New Update for Pandigital Novel (Black 7″) Adds Android Market

A couple hours ago I posted about a new firmware for the 9" Novel, and after I posted that article I was inspired to go find an update for my other Pandigital Novel.

This is the cheaper, junky, 7" tablet that is running Android v1.5. I really don't think this tablet is worth buying; there isn't much you can do with it due to the outdated version of Android.

But lots of people keep buying it so I figure that I might as well point you in the right direction.

Before I continue, let me add that I still see some value in this model as an ebook reader.  It does read Epub and you can buy ebooks. It's just that there aren't very many apps that you can install, so I don't think it's a very good tablet.

But if you already have this tablet then by all means install this update. It adds value.

I went looking over at SlateDroid and found a bunch of firmwares for this tablet.  I picked one which looked to be recently updated and installed it on my tablet. It works fine.

This update comes with:

  • Android Market
  • Youtube
  • SlideMe Appstore
  • and other apps

HowTo

Installing this update is simple. You'll need a charged tablet and an SD card.

  1. Download this DAT file.
  2. Copy it over to the SD card in your Novel, and rename it to polaris_update.dat
  3. Copy it over to your Novel a second time and rename it to S64N_SLST_KOBO_PD_20110602.dat.
  4. Turn off your tablet.
  5. Start the update cycle by pressing the up volume button and the power button at the same time.

I'm having you copy the file twice because some Novels will want one name and some will want the other. That's weird, I know, but just go with it.

BTW, this tablet also comes with a number of apps that are included but not installed. The hacker wanted to give you an option, I guess.

  • Kobo
  • B&N
  • SpareParts
  • Titanium Backup

You can find these apps using the file manager. Launch it, then click the "/" button. Select the PD_Novel folder, then select the Download folder. Double click on the files to install them.

via SlateDroid

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

200 Comments

  1. Sheni30 December, 2011

    I am having a BIG problem flashing my Pandigital Novel 7″ White. When I hold down to power button and volume up keys my device keeps getting stock on the white triangle with the yellow exclamation point in the middle with the android man beneath it. I have searched for a solution to this and have found none. Is there another way to flash my device, like using ADB commands?

    Reply
    1. razor9 January, 2012

      when i “updated” my reader, i kept getting the ‘attention droid’ i disconnected the battery and let it start up on its own. it updated the system itself w/ out pressing the power and volume up button. after that i logged onto the browswer to update the “SLIDE ME” app. once that updated there was a lot more apps to connect to than the old slide me app. good luck

      Reply
    2. barefoot1388 July, 2012

      You mean like this?:

      Well I guess that means you did something wrong, did you already update it? Is it off when you do it? Are you sure you are using a black pandigital novel?

      Reply
    3. Carleen26 October, 2012

      I have the same problem have you figured out a solution?

      Reply
    4. Emmanuel Luna Roque9 November, 2012

      Hola buenas noches la solucion es reiniciar la tablen en el oyito que tiene aun lado del boton de encendido y la entrada usb. Saludos

      Reply
      1. elsa2 March, 2014

        como puedo bajar aplicaciones de juegos no puedo hacer nada todo se me bloquea nesecito ayuda porfabor ..grasias

        Reply
  2. Randy Eustace-Walden31 December, 2011

    Happy New Year! I hear what you’re saying about this ‘black box’, but I have to say I’m quite happy being an owner. I purchased it in early summer here in Vancouver for a ridiculously low price, regardless of the fact the salespeople at BestBuy (three of them!) tried talking me out of it. Once I went through hell trying to get it to work properly, I trundled over to an Android user group and found several helpful hints about tweaking it to make it work better. After a day of said tweaking, I’m still happy with the results six months later. No, it isn’t an iPad, a Fire, or anything other than itself – it is what it is. But it’s light, colour, and carries dozens of books and magazines. ‘Nuff said. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. nate shelton1 January, 2012

    thank you so so so so much i tried everything to get this thing updated to something (mainly just youtube) useful. i have a bpdn us software. the market works but it wont show any apps. is there a fix for this? and thanks again

    Reply
    1. nate shelton1 January, 2012

      well i just searched an app and it worked so disregard the help. thanks again man you literally just made my night

      Reply
  4. tony2 January, 2012

    thanks,where in the tablet is it copied,which directory

    Reply
  5. greg3 January, 2012

    will this work on my purple multimedia novel?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2012

      Does your purple Novel have 2 speakers on the bottom edge? If it does then you have a different Novel model.

