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Jelly Bean on the GTab

I now recommend that you use a newer (and more stable) version of Jelly Bean. See my new article: New Life for the G-Tablet

GTab running Jelly BeanWe now have Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) running on the ViewSonic G-Tablet. Thanks, TeamDRH! Click this link to visit their site and give them some “thanks” and a donation.

If you are a bit uncomfortable with flashing a new ROM on your tablet, here is a video of the entire process – in real time. It only took 30 minutes from start to finish. And, for this one, I actually did it in Windows 7. (You can also use Linux if you prefer.)

And, here is a short video (6 minutes) displaying the NEW GTab running Jelly Bean!

For everyone that likes to see a printed guide, here is a step-by-step “How to.” 

THIS IS AN UPDATED VERSION of the “NVFlash for Dummies” guide. Use that version if you want to install CM7 or  CM9. Use THIS version for CM10 (Jelly Bean).

Introduction:

The NVFlash tool (program) is the PRIMARY Starting Point for any major changes or software fixes to your GTab. If you are having ANY problems with your ViewSonic G-Tablet, this is THE guide to follow. However, this version will increase the system partition to 350MB. That is necessary for the CM10 ROM but it may cause problems for some devices. Do not use this version except for CM10 (or later).

If you experience any problems with this NVFlash and how it sets up the GTab, then you should revert to CM7 or CM9 and the 250MB version of NVFlash (see the link above). Note: NVFlash is also called “APX mode”.

WARNING:

  • This process will likely void your warranty.
  • Assume that EVERYTHING on the GTab will be erased or deleted. However, that is not entirely true. NVFlash cannot erase anything on the SDCard (see this post). STILL, anything can happen.
  • Any use of this guide (or anything on this website) is done SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Neither Ray Waldo, this website, its owners, or operators take any responsibility for your actions related to the use of any article/guide on this site. You have been warned. 

DOWNLOAD THESE FILES. Even if you have used NVFlash before and already have it installed on your computer,  USE THIS VERSION instead:

  • TeamDRH_350M_Prep.zip This archive includes all the files that you will need (for both Windows & Linux) to install NVFlash and complete this guide. This archive must to extracted. Alternate download here.
  • TeamDRH-JB-Alpha-5.3.zip This is the Jelly Bean ROM file. It also includes the Google Apps (GApps). This file is NOT to be extracted. It should be copied (in the .zip format) to the internal memory of your GTab. Alternate download here.

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Using NVFlash:

Note: There are two modes of operation controlled by booting with the volume buttons:

  • You get into APX mode by pressing the power and MINUS button. The gTab will flash on then go black. When in that mode, the GTab appears dead but will respond to commands from the attached computer – using NVFlash. If you mistakenly get into APX mode, just hold the power button down for about 30 secs to power off and exit the APX mode.
  • You get into RECOVERY mode by pressing the power and PLUS button. When in that mode, the GTab has a menu of options to allow you to flash an update, reset to factory, etc. No USB connection or computer is needed to use Recovery. To get out of Recovery mode, always click on the “Reboot to SYSTEM.”

Prerequisites:

If you have already successfully used this (NEW) guide, then you can skip to the PROCESS section.

  1. Backup any data on the GTab that you wish to save and copy it to some external storage. These procedures potentially delete everything on your GTab.
  2. Charge the battery to at least 70%. It is also a good idea to leave the power cable connected during these operations.
  3. Power off the GTab & remove your external SDCard (if you have one in the device).
  4. Download the NVFlash file from above.
  5. Extract the TeamDRH_350M_Prep.zip archive and rename the extracted folder to nvflash.
  6. LINUX ONLY:  You must make the nvflash file executable – Open the nvflash folder; right-click on the nvflash file; Properties; Permissions tab; Tic the box to run the file as a program. Then - Skip to the “PROCESS” steps below.
  7. WINDOWS ONLY:  INSTALL the APX drivers located in the “Flash USB driver” folder.
  • CONNECT the USB cable between the GTab and your computer.
  • On the GTab, hold the Volume minus (“-”) button AND the power button until the GTab comes on and then goes BLACK (this is the APX mode)
  • When the gTablet is detected by Windows, and you are prompted for drivers, point the wizard to the ‘Flash USB Driver’ folder (inside the new “nvflash” folder.
  • The driver install should complete normally and you will hear an audible connection sound.
  • Power off gTablet by pressing the Power button for ~5 seconds. 

Process:

Do not connect the USB cable to the GTab unless instructed to do so. Also, be sure to DISCONNECT the USB cable when the guide says to do so.

  1. WINDOWS ONLY: If you have not installed the APX/USB drivers, then go back to the “PREREQUISITES.” Step and complete this step first.
  2. Connect the USB cable between the GTab and your computer. (If you continued from the previous section, the cable may already be connected.)
  3. On the GTab, hold the Volume minus (“-”) button AND the power button until the GTab comes on and then goes BLACK (this is the APX mode).
  4. On your computer, open the nvflash folder & click on the NVFlash program: Windows users, run the nvflash_gtablet.bat –  Linux users, Open a terminal window, browse to the nvflash folder & enter the command, “sudo sh ./run.sh (without the quotes. – note the space after the “sh” and before the “./” characters.)
  5. Wait. The NVFlash tool will only take about two minutes to complete. Do not proceed until it reports that it is finished.
  6. Power off gTablet by pressing the Power button for ~5 seconds. Leave the USB cable connected.

