Kindle Fire ROOTED!

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use any of my 1st gen Kindle Fire guides in an attempt to root the NEW Kindle Fire HD. It is an entirely different device and tools designed for the first generation KF will NOT work with the HD.

Read my review of the KF HD device here.

This article was updated on 02/25/2013.  *

UPDATE: I have lined out the outdated stuff and moved it to the bottom of this article. Run the Kindle Fire Utility and select option 5. After it is successfully rooted, then visit the links above to install JB.

Why bother rooting a functioning Kindle? *

The stock (original) Kindle Fire has some SEVERE limitations in the User Interface.  Rooting the device can overcome most of those shortcomings. (Note: There are also some physical limitations with the device and rooting will not change that.)

  • The most prominent limitation is the inability to sync with your Google accounts. On all of my other Android devices, I can see and download my free and paid apps on the Android Market, easily view & respond to my GMail, view all of my photos on PicasaWeb, connect to my Google Calendar, listen to all my stored ‘tunes on Google Music – and much more! But, on the stock device, Amazon somehow converts my normal Google address from MyName@gmail.com to MyName@kindle.com and refuses to allow me to connect to my Google accounts.
  • I can use the browser to sign in to each of my Google accounts but that adds difficulty and confusion – and there is no way to link to my Android Market account. Until recently, Amazon redirected browser calls to the Android Market and sent them instead to the Amazon Apps Store. They have now stopped doing that (with the 6.2.1 update) but, even though you can log in to the Android Market (via browser), and you may be able to tell the Market to send apps to your Fire, with no active Market account on the Fire, those apps will never be downloaded. If you can find some selected application files (.apk), you can sideload apps (note1) to the unrooted Fire but most PAID apps will refuse to run without a connection to the Android Market.
  • Although the Kindle Fire is VERY responsive (stock or rooted), I find the stock user interface (UI) to be AWFUL! The Bookcase layout is ugly and not very intuitive. The wallpapers rotate between the 21 different wallpapers in the preselected set. Personally, I find that distracting. It is also impossible (or nearly so) to change. Widgets are not allowed on your stock desktop. (Note: widgets DO something – even before you call up the app – examples are time & weather display widgets, or constantly updating Facebook or Twitter widgets).
  • The Kindle Fire does not include a recovery function. Other Android devices come with some type of recovery function to allow you to flash updates. After rooting most devices, the ClockWorkMod (CWM) Recovery image is installed to the device (replacing the stock recovery image) and CWM is then used for flashing ROMS, updates, etc and for doing NanDroid backup (there is no similar backup on the stock device) and restore, plus other maintenance functions. The lack of hardware buttons on the Fire make the use of CWM difficult. Some developers have managed to get CWM to perform some functions but even that is “iffy” at best.
  • Finally, many of the applications that I like and use are either not available on the Amazon Market, or they are not “compatible with my device.” Example: Where is the YouTube app? Although I can sideload applications (note1), that process is less than intuitive and does not work with PAID apps.

How To ROOT the Kindle Fire (1st Gen – NOT the Kindle Fire HD!) *

  1. Download the Kindle Fire Utility to your WINDOWS computer. (Version 0.9.6 direct link)
  2. On your Windows computer, un-zip the KF Utility on the root of your C-Drive. It will create a folder with the files inside. To simplify changing folders in the command window (if needed), I suggest renaming the folder to a shorter name (eg, “kfu” or similar). This may not be necessary since you SHOULD be able to do everything from the Windows desktop.
  3. Run the INSTALL_DRIVERS.BAT batch file (inside the KFU folder)
  4. Connect your Fire to the computer via the mini-USB cable.
  5. On the Windows computer, use File Explorer to open the KFU folder and execute the RUN.BAT file.
  6. At this point, your screen should look similar to the following:
KFU Main Menu

Kindle Fire Utility Main Menu

Using the Kindle Fire Utility: *

There are not a lot of instructions about this utility. The developer’s thread on XDA is here. I suspect that reading all of the comments in the forum would explain it better but I did not take the time to read all of them. The following is my understanding of what each option does. I will continue my research and correct  my mistakes when I find them (or when they are reported to me – your comments are encouraged).

Press “0”. Recheck Device Status – On all menus, you can press the “0” (zero) key to recheck whether the menu’s ADB commands control your Fire. If the utility does not show that your device is ONLINE (at the bottom of the menu), then nothing will work. So, if the menu says “Offline” then you must fix it before you proceed. (First) Check to assure that your USB cable is connected to your computer and to your Kindle Fire. (Second) Windows requires that the proper drivers be installed and working for ADB to function.  You  will need to MANUALLY install the Windows Drivers. You do this by exiting the utiliity’s Main menu and (with the KF still connected via USB) double-click on the other batch file: INSTALL_DRIVERS.BAT. Then follow the normal Windows dialogs to install the drivers. When the drivers are installed, exit the install drivers batch file and run the RUN.BAT file again. Press “0” again and if the utility now says “Online” then you are ok to continue. Otherwise, you must fix the problem with the drivers.

Process: *

The developer says (assuming that the ADB Status is “online”) you can START with option 5 which will do all the preparatory stuff. Our user “Jason” says, “I would suggest as a first time rooter, that proceed with option 5 as described but then also perform 2 thru 6. Then reboot.”

1. Bootmode Menu – This selection will switch to another menu that will allow you to send some special ADB commands to your Fire. These options will  force the device to one of three states: Normal boot; Fastboot; or Recovery. This may be required if your Fire stops normal functioning. If the utility reports “Offline” but has Boot Status of “4002” (rather than 4000), then use Option 1 to reset the Boot Mode to 4000. Even if it SAYS “offline” it will still respond to the Boot Status change. Then the KF will reboot and you should be able to continue.

