The HP TouchPAD users can now enjoy the Android experience on their own tablet. Yes, I’m not messing with you, as the CyanogenMod developers managed to install the Ice Cream Sandwich OS on a TouchPAD device. This can be achieved by flashing the CyanogenMod 9 custom ROM into the tablet internal system, which is the same thing I will be showing you in the following. For the proper tutorial read the lines from below.

During the present step by step guide I will try to explain the easiest way in which you can update your HP TouchPAD with the latest version of the Android OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich. So, even though the webOS is running on your tablet, you can still get the Google platform along with its benefits and features. Of course, this is not an official OS update coming from HP, but that’s not really relevant for us. All you need to do is to follow this tutorial and the ICS will run perfectly on your tablet.

But, unfortunately, if you choose to do so, then the warranty will be lost. This is happening each time you decide to install unofficial software on your device. The warranty can be re-gained only if you will return to the factory settings. So, if anything goes wrong or if you somehow damage the OS during this update procedure, then you will be on your own. If you’re not comfortable with this, maybe it will be better to stop here.

The TouchPAD was released by HP back in 2011 and it’s the first tablet coming from HP with the webOS, with its 3.0 version, pre-installed. The specs are including a 9.7 inch display (with resolution of 768x1024 pixels), a dual core 1.2 GHz processor, a 1.3 MP front facing camera and support for multiple multitasking capabilities. But, these performances can now be improved as soon as you learn how to update its operating system, by installing the CyanogenMod 9 ICS 4.0 firmware.

Now, in order to make all the aspects clear, here is what you should know. CyanogenMod is a custom ROM that offers features not found in the official Android platform and it isn’t preinstalled when you first buy your device. Furthermore, you won’t have to wait for Gingerbread or, for any OS updates from now on, the CM developers taking care of that. The benefits that comes with CM are many, so flashing it is no longer an option for you.

Furthermore, your tablet will be unchained from the factory restrictions, you will gain more access and control over its system and you will be able to customize and optimize the OS. As you can see, a custom ROM brings numerous improvements for your device, the up mentioned ones being just a few of them.

That being said we can now start the proper guide. Read carefully and make sure you complete all my directions. First, you need to have access to a Windows / Linux / MAC running computer. Then, use your HP TouchPAD along with its USB cord. On the PC and on the tablet the next operations must be made:

  • Deactivate the security, or Firewall tools from the PC and from the tablet, because these programs can interrupt the update.
  • Make sure that there is enough power left. The battery should be charged at least at 70%.
  • Applying the OS upgrade might wipe the data out from the tablet. That’s why it’s more than recommended to backup its data, contacts, messages, emails, personal info, apps and everything else you need to.

You can now proceed to the next section of the tutorial; do all as explained in the steps.

How to update HP TouchPAD with CyanogenMod 9 ICS 4.0 Firmware

  1. First of all, you need to download the tools needed. So, get the Java Plugin from here and the Palm Novacom driver from here, and place them to your computer.
  2. Install Palm Novacom by strictly following the prompts. The tool will create its own folder in the patch c:\ProgramFiles\Palm Inc.
  3. After this, you need to download another set of programs; get the Cyanogen Mod 9 File (here), the (here) and the Google Apps (here) and place them to the same PC.
  4. From the files downloaded place the ACME Installer In the same directory as Palm Novacom driver (c:\ProgramFiles\Palm Inc).
  5. Connect the tablet with the computer by using its USB cord. The mass storage option must be enabled on your device.
  6. Now copy the all the files downloaded below from the computer to the HP TouchPAD, without extracting them.
  7. Disconnect the device from the PC by removing the USB cable.
  8. On your device tap on the “home” button; then select “settings” and choose “device info”.
  9. Select “restart”.
  10. Once the screen gets black, press and hold the Volume Up button until the USB icon appears on the screen.
  11. Connect it with the computer.
  12. On the PC open command prompt (Start -> run -> cmd).
  13. In cmd go to the patch where Palm Novacom is located (c:\ProgramFiles\Palm Inc); for doing this enter “cd” then “dir” followed by “cd program files” and ending with “cd Palm, Inc”.
  14. Now in cmd enter the command: “novacom.exe boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller2”.
  15. If everything works fine, the TouchPAD should boot in the Moboot and from here you can easily choose to boot into the Cyanogen mod by pressing the home button.
  16. When you want to run the old webOS you must choose to reboot to webOS by using the Volume Up and Down keys.

The Android 4.0 along with CyanogenMod 9 is now running on your HP TouchPAD. That wasn't so hard, isn't it; I hope that everything went as we planed and without problems. Do tell us if something went wrong.

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