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Old 07-13-2012, 12:52 AM  
MCSmarties
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Posts: 45
Karma: 27066
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Device: Sony PRS-T1
Post Step-by-step guide to hacking the PRS-T1

Sony PRS-T1 step-by-step rooting and tweaking guide

About this guide

There is an extensive page on the wiki about how to tweak your PRS-T1.

However, I found that it was overloaded with sometimes conflicting information. There are many different ways to do this, which also seems to depend on the firmware version you have installed.

So I decided to make this guide from the notes I took a few weeks ago when I rooted my brand-new PRS-T1.
It's based on stuff I read on threads here, on the wiki, on ebook-reader.com and on cme.at (german).

I did not create any of the tools involved and most of the time I'm just parroting other people's findings!

Please note that I'm listing the stuff that worked for me, your mileage may vary!
Also, I use a PC running Windows 7 64bit, some things will be a little different if you use a Mac or a Linux box.




A. Initial setup
  • Fully charge the T1. I used a microusb cell phone adapter (5.1V/0.7A)

  • Apply the official firmware PRS-T1_Updater_1.0.04.12210 downloaded from Sony.

  • Register the device with the Sony Reader Store and your local library. (I decided to do it before starting to mess with my reader just in the (unlikely) event that Sony somehow checks whether your reader firmware is "legit".)

  • At this point you can buy or borrow books. Enjoy your reader the way that Sony wants you to!

  • Convert and sideload your existing book files using calibre (beyond the scope of this tutorial, check the forum!)

  • Backup the data on the reader (all the folders in READER)


B. Root the PRS-T1 with AMR

Warning: beyond this point in the tutorial you are on your own if something goes wrong!

You may end up bricking your device if you're not careful.
You will most likely void your warranty.
Also, your hacked T1's battery charge will not last as long as for an unrooted device.


Note:
In Android apps on the T1, "SD card" refers to the READER partition, NOT an external SD card!
In Total Commander, all the storage is detected as "SD card".
You can identify what it is by the total space available:

"SD-card" /mnt/sdcard, 1.4G total = READER partition
"SD-card (2)" /mnt/extsd, xxG total = microSD card inserted in the T1
"SD-card (3)" /mnt/udisk, 9.9M total = SYSTEM partition. Hands off!!


  • Download the restore set for firmware 1.0.04.12210.
    Do not use restore_set.zip, it is not compatible with the newest firmware!


  • Run the restore set just to make sure that everything is ok before applying the rooting procedure:
    - unzip restore-set-1.0.04.12210.zip to any folder on the PC
    - connect PRS-T1 to the PC -> Data transfer mode
    - run flash_reader.bat. VERIFY THE TARGET PATH ("READER"), click Y.
    - "Press any key to continue": keep the reader connected and WAIT.
    - the reader will reboot and appear to hang at "Opening book...". This is normal.
    - it takes several several minutes to apply the restore set; during this time the reader will appear to be frozen.
    - once the reader has booted, disconnect it and check that everything works properly before proceeding.
    - you may have to sign in at the sony store again (but you shouldn't have to register the reader)

  • Download the rupor AMR patch.
    - the "stable release" I used was named "20120517".
    - I did NOT follow the procedure to "Make full device backup" because frankly it scared me!

  • Apply the rupor AMR patch:
    - unzip rupor-minimal.7z to any folder on the PC
    - connect PRS-T1 to the PC -> Data transfer mode
    - run flash_reader.bat. VERIFY THE TARGET PATH ("READER"), click Y.
    - "Press any key to continue": keep the reader connected and WAIT, reader will shut down and reboot.
    - it should only take a few seconds longer than normal to boot
    - the AMR was successfully applied if a 3rd screen appears in the home screen with Android applications.
    - disconnect the Reader

  • Change the safety settings to allow installation of non-Market applications:
    - click the "settings" on the 3rd page (not the SONY one!). I'll call this the "Android Settings".
    - go to "Applications"
    - check "Unknown sources" and confirm the warning.

  • Set up a PIN code. I did this for two reasons:
    - to prevent unauthorized access
    - to avoid the risk of setting it up later in an improper fashion.

To specify a screen locking PIN code go to:
Android settings -> Location & security settings -> Change screen lock -> PIN

(Make sure you remember it, I don't know how to bypass it if you forget the PIN... )


*** WARNING *** WARNING *** WARNING ***
NEVER USE A PATTERN OR A PASSWORD TO SECURE YOUR READER!


Specify only a FOUR-DIGIT NUMERIC PIN!