2. Install Permanent Root with Superuser – This option will install the SuperUser (SU) app on your Fire and allow root privileges. (First time use of this utility, use option 5, see above.)

3. Install Latest TWRP Recovery – After your Fire has been rooted, use this option to install both the FireFireFire & TWRP images which allow you to do the recovery functions of flashing updates/ROMs, doing backup functions, or other maintenance duties.

4. Install Latest Clockwork Recovery - The ClockWorkMod (CWM) Recovery is similar to TWRP & performs the same functions. You have a choice.

5. Install Latest FireFireFire – This is a bootloader program that will load either a recovery or the installed operating system (default).

(Note: As soon as your KF is rooted, I recommend that you visit our NEW guide and install a Jelly Bean ROM – Jelly Bean for the Kindle Fire.)

6. Extras - This will switch to the alternate menu for some additional actions. When activated, your screen should look something like this:

KFU Extras MenuThe Options on this sub-menu provide some very useful actions:

1. Install Google Apps – This will include most of the common Google applications (GMail, Market, etc) and the Go Launcher that can be (optionally) used to replace the stock User Interface (UI).

3. Lock Wallpaper – See Note3 for how to use this (and the Unlock) option. (Personally, I recommend the use of “Rotating Wallpapers” app from the Android Market, Note2)

4. Unlock Wallpaper

5. Mount Read/Write – Most system files on Android devices are set to “read only:” (see the next option) during normal (non-SuperUser) functions. However, it is sometimes desirable to modify some of these system files to force the Fire to do something that we want it to do. Before you can save changes to a system file, you need to execute this command to change the status of the file to Read/Write (R/W) so that the file can be re-written.

6. Mount Read Only – (The opposite of option 5) This will restore the system files to Read Only (R/O) status for normal operation.

7. Obtain Latest Stock update.zip - This will download a copy of the current version of Amazon’s Kindle Fire operating system that can be installed on the KF to restore it to stock configuration.

TIPS for installing the KFU: *

  • The utility does NOT install GMail and other common Google apps that can be downloaded from the Android Play Store. You will need to get them there.
  • If the utility reports “Offline” but has Boot Status of “4002” (rather than 4000), then use Option 1 to reset the Boot Mode to 4000.
  • If ADB does not recognize the Kindle Fire (driver problem), uninstall the ADB Composite device if Windows reaches that point, and check the box to remove drivers. Then hit scan for hardware, and it will come back as “kindle” then just install the drivers. It can happen sometimes, its just a weird issue with windows.
  • If ADB still does not recognize the Kindle Fire, try manually adding the line 0x1949 & (on a separate line) 0x18D1 to adb_usb.ini file in the ~/.android folder.
  • If you end up stuck at the yellow triangle, in KF Utility select Boot Normal, wait for it to say <waiting for device> and then press and hold the power button 20 seconds until the fire turns off, then when its off turn it back on.
  • If you end up stuck with a yellow triangle, do not EVER unplug the Kindle Fire. Leave it plugged in. Check the windows drivers to make sure it isnt showing as “Kindle” again.

How to Install a CUSTOM ROM (Including Jelly Bean) On the KF: *

If you want to add a custom ROM, then here is a short course on how to do it (after you root the device per the guide above). For more (including videos), see our post here: http://bishoptec.com/2012/07/jelly-bean-for-the-kindle-fire/

You can use the Goo Manager app (available on the Play Store). With that app, you can install TWRP, download the ROM & Gapps zip files, back up the existing system, wipe / restore to factory, & flash the downloaded zips. (To install TWRP with Goo, just select the “Flash ROM” option and it will step you through the process.) Once you have TWRP v. 2.1.4 or greater (recovery), then you should not have any problem flashing a custom ROM with the Goo Manager.

Alternately, just Download the ROM & GApps for JB. Then, boot into TWRP and complete the following process (same for any compatible ROM):

  1. Backup your existing system
  2. Wipe cache & dalvik 
  3. Suggested: Reset to Factory
  4. Flash the zip for the custom ROM 
  5. Flash the zip with the GApps
  6. Reboot & enjoy!

Here is the link to the XDA thread for one of the best Jelly Bean ROMs available for the Kindle Fire (first gen):  [JB 4.2.2] CM10.1/SGT7 for the Kindle Fire [20130223] *

Confused? Click here to read our “Rooting Tips for Noobs” article. *

 

 ————————————-  Outdated Video ————————————–

————- Outdated Material ———————– *

What the Kindle Fire SHOULD be: *

In this review I will present a short instructional guide for rooting your device. *

Rooted Kindle Fire
Rooted Kindle Fire

What I did: *

The processes needed for rooting the Kindle Fire are not easy to discover. There are MANY articles about rooting but they may fail if your device has already received the Over The Air (OTA) upgrade to a newer version of the Amazon software. Others are unclear or downright confusing – even for “techies.” Although some guides are video-based, they move through the process quickly, and if there is not a simple text-based checklist attached, one may miss something and end up with a $200 “brick.” Finally, the forums require that you read many pages of comments and try to piece them all together in order to get a working process.

