Nook Simple Touch – Factory Reset & Bypass Network Error

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    Date Posted:
    Feb. 19, 2022
    Last Updated:
    Feb. 19, 2022
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🚨 WARNING: Due to the same reason why factory reset fails with a network error, if you factory reset your device, it will be unable to be re-registered after it has been wiped, and will require a workaround to become usable again. Also, if you have remapped buttons, deactivate the remapping before factory resetting (mine seemed to stick through the reset, which screwed up the registration skip hack).

I’m currently trying to declutter and came across my old Nook Simple Tough (BRNV300) in the closet. Feeling a pang of nostalgia (the Nook is, IMHO, one of the best designed e-readers, and the fact that it could run full Android was icing on the cake), I powered it up. Noticing that it had a bunch of garbage still installed on it, I figured I should do a factory reset. Unfortunately, I immediately ran into issue.

The normal way to run a factory reset on these devices is to go to Settings, then Device Info, then click Erase & Deregister Device. However, when trying to actually run this, I would quickly get an error message:

Network Error

You are currently not connected to the network. Network connectivity is required to deregister this device.

However, my Nook is connected to the internet, and the connection is working (I can browse webpages, download files, etc.). What gives?

My guess is that Barnes and Noble used to maintain an endpoint for device registration, that did something like track serial numbers against account IDs. With how old this device is, I also think it is likely that this endpoint was likely deprecated, meaning that the device is trying to “phone home” to an address that no longer has a recipient. The developers likely did not code for this kind of thing to happen (they rarely do), and so it simply blames the network connection, when the real error message should blame the endpoint (or better yet, fallback to just erasing the device if “derigestering” fails).

All that being said, here is how to work around this:

Solution(s)

Smash your device with a hammer. Kidding! Here is what you can do

Special Boot Mode

This is the most straightforward approach to factory reset:

  1. Power off the device (press the power button on the top of the rear of the device, select the power off option)
  2. Press the power button to start it back up
  3. Once the screen changes to show the device is starting back up, immediately press and hold the two lower buttons (one on each side) until the “Factory Reset” menu comes up
  4. Press home key to continue, follow prompts

Credit to this XDA Post

The 8 Failed Boots Method

If the above does not work for some reason, there is another approach you can use.

This workaround is so well known by the modding community it has a name you will often see: “The 8 Failed Boots Method”.

It is outlined in multiple places (including this post on XDA), but I’ll summarize below:

  1. Power the nook off by pressing the power button (top button on the back of the device) and selecting the option to power off
  2. Power the nook back on, by pressing and letting go of the power button
  3. As soon as it starts to boot (the screen changes), long press the power button to interrupt the bootup process and shut it down again
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 a total of 8 times to trigger a failsafe
  5. At this point, the device should enter an automatic recover menu, with options for a factory reset

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