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'Going Spatial' is my personal blog, the views on this site are entirely my own and should in no way be attributed to anyone else or as the opinion of any organisation.

My tweets on GIS, Humanitarian, Tech, Games and Randomness

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Bringing my old Kindle Fire back to life


Not my kindle, just a stock photo...


When I was over in the USA at a conference two years ago, I went to WalMart and while picking up gifts and all that, I came across the Kindle Fire (the original one that never made it to retail in the UK). I said 'why not?' to myself as it was nicely priced and I was going to use it for a while and then root it and slap on JellyBean or something esoteric if I got bored.

Inevitably, I was gifted an iPad as a present soon after so it was with some eagerness that I decided to root the humble Kindle Fire. Geeks gotta keep themselves entertained you see.

However this post isn't about that experience, as enjoyable as it was. No, since getting hold of the Nexus 4 (Google Phone with Jelly Bean 4.2 goodness) and my continous reliance on the 'Old' Kindle Keyboard, my kindle fire was looking a bit underused. I had it running Jelly Bean 4.2 as well but well, with my Nexus 4 in my pocket, iPad in my hand - kindle (keyboard) in my bag....did I need another tablet? 

The Old Kindle still rocks, with a battery life of a couple of weeks!
So, why not remove all the new stuff and slap on the latest Amazon Kindle OS? Revert it back to the original OS and maybe even sell it off? Or I could deep dive into Amazon's eco-system and grab Amazon MP3, Prime and other goodies and use the Kindle for that? Ah, options. So off I went to find out more and interestingly, there wasn't that much in the way of useful threads. Most people got the Kindle Fire, being a relatively cheap tablet and then promptly slapped on a customised Android OS almost immediately...like I did.

However, after much faffing and reading, I figured it out (and the internet did help too!) - so rather than linking to about a dozen articles; here's my distillation of all that geeky goodness...

What you need already installed on your Kindle Fire:
  • TWRP 2.2 (Team Win Recovery Project) -- this software is great and you must have used it to root your Kindle Fire initially...
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2 (of course) or whatever flavour you decided to install.
TWRP.......Twerp.......
Now going back to Kindle Fire OS:
  • Download a copy of the latest Kindle OS from the Amazon Kindle website. I used Version 6.3.2 but here's the link to the file. By the time this post is out, there's probably something newer already.
With the Kindle OS file downloaded, here's my how-to restore your Kindle Fire.
  1. Connect USB cable to your Kindle Fire.
  2. Mount it as USB Mass Storage mode.
  3. On your PC, rename Kindle Fire Software Update bin file to 'update.zip'. TWRP looks for a zip file - the *bin file will not be seen.
  4. Copy update.zip to Kindle Fire SDcard (root level) - I wouldn't bother with putting it into a folder.
  5. Turn off USB Mass Storage mode.
  6. Unplug USB cable.
  7. Power off Kindle Fire.
  8. Now power it on.
  9. Press power button again until the power light turn is orange.
  10. TWRP 2.0 Recovery will then be loaded.
  11. Now select 'Wipe'.
  12. Select Cache then Wipe cache.
  13. Select Dalvik Cache then Wipe dalvik-cache.
  14. Select Factory Reset then Factory Reset.
  15. Go back to 'Home'.
  16. Select 'Install' this time.
  17. Then select update.zip. You did upload this to the device right?
  18. Select Flash after selecting the file.
  19. After the flash, select 'Reboot System'.
  20. That’s all - your Kindle Fire should be back to what it was before you started to mess around with it...
OK, now I better start to get used to this heavily skinned OS. Now how on earth can I get this US-based Kindle Fire to work in the UK?