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NookColor USB ADB

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Revision as of 08:34, 22 December 2011 by Spec (Talk | contribs)
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Part of the NookColor portal
ADB, or Android Debug Bridge, is a versatile tool lets you manage the state of an emulator instance or Android-powered device.

This instruction set takes you through installing the device drivers for ADB for Windows and Linux to allow sideloading of software for the NookColor it is part of the process described in the NookColor Rooting page.

Note: For users who have failed at implementing the instructions below several times, the NookColor community reccomends that you use market and download NookColor:adb wireless, and perform your adb work over the wifi connection to the NC rather than painfully trying to install and modify the drivers over and over. If you would prefer to do that in the first place rather than the instructions below, we won't be insulted.



Linux or Mac OSX

  1. Download and unpack the Android SDK for your platform from
  2. Run the SDK Manager and download the Android SDK Tools
  3. Open Terminal to set an environment path to the tools folder of the Android SDK.
  4. Edit your .bash_profile, create new file if it doesn't currently exist:


      nano ~/.bashrc

      Append these lines at the end and save the file.

      export PATH=${PATH}:<your_sdk_dir>/platform-tools

      Apply the environment variable.

      source ~/.bashrc

    Mac OS X

      nano ~/.bash_profile

      Append this line at the end and save the file.

      export PATH=${PATH}:<your_sdk_dir>/platform-tools

      Apply the environment variable.

      source ~/.bash_profile


  5. Ensure that your rooted NOOKcolor is plugged in.
  6. Run the following command in terminal:
    mkdir -p ~/.android && echo 0x2080 > ~/.android/adb_usb.ini && adb kill-server && adb devices
  7. If you get output that looks like the following you have succeeded:
    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *
    List of devices attached 
    [YOUR NOOKCOLOR SN]	device

The adb_usb.ini file is overwritten sometimes by some SDK tools. An alternative to the above command is to have your NC plugged in and run:

$ android update adb

This will add the appropriate values to your adb_usb.ini file.


No Permissions

If when you run "adb devices" you see the following:

List of devices attached 
????????????	no permissions

It means that you haven't updated udev rules to get your non-priviledged user access to the port. Use the following to create a new rules file for udev to give you access. Use vi, nano, joe, whichever editor you are comfortable with.

vi /etc/udev/rules.d/50-android.rules

Place the following into that file, replace <user> with YOUR username.

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="2080", MODE="0660", OWNER="<user>"

Save the file, then run udevadm as instructed as root (from previously running su) to activate the rule. Note you want to run adb as your user, not root, so don't miss the exit command:

udevadm control --reload-rules
adb kill-server && adb start-server

This could vary from distro to distro. If all else fails, you can run adb as root but it's not suggested.

Windows XP, Vista and 7

Note: There is now an easier way to install the ADB drivers and SDK!

Visit and follow the instructions in the forum post.

After installing that driver pack, you can skip directly to step IV in this guide.

I. Download and install the Android SDK

  1. Download the latest Android SDK ( and extract the zip file to C:\
    • If you install the SDK exe download instead of the zip, be sure to change the installation location to 'C:\android-sdk-windows' or the paths you need enter below will be different
    • Verify the C:\android-sdk-windows\ folder exists and run the 'SDK Manager.exe' inside. I usually choose 'Accept All' then click 'Install' and wait for it to install. If you installed the .exe SDK, this should run automatically.
    • If the SDK Manager has any issues downloading, click 'Settings' and choose 'Force https:// sources to be fetched'
    • To develop Android software you need to install the Java JDK and Eclipse components but they are optional. If you use the windows installer .exe for the SDK, it will make you go to and download the Java JDK.
  2. This step is optional but makes using ADB a lot easier
      1. Start > Right-Click Computer > Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables
      2. Under 'System Variables', scroll down to 'Path' and double click it
      3. In 'Variable Value', scroll to the end and add ";C:\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools;C:\android-sdk-windows\tools" (without the quotes)

II. Patch the USB Driver files

  1. Download the nookColor Windows ADB USB driver here:
    • Extract the zip file to C:\android-sdk-windows\
  2. Download the file
    • Windows XP: Extract the zip file to C:\Documents and Settings\<yourusername>\.
    • Windows Vista\7: Extract the zip file to C:\Users\<yourusername>\
    • These locations can be accessed at the command prompt by typing 'cd %USERPROFILE%'
    • Verify the .android folder is created with the adb_usb.ini file inside.
      • When you extract, it will offer to create a folder called adb_usb. DO NOT LET IT.
        Do not create an 'adb_usb' folder. Extract directly into your username folder.
        The final output should be a .android folder under yourusername, containing a adb_usb.ini file
      • Verify it is correct by typing the following in a command window (Yes, you are typing the word type as part of this command.) :
        type \users\<yourusername>\.android\adb_usb.ini
        in XP you would type:
        type "%USERPROFILE%\.android\adb_usb.ini"
        The response should be 0x2080 - if it is, you did this right and can go on to the next step. If you got anything other than those six characters and nothing more then go back and repeat this step.

