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BPDN R70F200 Howto hack the Pandigital Black


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#1 emotep

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:25 AM

Thanks you all you that have contributed in the past. I have compiled an effecient HOWTO for the R70F200 with links to files that work on this model.

WITH THIS HOW-TO: You should be able to Root your BLACK Pandigital Novel model R70F200, as well as connect it to your Android cellphone using Ad-hoc network tethering, Allowing you to walk right out the door with your new widescreen websurfer.

MOTD:If your like me, you snatched this model up prematurely, but after hours of trials, reading and pondering, you decided, it's only a few bucks, well worth the price of a new toy of such possibility. This document will walk you through turning your Ebook reader into a pretty slick Tablet PC.

CREDITS: For this article goes to the usual XDA crew, Dface31337 for his help with Ad-hoc networking, and our resident BPDN jedi, Terminander.

Files we will need.
THESE FILES WILL WORK WITH THE R70F200

Terminander's Custom rooted-Market firmware for R70F200 discussed here in this thread
WPA_supplicant that supports AD-Hoc networking
BusyBox shell utilities
Z4root utility
Barnacle Wifi tether on your cellphone-(Android market)
ADB utilities for R70F200

Step 1:
Turn off the Wifi power
Turn off the BPDN
Disconnect the usb cable from the BPDN

Create a workspace on your Desktop PC and extract ADB and its tools to this workspace(folder).
Name it something simple like "c:\android" as you will be using this workspace to facilitate and deploy your hack to the BPDN(BlackPanDigitalNovel).
ADB can be tricky to install, but it comes to having the correct USB driver. If you have trouble installing ADB, refer to the reply section of this thread.

ADB is the development tool you will use to "push" files to your BPDN, however, first, we must install our new Firmware on the unit.
This is similar to installing windowsXP from a CD, except the CD is just a single .dat file you will put on an internal SDcard.
We will copy Terminanders Firmware to the SDcard listed in our windows file manager as PD_NOVEL.
(PD_NOVEL) is a FAT partition that the BPDN uses for extra space and firmware upgrading.
note* You cannot make good use of this space, so store your favorite firmware here always.


Copy the .DAT file and paste it in the root of the PD_NOVEL SDcard, not in any existing directories.
Now remove the swag-label from the filename by renaming the file you just copied. Delete the word "google_" from the beggining, so the the file name is "S64F_SHST_OP21_PD_20110616.dat" THIS IS CRITICAL!! The upgrade engine will not see the file if the name is not exact.

Once the file is copied to the PD_NOVEL SDcard, disconnect the USB cable and power off the BPDN.
wait 30 seconds( It may still be on)
Unplug the power cord too!

TIMING IS EVERYTHING:
Press and hold the volume up button, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. (exact timeing can be achieved by using the Major "Damon Wayans" Payne tempo. One tubby-tubby, Two tubby-tubby...ect) 3 is the correct number of tubby-tubby's. on 3,Tubby(release power),tubby(release volume) Then wait about 30 seconds. By then you should see plenty of "firmware update" data on the previously blank screen.

Be patient. Give remaining blank screens at least 3 minutes before you jump the gun. It's crunching a 100MB+ file on a SDcard its bsy writing to on a different partition. It can take a bit.

While the firmware installs, visit the android market on your cellphone and install Barnacle Wifi Tether.
The default settings should work just fine for now. You will want to tweak it later so you dont get mugged at airports by bandwidth bandits.

YOU MUST HAVE AN SSID for ad-hoc, so that you can see it in the wifi searchlist.( adhoc's will have an asterisk beside their name)

When the BPDN starts, DO NOT SETUP ANYTHING!!!
connect the usb cable, go to your workspace (c:\android) and type these commands:
adb push c:/android/wpa_supplicant /system/bin/wpa_supplicant ( you extracted this file from the ad-hoc bundle you downloaded)
adb install z4root1.3.0.apk ( you downloaded this from the author. its an android executable)
adb install stericson.busybox.apk ( you downloaded this from the author , its an android executable,it is the DOS tools of android. i.e. Copy,rename,delete.... like what u find in the windows CMD environment)

Disconnect the usb cable, and access the android desktop slider. you should now see z4root and busybox installers ready for launch.
activate busybox and install it( if it wont install, you may have to wait until after you complete z4root.
activate z4root and RE-ROOT. this will reboot your BPDN, or turn it off completely. give it a minute, then press and hold power for 3 seconds if it
wont wake up.

