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Nook Color 1.2 Update Fiasco News and Advice [Update]



As we posted earlier there has been an issue with the Barnes and Noble Nook Color. A firmware update was pushed out over Wi-Fi to many but not all of the devices. I was one who experienced this issue along with many others despite already manually updating the device. We are guessing that it was a malformed update that was mistakenly sent out to every device the moment that the device was connected to the Barnes and Noble servers through Wi-Fi regardless of whether it had been updated to the 1.2 firmware or not.

We received word from a Barnes and Noble spokesperson who said:

This afternoon, the NOOK Color 1.2 software update caused a small number of NOOK Color devices to revert to factory settings. Barnes & Noble immediately identified and addressed the issue. Customers can re-register their devices with their Barnes & Noble account, then reload their previously purchased content to their device. Barnes & Noble apologizes for the inconvenience to any affected NOOK Color customers.

It would now seem that the devices affected by this are attempting to re-register with Barnes and Noble. Below you will see the registration screen. My Nook Color has been stuck in this mode since about 5:30 PM Eastern. But it took some work to get it to this point.

My Nook Color with the bad 1.2 update also had a Wi-Fi issue. Like others in the B&N forums, mine would not even connect to my own Wi-Fi network even though it would before it was reset and every other wireless device I own could connect. So, not knowing that this was a problem with the new update at that time, I manually reverted back to the old 1.0.1  firmware. Now my Nook color is trying to re-register with Barnes and Noble. My guess is that so many devices were affected that Barnes and Noble servers are overrun with devices contacting them. If that is not the reason it might be something worse, like a problem with our devices or their servers. Either way, many are not able to use their Nook Color right now.

My Nook Color won't register after update

My Nook Color won't register after update

In the comments on our previous post there were some very unfortunate stories about people who just bought their Nook today or this week and having them rendered useless by this mistake. One person experienced this right out of the box. Talk about bad PR!

There is at least one user in the B&N forums who has been able to re-register after having his or her device affected by the mistake. This is why I believe that the problem now is just an overrun registration server.

Our advice is to put down your Nook Color and go read a paper book, catch up with your family and/or friends or go to Amazon and check prices on a Kindle. Alternatively you can just catch up on reading some great GottaBeMobile posts. I say this because, as some have reported in the comments on our site and at the B&N forums, tech support is suggesting that users wait 24 hours before calling back. They seem to believe this will take a little while to be resolved.

When the device is finally re-registered, you will have to download all your content and reload any content that you manually added to the device via the USB connection – things like documents or self installed books. Any apps you bought can be reloaded and the app store will tell you if you already own the app. If you marked up your books, then you will get that back when you download the book again, since those things are backed up for you by Barnes and Noble automatically.

The only people who will not be able to recover their content are the unlucky users who failed to back up anything they manually added to the device. This teaches you to always backup your content regularly. If you don’t have more than one copy of any important file, you are asking to lose it. That doesn’t help now, but in the future learn this lesson. Hook up your Nook Color and back up any files you download and keep copies of files you manually add to the device. Better still, not only backup on your local hard drive but also to an offsite location or cloud service.

UPDATE: It appears that now the registration issue is fixed. I have been able to register and all seems to be working.



  1. Maria Valero

    04/28/2011 at 2:08 am

    I’m a new Nook user (4 days) and have had problems since Day 1 accessing my WiFi at home. NOW this!!!

    • A-singh

      04/28/2011 at 3:27 pm

      OK……I think I was saved from this by pure dumb luck. I live in Canada and did the update manually on Monday. On Tuesday, on my way homer from work, my battery was starting to run low so I turned off the wifi to last me the rest of the way home and there was no reason to have it on. I have not turned it on since. Will I be saved from this problem? Is it safe to turn wifi back on?