Partition the SDCard

The previous function rooted the GTab, partitioned its storage, and installed CWM v. 6.0.1.1. The next steps will use CWM to finish the preparation and install the Jelly Bean ROM.

  1. On the GTab, start ClockWorkMod (CWM) RECOVERY: Hold the power and volume plus (“+”) buttons until the “recovery key detected” text appears at the top of the screen.
  2. Select “advanced” (using the up and/or down buttons) and press the Enter button (arrow on the right side of the screen).
  3. Select “Partition Internal SD Card” and press Enter.
  4. Select “2048M” and press Home – then select “0M” and press Home again. The GTab will report that it is “Partitioning Internal SD Card.” Do not touch the device until it reports “Done!” (3-4 minutes) at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Tap the “back” button (rounded arrow) to go back to the main menu.
  6. Select “Factory Reset” and press Enter. (Takes 2-3 minutes)
  7. When the screen reports “Data Wipe Complete, tap “Mounts & Storage” then “Mount USB” & click Enter.
  8. On your computer, Windows (or Linux) will recognize the new storage device. Open a window (if it is not automatically opened) and copy the TeamDRH-JB-Alpha-5.3.zip file to the root of the GTab.
  9. On the GTab, select “Unmount” press Enter to disconnect from the USB port. At this point, you can remove the USB cable.
  10. Press the Back button (rounded arrow) to return to main menu.
  11. Select “Install zip from sdcard” and press Enter. Then select “Choose zip from internal sdcard” and press Enter. Select the TeamDRH-JB-Alpha-5.3.zip file and press Enter. Answer “YES” and press Enter again.
  12. Follow the prompts (accept the licenses, etc).]
  13. When the screen displays “Please select installation options below” just tic all of them unless you KNOW you do not want that option. When finished, tap “Next” and the process is started. (Takes about 3 minutes.)

Reboot into Jelly Bean!

“It did not work!”

If you tried to follow this guide but somehow the process did not complete properly, here are a few things to try and sort it out.

1. It does work for most users. This page has been read over 7500 times. If only one in ten actually tried it, that still means that 750 people have used the guide. Very few have had issues – for all the rest (including me), it worked fine. Many have reported that it did while many others just left the site (happy) after completing the process.

2. “I followed the guide EXACTLY but it did not work.” This is a problem. Since it worked fine for so many others, logically, there are only two alternatives. Either you did NOT follow the guide exactly (in which case, you should repeat the entire process and be more careful about each step) OR, your hardware is different from others (continue reading for more on this).

3. Hardware issues. The explanation is more technical than I wish to cover here but your hardware (basically your memory) may have issues of which you are not aware. Some people report that Gingerbread (or some other previous version) works, “so I know that the hardware is good.” No, since ICS & JB require MUCH more of the hardware, they may not work on your device while other versions will.

4. “What should I do?” Here are the steps that I would suggest (do each step in order until something works):

  • Repeat the process above (download all the files again, to assure that you got a good download) and be VERY careful to read and follow each step. If you do not understand a step, try it differently than you did previously.
  • Repeat the NVFLash but – instead of the 350mb system partition – use a version with a smaller partition.
  • Give up on ICS/JB and flash an older version (such as GingerBread).

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At this point, you will have the Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) operating system installed. It will display the simple “Welcome” screen. It is a good idea to leave the device alone for several hours to allow it to “settle in” and stabilize before you contine with the zsetup. This will generally eliminate the “lag” that some users report.

  • If you do experience a lag in execution, try the steps in Note1.
  • If your GTab boot loops. goes black, or remains on the 3 birds, etc, try the steps in Note2 or Note3.

Note1: GTab “expert” Rajeevvp on XDA has suggested four things that can stop the LAG experienced by many who use this ROM. (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=28974462&postcount=619) Here are his suggestions (they work GREAT for me):

Try these things to reduce lag:

In Settings > Developer options (need to set on each boot)
1. Apps/Background process limit – Reduce  to  2.
2. Apps/ Don’t keep activites – Check the box

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Note2: Fosser2 (developer on TeamDRH) suggests the following if your normal install fails:  http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=23147934&postcount=4
At step #8, return here and complete THIS process rather than step 8 and later steps.

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Note3:  Rajeevvp seems to have found the solution to the failed installs.  Here is the link to his suggestions: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=31390102&postcount=38

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To determine if your device has the 350MB system partition…

(if you followed these procedures & did this NVFlash, then it DOES – no need to check.)

To check the size of your SYSTEM partition, open the Terminal Emulator app (free on Play Store), enter “df” (without quotes). The “Filesystem” area is at the top of the list (either turn the GTab to portrait mode or scroll up to view the top of the list). Check the line that ends “/system”.

My device (with 350meg system) reads:           /dev/block/mtdblock3  35xxxx xxxxx xxxxx xx% /system

If your device shows something around 200000 – or anything less than ~ 35xxxx, then you probably have a system partition that is TOO SMALL to support Jelly Bean!

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TELL US about your experience in the comments below.

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This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series GTab

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