Go to your workspace on your desktop again and connect the USB cable
type the following commands:

adb shell
chmod 0755 /system/bin/wpa_supplicant
exit


Unplug the USB cable and turn on the Wifi power, (and install busybox if it didnt install before)

You should now be able to see your ad-hoc cellphone serving up a tall glass of 3G. (if you remembered to start Barnacle)

kinks: Android market
before you setup market, use your desktop to make a new gmail account. use this new account for your BPDN. if you use your old one, you will have trouble with your cellphone, which is likely attached to your main gmail account.
market will probably work the first time you try it IF you initiate a search from the menu control button. If not, after you log in, log out of market and change the system date to a few days ago, then reboot ( or probably crash) when the BPDN comes back up, you should have market with no problems. ( set the date correctly)

Kinks: ADB/USB detecting the device in windows properly seems to pose a major snag in this project. I cannot re-install clean, so I will link all the drivers I tried until we can narrow down the list.
Bonus Features:
You can also use the GPS in your phone to set locations on your BPDN. To do this, you will need an additional tool.

To tether GPS with your BPDN:

Download and install TetherGPS from the Android Market on both devices(or TetherGPS Lite for a freeplay).
On your desktop collect the following info

Gateway
Subnet Mask
DNS1
DNS2

On your phone:
In Barnacle,go to settings, change the gateway to match the gateway used on your WIFI( yes, your home network).This will allow your BPDN to switch between your home wifi, and your phone's 3G effortlessly.

On the phone, start TetherGPS and uncheck-Automatic Broadcast IP. Type the STATIC IP address you will use for your BPDN . ( your wifi is probably setup for DHCP,thats ok.You should not need to change your wifi network to complete this project)
To add a Static IP to your DHCP network, simply assign an IP beyond the range of your DHCP server. Most Wifi uses default 192.168.1.1 as a gateway, and 192.168.1.100 as the first available DHCP address. In my case, I would use 192.168.1.4 as my BPDN's static IP, because I also have a couple other static devices on my network. Here's what mine looks like:

192.168.1.1- Linksys router
192.168.1.2- Debian server
192.168.1.3- Treo 650 webserver
192.168.1.4- BPDN
192.168.1.100- laptop
192.168.1.101- laptop2

(In my case, I use 192.168.1.4 in my phone's TetherGPS because that's where it will see my BPDN when it walks out the door with me).
Restart Barnacle
Start TetherGPS in server mode. (make a widget)


On your BPDN:

Go to Wireless & Network Settings>Wi-Fi Settings>Advanced (You may have to press the settings button again to call up the Advanced menu).
Select Use STATIC IP and type in the address you chose for your BPDN, as well as the Gateway,submask and DNS. (DNS1 is fine usually. You should look into your DNS server options on google. Chances are, your using a really slow one by today's standards).

Connect your TABLET PC(wink!) to your adhoc network.


With your BPDN connected to your adhoc network, start TetherGPS in client mode.(YOU DO NOT UNCHECK IN CLIENT MODE)
If your GPS is getting a signal, it should connect with no problems. If it's not, Things get complicated.




Solves:
if your having trouble with ad-hoc, I recommend a re-flash and have a fresh run at it. There are symlinks to wpa_supplicants all over the place.
Don't forget to chroot 0755 /system/bin/wpa_supplicant

If you cant get TetherGPS to connect, your probably not connected to your adhoc. check that barnacle is running, and that the IP address of your client(BPDN) matches the IP address of the server broadcast in TetherGps.

Getting to the Flash firmware utility is not so tricky. what u are really doing is turning the unit on, while the volume up button is pressed.

P.S. I have not opened my BPDM yet, So I am not certain it uses an SDcard, but that doesnt really matter at this level of hacking. Now that I'm up and running. I'm looking into getting Live Wallpaper on it.Probably a pipe dream, but first step is cracking this tiny root drive issue, and thats more realistic.

Edited by emotep, 10 February 2012 - 05:39 PM.

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#2 chronos1981

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:41 PM

Is there a way to remove the bar at the bottom.

#3 widgetsmama

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:08 PM

Oh, my! I'm sooo confused!! :(

#4 eggie

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

I think mine is bricked? I followed the steps and it was updating. then shutdown. won't come on again? any suggestions?

#5 emotep

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

I've been using this build since I made this howto, and found it to be stable enough. problems are largely Pandigital.. too slow for good work, but it works.

#6 emotep

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:04 AM

Is there a way to remove the bar at the bottom.


no, you need the buttons, and those are hacked in to make it "android compatible"

#7 edca2002

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

Well, you need some buttons, but you don't need the buttons at the bottom. They can be removed and replaced with something like the Softkeys app, or you can use the volume and power buttons in their place if you prefer.