III. Connect the device and install the drivers

  1. Open device manager.
    • Start > Run > devmgmt.msc > Enter. Or,
    • Start > Right-Click Computer > Properties > 'Hardware' Tab > Device Manager Or,
    • Windows Key + Pause\Break > 'Hardware' Tab > Device Manager
  2. Plug the nookColor into your computer's USB port and unlock the device. The "USB Mode" message should pop up on the screen of the device.
  3. If the "Nook" device is detected skip to step 2.
    1. Unplug and replug the nookCOLOR from your computer
      • Go under the "Action" tab and click "Scan for hardware changes"
        1. If it says "Nook" under "Other Hardware", then your done with this step (edit by: ColinB)
    2. Now that you have identified the nookColor
      1. Right-Click the device > Update Driver > Browse my computer > Let me pick > Have Disk
      2. In the "Copy manufacturers files from:" window enter C:\android-sdk-windows\usb_driver
      3. Press OK. This should install the correct drivers. (If a dialog appears asking which driver to choose, select "Android Composite ADB Device". If Windows responds that a suitable device is not found, disconnect the nook and confirm that "Nook Color Tools>All Settings>Development>USB Debugging" is checked.)
      4. Disconnect nookColor from your computer (unplug the USB cord)
      5. Reconnect nookColor
        • Windows should automatically detect the device and install all necessary drivers, including ADB.
        • You may not see nookColor in the device manager. That's ok. You should see an Android Composite ADB Interface in the device manager list, if so, you're done.

      IV. Verify that everything worked

      1. Start > Run > cmd > Enter
        • cd\
        • cd android-sdk-windows\platform-tools
        • adb kill-server
        • adb devices
      2. If you get output that looks like the following you have succeeded:
        * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
        * daemon started successfully *
        List of devices attached 
        [YOUR NOOKCOLOR SN]	device

      V. Troubleshooting

      • If you did not succeed, identify each nook entry in device manager (each device with a Hardware ID of USB\VID_2080&..., right click and uninstall it. There may be several, including "B&N Ebook" as Disk Drives and "USB Mass Storage Device" under Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Uninstall all of them. Unplug the nookColor, replug it, and restart from Section III.
      • Further debugging: If you have an Android ADB composite interface and you still do not get your serial number listed, please repeat section 2, step 2, then verify that the file \users\yourname\.android\adb_usb.ini is exactly six characters long, and contains exactly 0x2080 There can *not* be a carriage return (enter) after the value.
      • Windows 7 (64 bit): If you see the Android Composite Interface in the Device Manager but are unable to get a serial number when detecting devices, try rolling back the driver, and then updating. Allow Windows to locate the driver instead of specifying the one placed in the Android SDK Directory.
      • Only one device shows up in device manager (Windows 7) If you see only one device with a hardware ID of USB\VID_2080&... make sure that adb Wireless is not on. Then unplug your NookColor and replug it, and restart from section III. If running adb devices still doesn't work. Make sure USB debugging is enabled. and try using adb again.
      • Having problems with windows prompting to install a driver? Confirm Windows is configured to install unsigned drivers. For Windows XP, Control Panel -> System -> Hardware tab. Confirm "Drivers - Driver Signing" is Warn or Ignore. Confirm "Drivers - Windows Update" is Ask or Never.
      • No success after multiple attempts If you have closely followed all of the steps above with no success, there is a simplified installer that was made specifically for the NC, Nook Color - Easy ADB here: The installer link and a step by step video with text based steps can be found by expanding the video overview section.
        Note: If you are still having problems, and have followed the instructions above exactly, step by step at least twice you may be able to get help by joining the #nookcolor irc channel on Recognize that the people there are attempting to develop this information, and are not primarly a tech support group.

        Also, as a last ditch effort, try changing the USB port. This worked for I.

        Note: If you are not getting a serial number in ADB (as in "ADB Devices") try resetting "USB Debugging" in "Nook Color Tools>All Settings>Development>USB Debugging" and make it a point to turn it off and on every time you plug your Nook into the computer to use ADB. You may also have success with driver installation if you disable "Auto Mount" (Nook Color Tools>All Settings>Development>Auto Mount).
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