How to Restore Nook Tablet to 1.4.0 and Block OTA Firmware Updates

Nook Tablet

Since Barnes and Noble decided to issue a firmware update for the Nook Tablet, version 1.4.1, that disables the ability to install non-B&N apps from 3rd party sources and kills root, here’s how to revert the Nook Tablet back to the original 1.4.0 firmware and block the firmware update from happening.

Unfortunately firmware updates install automatically without giving us an option, so you have to block updates from happening manually. If your Nook Tablet is still on 1.4.0, jump down to the second section for blocking OTA updates. If your Nook Tablet has already updated to 1.4.1 or some future version, here’s how to go back to the original user-friendly 1.4.0.

How to Restore Nook Tablet Firmware to 1.4.0

I’ve used this method that was posted at XDA several times to go back to 1.4.0 and it works but it always makes my “n” button not work. Some people have that problem and others don’t. I think it my have something to do with the fact I use the HomeCatcher app to make the “n” button so that it directs to an Android launcher homescreen instead of the B&N Nook homescreen.

In order to get the “n” button to work I have to do a factory reset after the four steps below, which takes the Nook Tablet back to an out-of-the-box state. To do this, hit the quick settings menu, then the settings button in the upper right corner of the popup, then device info, and erase and deregister. You have to connect to Wi-Fi first.

Note: The directions below will restore the 16GB Nook Tablet to stock 1.4.0 firmware and will wipe all user data. There’s also a video tutorial of this process included as part of the Nook Tablet Rooting Guide.

  1. Download the Nook Tablet restore file at XDA: Nook Tablet Restore.
  2. Place the file as is on a microSD card.
  3. Power off your Nook Tablet and insert the memory card.
  4. Turn on the Nook Tablet and it will proceed to automatically restore the firmware to 1.4.0.

If you are having problems getting this to work, it’s probably because of the memory card. Some won’t work for some reason. I use a cheap 2GB Sandisk card and have never had a problem. Check this thread at XDA for troubleshooting.

How to Block OTA Firmware Updates

Unfortunately it seems that the only way to keep the Nook Tablet from updating the firmware automatically is to root it. The good news is that rooting the Nook Tablet is pretty simple.

During the rooting process, it will give the option to block OTA updates. Selecting Yes is a good idea. Otherwise the Nook will automatically update the firmware and break root and other features.

After blocking OTA updates, your Nook Tablet will show software version 9.9.9 under Settings > Device Info > About your Nook.

53 Responses to “How to Restore Nook Tablet to 1.4.0 and Block OTA Firmware Updates”

  1. This is a war mainstream users can’t win.
    B&N can always take a page out of the gaming console market and deny access to their online store and services to rooted or un-updated Nooks.
    Life is too short to spend lifespan fighting for control over a hunk of glass and plastic. 🙁

  2. True Felix, but if you are the owner of a 1st gen Nook Color you most likely don’t care, what B&N does.

    Of course, I find dickering with anything other than custom ROMS that can be booted from a microSD card is not worth my time.

    P.S. Just traded in my Nook Touch for Sony Reader. I got a 50 dollar credit. I won’t be rooting my Sony.

  3. And here are my grievances about the Sony Reader:

    1. The glossy paint job. I will have to get a silicon cover to dull it.

    2. The angled top edge. It makes it difficult to properly secure my Ozeri reading light. It almost forces me to buy one of those overpriced cases with a built-in light.

  4. Yes it was. And I am on my second Galaxy Tab 7″. The Galaxy Tab is much more useful the second time around, and more stable. I also bought an HTC Evo View recently on sale @ $240, which I will probably resell on ebay.

    I thought of a circumstance where I would root my Sony Ereader. If the Android Kindle app has the same support for periodicals as the kindle, plus supports the account, then I could get rid of my Kindle. I thought of this possibility after reading the announcement about the IOS Kindle app having added many more features.

  5. Adding insult to injury: Amazon just stopped the petty hiding of competitor reader apps from their AppStore.

  6. I transferred the zipped folder onto my micro SD, inserted it into my NT, rebooted it, and nothing’s happening. When I go to the SD card on my NT, it shows it’s there, but won’t open the folder and an error message appears stating it cannot read the file. Am totally new to this, and would rather not return the device…

  7. I installed the software so that my pandigital novel will be able to install apps but now I am not able to install the Barnes and Noble apps and cannot access the books I have purchased. Most of the apps on Slide me says they are not compatible. Is there a way I can restore my novel back to its original settings an an ereader only? I feel like I have really messed it up because I cannot install apps and also no longer have access to my books.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  8. Think it would work to take a NC to 1.4.0 instead of 1.4.1? If I had a SD card available I would try it out….would be great to sideload apps on a NC.


  9. Nathan, thank you for all the info. I am in love with the new oppurtunities i have on my NT. I have one problem though, I want to block the firmware update but i can’t open the rootexplorer or the sqlite. Any help?

  10. I just got a Nook Color for Xmas and want to try to expand it. Is there a similar chance that B&N does blocking as it does for the Tablet?

