How to Install CyanogenMod on the Google Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi, 2012 version) ("grouper")

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This guide will walk you through the process of taking the Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi, 2012 version) from stock to having a custom recovery image and the ability to flash the latest version of CyanogenMod.

Note: DISCLAIMER

Modifying or replacing your device's software may void your device's warranty, lead to data loss, hair loss, financial loss, privacy loss, security breaches, or other damage, and therefore must be done entirely at your own risk. No one affiliated with the CyanogenMod project is responsible for your actions. Good luck.


Important Notes

The first tablet from Google, the 2012 Nexus 7 is unlockable by the user and is available in 16GB and 32GB sizes (previously, there was also a 8GB version available). The price of $199 for the smallest variant was a big advantage, also having the strong NVIDA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and the 416 MHz twelve-core GPU in mind. (Note that in July 2013, a new model of the Nexus 7 was introduced by Google. The codename for the 2013 model (wifi) is "flo".)


Unlocking the device

Note:

Unlocking the bootloader on a Nexus device will automatically wipe all device data.

  1. Configure your computer for fastboot.
  2. Enable USB debugging on the device.
  3. Connect the device to the computer through USB.
  4. From a terminal on a computer, type the following to boot the device into fastboot mode:
    $ adb reboot bootloader
  5. Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC sees the device by typing fastboot devices
    • If you don't see your device serial number, and instead see "<waiting for device>", fastboot is not configured properly on your machine. See fastboot documentation for more info.
    • If you see "no permissions fastboot", try running fastboot as root.
  6. From the same terminal, type the following command to unlock the bootloader:
    $ fastboot oem unlock
  7. A disclaimer will display on the device that must be accepted. Use the volume keys to cycle through the options. Pressing the power button should confirm your selection.
  8. If the device doesn't automatically reboot, reboot it from the menu. It should now be unlocked. You can confirm this is the case if you see an unlocked icon at the bottom of the Google boot screen during reboots.
  9. Since the device resets completely, you will need to re-enable USB debugging on the device to continue.


Installing recovery using fastboot

You can use fastboot to install your recovery image to the device.

Installing ClockworkMod Recovery on the Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi, 2012 version)

  1. Download koush's ClockworkMod Recovery. You can directly download the recovery image using the link below, or visit clockworkmod.com/rommanager to check for the latest version (if your device can be found there). Be careful to select the right image!
  2. Connect the Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi, 2012 version) to the computer via USB.
  3. Make sure the fastboot binary is in your PATH or that you place the downloaded image in the same directory as fastboot.
  4. Open a terminal on your PC and reboot the device into fastboot mode by typing adb reboot bootloader or by using the hardware key combination.
  5. Once the device is in fastboot mode, verify your PC sees the device by typing fastboot devices
    • If you don't see your device serial number, and instead see "<waiting for device>", fastboot is not configured properly on your machine. See fastboot documentation for more info.
    • If you see "no permissions fastboot", try running fastboot as root.
  6. Flash ClockworkMod Recovery onto your device by entering the following command: fastboot flash recovery your_recovery_image.img where the latter part is the name of the file you downloaded.
  7. Once the flash completes successfully, reboot the device into recovery to verify the installation. Boot to recovery instructions: Hold Volume Up, Volume Down, & the Power button. Continue to hold all three until the screen flashes, then release all buttons.
    • Note: Some ROMs overwrite recovery at boot time so if you do not plan to immediately boot into recovery to install CyanogenMod, please be aware that this may overwrite your custom recovery with the stock one.



Installing CyanogenMod from recovery

Note:

Some devices do not have removable SD cards. Regardless, there should still be a partition on the device named "/sdcard" that can be used for flashing purposes, even though the contents of /sdcard may actually be in internal storage.

  1. Download the prebuilt release of CyanogenMod you wish to install. (Or if you've built CM yourself, look in the $OUT directory for the .zip.)
    Optional: Download any supplemental 3rd-party applications packages for the device you wish to use.
  2. Place the CyanogenMod rom .zip file on the root of the SD card using adb:
    • Transfer your file(s): adb push YOURROMZIP.zip /sdcard/
      • If you boot directly to recovery and have an internal sdcard, you may need to run adb shell mount /sdcard or mount data through the recovery menu before transferring.
      • If you see "error: device not found" there is likely a driver issue on the PC.
      • If you see "error: insufficient permissions for device", try "adb kill-server" and then run "adb devices" to see if the device is attached.
      • On some devices, the zip file can be copied to the device using standard USB Mass Storage or MTP support. Boot the device normally and transfer the file to it.
    Optional: Place any supplemental packages (e.g. Google Apps[1] or kernel) .zip file(s) on the root of the SD card.
  3. Boot to recovery mode on the device by holding Hold Volume Up, Volume Down, & the Power button. Continue to hold all three until the screen flashes, then release all buttons..
  4. Once the device boots into the ClockworkMod Recovery, use the physical volume buttons to move up and down. On most devices, the power button is used to confirm your selection, although for some devices the power button is used as a "back" button to go up one level, in which case the home button is used to confirm the selection.
    Optional/Recommended: Select backup and restore to create a backup of the current installation on the device. If this option is missing, it's likely because the stock ROM has overwritten your custom recovery on boot.
  5. Select the option to wipe data/factory reset.
  6. Select install zip from sdcard.
  7. Select choose zip from sdcard.
  8. Select the CyanogenMod file you placed on the sdcard. You will then need to then confirm that you do wish to flash this file.
    Optional: Install any additional packages you wish using the same method.
  9. Once the installation has finished, return back to the main menu, and select the reboot system now option. The device should now boot into CyanogenMod.

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