  • The first thing to do is to download and execute the current version of the Kindle Fire Utility (KF Utility). This is a Windows-based program. It is an all-in-one system of batch files to set up and use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) commands. You COULD do everything manually by setting up ADB and researching the steps required to accomplish everything. This would enable you to do it on a Mac or Linux box but — it is MUCH more difficult and the needed commands are very confusing. By using the KF Utility, everything is either included or automatically downloaded by the utility. The particular options and their functions are listed in the “How To Do It” section below.
  • The next (continuing) thing is to download and install your choice of apps from either the Android Play Store or the Amazon AppStore and then enjoy a fully functioning Kindle Fire! I recommend the VooDoo (Over The Air) OTA RootKeeper app from the Android Market as the first new app to install.
  • The real change occurs when you download a custom ROM & install it. Check our Jelly Bean for the Kindle Fire for one of the best.

————————————-

What I like about the rooted device: *

  • The rooted Kindle Fire gives me OPTIONS. I can use the device exactly as it was before rooting. That includes streaming Amazon Video and using the Kindle Book Sharing Library. Or, I can switch to the Go Launcher and the device becomes a really nice android tablet.
  • My Google Accounts sync perfectly! I can use the Android Market and all of my apps (free and paid) are visible and available – as well as the majority of all other apps on the Market. Some apps are not compatible because of the limits of hardware on the Fire (no 3G/4G, no GPS, no Camera, no Microphone, and no hardware buttons) but most apps seem to work fine. I downloaded the YouTube app and it works perfectly. I checked my GMail app and it works perfectly. The Google Calendar & Google Music apps both sync up perfectly with my data on the Google servers… and, as far as I can tell, all other Google apps work (unless they require unsupported hardware). Interestingly, I had to sign in again to my Amazon account but when I did, both accounts (Amazon & Google) sync properly.
  • I now have the Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP v2). The TWRP image is installed to provide recovery functions on the Fire. TWRP is a touch driven user interface (does not depend upon using the hardware buttons) to do NanDroid backup/restore, custom ROM and update flash, and other maintenance functions. It is activated during the power on process – just hit the power button again during the first few seconds after powering on the device (while the yellow triangle is lit). The full list of functions is provided here.
  • I like the Go Launcher. The Go Launcher EX makes the Kindle Fire look and act like a Gingerbread (Android 2.3) tablet! Although I still prefer the Android 3 (Honeycomb) tablet interface, the Go interface is much  nicer than the stock Kindle interface. Just watch the video to make your own comparison.
  • I can UN-root the Fire with the touch of a button. I downloaded the VooDoo (Over The Air) OTA RootKeeper app from the Android Market after the rooting procedure was finished. This app will backup the SuperUser and root functions and then temporarily unroot the Fire. That will allow the Fire to perform all the specialized functions that Amazon shuts off when the device is rooted (Amazon Video & Kindle Lending Library, etc). The description of the app says that it also restores root if an OTA update removes root privileges (like Amazon’s update 6.2.1 did).

Unresolved issues: *

There are some things that rooting does not fix. (Other than the hardware limits, these are fixed if you install the Jelly Bean Rom.)

  • The Evernote app is NOT available on the Android Market. The app on the Android Market states that it is not compatible with the Kindle Fire. This is not an issue for most users since the app *IS* available on the Amazon App Store. However, for Canadian users without a US credit card, here is a workaround: Use the browser on the Kindle Fire to visit the site: http://www.apktops.com/evernote-3-5-1.html. At the bottom of the page is a link to download the APK from apktops (here). When it finishes downloading, just sideload the app (Note1) and you are in business. Interestingly, the app then shows up on the Amazon app store. Use the “Apps” option on the top menu in the Kindle Launcher, hold the icon for a few seconds and then select “Add to Favorites.”
  • The wallpaper on MY device still will not remain set to my choice. To fix it, I downloaded the “Rotating Wallpaper” app from the Android Market. (Note2 or Note3)
  • Hardware limitations. As I stated before, rooting does NOT correct the limited hardware on the Fire (no 3G/4G, no GPS, no Camera, no Microphone, and no hardware buttons). However, both the stock and custom interfaces have managed to place soft buttons on the device to perform the needed functions.

 Problems: *

The most significant issue is a slight possibility of bricking your Kindle Fire.  As with all such guides, YOUR USE OF THIS GUIDE assumes your full acknowledgment of responsibility for any problems that may arise. I will NOT be held accountable under any circumstances.

————————————-

This video demonstrates how to accomplish this process. I have created several such videos related to the Kindle Fire. See them all here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCAB9B3C6980646BD&feature=mh_lolz


NOTES: *

Note1: To sideload an app, go into Settings, DEVICE (the option is hidden – normally it is in Applications) & turn ON the “Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources.,” Then from your computer, download & email a file with the .apk extension to yourself. On the Fire, download the apk file (attached to the email) and use the Downloads app to open & install the file. Or, use the Fire’s browser to dowload the file on the Fire – then use the Downloads app to install it.

Note2: The Rotating Wallpaper app is kind of weird and not much info on how to set it up. I installed the app (from Android Play Store), opened the app, ADD Set, Type in your choice of name for the set, ADD a file (photo of your choice). I wanted to keep the same wallpaper & not rotate at all so I only added ONE photo/file. Visit Settings: Active Wallpaper Set – click and select your new set; Rotate Interval – I set it for one minute in case I want to add other photos later. Delay on Sleep – check. Click the BACK button and hit ROTATE NOW. Then it should set you wallpaper to the photo/photos that you added to your set.

Note3: Use the UNLOCK WALLPAPER (#4)  function, change the wallpaper to whatever you want, then use the LOCK WALLPAPER (#3) function to make it stick. (Thanks to user Andrei.)

 

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246 Responses to Kindle Fire ROOTED!

