
Boston
Nexus 7 (2013)
Moto E5
  • Any known-good US or UK GPL sources for any NST/G firmware, preferably 1.2.2 or worst case 1.2.1?
Dunno. I doubt it.
  • Information about board pinouts, voltages? I am aware UART exists, maybe JTAG does on the same connector? Do you know what connector is on the board?
See attachment.
  • Known hardware names for Linux for things like the infrared touch sensor and EInk panel?
/dev/graphics/fb0, but you can't just write to it and expect results. Touch = /sys/devices/platform/i2c_omap.2/i2c-adapter/i2c-2/2-0050/ledlevel See my Touch-1.0.apk for diagnostics.
  • Is there a known way to completely wipe the entirety of the device (after a full byte by byte backup) and restore it to a fully functional state? By full I mean wiping/blanking onboard flash entirely, to the point the bootloader likely wouldn't start (unless it is in a separate chip? See next questions) and SD boot into CWM wouldn't work?
  • Is the bootloader in a separate storage device or ROM, protected from tinker erasure?
The ROM bootloader always appears briefly, you can always boot an external image with corrupt flash. Look for the very long thread on my OmapLink.exe
  • Is the ROM calibration, serial and MAC etc data stored in strictly read-only memory which couldn't be erased by tinkering or does it reside in normal flash?
/dev/block/mmcblk0p2 = /rom
  • Is factory.zip in a separate storage device or ROM, protected from tinker erasure?
It's just a file somewhere.
  • Sources or binaries for custom community kernels, important augmentation APKs (like USB audio, mod manager etc) and add-on patches like FastMode/2, NoRefesh, USB Audio, Multitouch etc?
Yeah, they're around. Host USB was always problematical but it can be done if you really like.
 

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  • nookpinout.png
    nookpinout.png
    15.3 KB · Views: 10
HI Renate,

No worries, I'm scavenging what I can around and also I bugged BN over email. I know others have before me and success varies but it never hurts to try.

Wow, thats perfect, thanks! Do you know what connector type (which would've been soldered to the board) each pinout uses? I doubt theres any way to tell but like usual, worth the ask.

/dev/graphics/fb0, but you can't just write to it and expect results. Touch = /sys/devices/platform/i2c_omap.2/i2c-adapter/i2c-2/2-0050/ledlevel See my Touch-1.0.apk for diagnostics.
That infrared one is certainly interesting, hmm. More research and fiddling required I think.

The ROM bootloader always appears briefly, you can always boot an external image with corrupt flash. Look for the very long thread on my OmapLink.exe
Okay now this is pretty damn neat. I only briefly looked at OmapLink.exe last night, but from my understanding, the ROM bootloader is not U-Boot, but instead the Nook's (or rather TI's) permenantly chip-burned first stage bootloader which then loads U-Boot? If this is correct, thats a pretty major win for ease of recovery, impossible to break. Completely corrupt flash recovery is super handy.

I take it from my brief reading OmapLink.exe (or rather, what it talks to) is a very hardware-level permenantly chip-burned board management/recovery tool too, again safe from being messed up and great for recovery?

/dev/block/mmcblk0p2 = /rom
Ah, block 0 partition 2? Technically not ROM but overwritable flash memory then I guess... Doesn't matter if I take a full backup before tinkering though I suppose!

It's just a file somewhere.
Very much like the not-so-readonly ROM then I would guess.

Yeah, they're around. Host USB was always problematical but it can be done if you really like.
I do indeed have the kernels from various forum threads, but the sources, even for individual pathes like FastMode/2, elude me unfortunately, which makes creating new and full featured kernels harder than I am capable of tackling sadly.

Thank you for your responses, they are of great help!
 
Last edited:
Update on omaplink.exe

So, the whole Windows driver thing. It sucks. A lot. Especially on Windows 10. But I found a much easier method of installing the drivers than the one shown in https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/full-root-for-nook-glowlight.2853056/ but still having trouble

We know the hardware IDs of the Nook are 0451 d00e

I downloaded a tool called USBDeview from https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html, which allows you to list connected and disconnected USB devices on your system. Searching for 0451 finds the (disconnected) bootloader device the Nook presents itself as when connected.

