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Nook Color 1.2 Update Fiasco Advice and 2nd Update



A full day after the infamous Nook Color 1.2 software update and a few people are still having some issues.

Fortunately, most are like me – fully updated and back to normal. But for those who are not, it is quite frustrating, especially if you have gotten used to using and loving the Nook Color a lot. That is something Barnes and Noble would normally be happy about, but when the huge snafu happened it also caused a bigger problem.

A Recap of the Problem

All we know at this point is that Barnes and Noble released an update to the firmware of the Nook Color and many downloaded it and manually updated but later had their device wiped, just like we did. At first, all was fine. The update was a nice addition and made the Nook Color a little more useful and enjoyable, even if it wasn’t a world of difference from the previous version. But then what happened is still a mystery.

Nook Color 1.2 update

The best we can tell things went haywire when someone at Barnes and Noble must have flipped a switch and accidentally sent out the over the Internet the 1.2 update to everyone who was hooked up to their servers whether they needed it or not. But that shouldn’t have caused it to wipe all of our devices. The update itself must have been malformed.

The Nook Color downloaded that update and erased itself as it applied the 1.2 software. Soon we all had a device that behaved as if we just bought it. It had to be registered. So at about the same time, all of those who needed to re-register their Nook Color so they could start over from scratch must have tried to connect to the registration server en masse. Whether it was the volume of people trying to register or something worse we don’t know. The servers were down all that afternoon and most of the evening. Finally, people began to report being able to access the sever and get their Nook Color going again. I was one of those about 11:30 PM.

The result was that at best some of us just had to re-download books or apps we bought from the new app store. However, many had a lot of personal data on their Nook Color that they had never backed up. I can understand how angry they would be. If Barnes and Noble hadn’t made this mistake, however they did it, their stuff would likely still be there. So, remember to back up no matter what so things like this don’t happen.

Losing data wasn’t the only problem. After getting the update and finally being able to register, there were a few other wonky issue. People could not connect to their own Wi-Fi network and a few reported that their Nook Color was causing other devices connected to their network to go offline while the Nook Color was online. That sounds like both the Nook Color and the other device or computer were sharing the same IP address. But the users said they looked for that and it was not the case.

Fixing Wi-Fi Connection Problems

For most of us, these kinds of things were cleared up by resetting the device again. This is done by turning off the device. Hold down the power button until the message offers to power down the Nook Color. Then hold the home button (the n button) and the power button at the same time for a little while. The Nook Color will warn you that it is going to wipe the thing and reinstall the software.

After doing this most of the Wi-Fi issues seem to be fixed. This worked for me and others who could not consistently connect to Wi-Fi. After doing the above you will have to again register with your Barnes and Noble account email address and password.

You Are Not Alone

If you are one of those still struggling to get your Nook Color working, you are not alone. A few users at the Barnes and Noble forums still haven’t been able to register. One of our readers said in the comments on our previous update:

I have not been able to access the shop or apps or any of this for the past 3 days. I contacted a customer service agent today and was told to wait 24 hours. Yeah…not sure what you would call that.

We call it a stock answer and you should not put up with it at this point. Demand to speak to a supervisor. Go on Twitter and raise a stink, especially if you have a lot of followers.  And comment below!

There are still some other issues too. For example, as said above, one of our readers posted that when Nook Color is turned on it messes up other devices on the network.

When my [Nook Color] is turned on, I can’t access the network from my desktop – the [Nook Color] network software must be doing something very screwy.

If the reset advice above doesn’t work then still call tech support, make a stink and post below.

The most helpful comment we’ve received was from one reader who shared a link to a site that explains how you can boot your Nook Color from an SD card and copy any files you might have on it to the SD card even if you cannot get it to work with the internal software. Sadly, for most who lost their data already this is too late. If you are having trouble logging in still, you can use the information in the link possible get your data off the device before resetting. The site explains how to install Cyanogenmod 7 AKA CM7 on an SD card, load it into the slot on the Nook Color and boot the device with it. CM7 has Android 2.3 so it might be worth a look even if you don’t need to copy files.

The good news about the Nook Color is it is hard to totally brick this device. You may not be able to get it to work as a Nook Color again, although that would be hard. But you can install one of the custom firmware that are actively being developed by a thriving community of people at the Nook Color forums at XDA Developers forum or at Mobile Read’s Developer’s Corner. Even if you don’t want to alter that software on the device’s internal storage, you can boot from an SD card kind of like you might do with a live CD version of Linux. You can run the Nook Color with Honeycomb or any other custom firmware without ever affecting your Nook Color software.

