***** IMPORTANT - READ FIRST *****
I accept no responsibility for anything going wrong with your HANNSpad. Use this guide at your own risk. I have installed and reinstalled every HANNSpad compatible ROM about 5/6 times each before finally deciding to write this guide. Using the files I have linked to below, I personally have never had any issues. Deviating from this guide may bring up problems and issues.
Please DO NOT PM me asking for help. I am not always online or active and you will get a faster response by leaving a reply in this thread and waiting for a forum member to reply. If you have a problem regarding this guide, by all means leave a reply. If you have a problem with a specific ROM then you are probably better off posting in that ROM's specific thread.
If this is your first time then I strongly suggest you follow this guide exactly - so that you become familiar with the process. Do not deviate from this guide. Follow the steps and use the files I have mentioned below. Once you are confident enough, then feel free to install alternative ROMs and kernel fixes of your choice.
You have your HANNSpad and everything works fine, so why should you flash it with a custom ROM? Well simply for the fact that all the custom ROMs are newer, so they offer some improvements over the Tap 'n Tap interface used by the HANNSpad. Also with a very active development community - lots of new stuff keeps coming out. You also get features such as the Android market etc which the default software doesn't give you. If you're reading this - I figure that you're already convinced! =)
I got the HannsPad mainly for the fact that it could be flashed with custom ROMs. I also went with the HANNSpad because it was cheap at £150. I figured out that it's an easy way to dabble in the Android arena. Custom ROMs often add and enhance features on the HANNSpad, which makes it even more value for money, so it's definitely something you should consider. The problem I faced however was actually changing the ROM it shipped with to a custom ROM. This guide will try to help you do that.
I decided to do this guide because there were no really EASY guides out there. I wished someone did a sort of "dummies version" for people who don't have much idea, but could walk them through it in an easy fashion. Every guide has "run this" then "install that" - the question for us beginners however is why? What's the significance of installing file x instead of file y and why does file z have to be installed last? I hope this guide tries to give it a more easier understanding. I am no Android tablet expert. I took a crash course in everything Android related online in the last 2 weeks as I awaited the arrival of my HANNSpad. I'm just someone who knows enough to get a custom ROM installed and thought some people out there could use a helping hand by gathering all the relevant information and links in one place.
Please excuse the handheld screenshots, it's the best I could do
- Flashing your HANNSpad is totally new and you have no clue how to do it.
- Your HANNSpad is running the stock/default ROM that it shipped with.
- Nothing has been modified with your HANNSpad.
FILES WE NEED TO DOWNLOAD:
In this example, I will go through the procedure of installing GtabComb v3.3 - a modified HoneyComb port. First you need to download the following 3 files:
ClockWorkMod Recovery v126.96.36.199 (CWM)
GtabComb Beta 3.3_bl1.2
WHAT THESE FILES ARE AND WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT:
ClockWorkMod Recovery - This a ROM manager, advanced ROM installer and recovery utility. This particular version is modified for the HANNSpad. This is installed first before anything else as it is a better installer/manager and recovery tool than the default recovery that the HANNSpad comes with. The HANNSpad comes with a recovery tool, but CWM is one with much better options. This only has to be installed once, after that - all future ROMS and ROM updates will be done through this tool.
GtabComb - This is a modified ROM based on HoneyComb v3.0. This particular version is for the ViewSonic Gtab/ViewPad, but luckily for us HANNSpad owners - the hardware is quite similar so it works for us too. It is important to note the "1.2" at the end as this is the bootloader version. The HANNSpad bootloader is version 1.2 so its important to ensure that your ROM is for that same version.
ab_kernel3 - This file is a kernel patch and is a complete kernel replacement. It basically allows hardware features of the HANNSpad to work with custom ROMs. Hardware features such as the G-Sensor, volume buttons and the side menu buttons.
Since writing this guide, a newer version of the kernel has been released. Please download this newer version instead and use that for all the steps below that refer to "ab_kernel3.zip" Click the link to get the new version: ab_kernel4 Alpha 6 (With Headphone Jack Fix)
LETS GET STARTED:
PART 1: BACKING UP YOUR HANNSPAD
Before you begin the process of flashing a custom ROM, you need to take a backup up of your system. This is just incase you mess things up and need to restore it back to when you got the device. Click the link below and follow the instructions in that guide. Once you have done so, you may return here and continue with part 2.
HANNSpad Backup Guide
PART 2: TRANSFERRING THE FILES OVER
Now that you have the backup done, lets start the process. In order to flash the HANNSpad, you need to copy the 3 files over to the HANNSpad's internal storage (16GB) space. For this guide, I will assume you have a Windows PC.
2.1 Connect the HANNSpad via the USB cable to your PC.
2.2 Your PC will now give a few messages/popups to tell you that the device is connected/drivers installed etc.
2.3 In Windows Explorer, copy the files from wherever you downloaded them too, over to the HANNSpad (this will be a random letter depending on your system setup).
PART 3: INSTALLING CLOCKWORKMOD
3.1 Ensure you have copied update.zip to the root of your HANNSpad. The "root" is the upper most directory on your HANNSpad. This is the bunch of Folders and Files you see when connect the HANNSpad to your PC. See image in step 4.5 - those Folders/Files are the root directory I am refering too.