      Reply
      1. Ramona28 April, 2012

        PURPLE??? I WANT A PURPLE ONE. WHERE DID U GET YOURS?

        Reply
      2. jason16 October, 2013

        I have that one but white can you help with it or do I use the same DAT file

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder16 October, 2013

          The White Novel is an entirely different model. This hack won’t work.

          Reply
  6. tony3 January, 2012

    thanks,when i search the market ,i get hundreds of results ,but only have access to a single screen on tablet

    Reply
  7. Mark3 January, 2012

    When you say copy over to your SD card in your novel….are you speaking of copying it to a SD card and mounting in the novel> I have read where some say remove the back of the novel and there is a mini SD card inside. Can the file not be copied to the internal card. How do I do that if so?

    You also mention copying and renaming the file on the novel. Where do I place that file?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2012

      The black Novel doesn’t have an internal microSD card. You have to insert a card in the external slot in order to do the update.

      Reply
      1. Mark3 January, 2012

        Thanks Nate! Now…where do I save the other file and rename on the novel itself?

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2012

          You save it in the root folder of the SD card.

          Reply
  8. Jaidyn Lucari Altin3 January, 2012

    Well I’ve updated my Novel, but the market doesn’t show any apps. Is there a fix for this problem?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2012

      The reason there are so few apps in the marketplace is that this tablet runs an old version of Android. Hardly any apps support it.

      Reply
  9. Heather3 January, 2012

    Help! I downloaded the new firmware, I have the Android Market app, but there is nothing on it. I keep getting “No matching content in Android Market” for everything. I also lost my B&N app which was the only good thing about this piece of junk. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2012

      The B&N app is still there. It just needs to be installed again. Scroll up for the instructions.

      And the reason there are so few apps in the marketplace is that this tablet runs an old version of Android. hardly anything supports it.

      Reply
      1. Heather3 January, 2012

        I tried searching for it using the instructions above with no luck finding it or anything else of use in it. I think I’ll just put it back to the way I had it before. At least its a good reader…even though everything else sucks on it.

        Reply
        1. Heather3 January, 2012

          Thanks for trying to help me. I put back on the factory firmware upgrade from the Pandigital wedsite. Keep me updated if you figure out if this thing will ever be able to have a full (newer) version of the Android Market. I sent Pandigital I nice little nasty message as I am sure most purchased this thing have done. maybe if they hear enough screaming, they will do something.

          Reply
  10. Michaael4 January, 2012

    Hi, just a question. Will it works with my QVC black model (PRD7T40WBL1)?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 January, 2012

      Yes. That’s the correct black Novel.

      Reply
      1. Michaael4 January, 2012

        Thank you very much, I will do it today.

        Just a more question, what android version it is?

        Thanks again.

        Reply
      2. Gene R.16 July, 2014

        what about the model PRD7T20WBL1, i downloaded the files renamed them and cant get it to work right. i can build a computer but these tablets are new to me. i got this used for 25 bucks and want to convert to a tablet so i can put some games on it for my daughter

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder16 July, 2014

          The W tells me that you have the “white” model. This update works for the “black” model.

          Reply
  11. Michaael4 January, 2012

    Hi again, I followed yous instructions but I have no results.

    I copied twice the fie to the SD card, as I figure you wrote. I turn it on with the volume + key and power. Say as it will works but enter finally to the original firmware. Mine comes with the updated firmware from pandigital. Please help e, I want to use android market and watch youtube videos.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  12. Terry5 January, 2012

    Thank you! I have been trying to update my 7″ black novel so I can access recently purchased books from B&N and have been unable to do so until now! Followed your instructions and it worked perfectly!