  1. Gregg says:

    Hmm, i’m rooted with 6.2.2 and i have OTA rootkeeper going…i can get prime instant video to work but not the lending library. Every time i select “Store” in books it seems to just load up a webpage instead of the darker kindle interface i see in all the screenshots about the lending library. Thoughts?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Truthfully, I never got it to work before rooting. I just assumed that, since video works, that the library worked also.
      From all I have read, Amazon checks if the su (super user) app is installed. If it is, then they know you are rooted and restrict access. Rootkeeper just renames the app and fools Amazon.
      Since rooting is so easy, you could totally un-root, see what you must do to get the library to work. You could then get customer support to help. Then root again and see if it still works.

      • Gregg says:

        Actually, it turns out it was the google market that was hosing things up. Apparently the google market applied an update to the amazon kindle app and that rendered the lending library unusable. I simply clicked uninstall on the kindle app showing up in “my apps” on the google market and it asked if i wanted to remove updates. I clicked through, update was removed and the lending library now works! Later i even went back and tried it with root off/on…lending library works fine either way. Doesn’t seem like the lending library is affected by root one way or the other…at least on 6.2.2.

        • Ray Waldo says:

          That is a GREAT tip! Thanks Gregg.
          BTW, did you check if the video (now) works even when rooted? It is possible that Amazon has backed off of their previous position about rooting. Actually, I don’t think they care that much. But, unrooted devices DO send you to their site much more frequently – thus making more potential profit for them.

        • Nouveaugeek says:

          Gregg, you are a genius! I was so upset because I couldn’t access the lending library, tried unrooting but that didn’t work. I was ready to wipe it and start over. Lending library works now. Thank you!

        • nerf12345 says:

          Gregg you’re awesome. Thank you!

    • Luigi says:

      WOW you are a genius. that resolved all my books/Docs problem. i can see, download and my documents show up once again. thanks for the tip , i’ve looked everywhere for a solution and non worked (or asked me to download apps or unroot my device) until i bumped into this comment. BTW im running on 6.3 and used fire utility 0.9.5 to root my device. im a happy kindle fire/ Android tablet user again :)

  2. Samuel says:

    Excellent post! My only gripe is that I read it after I had rooted my Kindle…

    Two comments:

    1. Rooting seems to have broken the Kindle Book’s function in the Kindle launcher. I can use the regular Kindle app, but when I launch the Kindle launcher, I can’t sync and read my books there.

    2. I also ran into the Evernote issue. I used the Amazon appstore edition, figuring that the Amazon appstore is already installed.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Hey Samuel!
      Thanks for the comments. Sorry that you were looking for love in all the wrong places! ;-)
      You might want to subscribe to my feed here so that you don’t miss any new articles or comments.
      Problem 1: The Kindle app will not show up in the Go Launcher. When you switch back to the Kindle Launcher, your books should be in the carousel. Also, just click on the “Books” link on the top menu. Works great on my KF.
      Problem 2: Since I am in the USA, I have no problem with getting the Evernote app. However, I believe that I have a fix for those who do have a problem, and I included it in the article above.

  3. Stephanie Lykins says:

    I have tried to root my Kindle Fire but keep getting stuck. When i get to the KFU I get a screen that says ADB: Online
    ADB: Rooted NO
    Boot Status: UNKNOWN

    I have tried to do this over and over but still get a boot staus of unknown. What am I doing wrong ?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      I am not certain what you might have done to get there but it should not be a problem. Just try the 2nd “TIP” (above), “If the utility reports “Offline” but has Boot Status of “4002″ (rather than 4000), then use Option 1 to reset the Boot Mode to 4000.”
      Even though your device says “Online”, it still may be struck in the wrong Boot Mode.
      If that fails, start over and follow the steps exactly.
      Check back and let us know what did or did not work. We will work through it!

  4. Stephanie Lykins says:

    I have tried to root my Kindle Fire but keep getting stuck. When i get to the KFU I get a screen that says ADB: Online
    ADB: Rooted NO
    Boot Status: UNKNOWN

    I have tried to do this over and over but still get a boot staus of unknown. What am I doing wrong ?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      I am not certain what you might have done to get there but it should not be a problem. Just try the 2nd “TIP” (above), “If the utility reports “Offline” but has Boot Status of “4002″ (rather than 4000), then use Option 1 to reset the Boot Mode to 4000.”
      Even though your device says “Online”, it still may be struck in the wrong Boot Mode.
      If that fails, start over and follow the steps exactly.
      Check back and let us know what did or did not work. We will work through it!

  5. Mike says:

    Where do you get the apk that launches the stock Kindle homescreen and switch back and forth like you did at the end of the vid?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      It is the “GO” Launcher. Everything is included in the downloads in the article above. I think that you COULD install the Go launcher without rooting but you would still miss out on the Android Market and the clean sync with the Google apps.
      There is very little trouble or danger involved in rooting the device and there is no loss of Amazon’s services if you follow my guide above. So, why not?

    • Miguel says:

      If I root my kindle will I void the warranty. Also is rooting very hard to do.

      • Ray Waldo says:

        Technically, you probably will. However, there are ways to revert to non-root. It is not difficult, that is why I wrote the article — to step you through it.

  6. salsaguy says:

    What weather widget are you using? I’m not rooted but just using Go Launcher and love it. Can you recommend some good widgets for the Fire?