Right clicking on the device allowed me to open its properties. I then have to select Change Settings and confirm administrative request:
1634465728945.png


Now I can go to Driver and install the BN USB drivers as linked in the original post (I reattached them here for convenience sake)

Except, Windows doesn't allow the driver as it is unsigned. Okay. Close all windows, open Start, open the Power menu and hold shift and click reboot. In the startup menu continue through troubleshooting and then get to startup options and choose option 7 disable driver verification.

Boot back up, do the whole USBDeview dance again, install the driver. Windows is happy.

Except, opamlink.exe is not.

When I start it up for Noogie using the instructions in the post, it starts up and waits perfectly fine. I shut the Nook down, wait a few seconds and reconnect it. Windows reports it malfunctioned (this seems to always happen before the bootloader shows up) disconnect sound, reconnect sound, and then opamlink.exe ignores it completely.

Nook continues to boot stock OS, at which point opamlink.exe sees it and does something, but its too late, we don't get access to the boot partition.

I am certain the bootloader appears at some point after the USB malfunction issue, otherwise Windows would not detect it for it to be listed in USBDeview and allow me to successfully install the driver.

Not to sure how to proceed with that one. I will test on another machine maybe running an older Windows and report back.

It would be nice if there was a Linux process for this. I'd love to make a Live CD for it.
 

Attachments

  • bnusbdriver.zip
    8.3 MB · Views: 6
Last edited:

Renate

Inactive Recognized Dev / Recognized Contributor
Feb 3, 2012
2,913
1,285
Boston
Nexus 7 (2013)
Moto E5
Do you know what connector type?
It's just a 10 pin 1mm SMD connector. The "ears" on different models don't match but you don't have to solder the ears.
I think that at the time SparkFun happened to sell both connectors and pre-made pigtails, but they don't seem to now.

Yeah, there is a brief period of time for you to latch onto the OMAP ROM bootloader and if Windows is being stupid with drivers it will fail.
I'm not sure if there are some settings to make it less stupid, maybe not scratch its head so much on new devices.
Zadig is another generic WinUSB driver generator.
 

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  • nook1mm.jpg
    nook1mm.jpg
    844.1 KB · Views: 4
It's just a 10 pin 1mm SMD connector. The "ears" on different models don't match but you don't have to solder the ears.
I think that at the time SparkFun happened to sell both connectors and pre-made pigtails, but they don't seem to now.

Yeah, there is a brief period of time for you to latch onto the OMAP ROM bootloader and if Windows is being stupid with drivers it will fail.
I'm not sure if there are some settings to make it less stupid, maybe not scratch its head so much on new devices.
Zadig is another generic WinUSB driver generator.
Thank you, I'll see if I can get some pigtail leads.

I take it with my other questions, since you have no corrections, my assumptions about your previous answers were correct?

Update again on omaplink.exe:

Windows 10 doesn't seem to like it at all. Or rather, the driver. I installed Windows 7 on a spare machine and I have made some great progress.

Didn't manage to install it with Device Manager - its way too quick! But I used my USBDeview method and that worked perfectly.

omaplink.exe was able to see the device and then transfer omap3.bin to it, received an a-boot response, send u-boot-ng2-exp-v03.bin to it and then the device disconnected.

It didn't got any further than that though unfortunately. Noogie doesn't appear to have started up, for no further interaction has occured between the PC and the Nook, and the Nook remains on its powered off screen. Replugging makes no difference. Holding the power button brings it back to life making it boot into the normal OS.

Also, a question about omaplink.exe - Is it open source / is there a Linux version?

Thanks again!

Edit: In this post you mention that the ROM bootloader checks the SD card. Do you mean the second level UBoot bootloader or the first level, unmodifiable TI bootloader?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Renate

Inactive Recognized Dev / Recognized Contributor
Feb 3, 2012
2,913
1,285
Boston
Nexus 7 (2013)
Moto E5
With Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices, you can check/replace drivers for things that aren't currently visible.
UsbLog.exe (under my sig, up and in the Windows section) will show things popping up.
Likewise EnumUsb.exe does a dump of what has been seen and date of first appearance.

omaplink.exe was able to see the device and then transfer omap3.bin to it, received an a-boot response, send u-boot-ng2-exp-v03.bin to it and then the device disconnected.
Well, that's what it's supposed to do. That's why it says, "Waiting for disconnect". Do you have drivers for fastboot installed?