    Reply
    1. Michaael5 January, 2012

      I am glad for you Terry, I have not the same luck. 🙁

      Reply
  13. Rosey6 January, 2012

    My husband got this device for Christmas from our girls. I’m sure it was a black Friday special, so I am not sure if it can be returned or exchanged. I’m unsure if this is the right device for him or not, but hey it was free as a gift, so why not go with it and experiment with a tablet right? As I am reading information on this device, and it’s competitors, I’m unsure if this is worth the trouble to download and install these upgrades or not. Here’s the deal. I think it will do most everything he wants if I either download the new firmware or the hacker version so he can get ebooks from multiple sources. He would also like the ability to download ebooks from the local library (much like a kindle). Android apps are not so critical in my opinion to him but he would like to read his email (check), browse the internet (check), perform secure transactions? i.e., pay bills and check his stocks (not sure but possibly if you use a secure internet connection and an SSL session), open documents like word, excel and powerpoint (check, I think, it has a viewer), does any of the firmware allow you to create docs?; but the biggest thing ever – can he watch his dish online? He would like to watch his scheduled recorded programs when he is on travel, like football, or a movie, etc. Currently, this version of the Android OS did not allow Adobe Flash to be installed or run which was required by the dish network in order to allow him to do this. Will the hacker version or even the firmware update from the company allow him to run flash on this version of the tablet? If so, given what I have asked, which version is the best version to upgrade the device with – the pandigital firmware or the hacker version? BTW, has support improved from pandigital if you need technical support and finally is there any option for purchasing an after market warranty beyond the 1 yr mfg warranty? Thanks for your response.

    Reply
    1. Michaael7 January, 2012

      Rosey, I think is a good device for basic purpose. About flash player, I like to use Opera Browser, with it I can watch you tube videos (are in flash version), maybe hi can try to do it, and if it serves just keep it and use.

      About the update, well, I have no success in that, but another users really do it. Just try a couples of time, if you cannot do it, may just leave as you have.

      I am new in this world of tablets, maybe another user can give you better tips.

      Reply
  14. Tracy9 January, 2012

    Followed the instructions but how do I get the new download to work. Do I have to access it somehow from the card? Sorry I just want to get my daughters gift to work! Help me please

    Reply
  15. Mark9 January, 2012

    Rosey, with all things that are not plug and play right out of the box, the Pandigital takes some patience. For adding books to your Novel, you can download via a torrent online. Then you can use a program that is called “Calibre Ebook Manager” to convert them to ePub if they are not already in that format and then load them via SD. As for “Creating” docs rather than just viewing, you can download the program Picsel Smart Office v1.9.2 Apk. Works great! Also, you can down load the ePrint Apk if you have a HP printer with internet and print to it from anywhere. For video…download the SkyFire 2.1 APK. Not a complete fix, but it helps with many video sites like TV.com and more. If you want to know more about these apps and more, you can read my blog at http://smalltechie.wordpress.com/ Meanwhile, I am here too get an idea about how to flash the firmware. =)

    Reply
  16. Marion10 January, 2012

    Tracy,

    I just downloaded the update and had the same dilemma. I put in my SD card, and add the renamed .dat file to the root of the SD card.

    I attempted to copy the second renamed .dat to the root folder on the novel, but you don’t have permission to do that, so just add it to the top most level you can on you computer when it’s connected.

    Then press the volume + button and hold it. Press the power buttonfor 3 seconds. Keep holding the volume + button but release the power button.

    The update started for me then.

    Reply
  17. Marion11 January, 2012

    Excellent! Thanks for this information. The update went perfectly. I signed in to the Market app, and nothing was there, but after adjusting my settings on the device, and finding a version of SkyFire that would work on Android 1.5, when I went back to work on the Market app, I noticed it was loading the app data normally.

    I downloaded several apps, and they all worked (for as much as I messed with them.)

    With the SkyFire browser, Facebook, and the YouTube apps, this thing is now usable. When the kids are hogging the computer, my wife can sit on the couch or lay in bed, and still be social 😀

    Reply
  18. dan14 January, 2012

    I am having an issue I am doing as said but when I did the volume and power up at same time device went black will not do anything now is this normal I think not help

    Reply
  19. marion14 January, 2012

    Dan, press both the start and volume + buttons, count to three, and while continuing to hold the vol + button release the power button. The update should then start.