    • Ray Waldo says:

      That would be 3D Digital Weather from the Android Market (https://market.android.com/details?id=factory.widgets.ThreeDDigitalWeatherClock&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImZhY3Rvcnkud2lkZ2V0cy5UaHJlZUREaWdpdGFsV2VhdGhlckNsb2NrIl0.). Pretty cool, huh?
      Unless (and until) you get the Android Market installed and working properly (almost requires root), then you will be severely restricted in what you can install.
      Using my process (in the article above), it is easy to get root access – and you end up with the BEST of both Amazon and Android. Not only is it painless, you don’t loose anything from the original config. Everything that worked on the original interface is still available and usable.
      As to widgets (and installing too many apps, in general), remember that the KF has a very limited (and fixed) amount of memory available. There is no SDCard to switch out to and not very much memory to start with. If you load on too much, the device will likely get very sluggish and hang up, do Force Closes, etc. The ideal is to get a nice balance of usability without any loss of functionality.

  7. Andrei says:

    So, after rooting my Kindle finally, I tried 4-5 roms I could find out there but none impressed me too much in terms of reliability. The best I liked was this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1430160 but it is a bit flaky. Screenrotation did not work perfectly and the launcher acts a bit sluggish. Optically this would be the best forward. As long as one runs a stock rom with a 3rd party launcher on top, the Amazon launcher will still run in the background eating resources.

  8. forwardslash says:

    Thank you so much for the guide! I finished rooting my kindle last night and have been playing with it all day. The only part which I had trouble with was installing the device drivers. I was using Win7 64bit and I tried to use 0.9.1 to install the drivers but it KFR never recognized the kindle as online. I ended up just uninstalling the drivers and using 0.9.2 as they had revamped their installer and then it worked.

    Also, it seems like some apps (like Evernote) are on the amazon store but not the android market. This probably isn’t a problem for most people, but as a Canadian I can’t even download free apps because I don’t have a US based credit card.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Hey, glad to help.
      EVERNOTE: I *always* get apps from Android if possible. Here is the link for Evernote: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.evernote&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5ldmVybm90ZSJd
      Thanks for the info about the newer version of KFU. I will update the links.
      Come back soon..

      • forwardslash says:

        It keeps telling me that it is not compatible with the Kindle Fire; pic. Have you had this problem (with this app or others which also say not compatible like Vevo) or do you just sideload your apps?

        • Ray Waldo says:

          Interesting. I had not noticed that before.
          I DO have Evernote running fine on my wife’s KF. I don’t recall how I installed it but, since it is a free app, you can easily sideload it from the apk file (assuming that you have “unknown sources” turned on).
          If you have another Android device, just use Titanium Backup (or similar) to extract the .apk file. Then email it to yourself, read the email on your KF, download the file & use the File Manager to execute it.
          If that is not possible, just search Google for “evernote apk” and you will likely see some download locations. If you download it with your KF, you can execute it directly. This is a little dangerous unless you are certain of the veracity of the download site.

  9. Stephanie says:

    After I root my KF will I still be able to utilize the Amazon Cloud. Also after I root it what is the next step to putting on a custom rom ?
    Thanks for all your helpful tips.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Yes, the instructions (above) state that I installed the VooDoo (Over The Air) OTA RootKeeper app. That will allow you to switch between rooted and unrooted with just a touch of a button. When the device is rooted, some of the Amazon services will not work (video and library sharing). Using the Rootkeeper, you can (temporarily) unroot the device and all the Amazon services work again. Note that I said TEMPORARILY unroot. You can go back to the app and click the button to restore the root and – like magic, it is done!
      As to a custom rom, I have not found any that I like yet. By using the new laucher, the Fire looks and acts just like a Gingerbread ROM but with full Amazon services. Switching to a custom rom might stop those services again. As I stated in the article, I have not found any rom that had sufficient benefits to offset the losses (IMHO).
      Let us know how the process works for you.

  10. Justin Pirdy says:

    I found a fix to get any picture you want as a background, get configure wallpaper from the market and if you would like a single picture as your background then make a new folder called background or whatever you’d like. then tap and hold the screen, click wallpaper, configure wallpaper, folder and select your image or folder. it works whether your wallpaper is locked or unlocked, i hope this helped somewhere along the lines. you’re dedication to the kindle inspired me to look into this.
    happy rooting

  11. Andrei says:

    In order to change the picture you need to understand that there is no way to change the built-in rotation. All you can do is stop it,
    The steps are, make sure the wallpaper is unlocked, apply a new wallpaper and lock (stop the rotation is all you do here) the picture then. I can confirm this works after a few tries, and I managed to freeze my picture now, persistent even after a reboot.
    Thanks for the awesome guide.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Good catch, Andrei! I will add your steps into guide.
      But I like the application approach (in Note4, above). It will change (and lock) the wallpaper – even if you don’t root the device.

  12. Dave Alan says:

    Wallpaper changing fixed at: http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/19875/kindle-fire-how-to-prevent-the-wallpaper-from-automatically-changing/

    I have done it. Now my Bionic wallpaper sticks!

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Thanks for the link, Dave. I checked it out and it did not work on my Fire.

      I did find a workable answer. See Note4 at the end of the article above.

      This process is very simple – just add an app and set it up. I understand that it also works whether or not your Fire is rooted!

  13. Bill says:

    Ray,
    I’m running windows 7 64bit on my computer.
    When I try to install driver it tells me that the driver version is incorrect for 64 bit.

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Sorry but I don’t know much about win64. My best guess is either use a 32bit computer or else just override the dialog and try to install the drivers anyway.
      Can you open a virtual machine with 32bit?