#8 YrrchSebor

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:15 PM

hey there, my GF got a free Pandigital tablet, and i'm trying to see what i can do with it. well, i am also trying to see which model it is.... it is black, has 2GB internal storage, and when i go into the SlideME SAM 4.0 app store, it reads my device as running Android 2.1. i had the update file in your OP here all ready to flash on this thing, but further reading has suggested it may be a downgrade? i guess i am wondering what i can do with this thing, and if maybe i can at least get root access on it. thanks, and sorry for the noob post :D

and here are more particulars on the device:

Hardware platform
RD101-2GB-W

Firmware version
SG4F_SHST_OP21_PD_20110920

Kernel version
2.6.29
PDUI@ANDROID #53

#9 edca2002

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:52 AM

YrrchSebor: It sounds like you probably have the R70F200 model. The model number should be on a sticker on the bottom of the unit, or on the box somewhere. You can also tell from your serial number. Different models have different serial number formats. You can probably search these forums for "R70F200 serial" if you're interested. The "OP21" in the firmware version means it's Android 2.1, which you already knew.

#10 YrrchSebor

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:30 PM

YrrchSebor: It sounds like you probably have the R70F200 model. The model number should be on a sticker on the bottom of the unit, or on the box somewhere. You can also tell from your serial number. Different models have different serial number formats. You can probably search these forums for "R70F200 serial" if you're interested. The "OP21" in the firmware version means it's Android 2.1, which you already knew.


ok, thank you very much sir, i appreciate the response. yep, i have the R70F200, but i wasn't sure if that number was unique to this device only, as i read about some folks having that model #, but having Android 1.5 on it(I THINK anyway... i've been a bit confused trying to sort things out)..

but anyway, i managed to find my way to z4root and it worked... and so i have root access, which is nice! do you know if there are any other ROMs i might wanna consider flashing, perhaps CM7 or anything like that, or is the stock 2.1 perhaps the ROM to use? i often enjoy stock ROMs, especially once i can root and debloat them, etc.

thanks for your help :)

Edited by YrrchSebor, 27 May 2012 - 08:32 PM.


#11 edca2002

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:05 PM

YrrchSebor: The people you're reading about with 1.5 on their R70F200 units are probably the ones that installed firmware that wasn't for their unit.

The only alternative to the stock rom that I'm aware of is Terminander's firmware referred to at the top of this thread that adds the google experience (market (play), maps, ...).

#12 YrrchSebor

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:08 PM

YrrchSebor: The people you're reading about with 1.5 on their R70F200 units are probably the ones that installed firmware that wasn't for their unit.

The only alternative to the stock rom that I'm aware of is Terminander's firmware referred to at the top of this thread that adds the google experience (market (play), maps, ...).


ok that's cool, thanks. not sure we really need the Google stuff, but i would try it if i knew i could flash back to what i have now. the official updater on the Pandigital site seems to me to be borked...

#13 jcissell

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:45 PM

Thanks you all you that have contributed in the past. I have compiled an effecient HOWTO for the R70F200 with links to files that work on this model.

WITH THIS HOW-TO: You should be able to Root your BLACK Pandigital Novel model R70F200, as well as connect it to your Android cellphone using Ad-hoc network tethering, Allowing you to walk right out the door with your new widescreen websurfer.

MOTD:If your like me, you snatched this model up prematurely, but after hours of trials, reading and pondering, you decided, it's only a few bucks, well worth the price of a new toy of such possibility. This document will walk you through turning your Ebook reader into a pretty slick Tablet PC.

CREDITS: For this article goes to the usual XDA crew, Dface31337 for his help with Ad-hoc networking, and our resident BPDN jedi, Terminander.

Files we will need.
THESE FILES WILL WORK WITH THE R70F200

Terminander's Custom rooted-Market firmware for R70F200 discussed here in this thread
WPA_supplicant that supports AD-Hoc networking
BusyBox shell utilities
Z4root utility
Barnacle Wifi tether on your cellphone-(Android market)
ADB utilities for R70F200

Step 1:
Turn off the Wifi power
Turn off the BPDN
Disconnect the usb cable from the BPDN

Create a workspace on your Desktop PC and extract ADB and its tools to this workspace(folder).
Name it something simple like "c:\android" as you will be using this workspace to facilitate and deploy your hack to the BPDN(BlackPanDigitalNovel).
ADB can be tricky to install, but it comes to having the correct USB driver. If you have trouble installing ADB, refer to the reply section of this thread.