    • Jerry Fischbein

      04/28/2011 at 7:58 pm

      I had an awful time trying to register my color nook when I first bought it 6weeks ago. I also was stuck on the registrion step 2. After seeing what the web hadto say I tried the manual upgade to V 1.1 – no help. I finally had to turn encryption off on my router. This was the answere. After it registered (severalminutes) I was able to reapply encryption andprovided the nook with the e-key. Works fine. Sorrry for the typos but there are no arrow keys on the nook.


      • Jerry Fischbein

        04/28/2011 at 8:06 pm

        PS I did a manual upgrade to 1.2.

    • Datwinksta

      05/04/2011 at 6:02 am

      I have been having a disastrous time since the “upgrade”. None of the books from the library will load. I have had hours of conversation with tech support, been in the store. I’ve downloaded Adobe Digital Edition again and am still having the problem. Any suggestions?

  2. Vickers123

    04/28/2011 at 2:32 am

    I have 4 nookcolors in my family household and all are working fine now. So I had to wait 4 hours while maintenance was done on the server. Stuff happens. I hope you don’t get paid being a worthless blogger there Kevin. Go keep writing for Iphone Life and be Apple’s little lap dog.

    • Gail Eichner

      11/22/2011 at 12:10 pm

      Perhaps you should give fellow owners a little credit. I purchased my NookColor the first day out last Thanksgiving and still as of today cannot make the thing work.
      1- it does not recognize “my” touch
      2- it sometimes asks for a password for the router but fails to give me a keyboard!
      3- I have spent more time talking to under-trained technical support then I care to admit
      4- I have purchased by using my laptop several books – which originally after downloading the appropriate software, I could have read there, but suddenly the software is no good – YES, I HAVE UNINSTALLED AND REINSTALLED SEVERAL TIMES
      5- Now “all” of my B&N account downloads and “registration” have the “unrecoganized” icons
      MY Opinion: this product was rushed to market for “black Friday” 2010 and was not tested

  3. Sebastian (from my nook color)

    04/28/2011 at 2:43 am

    This happened to me on Saturday night. I guess I caught an early release of the update, since it was. officially released on Monday! But I could re-register without problem and as soon as I downloaded my books, I was reading right from where I left them, as all marks where saved. Any major update is bound to some initial problems. I love my nook more than ever.

  4. Thomas Mc

    04/28/2011 at 3:41 am

    Sounds like B&N really screwed up, and — as usual — is refusing to admit the severity of the problem.

    • Anonymous

      04/28/2011 at 5:19 pm

      Obviously you have no grasp of what the problem was for the group of customers who were affected if you think it was “severe”. For those who were reset, and unable to re-register for the 6-12 hours yesterday, I do not doubt it was very inconvenient and a bit disappointing. However, nothing is ruined, nobody is hurt. So if you have a nookcolor and think this is severe, then let us know why. If you don’t own one, then why are you talking? Oh, and what is the “as usual” referring to? Curious.

      • Krysla

        04/29/2011 at 8:12 pm

        Uhm, it’s been more than 6-12 hours…. 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.

        • Anonymous

          04/29/2011 at 8:45 pm

          Server overload perhaps? Did your color reset on you, or is it just the access to the shop that has been out for you? I didn’t get reset, and have been able to utilize the shop since late Wednesday: so let me know and I can try to help….

  5. jqb

    04/28/2011 at 6:54 am

    When my NC is turned on, I can’t access the network from my desktop — the NC network software must be doing something very screwy.

  6. Thomas Michael DeLorenzo

    04/28/2011 at 11:54 am

    Turning what could have been an informative post into one large whine with remarks like “go check Amazon for the price of a Kindle” makes me wonder if I’ll ever read anything from this site again. Shame.

  7. Davenjac

    04/28/2011 at 12:29 pm

    Fixed and all is good this morning. Seriously, does everything in your world always work perfectly? Stuff happens. B&N had a server issue. Not a device or software problem. They fixed it. It’s one of the downsides of technology… sometimes things go a bit haywire. Doesn’t mean the device or company is evil and should be castigated. Where did we all learn impatience and how to whine when things don’t happen exactly the wa we want 100% of the time? Have you never had a flat tire?