Nook Color 1.2 Running Amazon Kindle and More

Nook Color 1.2 Running Amazon Kindle and More

Once you do get things going, you may want to try some of the cool things discussed at the XDA Developer’s forum. I have already been able to partially root my Nook Color running 1.2. I have installed a few apps like the Amazon Market (can’t install apps from it yet). I also have Amazon Kindle, Dolphin Browser and a few others all running on a Nook Color with 1.2. I learned how to do it all at XDA.

Our advice is to keep trying and keep raising a stink with Barnes and Noble. Also keep commenting because I know for a fact that at least one representative from Barnes and Noble is following the news here at GBM.



  1. MT

    04/30/2011 at 2:09 am

    When I had trouble re-registering my Color Nook, I took all the encryption off my router, and then the nook would register. That’s a fix that worked for me, hope it works for you.

  2. footinmouth

    04/30/2011 at 2:24 am

    Okay, now I’m scared, I just downloaded the upgarde file via my nook, but it isn’t self updating when it sleeps, but should I want to try and stop it from udating or is the 1.2 worth the risk?

  3. Itchibelli

    04/30/2011 at 2:27 am

    This has truly been an exercise in frustration for me. I sideloaded the update as soon as it was released on the 25th. It would go about 30% through & would give me an error message about invalid package or something. I tried 6 or 7 times. Tried redownloading the update & tried another 6 or 7 times. Same thing. BTW I was running 1.1 firmware. Called tech support. They told me to rename the zip to Tried this 7 or 8 times with no luck. Went on the internet & read about some problems with the update so I decided to wait a day to let B&N get it straightened out. Re-redownloaded today, didn’t rename zip. Still no luck. Went back to internet, read some people suggesting using Rom Manager. Figured that would void my warranty so decided against it. Finally I decided to bring it back to stock (I got it with 1.01 installed). Did the 8 failed boots. From there I sideloaded the 1.2 update. Voila! Finally. No problems that I can discern yet. WiFi working good. B&N should be ashamed. I have to liken them to Microsoft. Don’t they test this first? What good is their tech support telling me to do stuff I shouldn’t? Now I’m thinking of just saying the he** with it & rooting the device to an overclocked Froyo.

    • Anonymous

      04/30/2011 at 5:46 am

      Good sir, I rooted my device a long time ago. Surely BN couldn’t make a better tablet that the Modding community has made. Although I have to resort to the Nook app, which is leagues below the actually stock ereader, I have access to 3d video games like GuerillaBob and Skies of Glory plus bluetooth. BLUETOOTH! All you have to do is follow steps.

  4. Hermandarlington

    04/30/2011 at 2:43 am

    We have two Nook Colors. Up until now we were very happy. I can’t beleive they sent out a faulty software. First my wife’s Nook froze up and reset itself loosing all her data. But I was able to get 1.2 loaded onto it. Then we could not register it again until I connected to the Barnes and Noble wifi. But sadly all her data was lost. Story gets worse. Then my NC locked and will not reset. I lost everthing. I my Sunday school lessons and Bible Study lessons, pictures, and notes everything has been lost. Barnes and Noble is sending me another one, due to we can not reset it. You would think they would have given you an option to download and not force it on you. We were happy with ours before this. Now not so happy, we don’t know what will happen next. I have learned that lots of NC owners are having similar problems.

    • Anonymous

      04/30/2011 at 5:55 am

      Stick it to the Man! Join the modding community!
      BTW I don’t think as many people have had problems as everyone says. BN has been very honest and Noble with their product. They could’ve gone all out and hiked the price up a full Benjamin.

      Have you ever had an Xbox with 3 red rings? Now that was a problem. This is nothing

      • jqb

        05/13/2011 at 9:27 pm

        Minimizing some problem by comparing it to some other problem is incredibly foolish – there will always be *something* worse, but that’s totally irrelevant. As for “I don’t think” — you overrate the importance of what you think; what matters is evidence, and there is plenty of evidence of many people having problems.

  5. Liana921

    04/30/2011 at 12:42 pm

    two days ago, april 28th i think, I sat down to read some more of a novel on my Nook Color, and it wasn’t there. Then I realized none of my purchases were there! I tried to redownload my novel, the download bar began, continued forever. I could access my wi-fi just fine as I had no trouble using the internet on my Nook Color. Skip to calling for help. After going thru all the scripted moves, she insisted it had to be that my wi-fi was slow. It’s not. My mom’s old Nook and our two laptops are fine. So I said thanks, I’ll go to my store where I know they wont shine me on. I planned on going on Sunday, when I used my PC to google and found this place. The phone tech did not have me do what was described in this article (I’ll include it in this post) and now my Nook Color is back to normal, albeit without the new upgrade. My wi-fi is turned off. I will not turn it back on until I know this upgrade issue has bee resolved. I will take it to the B&N store tomorrow.
    Here is what got my Nook Color back the way it was (browser bookmarks and all): This is done by turning off the device. Hold down the power button until the message offers to power down the Nook Color. Then hold the home button (the n button) and the power button at the same time for a little while. *The Nook Color will warn you that it is going to wipe the thing and reinstall the software. *At this point it just shut off and would not start for a few minutes, but when it did it was fine again.

