Root for Nook Tablet with CWM on SDCard

Create a Bootable SDCard With ClockWorkMod to Root Nook

Micro SDCard

This article will guide you through creating a bootable SDCard for your Nook that will boot the tablet into Clockworkmod (CWM) Recovery. This will allow you to ROOT the device, make backups, restore backups, flash custom ROMs, and fix a variety of issues with your Nook Tablet (8gb or 16gb).  For an introduction to rooting and descriptions of other options, see our article… Intro to Rooting & Modding Nook Tablet.

The card created with this guide will work with either the 8GB or 16GB Nook Tablet. It will NOT work with the Nook Color. See this thread for help with the NC.

WINDOWS USERS: In the video, I show you how to use a Ubuntu (Linux) Live CD or USB Thumbdrive (guide to build the disk is found here) to make a BOOTABLE SDCard and add the CWM Recovery program to it. The resulting card allows you to access all of the space on the card. You do not need to make any changes in order to copy additional files – up to the full size of the card. If you already have Ubuntu installed, just follow the normal procedures.


  • Download the ClockWorkMod file here (XDA Thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1446987)
  • For existing Linux users, just skip to the “Process”. Windows users, 
  • Copy the CWM zip file to a removable device for use in the Ubuntu environment
  • Copy the link to this web page to the removable device (or print these instructions). In Ubuntu, you can use the FireFox web browser to return to this page.
  • USB “Live” Thumbdrive (click here for instructions)


A. Boot into the Ubuntu (Linux) Operating System

  1. Copy the CWM (zipped) file to the desktop
  2. Right-click on the file & select “Extract here” (creates a folder on the desktop)
  3. Click to open the new “CWM_…..” folder (contains 4 files – NOTE that the video is incorrect when I say 5 files) & leave the window open
  4. Insert your SDCard (we recommend Sandisk 4Gig/Class 4) into a USB-connected adapter and attach to  your computer (When Ubuntu mounts the SDCard, it will open another window showing the contents of the card)
  5. Click on the “Dash Home” icon at the upper left of the desktop
  6. Type “GP” in the text-box of the overlay (will bring up all programs whose names include those letters)
  7. Select the GParted icon that will be displayed (If using “installed” Ubuntu, GParted must be installed first)
  8. Allow GParted opens to initilize (all of the activity indicators are stopped)
  9. Click on the drop-down in the upper-right corner (Before clicking, it will likely display the Hard Drive of the computer – DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO YOUR HARD DRIVE!!!)
  10. Select the drive representing your SDCard (should be approximately the same size as your SDCard)

B. Clean up the SDCard

  1. If using a NEW (unused) SDCard you may skip to the next section
  2. Right-click on the visual display of your SDCard (in the GParted window) & select “Unmount” (each time you select a new action in GParted, you must wait until the activity indicator stops before proceding)
  3. Right-Click on each of the existing partitions individually (may only have one) & select “Delete
  4. Right-Click on the “unallocated” space & select “New
  5. Change the “File System” to FAT32 (in the popup dialog)
  6. Accept all other defaulted values in the dialog except if you wish to add a “Label” to name the card
  7. Click on “ADD” to complete this action
  8. Click on the green checkmark (in the upper section of the GParted window) to execute the action
  9. You now have a CLEAN SDCard that is formatted with FAT32 & ready for use (Windows & Mac uses may opt to use the SD Formatter program found at this site: https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_3/)

C. Set up Boot

  1. Right-click on the visual display of your SDCard & select “Manage Flags”
  2. Tick the “Boot” flag & then tick the “LBA” flag
  3. Press the “Close” button
  4. Click on the green checkmark (in the upper section of the GParted window) to execute & allow GParted to complete the action
  5. Remove the SDCard from the computer (It is now bootable but does not have a boot image)
  6. RE-Insert the SDCard into the compute (to mount it again & open a window showing contents)
  7. Copy all 5 items in the “CWM” folder (from item B.3 above) to the window of the new SDCard
  8. Close all the windows on the desktop
  9. Click on the icon representing the SDCard (at the bottom of the docked icons – at the left of the desktop) & select “Safely Remove” or “Unmount”
  10. When the Icon for the SDCard disappears, it is safe to remove the card. (If it does not disappear, click on it again and if it does not offer the option to Safely Remove or Unmount, it is probably safe to remove it anyway. Just be certain that all writes to the card have finished!)

Procedure: (How to use the card)

IMPORTANT! ALWAYS power off the Nook prior to placing an SDCard into the device! If you place an SDCard in a stock Nook, the B&N operating system will mount the card and write data to it. This MAY make the card unusable as a boot device. 

That’s it. You do not need to do anything else to use the card that you created. To do a backup of your existing system or perform other tasks, just power off the Nook, insert the card into the SDCard slot, and power on.

If you wish to flash a new ROM to your Nook, then you should copy the ROM’s update.zip file (may be named differently but should have the zip extension) to your new SDCard BEFORE you insert it into your Nook. Alternately, you can SWITCH to a different SDCard after CWM has loaded. In this case, you would have a bootable CWM card and follow the above instructions to run the program. After it loads, just remove the CWM card and insert a different card with the zip file of a custom ROM on it. (Or, use the MOUNT option in CWM to mount the USB connection to your computer and copy the file(s) via USB. Then, use the loaded copy of CWM to flash the ROM.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you. Leave a comment to help us know if this worked for you, or if there are errors, or if you have suggestions to make it better.

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