did a piece on this same story a couple of days ago. A poster used the comments section to shed more light on the situation. The bottom line is to back up your content but also that this is not a widespread issue.
October 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm
I’m not a NOOK expert, but I play one on Teh Intarwebs.
I believe that this NOOK owner was given incorrect information by Customer Service. The situation that he experienced is one of the NOOK spontaneously executing a Factory Fallback. This is a total wipe of the NOOK, resetting it to the “fresh from the factory” configuration including the originally-installed version of the software. Older NOOKs will then find that the original software version needs to be updated to the current version.
It’s not the update (or failure to update) that caused the problem. The problem was the Factory Fallback which wiped the NOOK and triggered the need for an update by reverting to old software. There has been no software update released since June 21 (version 1.4), so there are probably precious few people who have an un-updated NOOK unless they’ve soft-rooted the puppy.
The Factory Fallback is not supposed to occur spontaneously. It normally requires a specific lengthy sequence of operations with the power button. However, there have been scattered reports of spontaneous Factory Fallbacks occurring. I’ve seen reports from a couple of users who have defective units that repeatedly do Factory Fallbacks. There’s a small chance that the user accidentally triggered the Factory Fallback, but in my opinion it’s extremely unlikely. Most likely, that particular NOOK is defective.
After the NOOK has recovered from the Factory Fallback and been registered, it will download the user’s B&N e-book list (they’re calling them NOOKbooks now). The EPUB files for the five most recent purchases will be downloaded, but the rest will need to be individually downloaded which is a pain. Registering and downloading does require wireless access, so for the few users in remote areas who have to travel to B&N or McDonalds to get wireless access, there’s an added nuisance factor.
Sideloaded content on the built-in memory will have been wiped. The NOOK will need to be reauthorized under Adobe Digital Editions and the user will need to reload the wiped content.
Sideloaded content on any add-in microSD card will be intact. Factory Fallback does not touch the add-in card. Some users keep all of their sideloaded content on an added micro-SD card just for this reason.
Occasionally B&N Customer Service will direct the user to perform a Factory Fallback sequence in order to clear up an extremely recalcitrant problem. One such problem is that a few NOOK Wi-Fi units stubbornly refuse to activate their Wi-Fi module when new out-of-the-box. Customer Service is supposed to caution the user that all data on the unit will be lost by the operation, which isn’t a problem for a new out-of-the-box unit.
In the end, a Factory Fallback is basically an inconvenience. No B&N content should be permanently lost (emphasis on *should*), it just needs to be redownloaded. Presumably, all sideloaded files still exist on whatever computer they were loaded from and can be sideloaded again.