  8. Proto1138

    04/28/2011 at 1:29 pm

    Try going to there facebook page. I was flamed for being upset that my nook was bricked and then when it finaly came back to life I lost all my data! When I asked in what way we would be compensated for loss of use I was again flamed! My data loss was bad enough but not being able to use a device I paid for to view my personaly created content is too much.

  9. Cassgirl_89

    04/28/2011 at 1:35 pm

    I’m not whining…but I still can’t connect to re-register and I can’t update either. I just want to figure out what to do to fix this.

  10. Eric

    04/28/2011 at 3:21 pm

    Two Color Nooks in the house. Both updated great. One had a minor problem yesterday, but five minutes and B&N Chat and all is great. Let’s all complain when things are not perfect. Thanks B&N I look forward to more good stuff. I hope your App store measures up.

  11. Anonymous

    04/28/2011 at 4:23 pm

    I was not aware of the problem n til reading the blog yesterday. Previously updated NC on Monday when it was released and never had a problem with accessing Wi-Fi. After I read the post however I have turned WI-Fi off and will turn back on later tonight whenthe server issue will be completely resolved.

  12. Joyce_wright

    04/28/2011 at 7:22 pm

    My NookColor has not been updated with the new os yet…. Should I be worried? I hesitate to manually do it after reading all these posts.

  13. SomeLikeItHot_Books

    04/28/2011 at 9:23 pm

    I did a manual update and all of my content (sideloaded and purchased through BN) came across fine. I realize that people have had issues, but when has their not been an issue with a device when a new upgrade comes out (I challenge you to name one that hasn’t, even the precious iPhone is buggy when the update is released). Give it 24 hours (after you’ve done the update) and go from there. I do think that BN should be better about how they respond publicly when these issues happen, but honestly, I’d rather they fixed the problem then come chat with me about what they need to do to fix it.

  14. Guest

    04/28/2011 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks Goodness…I love my Nook and could not figure out why after my manual update I would need to re-register and reload all my information. I did not lose anything…but it was kindof a pain.

  15. nooksRbetterthanKindles

    04/29/2011 at 12:40 am

    One thing this site excels at MISLEADING BOGUS HEADLINES.
    Yesterday you claimed the update 1.2 was bricking Nookcolor’s NO, NOT ONE, the update had nothing to do with bricking anything. The problems were B&N Servers not the Update! If your updated 1.2 Nookcolor was OFF when the B&N server issue hit, and you left your NC off during that time period, when you turned your NC on there was NO problems, therefore the 1.2Update is FINE and DOES NOT BRICK the Nookcolor. The B&N Server issue was a problem and as you said B&N is not saying what caused it or why, if you were an unfortunate Nookcolor owner with a NC already updated to 1.2 or with an NC running 1.1.0 your NC got reset and its contents wiped out. However NONE, NOT ONE, was Bricked! All reset NCs could be returned to their previous operating condition after the owners re-registered and reinstall their OS updates, books, music, apps, mags, etc. It was a bad error on B&N’s part your headlines are false the NC was NOT bricked by the update. DO SOME RESEARCH before you charge off to be the first to report.

    • Anonymous

      04/29/2011 at 4:00 pm

      Agree 100%……

  16. dbo

    04/29/2011 at 1:00 am

    I’m disappointed in this update. only certain flash works. only 138 apps… i under the impression this would be android 2.0 at least. big letdown. anyone with a nookcolor should root sd.

  17. Bhobbes

    04/29/2011 at 2:54 pm

    I purchased my nook color and updated it manually only to have it reset and lose some manually added ePubs and all my settings. No big deal and those were added from my computer so I just lost a few highlights.

    I was more bummed not being able to use it for a few hours because of the rereg problem but I just read blogs on my phone instead. Life went on and I understand how tech can be so everything crucial is backed up :)

    I type this from my NC!