    Reply
  20. Megan14 January, 2012

    what do i do when i get it to work but it stops at the verifying update and turns on and the update isnt there im soooo confused lol

    Reply
  21. Marissa21 January, 2012

    Everything has worked fine until I got to installing the apps. I launch the manager, and go to the PD_Novel file, however there is no “Download” folder. There is absolutely nothing, it says that PD_Novel is an empty folder.

    I don’t consider myself to be computer illiterate however I am obviously missing something here, maybe I am tablet illiterate………….Do I just have to find the Kobo reader in the app store or something since this isn’t working?

    Reply
    1. Nate the Great21 January, 2012

      I’m stumped. The files should have been in that folder.

      Reply
  22. kelly24 January, 2012

    i am so confuse:( what do i do after i restart it i mean how do i know if it works? and where do i go to get apps:(

    Reply
    1. Nate the Great24 January, 2012

      Open the apps menu and see if you have one labeled “Market”. That is the official Android Market, and it wasn’t there before.

      Reply
  23. Golesy4 February, 2012

    Hey, every time I try to update, i get a half-second boot screen pop up, then disappear. this leads to a normal boot. Any idea what i could to to force the update?

    Reply
  24. Kristie5 February, 2012

    Hey, i downloaded the file, and its stuck in my downloading file. I dont know how to copy it. The only thing it will let me do is cancel the download. Can you help me out please?

    Reply
    1. Jerry Clark6 February, 2012

      Kristie, if you have Windows Vista like me. I just down loaded the file to my downloads, dragged it once to the desktop holding down the right mouse button, chose to copy here, and then another right click and chose rename and gave it the first name. I did this a second time and then renamed the second name. I turned off my novel, took out the sd card, put it in the slot on my pc, opened it and dragged the two files to the card, not in any directory, reinserted the sd card to my novel and followed the rest of Nate’s instructions. Worked like a charm. I would think that all the copy and rename operations would be the same in other versions of Windows, but you can never be sure, especially with Vista. I used ES File explorer, went to the “/” option in the upper right, then to PC_Novel, then download and was able to reinstall B&N. Hope this helps…..

      Reply
      1. Sergio13 January, 2013

        it didnt do anything and their isnt any app saying market 🙁

        Reply
  25. Jerry Clark6 February, 2012

    Nate, this worked like a charm. I was able to reinstall B&N, so I can use it like the ereader I bought. I was able to reinstall OfficeSuitePro, which I use for work. I now have access to Android Market and YouTube ! I paid $49.00 for it at my local Big Lots and you just increased it’s productivity, for me, by at least 50% ! Any more tips would be great, thanks man !!!

    Reply
  26. Cro6 February, 2012

    When i put the file on the novel. I get ínvalid update file’I? running ubuntu. That got something to do with it? HELP!

    Reply
  27. SHELBY9 February, 2012

    I downloaded the files and then transferred them to my pandigital. However, I can’t get it to update. I have shut it off and pressed the power and volume up button for three seconds and then continued to hold the volume up button but it won’t update! Please help me…I just want to be able to read books on it is all!

    Reply
  28. SHELBY9 February, 2012

    also…I plugged my pandigital up to the computer using the usb cord…I didn’t know how else to trasfer the file. Is this right? Why can’t I just download it directly to the pandigital? I have wireless internet and it works on the pandigital. Please please please help me!

    Reply
  29. Nate23 February, 2012

    Note: I found an upgrade file that gave me Eclair on my 7″ Novel Black. It’s over on SlateDroid.

    http://www.slatedroid.com/topic/26991-android-21-on-the-orginal-bpdn-coming-to-a-channel-near-you/

    Mind. Blown.

    It did take some time, I had to copy the files using a USB cable to the native memory (SD card DID NOT WORK), and I had to make about 8 copies until I found a filename that worked.

    But… Eclair… on a Novel Black (I have a RR7T20WBL1). It’s actually a full-fledged, if a little dated and slow, Android tablet.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder24 February, 2012

      Damn. Right after I tell everyone that it’s not possible, someone proves me wrong.

      Thanks!

      Update: I’ve tried it. I would not recommend installing this update. It’s not ready for the end user. It is slow, unstable, and broken.

      Reply
  30. J26 February, 2012

    Thanks much works great

    Reply

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