    • Andrei says:

      I used the utility on Win 7 x64 as well, without issues. When you install the driver, you WILL get a red message that looks like an error message, but it does not prevent you from installing -t merely states the drivver are not certified by MS, etc.. Confirm that you want to install the drivers anyway and you should be good to go. You do install the driver using the install_drivers.bat from the kindel fire utility, yes?

  14. Brett says:

    Wow, thanks a lot for posting this! I had some reservations about rooting, but your simple, detailed instructions have given me confidence. I too felt like the instructions on other sites weren’t clear and you had to read the threads in their entirety to figure it out.

    The only bad thing is the wallpaper issue. My unrooted kindle fire does 90% of what I need it to do, but one of the few reasons I want to root is so I can set the wallpaper myself and it not change. If you figure that out please let us know. Thanks!

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Hey Brett!
      Thanks for the positive comments. I am glad that the guide worked well for you.
      The wallpaper issue is a (minor) irritation. (I am certain that you meant that your ROOTED Fire does 90%. :-)

  15. James says:

    Ray,
    I installed everything per the instructions and everything works fine. The launchers, netflix, android market; however, the amazon video is not working. It states when I click on it the device is no longer configured to play amazon video. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
    Thanks,
    James

    • Ray Waldo says:

      Sure. Read the review again — you must get the VooDoo OTA Rootkeeper app (from the Market) and install it. Then, just backup the Superuser/root and Rootkeeper will temporarily unroot your device. You may need to turn it off and back on — or even sign in to the Amazon account again. But, it will work and once it appears to Amazon that you are not rooted, their services will work again.

      BTW, glad it worked for you! And, thank you for leaving a comment. Hope to hear from you again real soon.

  16. Ray Waldo says:

    That would be 3D Digital Weather from the Android Market (https://market.android.com/details?id=factory.widgets.ThreeDDigitalWeatherClock&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImZhY3Rvcnkud2lkZ2V0cy5UaHJlZUREaWdpdGFsV2VhdGhlckNsb2NrIl0.). Pretty cool, huh?
    Unless (and until) you get the Android Market installed and working properly (almost requires root), then you will be severely restricted in what you can install.
    Using my process (in the article above), it is easy to get root access – and you end up with the BEST of both Amazon and Android. Not only is it painless, you don’t loose anything from the original config. Everything that worked on the original interface is still available and usable.
    As to widgets (and installing too many apps, in general), remember that the KF has a very limited (and fixed) amount of memory available. There is no SDCard to switch out to and not very much memory to start with. If you load on too much, the device will likely get very sluggish and hang up, do Force Closes, etc. The ideal is to get a nice balance of usability without any loss of functionality.

  17. Ray Waldo says:

    Hey Samuel!
    Thanks for the comments. Sorry that you were looking for love in all the wrong places! ;-)
    You might want to subscribe to my feed here so that you don’t miss any new articles or comments.
    Problem 1: The Kindle app will not show up in the Go Launcher. When you switch back to the Kindle Launcher, your books should be in the carousel. Also, just click on the “Books” link on the top menu. Works great on my KF.
    Problem 2: Since I am in the USA, I have no problem with getting the Evernote app. However, I believe that I have a fix for those who do have a problem, and I included it in the article above.

  18. Ray Waldo says:

    Truthfully, I never got it to work before rooting. I just assumed that, since video works, that the library worked also.
    From all I have read, Amazon checks if the su (super user) app is installed. If it is, then they know you are rooted and restrict access. Rootkeeper just renames the app and fools Amazon.
    Since rooting is so easy, you could totally un-root, see what you must do to get the library to work. You could then get customer support to help. Then root again and see if it still works.

  19. Luigi says:

    WOW you are a genius. that resolved all my books/Docs problem. i can see, download and my documents show up once again. thanks for the tip , i’ve looked everywhere for a solution and non worked (or asked me to download apps or unroot my device) until i bumped into this comment. BTW im running on 6.3 and used fire utility 0.9.5 to root my device. im a happy kindle fire/ Android tablet user again :)

  20. Nouveaugeek says:

    Gregg, you are a genius! I was so upset because I couldn’t access the lending library, tried unrooting but that didn’t work. I was ready to wipe it and start over. Lending library works now. Thank you!

  21. Ray Waldo says:

    I have not tried to root the 6.3 version. However, the original source (http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/12/23/exclusive-how-to-easily-root-the-amazon-kindle-regardless-of-its-software-version/) states that this procedure will work with any version so I assume you are good to go.
    Notice, I do not create the software for any of this. I just try to unify and simplify the instructions for how to get it done. If there are unique questions, the original developers are probably better able to answer them.

  22. Ray Waldo says:

    Technically, you probably will. However, there are ways to revert to non-root. It is not difficult, that is why I wrote the article — to step you through it.

  23. Ray Waldo says:

    I do not know of any reason why it would not work. If you find that something does not work properly, you can un-root and be back at stock.

  24. Ray Waldo says:

    The mac id (which identifies your device on the network) should not change unless you install some application that would cause it to change. There are applications that spoof the mac.

  25. Ray Waldo says:

    Select protect root then select temporary unroot. Then just exit and you should be fine.

  26. Ray Waldo says:

    Sorry about my earlier response. I was using my tablet and I did not do a lot of research. Since I don’t use Windows that much, I am not familiar with all of its tools.

    This is an issue with your Windows configuration: Findstr.exe is an executible file from Microsoft that has been included in the production Windows products since Windows XP (at least). Link to Microsoft reference. http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/findstr.mspx?mfr=true

    The KFU assumes that Windows has the file and that it is on the PATH so that Windows will know where it is and can use it.

