Rating: Dual boot facility courtesy of CyanogenMod 9
Being something of purists, here at GoMobile Towers we were extremely reluctant to defile our HP TouchPad by taking off its native webOS. However, unimpressed with the apps available for this superb tablet, especially when we learnt the dual boot option was working extremely well. So it was off to our good friends webOS Nation for some really simple advice on how to perform this upgrade. We regret not having dug out the totally unofficial Google apps whilst we were about it. Anyway, we can confirm that Android 4.0 (
Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich) works really well on the TouchPad. A warning to anyone who wants to perform the same feat- you’ll need patience because any tiny mistake means the install fails.
First of all, you must ensure your desktop (we use a regular Samsung NC10 notebook running Windows 7), is fully up and running with Java.
As we’ve warned previously here with our advice on installing Amazon Kindle on a non-US TouchPad.
In order to communicate effectively with the TouchPad via Java, you need to ensure that you’ve installed the correct ‘Novacom’ software drivers.
Next you need to establish exactly where the Novacom files are. In our case they were under /Progam Files/Palm, Inc. Note the exact spelling here. You need both the space and the comma between ‘Palm’ and ‘Inc’.
The files you’ll need are ACMEInstaller 2; ClockworkMod Recovery; moboot; and CyanogenMod 9 for TouchPad.
These are normally compressed (zipped) files and mostly you don’t need to decompress (unzip) them. So now copy the ACMEInstaller 2 file to where you found your novacom files (in our case /Palm, Inc.
Now you need to create an installation directory on the TouchPad itself. In Windows, all you do is use Explorer. Connect the TouchPad to the PC via a USB cable and when the PC recognises it, tap on ‘USB drive’.
You should now see the TouchPad as a new drive (say, E:). Go to that new drive and create a new folder called ‘cminstall’. Once again, get the spelling right. No capitals, etc.
Next you need to copy the three files to this new folder from wherever you downloaded them to on the C. Probably ‘/Downloads’. Make sure Windows knows they are zip files with a .zip file extension.
At this juncture you can install the unofficial Google apps if you are a naughty person and have found the googleapps.zip file. Copy that to cminstall as well.
Note: We think the instructions we were following had a mistake at this juncture. To fix the situation, we unzipped all the files from the cyanogenmod9 file and copied them over to the cminstall folder. It seemed to do the trick.
Right the real fun starts now because you are effectively going back to the good old days of MS-DOS. If you don’t know how to do this, simply open the Windows Start menu and type the word ‘cmd’ into the search box at the bottom left of the menu. You see the good old DOS prompt.
It’s necessary to get to the exactly directory where you put the installation files. Use the ‘cd’ (change directory command to do this. So in our case it was cd c:\Program Files\Palm, Inc. Get the spelling right.
At this stage it’s necessary to get the TouchPad into ‘recovery’ mode. First find the volume button and make sure you know which way is ‘volume up’.
Now shut the TouchPad down by pushing the Power but and then select Shut down. Once it is off, hold the volume UP button down and simultaneously hit the Power button.
If you get the device into the recovery mode, the screen should be filled with a giant USB symbol. Now hook it up to your desktop computer.
When you are sure that Windows has recognised the Touchpad, go to the Command Prompt and type in ‘novacom.exe boot mem:// <ACMEInstaller2.zip. Not you need that space and the < chevron.
At this stage the TouchPad’s screen should spring to life and you’ll see a dialogue showing that the correct files have been installed and the TouchPad is rebooting.
When it does reboot, you should get a nice new menu which lists all of your boot options and one of them should jolly well be Cyanogenmod9.
If anyone knows how to increase the time you’ve got before it defaults to webOS from its default of five seconds please let us know. Because you’ve got 5 seconds to change the selection using the volume button and then pressing the Home button.
That’s it really. Our big thanks to webOS Nation without whom we would never have go there.
ONE HOT TIP: It is possible to b*lls up some stage of the installation process. In which case you’ll have a TouchPad that won’t do anything. THE SOLUTION. Hold down the Power; Volume Down and Home buttons simultaneously. Wait a while and it will eventually reboot.