ADB is the development tool you will use to "push" files to your BPDN, however, first, we must install our new Firmware on the unit.
This is similar to installing windowsXP from a CD, except the CD is just a single .dat file you will put on an internal SDcard.
We will copy Terminanders Firmware to the SDcard listed in our windows file manager as PD_NOVEL.
(PD_NOVEL) is a FAT partition that the BPDN uses for extra space and firmware upgrading.
note* You cannot make good use of this space, so store your favorite firmware here always.


Copy the .DAT file and paste it in the root of the PD_NOVEL SDcard, not in any existing directories.
Now remove the swag-label from the filename by renaming the file you just copied. Delete the word "google_" from the beggining, so the the file name is "S64F_SHST_OP21_PD_20110616.dat" THIS IS CRITICAL!! The upgrade engine will not see the file if the name is not exact.

Once the file is copied to the PD_NOVEL SDcard, disconnect the USB cable and power off the BPDN.
wait 30 seconds( It may still be on)
Unplug the power cord too!

TIMING IS EVERYTHING:
Press and hold the volume up button, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. (exact timeing can be achieved by using the Major "Damon Wayans" Payne tempo. One tubby-tubby, Two tubby-tubby...ect) 3 is the correct number of tubby-tubby's. on 3,Tubby(release power),tubby(release volume) Then wait about 30 seconds. By then you should see plenty of "firmware update" data on the previously blank screen.

Be patient. Give remaining blank screens at least 3 minutes before you jump the gun. It's crunching a 100MB+ file on a SDcard its bsy writing to on a different partition. It can take a bit.

While the firmware installs, visit the android market on your cellphone and install Barnacle Wifi Tether.
The default settings should work just fine for now. You will want to tweak it later so you dont get mugged at airports by bandwidth bandits.

YOU MUST HAVE AN SSID for ad-hoc, so that you can see it in the wifi searchlist.( adhoc's will have an asterisk beside their name)

When the BPDN starts, DO NOT SETUP ANYTHING!!!
connect the usb cable, go to your workspace (c:\android) and type these commands:
adb push c:/android/wpa_supplicant /system/bin/wpa_supplicant ( you extracted this file from the ad-hoc bundle you downloaded)
adb install z4root1.3.0.apk ( you downloaded this from the author. its an android executable)
adb install stericson.busybox.apk ( you downloaded this from the author , its an android executable,it is the DOS tools of android. i.e. Copy,rename,delete.... like what u find in the windows CMD environment)

Disconnect the usb cable, and access the android desktop slider. you should now see z4root and busybox installers ready for launch.
activate busybox and install it( if it wont install, you may have to wait until after you complete z4root.
activate z4root and RE-ROOT. this will reboot your BPDN, or turn it off completely. give it a minute, then press and hold power for 3 seconds if it
wont wake up.

Go to your workspace on your desktop again and connect the USB cable
type the following commands:

adb shell
chmod 0755 /system/bin/wpa_supplicant
exit


Unplug the USB cable and turn on the Wifi power, (and install busybox if it didnt install before)

You should now be able to see your ad-hoc cellphone serving up a tall glass of 3G. (if you remembered to start Barnacle)

kinks: Android market
before you setup market, use your desktop to make a new gmail account. use this new account for your BPDN. if you use your old one, you will have trouble with your cellphone, which is likely attached to your main gmail account.
market will probably work the first time you try it IF you initiate a search from the menu control button. If not, after you log in, log out of market and change the system date to a few days ago, then reboot ( or probably crash) when the BPDN comes back up, you should have market with no problems. ( set the date correctly)

Kinks: ADB/USB detecting the device in windows properly seems to pose a major snag in this project. I cannot re-install clean, so I will link all the drivers I tried until we can narrow down the list.
Bonus Features:
You can also use the GPS in your phone to set locations on your BPDN. To do this, you will need an additional tool.

To tether GPS with your BPDN:

Download and install TetherGPS from the Android Market on both devices(or TetherGPS Lite for a freeplay).
On your desktop collect the following info

Gateway
Subnet Mask
DNS1
DNS2

On your phone:
In Barnacle,go to settings, change the gateway to match the gateway used on your WIFI( yes, your home network).This will allow your BPDN to switch between your home wifi, and your phone's 3G effortlessly.