    Since WINDOWS reports that it cannot find the file, you must do one of the following:

    1. correct your path to include the folder where findstr.exe is located

    2. replace the MISSING findstr.exe file.

    On my Win7, the file is located at C:/Windows/System32/findstr.exe

    When you fix either (or both) of those issues, the KFU should work – assuming that you do not have other errors in your Windows setup.

  27. Ray Waldo says:

    Yes. As the article says, it will operate just the same as before.

  28. Ray Waldo says:

    Congratulations! You should be rooted. Look in the apps drawer and see if SuperUser is there. If so, just execute it. It should not error.
    If SU (SuperUser) is installed, then go to the PlayStore and download Titanium Backup or some other ROOT application and run it. On the first run, it should ASK for SU permission. Grant it (and remember) and you are on your way!
    The reason that TWRP was not installed is because the links are down and it cannot be downloaded. See my notice on the front page of the site about the GOO.IM links being down. When we are able to get the files again, you can install TWRP and FFF. But they are not essential at this time anyway. They are used to flash a new ROM or do Nandroid backups. All other ROOT functions only depend upon SU and BusyBox (also should be on your system) to work.

  29. akash says:

    superuser app is there but on executing nothing other thanwhite page displays. I installed proxydroid to. check if my device is rooted but on executing it says your device is not rooted.

  30. Ruchi says:

    I am also facing the same issue…
    can someone help us …pls

  31. Ruchi says:

    Hey Steve,

    Found this…
    I dont understand the terminology to the core so cant make use of it…may be helpful to you

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1765546

    Cheers,
    Ruchi

  32. Ray Waldo says:

    Windows driver issues are a challenge to a lot of folks. That is why I strongly urge users with these issues to check out our guide for building and using a Ubuntu (Linux) Thumb Drive.
    To fix Windows, you need to go to the Device Manager, delete / uninstall all the broken drivers. Then repeat the instructions EXACTLY.

  33. Ray Waldo says:

    I assume that you are speaking of books on your Amazon account? If so, then you only need to get the Kindle reader app (on the Play Store). When you sign in, the books should be available for download.
    You can also get the Nook reader & all your BN books will be available.

  34. Ray Waldo says:

    Please read all the other comments here on this article. They explain the challenges & options if you have USB driver issues.

    It is a Windows problem. Bill Gates has never given me a penny to encourage me to support his over-priced and dumbed-down operating system. Indeed, I have to BUY it in order to help users use it. Your failure to read the comments is a problem. If you want PRIVATE, PERSONAL support, please hit the donate button.

    Sorry to unload on you but it really is a Windows problem. And I don’t use Windows regularly so I don’t have many answers.

    Use the suggestions I have provided to others already in order to sort it out.

  35. Ray Waldo says:

    It is no longer called the “Android Market.” It is now called the “Play Store.”
    If that is not the problem, it is possible that you may have missed a step in the guide or something failed. It is impossible for me to know with the limited amount of info you provided.
    Did you watch the video and follow all steps exactly? Were there any error messages?

    I STRONGLY urge you to install Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.1) on your Fire. It is sooo much better than the stock version… You probably have all you need right now to get started.. http://bishoptec.com/2012/07/jelly-bean-for-the-kindle-fire/
    Without any additional info, I would suggest repeating the procedure and watching everything very closely.

  36. Ray Waldo says:

    Did you read the ENTIRE article? The “Tips” and “Notes” should be sufficient to get you connected.
    If not, then you will need to provide more info about the errors you encountered and what you have (or have not) done to fix the problem.

  37. Mike Jerauld says:

    Ray,
    Thanks for the quick reply. I suspected as much. I’ve read on the forums that the KF2 will root like the KF HD but the instructions are way above my skill level. Have you any plans to develop a KF2 root instructions?

    Thanks again

    MikeJ

  38. Alan says:

    Hi Ray, many thanks for a quick answer. Yes Google Play is available here; I was just looking through it before I saw you had answered. They have some great stuff there, and I feel hopeful again. However, Amazon Apps, or anything else from Amazon, outside buying an eBook are not available in Germany (at least at the moment and not for my First Generation Kindle Fire). But I will forget Amazon for now. Yes I have read your guideline, watched the Video, several times I think it is very well written and described. I think I can follow it without messing up – at least I hope I can. I have already downloaded the KF Utility, but will not unpack it and start yet. It’s getting a bit late here in Berlin so I want to leave it all for a fresh head tomorrow. After the above I also definitely want the Jelly Bean Android on top, as it is clearly so much nicer than the Kindle which I find really ugly and off-putting. I hope I am not being too greedy for a beginner and can manage that as well. Watched your video on that but got a bit confused/uncertain about the choices (Eye Candy or whatever) you could make and which is the right one? On another YouTube I found a link to the tablet version of the Android 4.1 ROM http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1766829 [ROM][AOSP][10/10/2012] Jelly Bean Tablet Edition aka Project Jandycane ? But maybe this is way above my capabilities – or maybe not suited to my first generation Kindle Fire? What do you think, be glad to know before I start this second bit? But the original Kindle is so bad I do want to put something nice over it! My warm and grateful thanks for your reply and your videos and website. For people like me it is a godsend!

  39. alan says:

    Well I am in really BIG TROUBLE!