3.2 Switch off your HANNSpad.
3.3 Press AND hold down the Volume + button. Now press the POWER button.
3.4 The HANNSpad will now boot into the stock recovery.
3.5 Using the menu buttons, select and apply the "update.zip" file.
3.6 After it has been applied, shut down the HANNSpad.
PART 4: INSTALLING THE CUSTOM ROM
4.1 Keep holding down the Volume + button and then press the POWER button. If you are successful, you should see this in the top left hand corner of the screen.
4.2 You will now be in the main CWM menu:
4.3 Using the volume + and - buttons, navigate down to the "install zip from sdcard" option and press the HOME button to select.
4.4 Select "choose zip from sdcard" and press the HOME button again.
4.5 Now you will see a whole bunch of folders (don't worry if you don't see these exact ones). Navigate to the bottom using the volume - or + buttons and select the "GtabComb_b3.3_bl1.2.zip" file. Press the home button to select.
4.6 Using the volume buttons, highlight "Yes - install GtabComb_b3.3_bl1.2.zip" and press the HOME button.
4.7 CWM will now go about installing the custom ROM. This will take a few minutes.
4.8 If it has successfully installed the ROM, you will see the message "Install from sdcard complete." at the bottom of the screen.
PART 5: INSTALLING THE KERNEL PATCH
5.1 You should still be at the menu (PREVIOUS STEP) where it has confirmed the custom ROM has been successfully installed. Do not restart or anything else. At the selection menu at the top, select "choose zip from sdcard" and press the HOME button.
5.2 You will now see all the folders and your files at the bottom (Image from step 3.5 above). Navigate to "ab_kernel3.zip" and select it and then press the HOME button.
5.3 Now select "Yes - Install ab_kernel3.zip" and press the HOME button.
5.4 CWM will now install the modified kernel onto the HANNSpad.
5.5 Once done, select "+++++Go Back+++++" or keep pressing the hardware return key (back arrow) until you reach the main menu.
5.6 Select "reboot system now" and let that happen.
5.7 Your HANNSpad will now load your new custom ROM - enjoy!
Here is a selection of custom ROMs that you can try on your HANNSpad. They each have their own good and bad points. Check their particular threads for specific details of what they offer. As an example, the HoneyComb ROMs are obviously a newer build compared to Froyo/Gingerbread versions of Android but the HoneyComb builds can't access the built in hardware acceleration of the HANNSpad. The flip side however is that ALL custom ROMs have the Android market - something the default/stock ROM that ships with the HANNSpad doesn't have. So try them all out to see which one suits you the best.
HannsTitan v0.3.1 (Android 2.2) CLICK HERE
CyanogenMod 7.1 (Android 2.3.5) CLICK HERE
GtabComb 3.3 (HoneyComb 3.0) CLICK HERE
FlashBack 7.2 (HoneyComb 3.0) CLICK HERE
As mentioned above, flashing your HANNSpad with a custom ROM opens up a whole new world. The problem however with just grabbing and installing ROMs at random is that if they are made for other tablets, then hardware features in the HANNSpad may not work. This includes things like the side menu buttons, the G-sensor and the volume buttons for example. In cases like this, the simple solution is to install ab73's kernel fix. This replaces the kernel that came with the custom ROM with one that is mapped out to work with the HANNSpad hardware features. Click the link below to get the latest version:
AB Kernel Development Thread
TIPS AND ADVICE:
1. In this example I used GtabComb, but you can easily replace that for some other custom ROM of your choice. Just drag and drop that file instead onto the HANNSpad.
2. Custom ROMs that have been exclusively modified for the HANNSpad may not need the kernel fix. Check before hand as some ROMs already include that internally. Having said that however - even though some devs may include ab's kernel fix within the custom ROM, the fix may be an older version compared to the current version. So in this case it still makes sense to install the latest kernel fix. There is no harm in installing a kernel fix over a previous version. You can find the link just above.
3. You only need to do the ClockWorkMod install once. After you have successfully installed it, you no longer need to copy it over or install it with any future ROMs. However, from time to time there may be a CWM update - so its always helpful to update it.
4. When moving from one ROM to another, to ensure there are no issues or problems with the new ROM you flash, start the HANNSpad in recovery mode (Volume + button and POWER button) and then select the following 2 choices to clean up the root directory before you install a new ROM:
- wipe data/factory reset
- wipe cache partition
Always do these 2 steps before installing a new ROM.
5. If you didn't backup your HANNSpad in part 1 (lazy!) and have now messed things up that you need to restore back to the factory settings and to the original user interface, you can grab a copy of the OS from HANNSpree's website. The download is entitled "update.zip" and is around 123Mb in size. You will need to know which version you have (eg. the 1653/33/23) and you will need your serial number which is found on the white sticker on the back of your HANNSpad. You apply the update as you would any other custom ROM. Simply copy it over to the HANNSpad and use CWM to install it. Strictly speaking this is also the easiest way to restore to the default OS should you need too. The download speeds for the link below are extremely slow so I strongly suggest you use a download manager (eg. FlashGet) to grab the file. This way when the file breaks, the manager will auto resume from where it broke whereas your internet browser will start from scratch.
Hannspree HANNSpad Software Download
Thanks to the following people who's work and advice helped create this guide:
ab73, sdcone, alpha232, zyhong, paul@modaco, tlbardelljr, chiefwhosm
Edited by Dolphine, 21 September 2011 - 11:45 AM.