It works fine for me:
Code:
C:\>omaplink.exe aboot.bin u-boot12.bin RecImg RecRam
Waiting for bootloader or Fastboot or ADB...
Received ASIC id, 69 bytes
OMAP36XX, rev 07
Unlocked
ID12: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
ID14: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
CRC1: EF3EBF13, CRC2: 00000000
Sending image file aboot.bin, 3480 bytes... ok
Received a-boot response
Sending image file u-boot12.bin, 170572 bytes... ok
Waiting for disconnect...
Waiting for Fastboot or ADB...
product     3621GOSSAMER
version     0.5
Making boot image... ok
Sending boot image, 4087808 bytes... ok
Waiting for disconnect...
Waiting for ADB...
ADB version: 01000000, payload: 4096, type: recovery
uid=0(root) gid=0(root)
 
With Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices, you can check/replace drivers for things that aren't currently visible.
UsbLog.exe (under my sig, up and in the Windows section) will show things popping up.
Likewise EnumUsb.exe does a dump of what has been seen and date of first appearance.


Well, that's what it's supposed to do. That's why it says, "Waiting for disconnect". Do you have drivers for fastboot installed?

It works fine for me:
Code:
C:\>omaplink.exe aboot.bin u-boot12.bin RecImg RecRam
Waiting for bootloader or Fastboot or ADB...
Received ASIC id, 69 bytes
OMAP36XX, rev 07
Unlocked
ID12: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
ID14: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
CRC1: EF3EBF13, CRC2: 00000000
Sending image file aboot.bin, 3480 bytes... ok
Received a-boot response
Sending image file u-boot12.bin, 170572 bytes... ok
Waiting for disconnect...
Waiting for Fastboot or ADB...
product     3621GOSSAMER
version     0.5
Making boot image... ok
Sending boot image, 4087808 bytes... ok
Waiting for disconnect...
Waiting for ADB...
ADB version: 01000000, payload: 4096, type: recovery
uid=0(root) gid=0(root)
Indeed, I understand it is meant to disconnect, however it also doesn't reconnect and allow me to access the files.

I should have fastboot installed? I believe having the Android SDK should be enough for that, right? I have the SDK and also Studio installed already. I use it's ADB installation for ADB stuff, having added it to my path.

Apologies for my uncertainty, I am new to Android stuff in general, I'm more used to native Linux stuff. Thats why having so many recovery options is quite exciting and good for learning for me - I can tinker with it as much as I like without needing to mess with JTAG unlike other embedded devices.

Your output seems pretty close to mine so I assume that bit is working fine. Drivers seem to be installed fine now considering opamlink.exe is able to see the device?

USBDeview helped me there with installing drivers on a disconnected device by VID/PID, I was unable to locate the device in Device Manager even with hidden devices enabled - though it probably does not help I have so many disconnected devices on my system making it hard to find anyway.
 
A little more success with the second Windows 7 machine.

omaplink worked fine again, and this time after it ran, I got a new device connected 0451:CAFE instead of 0451\:D00E

No drives show up however. Maybe the copy of Noogie I have is incompatible? Not sure if thats possible.

Still noo luck with Windows 10... hmmm

omaplink omap3_aboot.bin u-boot-ng2-exp-v03.bin uImage-ng2-130-stk uRamdisk-noogie

Waiting for bootloader or Fastboot or ADB...
Received ASIC id, 69 bytes
OMAP36XX, rev 07
Unlocked
ID12: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
ID14: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
CRC1: EF3EBF13, CRC2: 00000000
Sending image file omap3_aboot.bin, 3480 bytes... ok
Received a-boot response
Sending image file u-boot-ng2-exp-v03.bin, 175048 bytes... ok
Waiting for disconnect...
Waiting for Fastboot or ADB...