    • KF stuck at logo
    • Found out that the kindle will shut down after pressing the button for a long time – but remains stuck at logo when on
    • Found a Kindle Unbrick Utility at: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1428428 – have downloaded it, but still too scared to try this after my first attempt at trying to root KF went wrong – also don’t really know how to use it correctly
    • Don’t know if I should first try removing android driver and then re-installing it to see if this works (ADB android driver is recognised and listed – no yellow markers – by Windows Vista device manager !)
    • KF not recognised by KF Utility (ADB Status: Offline – Boot Status: Unknown)

    My Status: extremely worried – totally confused – haven’t a clue what I should do now, how to remedy, or use the Unbrick without making things worse – in other words HELP!

  40. alan says:

    Wow, I am one happy guy! I managed to get my KF out of the logo state. How, I’m not quite sure.

    • I removed driver and then reinstalled it (I always have a bit of a problem with installing the driver – right at the end I get message that device driver installer doesn’t recognise the language or something and I should contact vendor – I have a German language computer (?) – but I managed to install it manually using hardware manager and linking to KF Utility folder)
    • But the above didn’t change the situation – still stuck in logo mode
    • Then I went back to and double clicked “run” again
    • After KF Utility opened I choose option 5 (I think! I was a bit too nervous by this time!)
    • In KF Utility I got the message that “no KF could be found – waiting for device”
    • So I decide to switch off my USB plugged KF and switch it back on again!
    • This worked – Utility started working and after a very short time I was told it was successful!
    • Now I can boot my KF again – at the start the Fire part of logo is in a blue colour – and at the bottom of screen I get a small text option that tells me to “press power button to select booting option” – at top right is a small “v. 4.1” – then the booting option turns into a small “booting” and after a while the former Kindle Fire appears with Fire in the old Orange colour! Then it starts and runs just as it did originally
    I know I have done something – but to be honest I now have no idea what exactly I installed, what stage I am at now, and what my next steps and action are – or how to do them (without any more problems!) ?
    Do I now select in Utility the 1 option, or another, or ?

    Be really really grateful for urgent help here….thanks

  41. Ray Waldo says:

    Congratulations Alan!
    Just to be certain, use option two (2). That will assure that you have rooted the device.
    Then visit the page at http://bishoptec.com/2012/07/jelly-bean-for-the-kindle-fire/ to continue.

  42. alan says:

    I have to add that I do not believe that my KF is rooted!

    When I originally tried option 2 it failed (and bricked my KF). Option 5 (FireFireFire bootloader) seems to be the only thing installed.

    There are only 4 running apps: settings, Amazon device client platform (ADCP), Amazon MP3, Kindle Keyboard

    No third party apps listed

    All apps – there is a very long list: account/sync setting, adobe air+flash, amazon games services, amazon kindle, amazon shop+video, app manager, apps, appstore, audible, browser, calendar storage, certificate installer, com.android.provision, com.audible.application, contacts, contact storage, downloads, DRM protected content storage, email, facebook, gallery, help, html viewer, IMDb, kindle setup, kindle system, kindle tutorial, launcher, live wallpaper picker, magic smoke wallpapers, media storage, music visualization wallpapers, my account, package access helper+installer, parental control, phone live wallpapers pico TTS, Pulse, quick office, quick settings, settings storage, status bar, system browser provider, TTS service, user dictionary, VPN services

  43. Dan Georges says:

    Alan,
    I suggest you leave the Kindle Fire as is and don’t try to modify it.
    I only say this because I followed may instructions on this and other web sites and still bricked my Nook Tablet.
    Although Ray’s guide here and others are fairly well-written, you’re correct that there is a certain amount of risk involved in the process of rooting.
    Any time you change a device’s bootloader you’re taking a risk.
    Any time you install non-approved apps, you’re taking a risk.

    Right now, your device is booting and working. Therefore I suggest you use the Kindle as is. As long as you have the Play store, I think you’re fine. The Nook can’t even access the Play Store OR the Amazon App store, so the ONLY reason I rooted my Nook was to get to one of these two app stores.

    Kindle users are sort of lucky – at least they have the Play store…

    Good luck…

  44. Ray Waldo says:

    As long as superuser is installed you should be rooted. Go to the newer article that I linked and follow the instructions there.

  45. Ray Waldo says:

    I disagree with almost everything you state here. There is very little danger with rooting and the benefits are huge. After using a kf with jb, you would never settle with the stock Amazon os – even with the play store.

  46. Dan Georges says:

    Alan,

    I didn’t mean to say anything negative about Ray’s site. This site is extremely useful for anyone wanting to modify their android device. Ray’s instructional videos are clear and detailed, and Ray’s honest approach to helping “noobs” with technical stuff is really well done.

    My main point is that there is always a risk to tinkering with a device’s hardware or software. If you’ve nearly bricked a device, you know that sinking feeling.

    Although maybe 99% of the time nothing will go wrong, when that 1% happens to you, it’s no consolation.

    I bricked two devices (HTC phone, Nook tablet) flashing ROMs one too many times, so I am in that 1%.
    I never bricked my Windows Mobile or Palm phones, so I was in the 99% on those.

    So – as safe as it seems, sometimes you need to ask yourself why you want to tinker with the device. If it works, and you’re happy with it – I recommend leaving it alone.

  47. Ray Waldo says:

    That entire interface is goofy. When you install a different launcher – or even better – when you install a new JB ROM, it will all go away and you will see only the standard Android interface. The sooner you stop thinking in terms of the Amazon interface, the better you will like your device.
    In all cases, just download the Kindle app from the Play Store and run it. All your books will be there.

  48. Ray Waldo says:

    I don’t have enough information to tell you anything for certain.
    Did you try the guide linked in the article above?
    If you have done something that has messed up the device then try the unbrick guide in the list of articles above. It will restore the nt to stock and you can start fresh.

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