  18. Future iPad buyer

    05/02/2011 at 12:29 am

    My NC was wrecked, can’t restore to old OS b/cause 1.2.0 seems to have written 2 the ROM! Used around 4 different methods (3 found on internet) to try “hard reset”. FAIL. B&N personnel @ store could not reset it, either. B&N CS said they’d replace it, but tried to do so w/ a refurbished NC, so I said 4get it and will sell mine for rooting purposes on ebay or something.

  19. Seknobloch

    05/02/2011 at 9:33 pm

    I still haven’t seen an answer to the question of whether or not anyone has gotten the 1.2.0 update automatically installed on their Nook Color via wifi. I tried unsuccessfully to sideload the new code but the Nook would never recognize the file and do anything with it. Just wondering if there really has actually been any automatic updates.

  20. Hudsonline05

    05/03/2011 at 9:34 pm

    I am thinking of buying the nook color when I read it has no arrow keys…is that true?

    • Angeluver63

      05/05/2011 at 9:51 pm

      that is true you use your finger to swipe across the screen one way or the other to move between pages.

  21. Dwalters53

    05/05/2011 at 3:47 pm

    I updated my NC manually last week and had no problems until I tried to download a library book from my computer. My computers do not recognize my NC I tried different USB ports and different cables I have 2 NC cables. I chatted with B&N tech support and they said it was a problem with the update and were working on it. Has anyone else had this problem

    • Larryjhume

      05/06/2011 at 12:57 am

      Yes, my wife had the same problem today and was on the phone with tech “support” who could do nothing without a script until a supervisor got on the phone. He had not heard of the library download problem but was going to forward it up the line.

    • Larryjhume

      05/06/2011 at 12:57 am

      Yes, my wife had the same problem today and was on the phone with tech “support” who could do nothing without a script until a supervisor got on the phone. He had not heard of the library download problem but was going to forward it up the line.

    • Dwalters53

      05/06/2011 at 1:55 am

      I chatted again today and was told to hard boot my NC which I did and it fixed the problem I hope this helps

  22. Nycgal2008

    05/14/2011 at 7:05 am

    Fiasco?  I turned my nook color on last week and the update was there, everything worked fine.

  23. Johnny Crouse

    05/26/2011 at 7:38 pm

    A number of people–how many, who knows–have continued to have wi-fi connectivity problems since the April 25th roll-out of the 1.2 ‘android’ update.  It has been disclosed by a B&N liaison on the B&N public forum boards that certain routers are now known to NOT WORK with the updated Nook Colors.  Period.  No fix, yet, but evidently B&N plans to roll-out another update to fix this, date unknown. Until then, people who spent $250 on a Nook Color are expected to live with in without wi-fi connectivity, which negates its purpose all together, or else shell out $50-$150 for a new router, hoping not to buy one that is on B&N’s ‘black-listed’ list.  That’s exactly what I had to do, after working for one month, tirelessly, attempting to get my router to connect, and having my brand new Nook Color replaced with a refurbished one!

    Barnes & Noble has the WORSE customer service of any company I’ve ever had to deal with, ant there have been plenty.  Furthermore, they have never officially owned up to the update problems.  In addition to the wi-fi connectivity (or lack thereof) issue, there are numerous others, all starting since the egregious, ill-tested update whose only purpose was to turn a perfectly good eReader into a competitive tablet.  The reason they don’t own up to this mistake is that all the Nook Colors are still under the one year warranty and they are legally obligated to honor that warranty, especially given the fact that they themselves BROKE THEM!

    It’s outrageous.  Really.  I’m surprised that the media and its bloggers haven’t picked up on this story.  The public forum at B&N support has all the posts… if you search through them you’ll see hundreds of posts all complaining about how the update broke their Nook Colors.  

    I’ll never buy another device from B&N, no way.  

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