HP TouchPad: Give it a Google Ice Cream Sandwich (Groovy)

Your bargain basement HP TouchPad is hungry. Give it a Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich and everybody will be satisfied. Our Eric Finkenbiner shows you how …

Rangoon, Burma: The time has come. Here’s how to do what everyone has dreamed of doing since Hewlett-Packard discontinued its HP TouchPad last fall — put a new OS on it or alongside its WebOS.

Here’s how to get Google Android 4.X Ice Cream Sandwich on that discount TouchPad you own.

A version of this piece ran on GroovyPost. Find it here. Screen caps below, courtesy GroovyPost.com.

If you’re a sophisticated user, you’ll have no trouble installing Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich on that discontinued HP TouchPad you probably nabbed at a deeply discounted price last year. Here’s how.

First head to the official CM9 ICS forum right here. Here’s what it looks like.

Now download these files from that site.

  • gapps_ics_4.0.3_v10.zip (latest version available here)
  • moboot_0.3.5.zip
  • update-cm-9.0.0-RC0-Touchpad-alpha0.5-fullofbugs.zip
  • update-cwm-tenderloin-1012.zip
  • ACMEInstaller2

Next download and install the Novacom drivers from Palm’s website.

Plug in the TouchPad and set it to USB Drive.

Make sure you have at least 2GB of free space on the TouchPad. Create a folder and call it cminstall. Copy the files you’ve got from the CM9 forum post into that folder. Those are:

  • gapps_ics_4.0.3_v10.zip
  • moboot_0.3.5.zip
  • update-cm-9.0.0-RC0-Touchpad-alpha0.5-fullofbugs.zip
  • update-cwm-tenderloin-1012.zip

Now that the files are on the Touchpad, click the Eject button in Nautilus.

Hold down the power button to turn off the HP TouchPad. Now you’re ready for the install.

Hold down the Volume Up button and the Power button at once. At this point, a big white USB symbol will appear — that indicates it is time to run the install script. So plug the HP TouchPad back into your system.

Open Terminal and change the directory to where you downloaded the files.

Now type:novacom boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller2

This will start the installation.

At this point you’ll see a lot of activity onscreen. Don’t mess with your tablet at this point. It might corrupt the process. Once done, your TouchPad will restart.

Be ready to use your volume buttons when the bootloader comes up. Use Volume Down to highlight Boot CyanogenMod.

Then use your Center button at bottom to select it.

You will see the CyanogenMod loading screen now. So far, so good.

Note: If your screen is stuck at the CyanogenMod loading screen, hold down the Power button and the Center button to force the TouchPad to shut off. Turn it back on, boot into WebOS and simply copy the CyanogenMod zip file back onto your TouchPad and manually flash it in recovery. Follow the same steps we will use shortly when we flash GAPPs.

After a minute or so, you’ll see the Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich Welcome Screen.

If you want Gmail, the Android Market or any other Google app, flash the GAPPs file using ClockworkMod Recovery.

Open the ROM Manager application and select Reboot into Recovery.

When Recovery is up, use your volume buttons to highlight Install Zip from SD Card. Use the center button to select that.

Toggle down to Choose Zip File from SDCard. Hit the center button to select it, too.

Use your volume buttons and center button now to open the cminstall folder — and select the GAPPS zip file you need.

Now toggle down and select Yes in order to begin the installation.

Once the install process is finished, return to the main menu. Select Reboot.

Use Volume Down to highlight Boot CyanogenMod. Select it.

When Android loads up you will see such Google apps as Gmail and the Android Market. Open one of them. You should be able to type in your Gmail information. Bingo.

Congratulations. That took awhile, but it sure will be worth it.