  6. Dale Strauss

    04/30/2011 at 1:27 pm

    Just unbelievable that B&N couldn’t do at least as good a job as the developer community. Thanks to XDA Developers and others I rooted a Nook Color and had 2.2 running internally months ago with Android Market downloading apps like mad in less than 1/2 hour – and it was ROCK SOLID. Also installed tests of 2.3 (CM7) and Honeycomb – all with processor boosts to 1.2ghz and very stable (although Honeycomb has few useful apps yet).

  7. P Velez

    05/01/2011 at 7:44 pm

    @ayoltzdapreacher, How can you say that not many people have had problems? When I spoke to B&N about the problem THEY acknowledged that many people were having issues. Don’t make stupid comments with insufficient information.

  8. Trippap

    05/03/2011 at 4:07 pm

    Those of us who have rooted NC’s and disabled automatic update appear to have dodged a bullet. I made the change in the database that made updates manual rather than automatic, so I have complete control over when, and if, I change to 1.2. I’m waiting for an appropriate new rooted image to be produced so I can keep my full access to Market and other Android tablet features.

  9. diane

    05/07/2011 at 9:35 pm

    Ran into one problem people should avoid. The zip file was manually moved to the SD Card media (my computer). Make sure if you manually install the update that you move the zip file to the Nook media and not the SD card in the nook. The install went fine after that with good results.

  10. Cookiesandcream

    05/13/2011 at 6:01 pm

    I am totally disgusted with B&N.  For starters, ever since B&N automatically downloaded their NC Software update, my NC will not connect to my wifi network…and it not my modem because my laptop is wifi and is working great and I can get online.  So I called B & N Customer Service line and spoke to a technician who was totally incompetent and unable to help me.  He told me to turn the NC off while holding the N to reset same; however, to no avail.  The wifi connectivity read “connecting” and then another second it read “disconnecting” and then “scanning.”  I am unable to B&N Shop, go online or buy books.  Then the representative took me he would order me a replacement.  I don’t want a replacement…my NC is only 4 mos. old and he was offering me a re-manufactured, refurbished NC.  Mind u my husband purchased me the Extended 2-Year Warranty.  Then he said a 2nd level of support would call me w/in 24 hrs…However, the supv. came on and said he would not order me a replacement and a 2nd level support staff would call me w/in 72 hrs which is this Mon. between 9-5….Strangely, B&N 2nd level of support does not even offer tech support after 5pm for the working class but expect their customers to miss work so that they can fix their error. B&N reports 20% of their customers are having this same problem.  If that is the case, you would think the technician could just tell me the solution vs. me having to wait until Monday.  B&N please know that I love ur product but hate ur customer service and the inconsistencies amongst your customer service representatives.  Plus, it would have been better to make the update an customer option…let the truth be told, I am not tech savvy and do not hardly ever use APPS.! so I could have done w/out the update.  I plan to write B&N Management Digital Book department a letter including my serial and reference # to my customer svc. call….My fellow NC users who are experiencing NC issues, put your complaints, concerns and problems in writing because you know the saying, “if it is not in writing, the experience never happened.”!! 

    Barnes & Nobles
    P.O. Box 111
    Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

    Email address:

    Be sure to include the B&N Customer Service Representative name and ID No, include your NC Serial No. and the Reference No. in your subject line and good luck!

  11. Liana921

    05/13/2011 at 6:14 pm

    dear @Cookiesandcream : I SO understand your problem with the NC AND customer (non) support. I had the same issues. I finally took my NC to my nearest store and the in-house NC tech did a hard-upload/install of the new version and my NC is again working properly, WITH the new version. 

  12. Fawnchandler

    06/19/2011 at 5:54 pm

    Apparently B&N STILL has not fixed the problem…I JUST updated my nookcolor yesterday and surprise surprise no wi-fi ability. Called customer service which was a joke. Basically i was told to go to a B&N store, reboot the nook and “HOPEFULLY” this will work. Really…great customer service…hopefully this work.Very Disappointed.

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