On the phone, start TetherGPS and uncheck-Automatic Broadcast IP. Type the STATIC IP address you will use for your BPDN . ( your wifi is probably setup for DHCP,thats ok.You should not need to change your wifi network to complete this project)
To add a Static IP to your DHCP network, simply assign an IP beyond the range of your DHCP server. Most Wifi uses default 192.168.1.1 as a gateway, and 192.168.1.100 as the first available DHCP address. In my case, I would use 192.168.1.4 as my BPDN's static IP, because I also have a couple other static devices on my network. Here's what mine looks like:

192.168.1.1- Linksys router
192.168.1.2- Debian server
192.168.1.3- Treo 650 webserver
192.168.1.4- BPDN
192.168.1.100- laptop
192.168.1.101- laptop2

(In my case, I use 192.168.1.4 in my phone's TetherGPS because that's where it will see my BPDN when it walks out the door with me).
Restart Barnacle
Start TetherGPS in server mode. (make a widget)


On your BPDN:

Go to Wireless & Network Settings>Wi-Fi Settings>Advanced (You may have to press the settings button again to call up the Advanced menu).
Select Use STATIC IP and type in the address you chose for your BPDN, as well as the Gateway,submask and DNS. (DNS1 is fine usually. You should look into your DNS server options on google. Chances are, your using a really slow one by today's standards).

Connect your TABLET PC(wink!) to your adhoc network.


With your BPDN connected to your adhoc network, start TetherGPS in client mode.(YOU DO NOT UNCHECK IN CLIENT MODE)
If your GPS is getting a signal, it should connect with no problems. If it's not, Things get complicated.




Solves:
if your having trouble with ad-hoc, I recommend a re-flash and have a fresh run at it. There are symlinks to wpa_supplicants all over the place.
Don't forget to chroot 0755 /system/bin/wpa_supplicant

If you cant get TetherGPS to connect, your probably not connected to your adhoc. check that barnacle is running, and that the IP address of your client(BPDN) matches the IP address of the server broadcast in TetherGps.

Getting to the Flash firmware utility is not so tricky. what u are really doing is turning the unit on, while the volume up button is pressed.

P.S. I have not opened my BPDM yet, So I am not certain it uses an SDcard, but that doesnt really matter at this level of hacking. Now that I'm up and running. I'm looking into getting Live Wallpaper on it.Probably a pipe dream, but first step is cracking this tiny root drive issue, and thats more realistic.



I'm running Linux Ubuntu 12.04 and I've having problems with adb. Can I skip the ad-hoc part and just install the 2 apk files like I would if I were going to side load an app? Also, I'm assuming z4root can't be done with the stock firmware but must be done with the firmware here?

Thanks,

Josh

#14 emotep

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:26 PM

I'm running Linux Ubuntu 12.04 and I've having problems with adb. Can I skip the ad-hoc part and just install the 2 apk files like I would if I were going to side load an app? Also, I'm assuming z4root can't be done with the stock firmware but must be done with the firmware here?

Thanks,

Josh


It's been a long time, I will look into it this weekend, but i think YES at a glance. You dont have to connect to AD-hoc, that's just the only way you can connect to an android phone(to my knowledge). The stock supplicant will probably get you on a standard wifi network.

#15 Renee Renner

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:01 PM

Okay, this Pandigital Novel is driving me crazy. It's not mine but they wanted me to root it for them and get the google market on it. But, I'm having no luck at all. It's black. Hardware Platform is RD101-2GB-W Platform Software is AN15-07-30-2010-7D-V3 Application package is BN01-07-30-2010-7D-V3 Now I downloaded numerous firmware updates etc tried using the sdcard and just connecting up to my computer to install the stuff. But when I do the reboot of holding down the power on and up volume buttons it boots right back to the original screen. It has done this every time. But, if I look the files are on the tablet. So how do I get this thing to work? Thanks.

#16 emotep

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:48 PM

Okay, this Pandigital Novel is driving me crazy. It's not mine but they wanted me to root it for them and get the google market on it. But, I'm having no luck at all. It's black. Hardware Platform is RD101-2GB-W Platform Software is AN15-07-30-2010-7D-V3 Application package is BN01-07-30-2010-7D-V3 Now I downloaded numerous firmware updates etc tried using the sdcard and just connecting up to my computer to install the stuff. But when I do the reboot of holding down the power on and up volume buttons it boots right back to the original screen. It has done this every time. But, if I look the files are on the tablet. So how do I get this thing to work? Thanks.



#17 emotep

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:54 PM

I also had a lot of trouble with getting to the firmware builder, timing is everything. Plug in the power, hold the power button to power down, when your sure it is off, try again. Imagine u are booting your pc, and have to wait for the initial post, your basically letting go of the buttons where your pc might say "press f10 for setup."

#18 chrisp1277

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:46 PM

Spoiler


this was very helpful information. wish me luck