Flashing Your Google Nexus 7 WiFi (2012)

In the next couple of days, I hope to have a comprehensive article posted on how to successfully ‘flash’ your tablet. (this will specifically be written for the above titled “Google Nexus 7 WiFi (2012) also known as ‘grouper’)

The Nexus 7 WiFi (2012)

The Nexus 7 WiFi (2012)

There is an awful lot of uncertainty wandering around on the interwebs concerning bricking your tablet with OTA updates. Over the past weeks, I’ve been successful going from KitKat 4.4.4 to 5.0 to 5.0.2 and finally to Lollipop 5.1. This isn’t to say all was perfect and I didn’t pull out a few hairs in the process, however, I was able to flash all of the above ROM’s using the sideload method from a Linux laptop.

On Saturday, I had enough of being without a rooted device. With Lollipop 5.1, and the SELinux issues, it is nigh onto impossible to achieve a rooted device/tablet. Again, I had to have root back! It was imperative. So, like I said, on Saturday I made the giant leap backwards and flashed my way back to 5.0.2. Stupid!

When I bought my tablet, it was from an individual and had already been flashed to (I believe) Cyanogenmod 10. One of the ‘Nightly’ builds. This was around the first of the year in 2013. I was very (VERY!) happy with it. Being curious though, I had to learn how to get it back to stock. After successfully doing so, I spent the next couple of years not quite as happy with my tablet as when I first got it.

Sometime in January/February, my device received the OTA update to Lollipop 5.1. As I mentioned, I had already flashed it in December with Google’s official ROM of 5.0.2. I was one of the happy customers who had no issues what-so-ever upon my device completing it’s OTA update to 5.1. My 2012 device was miraculously returned to a very snappy and responsive tablet with better battery life, and an amazing plethora of new and improved apps.

BUT, I couldn’t get it rooted. This frustrated me to no end. It was my device, I owned it, and I wanted it rooted. Simple enough to get the boot image unlocked but that was as far as I could go short of purposefully bricking my tablet. After a few weeks of frustration, I remembered the pleasant experience I’d had using the Cyanogenmod ROM it had arrived with upon purchasing it. The neurons in the old synapses started firing, and the next thing you know I’m on Cyanogenmod 12! Hey it works and I have a rooted device once again. There is a ‘BUT’ here. It is not as fast as the official Lollipop 5.1, and battery life is maybe 70% what it was. Cyanogenmod is still a beautiful thing, and had I waited a few more days, perhaps a week or two, Cyanogenmod would have ended up releasing a ‘Nightly’ build based on the Lollipop 5.1 ROM. I was just too lazy to read enough.

Yesterday and today, I was stunned at the amount of FUD coming from the Android community. (FUD=Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) Which version of Android was safe to run, which was not, this one will brick the device and turn it into an expensive paperweight, etc, etc, etc…

I understand the fear of ‘bricking’. I inadvertently ‘bricked’ a brand new laptop about 4 years ago. Something that until I’d done it, I scoffed about it ever happening to me. Now every time I do a ‘flash’ of my tablet, I do it with severe trepidation. So, I will have an article here in the next few days with step by step directions on how NOT to brick your tablet when flashing it with a new ROM. I’m not ‘stupid’ and will most definitely be adding some disclaimers so you can’t blame me if you screw it up on your own. ‘Flashing’ an expensive device is not for the faint of heart. That said, it shouldn’t be so scary to consider doing it for yourself. You learn a lot about your device, and gain a level of confidence at completing something successfully. Once you know the basics of how to do it, there are a lot of ROM’s out there to experiment with. It can be loads of fun, and improve your user experience with your device.

One more plus to this; I’ll be doing it all from a Linux laptop! This will give all those “Windows” and “Mac” users the incentive to finally rid themselves of their tired old proprietary, costly, bug ridden, privacy invading OS’s. With Linux, you’ll never need the tin-foil hat again! You’ll also once and for all truly own your computer. Not just renting some hardware while paying for a piece of software to run it! Hey this is NixNut, and yes, we really are ‘nuts’ about Linux! Shameless plugs will be the norm here in perpetuity! Stay tuned…

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Raving Ranter at NixNut.com
My children and wife are my life! Worked in the computer industry as a network engineer, living between Maine and Indiana for the past 20 years or so. Love to write. Love Linux, the community it has inspired, and most importantly, I can run my computer free, better than yours, even with all that money spent to "buy" your OS. Oh yeah, I think I'm funny, (though I know looks aren't everything) and you'll laugh if you read my site posts!

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