  11. Anita,

    There’s the upgrade on the pandigital website. I assume that’s what you’re talking about that you installed? I believe you just deleted your books. Restoring factory settings won’t restore your books. The B&N app still works, right? Isn’t there a way to just redownload your books?

  12. I have tried numerous times to get my NT from 1.4.1 to 1.4.0. I formatted SD card, downloaded Stock Recovery, copied and placed file on SD card, put card back into NT, and….nothing. It does not automatically boot up with it. If I click on the SD icon on the bottom to browse content, all the files are there but the icons are white w/red ? on them. If I click on files it says ” This NOOK cannot read this file. It may be an unsupported format.” I am using a SanDisk 8G Micro SDHC card. HELP!!!

    • There’s been a lot of discussion about this at XDA. Apparently the type of memory card makes a difference. I’d suggest reading through the referenced thread.

  13. Im kinda broke, and my nook tablet updated by itself while i was rooting it, and now its updated and i cant afford to get a new memory card with the bigger one on the outside of it.. all i have is the little one.. can anybody help?

  14. It worked for me, except now the n button doesn’t work… Doh!

  15. THANK YOU!! I followed your instructions for factory resetting the NT and that brought it right back up!! AND it’s still on 1.4.0!!!!

  16. I have the same problem as AzAnna. The N button no longer works

  17. I also struggled with the “N” button but this is what helped me…turn off and on 8 times! Turn off the nook and wait for the white screen that says Nook (read forever) and then hold down off button until it shuts off. Do this 7 more times never letting it fully boot. As I was unsure if I was suppose to try on 8 or do 8 failed boots and then try…I rebooted and let it come up and reinstall from my SD card on the 9th time. It then read my acclaim zip file and reinstalled to 1.4.0 again except this time the “N” (home) button works! Wahoo! Good luck!

  18. Almost forgot why I’m here. I’ve been downloading apps like crazy today (works like a charm). My problem is that I am unsure as to whether I am supposed to delete the zip file now from my SD card. It’s logical to think that if I leave it on it WILL try to reinstall and cause me to loose all my apps! But I was wondering if anyone knew for sure the process…thanks!

  19. Were is the quick setting menu i cant seem to get anything without using the N button and it dosent work

    • Access the quick settings menu by tapping the clock in the lower right corner. The full settings can be accessed from there in the upper right of the box.

  20. When it says will wipe all user data, does that mean wipe out all my apps too. and if not what exactly does it wipe out

    • Using the restore will leave the apps you already have installed but if you have to do a factory reset to get the “n” button to work like I had to, then that will wipe out everything back to original.

  21. The StockRecovery link does not work! Is there another link?

  22. I have rooted the NT and it is reading version 9.9.9. There are still some appear that I cannot get to load. One is iheartradio. I cannot even get it to show up on the app store. When I try it from the website it says not compatible with bntv250. Any thoughts on how to get it loaded?

  23. I can not get my ‘n’ button work after factory reset..I’ve tried troubleshooting with the power and ‘n’ button so it can reset itself 8 times but it doesnt reset. It just shuts off. Can anyone help me I am freaking out!!

  24. nevermind. i was just impatient and didn’t read it all.

  25. I have attempted this today, April 9, 2012 and I must be doing something incorrectly. I have version 1.4.2 and I’ve copied the files to the micor SD card. Ejected it. Inserted it into the nook and it will not read the file. Am I doing this correctly? I’d just like to read a kindle book only available on kindle on my nook . Please help if possible. Thank you.

  26. My NT 8Gig stays at “read forever” mode after I tried to install a CM7 via CWM. Please help to get it back to working…………

  27. Do we have to do this if we plan on rooting with an sd card?

  28. I just bought a new NT (v1.4.1) and would like to load the go launcher ex or some form of this? Is this a good idea? P.S. I’m not very tech savvy. Thanks for the advice…

  29. please help me.This message shown (sorry we`re having setting up your NOOK please shutdown the device and try again) when i register for my device.

  30. Thanks for your suggestion But I m from Myanmar How Can I do

  31. Just an idea. Contrary to what I have read for boot from SD card, maybe you are suppose to unzip and place the resulting XXX.img file into the SD card. That’s instead of file.

  32. Um i dont want to delet my acount can i do this with out deleting my acount

  33. I did this but on my nook color and now it won’t turn on. It charges but that’s it. Is there any way I can fix it?

    • You should never use anything like this that was designed for a different tablet. Your Nook Color is most likely dead now, but you might be able to bring it back by reflashing the firmware to it. There’s info about how to do that over at XDA forums.

  34. Is there anyway to download this on the SD card from the Nook itself? I have no acess to a PC Right now.

  35. I accidentally did this on an 8gb… now it wont even turn on. someone help me!!

  36. I inserted the SD card into my NT and it said it was downloading new software. After it was done loading the screen went black and wont power on. Please Help!

  37. Will this work on a Nook HD? I have poured so much money into Barnes & Noble it’s ridiculous, you would think they would eventually give in to customer demands but the lady on the phone told me pretty bluntly it will never happen. I want to try this but I also want my stuff to still be there and able to be used.