This is hopefully going to be a simple, step-by-step guide on how to root your Kindle Fire HD successfully. I received the Kindle Fire HD 2 for Christmas 2012 from my ever-awesome other half & enjoyed it thoroughly for the first few days as just that, a Kindle. Within about 3 or 4 days, I’d done enough digging on how to root the Kindle and free it from Amazon’s restrictive clutches.
For those of you completely new to the concept, let me briefly explain. Other tablets out there are mostly running the Android OS, unrestricted and installed as-is, with the huge exception of Apple’s iPad offerings running iOS. You could be forgiven for thinking the Kindle Fire, HD and 2 were a completely different animal altogether at first glance, but in fact, they’re not! Amazon have taken the same Android OS and locked it down with a custom launcher and features tied to their services. While I appreciate everything about my Kindle and what it can do, within 4 days of unwrapping it, I’d released it from it’s restrictive, Amazon-locked shackles and rooted my Kindle Fire HD successfully. Read on to see how I did it!
Before you begin, please makes sure you’re comfortable tinkering with this sort of thing and PLEASE make sure you understand that carrying out (or trying to!) these sort of changes to your device risks buggering it up! Put plainly, you won’t always get the chance to hit an ‘Undo’ button to take back any changes and worst case, you could end up bricking your devices. This goes for anything you tinker with the base OS, software or firmware on so DO be prepared, however slim the chances!
Having said that, there are a few prerequisites involved here:
- Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 Workstation 32bit or 64bit.
- A free USB 2.0 or 3.0 port.
- A Kindle Fire HD 7″, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Kindle Fire 2 7″or Kindle Fire HD 2 7″.
Before you begin, if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, open a Command Prompt & type ‘ping 126.96.36.199‘ then press enter. If you get replies, carry on with the rest of the guide. If not, you’ll have to carry out this small fix first!
- Right click on My Computer/Computer (whichever you have) and choose Properties.
- Go into System and this will open System properties. Once here, select ‘Advanced System Settings’.
- Next choose ‘Environment Variables’ and under the ‘System Variables’ find ‘Path’.
- Select ‘Path’ with your mouse and choose ‘edit’.
- Scroll to the very end of the list in here. It’ll have various paths for different things, all separated by a semi-colon like this ‘;‘. Be careful not to change anything else here, simply paste in ‘;C:\Windows\System32‘. Note that there’s no space between ; and the C:\Windows\System32 and this statement isn’t case sensitive, it can be both upper and lowercase or a mix.
- Click OK & repeat until you’ve closed System Properties.
- Test by opening Command Prompt (Start > Run > cmd OK, Win-key + R > cmd OK, or however you prefer to get there) & ping 188.8.131.52 again. If you see replies, congratz, you’re all set!
Unplug your Kindle from USB during all of this.
Java! This process doesn’t directly involve a lot of Java, but it will call on some Java APIs so it’s worth making sure you’re Java is up to date. You can check this on Oracle’s website and if you don’t have it, download the 32 or 64bit Java SDK. Install & restart your PC when finished.
We install the ADB driver first! If you’ve done this already and confirmed communication between your PC & Kindle, move right along! When I rooted my Kindle, the longest period of time was spent on getting Windows 7 on my PC to communicate with it. I installed the recommended drivers from Amazon and others I’d picked up online several times over and failed to get my PC to detect the Kindle as an ADB device. Almost drove me crazy, grr! It left me tinkering with hardware IDs and bat files, but after an hour of tinkering, I finally got it working. Recently, 2 months after rooting my own Kindle, I rooted one for a work colleague and found a new driver pack to work with so I’m pleased to say you won’t have to bother with any of those trials and tribulations, just download the following:-
There are 2 versions included. Run KindleFireADBdrivers.exe and if this fails, run the newer KindleDrivers.exe file instead.
Open another Command Window, this time make sure you ‘Run as Administrator’ and type in the following:
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
Press enter to complete this, then restart your PC to have it take effect.
Extract the ADB driver zip contents and double-left-click onto KindleFireADBdrivers.exe first and this should install the driver for you. Again, if you have any problems with this, just do the same to run the KindleDrivers.exe file instead.
At this point, you’ll need to enable ADB on your Kindle Fire device. You can enable this by doing the following:
- Unlock your Kindle if locked already.
- Pull down the upper bar to reveal menu options. Select ‘More’.
