GTX (28th June 2013)
I recently bought 32 Nurvo tablets for use in our junior school. They were very cheap and well featured but I only had half an idea that I might be able to build and successfully deploy an Android image. I haven't seen any other documentation detailing the procedure so I thought I'd give it a go and write up the steps. I put this post here rather than in the Netbooks, PDA and Phones thread as this is actually an o/s deployment and not a configuration issue. This guide is tailored to devices using the RockChip rk3066 chipset. That's quite a lot of devices but almost any Android device could use a similar procedure. The most difficult part is tracking down what's inside your device. (Thanks to Nurvo for their help with this and thanks to all the people whose tools made this possible).
So here we go then, here are the instructions that will allow you to root, image and deploy the image to your Android tablet.
Configure your Android device (this is the technician device).
Then to deploy the configured image...
On the technician device...
Connect your device via USB.
Get this and run it.
ADBDriverInstaller should find it.
Whilst your device is still connected to your PC, Download and run this on your PC.
Dev-Host - Rootx_Setup.exe - The Ultimate Free File Hosting / File Sharing Service
Size:2.09 MB (2195203 bytes)
Uploaded On:2013-04-18 07:56:32
File Desc:Rootx app
Extract the archive and run Rootx_start.bat. Follow the onscreen instructions.
You now have a rooted Device.
To back up.
Install a Terminal Emulator. This is a good one
Download Android Terminal Emulator 1.0.52.apk Android app
Whilst still attached to the PC you rooted the device on install the apk. Handily ADBDriverInstaller you downloaded to help Root the device in the first place, also contains a link to an excellent APK Installer.
Failing that get a terminal emulator from the Play store.
Install the Terminal Emulator.
Download ClockworkMod (CWM) for rk3066 (the generic version is the correct one for the Nurvo)
Here is the general page
CWM-based Recovery images for RK3066 devices | androtab.info
And here is the direct link to the generic CWM for rk3066.
Connect the device to a pc and...Extract flash_image and recovery.img from CWM.zip.
- Copy flash_image and recovery.img onto your device,.
- You may need to install a file explorer that allows root access. I used this one. Install from the Play store https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...RhcHAuZngiXQ.. also install the root explorer add on https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=nextapp.fx.rr. You will need to ensure that you have write access in order to copy these files over. FX Explorer should give you some help on this front.
- Copy flash_image from the CWM archive to /dev/ on the device
and copy recovery.img to /dev/
- Disconnect the device from the PC.
- On the device open a terminal window and get Super User permissions, usually by typing su (return) at the command prompt. Allow any prompt\warnings about permissions.
- Now type
- chmod 755 /dev/flash_image
- /dev/flash_image recovery /dev/recovery.img
- you may need to disable install-recovery.sh which restores stock recovery on every boot
- type chmod 644 /system/etc/install-recovery.sh
Now in the terminal window type
This should put you into recovery mode.
When in CWM recovery mode; use the volume buttons to move up and down through the menus. The power button will select.
Navigate to 'backup and restore'
Assuming you have placed an sdcard into the appropriate slot, navigate to 'backup to external sdcard' and select it.
Once the backup has finished remove the SDCard.
On the target device
To deploy the image to this device...
Insert the sdcard with the fresh CWM backup on it into the target device.
Root the target device. (Repeat steps 1 and 2 on this device)
Install CWM and put the target device into recovery mode.. (Repeat step 3-5 on this device)
Select 'backup and restore'
Select 'restore from external sdcard'. Scroll down to the backup you wish to restore and select.
Wait for the restore to complete.
That's it! You should now have an imaged Android device. Repeat 32 times Subsequent re-images should be substantially easier as all the rooting and software is now on the device.
I hope this helps someone.
P.S. You might find it easier to put all the files and apks etc you'll need on the same sdcard as the CWM backup.
Last edited by carmeruk; 27th June 2013 at 11:02 PM.
GTX (28th June 2013)
Sorry to tell you, this is not a real deployment. What you have done (in PC terms) is cloned a tablet to another one. A nandroid (which can be even easier then these steps) is literally a dump of the nand chip, which you are restoring to another chip.
You can and will run into issues with this setup. The android id will be the same across all devices for one.
You can't just flash a recovery on a device most of the time. The bootloader is normally locked and will allow only files signed by the manufacturer. Obviously this Chinese tablet doesn't have a locked bootloader, but try that on a Motorola or HTC device...
The list goes on, but I just wanted to leave some info here.
MordyT Thanks for your comments.
The thread I started here is specifically about cheap Chinese tablets. We don't have unlimited budgets in our school. I wanted a way of being able to put as many tablets in as many childrens hands with as little cost to the school as possible. What I needed to do was build a parallel infrastructure to our existing Windows deployment. These aren't expensive phones or tablets. They cost £60 each. I needed a way to standardise the environment and deploy it across a large number of devices quickly and efficiently. The process I've described above does exactly that, in a way which I hope won't scare Windows admins.
It doesn't matter that they all have the same ID (this will deal with that if you really need to change the ID https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ve.cogid&hl=en) They aren't joining a phone network or connecting to the Play store. APK's are going to be placed onto our OwnCloud server and added that way if necessary. They can all connect to the internet with no problem.
What this has done is open up a really cheap device for us to use across the school without the massive investment iPads would require. I'm sure there will be other issues, but that is what I'm there for.
Just a thought
Presumably if they all have the same id and are logged into the same gmail account, if I were to get a Play store app, I would then be able to automatically update every tablet with the new app as long as I set the sync setting correctly prior to deployment.
Licences permitting of course
I'll do some testing next week.
Last edited by carmeruk; 28th June 2013 at 06:11 PM.
I understand where you are coming from, I just want to make sure you/everyone else understands what is at risk/downsides.
If it works great.
Of all are signed into same gmail account, it will sync down (new installs) without an issue.
A limit of 5 though applies, although Devs set it separately per app.
P.s. you could skip the rooting step and just boot into stock recovery with the correct update.zip on the sdcard to to update to a custom recovery most likely since zip verification seems to be off.
Yeah I did try this, but there were a few problems. Firstly the tablet is an absolute bugger to get into recovery using the buttons. I could only manage it once in maybe 30 times of trying. Secondly none of the update.zips I tried would work. Brute force installation of CWM was the only reliable method I could get to work.
I've been experimenting with ilauncher which gives the tablet the look and feel of an iPad and its rather good. I've written to te author about licensing. I have to say for the money these tablets are turning out to be a bit of a bargain.
Last edited by carmeruk; 29th June 2013 at 11:26 AM.
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