Remember Monty Python's instructions for the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (slightly modified):

Thou shalt count to four, no more, no less.
Four shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be four.
Five shalt thou not count, neither count thou two or three, excepting that thou then proceedst to four.
Six is right out...


But I digress.


Using any other security mechanism may lock you out of your reader PERMANENTLY.




C. Enable the Android Market
  • Download the Android Market files (direct link to zip archive) and save to PC

  • Sideload the Android Market files:
    - unzip prs-t1-gingerbread-market.zip to any folder on the PC
    - connect PRS-T1 to the PC -> Data transfer mode
    - in Windows Explorer go to the READER drive and create an installation folder (I called it APK_install)
    - copy the two files GoogleServicesFramework.apk and vending2.2.11-signed.apk to that folder
    - close windows explorer and disconnect reader again

  • Install the Google Framework
    - go to the new 3rd home screen on the rooted reader and launch Total Commander
    - navigate to SD-card (/mnt/sdcard) -> APK_install
    - click on GoogleServicesFramework.apk, confirm install, complete action with Package installer
    - confirm installation ("Install") and click Done.

  • Install the Android Market
    - click on vending2.2.11-signed.apk, confirm install, complete action with Package installer
    - confirm installation ("Install") and click Done.
    - press HOME and SHUT OFF the reader completely (press Power for three seconds), then reboot.
    - Android Market is installed properly if a new icon "Market" appears on the 3rd screen.
    - click on the Market icon sign in with your Google Account (this may take several minutes).
    - if you get an error message connect the reader to your WiFi network manually, then try again.


D. Make some room!
  • Download Apps2SD from the same place as before.
    - the "stable release" I used was named "20120327".
    - also download the "revert back" package just in case.

  • Install Apps2SD (even if you don't use SD cards, to move system apps to the READER partition)
    - unzip rupor-enable-asec.7z to any folder on the PC
    - run flash_reader.bat. VERIFY THE TARGET PATH ("READER"), click Y.
    - "Press any key to continue": keep the reader connected and WAIT, reader will shut down and reboot.

  • Install Titanium Backup
    - download the app here (direct link to .apk file)
    - copy the file to the APK_install folder on your READER as before
    - install the apk using Total Commander

  • Remove unnecessary apps (these are useless for the PRS-T1... it's not a cell phone!)
    - launch Titanium Backup
    - I got an error message asking to "fix" su, I said yes. Not exactly sure what this does.
    - I selected the following apps, made a backup and then deleted them:
    Code:
    /system/app/Bluetooth.apk
    /system/app/Mms.apk
    /system/app/Provision.apk
    /system/app/TelephonyProvider.apk
    /system/app/VpnServices.apk
    /system/app/NetworkMonitor.apk
    /system/app/Network3gMonitor.apk
    - if everything works ok after a reboot, delete the backups (again in Titanium Backup)

  • Remove the phone app (there are reports that it makes the battery last longer)
    Code:
    /system/app/Phone.apk
WARNING:
Removing Phone.apk will cause the PRS-T1 to lock up, and may result in an endless rebooting loop.
A soft reset fixed it for me but if you're nervous, don't do it!




E. Stuff your PRS-T1 with apps
This is the part you've been slogging through all this for!
  • You can either download compatible apps from Google Play (via the PC) or by sideloading apk files.

  • Don't add too many apps at once, stop and test what you have first!

  • Move as many as possible from the SYSTEM partition (Apps2SD, remember?):
    - go to Android settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications
    - then click on the desired application and select "Move to SD card" (some apps can't be moved)

  • To sideload:
    - copy .apk files to the APK_install directory created earlier in the READER partition
    - install apps from there using Total Commander as before.

  • The mobileread wiki has an entire page with compatible apps.
    Please add any new ones you find, and also report those that don't work!

On my own Sony reader (with a 16GB microSD card) I currently have installed:

Aard Dictionary (+ the entire English and French Wikipedias), AdAway, Androminion, BatteryCalibration, Chess, Choice of Broadsides, Choice of the Dragon, Crrency Converter, handyConverter, Mahjong, Offline dictionaries, OpenSudoku, Pandora, Perfect Viewer, Puzzles, RealCalc, Shortyz, Solitaire, Stars, The Weather Channel and Word Search.

I also installed sonyprst1home and hberntsen's norefresh "hack" (mostly for use with Aard Dictionary).



I hope this little tutorial will help people (like me) who were overwhelmed by all the rooting options available.
Comments, corrections and criticisms are always welcome!

Last edited by MCSmarties; 07-16-2012 at 12:31 PM.
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