- Select ‘Security’ from the menu here.
- In ‘Security’ there’s an option called ‘Enable ADB’ & it’ll be OFF by default. Press ‘ON’ to enable ADB.
- If having trouble with either of the .exe files provided, there’s an alternative driver available for generic Android devices that you can try. ALT DROID USB DRIVER HERE!
- Connect your Kindle to your PC and see if it’s recognised as an ADB device.
Now, we root your Kindle Fire!
Win7 Users Note: You need to open a command prompt ‘as Administrator’ when running the batch files RunMe.bat and RootQemu.bat otherwise Windows will respond with ‘Permission Denied’.
- Download Root MANY ANDROID! (32bit) or Root MANY ANDROID! (64bit) (links above) and extract it to your Desktop.
- Ensure your Kindle is still connected via USB.
- Open the Root MANY ANDROID! folder and single left click the folder toolbar to highlight the entire folder.
Note: Make sure no individual files are selected or highlighted in blue!
Press the SHIFT Key & right mouse click, then choose ‘Open command window here’.
- A command window will open. Now type ‘RunMe.bat‘ and press enter.
- You’ll be given 3 different options at this point. Choose option 1, Run Normal Method and don’t worry about the errors you may see – you can ignore them. Watch for the ‘Restore‘ dialogue box that will pop up on your Kindle during this process. If you’re asked for an ‘encryption password’ enter the one you use for Amazon. (I wasn’t prompted for mine.) Click on Restore. When done, the Kindle will reboot.
- Quick check! If your Kindle is slow & sluggish since rebooting, repeat step 3-5. If it’s responding normally, carry on with step 7.
- Download suchecker.apk and using Windows Explorer, move suchecker.apk from your PC to /Kindle/Internal Drive/Download on your Kindle.
- Now go to your Kindle. Using ES File Explorer (available FREE on the Amazon App Store or below)or Root Explorer, go to /sdcard/Download/suchecker.apk & choose Install.
- When the install has finished, go to your Apps. Launch Root Checker.
When you check Root you will be presented with a “Allow” dialog box, be sure to Allow Root Checker. You should now see that Superuser.apk is working.You should now have root AND if this is true your ADB communication is also working!
Wait, you’re not done yet! You’ve put in all this hard work to get this far and we don’t want an OTA (over the air) update from Amazon to undo it all automagically. Lets disable Amazon’s OTA updates.
Open ES File Explorer and navigate to the OTACerts.zip file located in system/etc/security folder. Either rename this in its current location, or move it to another folder. I moved mine to /sdcard/Download/ where my other items are stored so if I ever want the file again, I haven’t lost it.
The following 2 steps were helpfully provided by Christian in the comments of this post. His post comes 6 months after I’d initially rooted my Kindle and so these steps may be relevant if you’re rooting now:
1.) In order to get the ADB to work, with the Kindle Drivers version I used, I had to go into the Device Manager (Search in the start bar for it), go to Kindle, right click on the kindle’s drivers, and hit update. That let the ROOT MANY ANDROID program work.
2.) In order to delete OTACERTS in ES File Explorer, I had to be in ES, click Root Explorer on the left, click Mount R/W, and then OK. After that, it would allow me to delete OTACERTS.
Finally, to get you back to where your PC started off in all this, open command prompt again and type in the following:
bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF
As before, press enter and then restart your PC to have it take effect.
That’s it, you’re done!
This is the first full guide I’ve done for Tech Leopard, so apologies if it’s either too detailed or not detailed enough at this point. I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible having run through the process twice now with 2 separate Kindle Fire HDs. I’ll do a few more guides in future to cover installing certain launchers to let you get away from using just Amazon’s default; installing the Google Play app store (download free & paid apps legally, no torrenting, etc) and installing game emulators to enjoy the most out of your newly rooted Kindle Fire!
For Those Who’ve Asked:
If you’ve used the guide and found it helpful, please feel free to leave a little donation using the following button. Please don’t feel any obligation to do so, I’ve provided the guide purely to help those like myself who enjoy tinkering with this sort of thing and who want to enjoy their Kindle to the fullest. I’m adding this simply because a few people have been very gracious and asked me how they can donate to say thanks and to support the site, etc and suggested that I add a way to donate here on the guide. Thanks everyone for your support, it’s incredibly generous of you and very much appreciated.