Friday, December 7, 2012

Polaroid PMID4311 Hacking

Well, I was recently thinking about the Polaroid 4.3" Tablets and what other things that I could do to them. They come with Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4) already preinstalled and are semi-rooted. However, I considered the fact that since these devices were going to be given to my nieces (little girls), there is always the chance for little fingers to get busy and mess up the device. Therefore, having a Recovery option would be ideal as well as a few additional tools like BusyBox, Android Terminal, and Adaway. So, I then did some research and set out to find information on what hacking is available to this little device.

In this post, you'll see how to use LiveSuit/LiveSuite, root the device, install a functioning version of Clockwork Mod, and install Google Market.

LiveSuit / LiveSuite

The "Official" flashing tool used by this device (as well as other AllWinner A1x devices) is a free product called LiveSuit or LiveSuite (inconsistently used so I will just abbreviate it as "LS"). Because it doesn't have really any real English documentation, we must consult either the "Official Instructions" or find basic instructions elsewhere. For this and other reasons, some people just really don't like this Chinese flashing tool but we will be using it anyway for our purposes due to its convenience. Make sure you do not connect the device to the computer until you have installed the drivers!

Just an aside, the included documentation (opened by pressing the 'help' button) will just open the "LiveSuitEN.chm" file - which looks like this:

Installing LS

(Edit: I found a newer 1.11 version with text!)
  • Extract to your chosen "installation" directory
  • Run "LiveSuitPack_version_1.07_2011026.exe"
  • Install Driver Anyway
LS is now installed!

Flashing a ROM using LS (Stock or Custom)

  • Download and extract the Official Firmware if you don't already have it
  • Run "LiveSuit.exe"

  • Press "No"
  • In the UI, press the cube button to select your firmware.

  • Hold back while connecting cable to PC
  • Driver will install on first use

  • Release back button

  • Press "Yes"

  • Press "Yes"
  • Wait for process to complete

  • Press "OK"
  • Disconnect
  • Restart Tab

To exit program,  use this icon

because just pressing (X) button merely minimizes program

Installing Google Market (Optional)

  • Download Zip File
  • Extract to some location
  • Copy to SD card
  • On tablet, open directory in File Manager
  • Install OneTimeInitializer-signed.apk
  • Install SetupWizard.apk
  • Install vending-3.1.3-signed.apk
  • Press the "Home" button
    • Check the "open always with"
    • Select Launcher
  • Reboot


Installing Clockwork Mod

Clockwork Mod beta 15 is installed

How to enter Clockwork Mod
  • Shutdown tablet
  • press and hold Vol+
  • hold Power a few seconds
  • release power
  • release Vol+ when "Polaroid" appears on screen
Vol+ down, Vol- up, Power selects

Note: There is another way to install CWM via KK RomKit 9. This way, though simpler, installs a "Touch" version of CWM that has issues: the touch doesn't work, the backup generated errors, and could not properly access the external sd card. The CWM beta 15 version installed above looks terrible but is completely functional.

CyanogenMod 10

There is a version of CyanogenMod 10 in progress by dolorespark,  though I believe it is not yet ready for daily use. If you want to try it out, you can download and install the LS image then just reinstall the official firmware mentioned earlier to go back to stock. This will install Clockwork Mod, CyanogenMod 10, and Google Play. However, I have encountered several problems with its current version (

The screen constantly needs resizing for everything. This is first seen during the initial setup.



Again, it appears most prominently on the apps screen.



I also had some problems getting into particular parts of the system, and the CyanogenMod works for the most part, but the b15 is still superior in functionality. Bottom line, it is a good start, but not yet ready for prime time.


  1. If anybody is wondering, CyanogenMod 10 (updated here: is the way to go.

    I spend a few days, playing around, trying to get google play to work on the stock firmware, and never could. However, after installing the cyanogenmod, and the fix from that page "edit /system/build.prop and change 'ro.sf.lcd_density' from "120" to "96"." I am in love. This thing is an awesome little $55 "tablet"

    Do be aware that the install not only formats the system, but also your SD card. So backup people.

  2. Thanks for the update, Red Baron. I don't have these tablets any more (since they are with my nieces) and so it's good to know that delorespark is still making strides in supporting these tablets.

  3. I'm following the directions but I can't get the drivers to install. I get an error 10 message and the LiveSuite won't pick up the device. What should I do?

    1. First, try using a different USB port as I have seen things like this happen before (where one doesn't and another does). If that doesn't work, then you should probably uninstall LS, delete any straggling files, and then restart your machine. After that, try reinstalling LS and see if that helps. Note: upon reinstallation, make sure you "Run as Administrator" if on a Windows 7 machine. That might clear up any of your problems.

      If you have any further issues, I suggest posting on the freaktab forums as they are a helpful lot. (Specifically, this forum.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thanks! I got CM10 working, but my power button broke so I'll have to return it. Once I get it replaced, I can play Transformers Legends (which I couldn't normally do on a generic device). This Android community has been incredibly helpful, making me exceedingly confident about the platform's prospects. No wonder Android is catching on like crazy... Thanks again!

      One more thing, do you have some advice on getting Flash-based content in CM10? Most browsers don't seem to support Flash and I heard Flash support was dropped for Jelly Bean.

    4. I have not tried it yet, but it seems there is the capability of showing Flash content on your Jelly Bean device. The XDA Forums have a thread about how to install it on Jelly Bean. You might also wish to look in some other places online like here or like here. Just do a Google search and you're bound to find something.

      Man, I really need to get around to updating this blog...

    5. I know you don't have these tabs anymore, but I'm having a hardware issue and any input you can offer is greatly appreciated.

      About two weeks ago the tablet's battery stopped charging. I opened up the casing and found no obvious signs of hardware damage (blown capacitor, etc.), so I put the case back on. When I started it up, the battery started charging again. Then about a day later, I tried to launch Transformers Legends and got a message that says "SD card currently in use; please disconnect or disable mass storage mode." This message appears whether or not I'm hooked up to USB. Also, the computer no longer seems to recognize the tablet when I hook it up; either nothing happens or I get a message saying that the hardware didn't install correctly.(it still charges the battery, though.) This is unusual, as the tablet has already been recognized before (the drivers were installed when I flashed the CM10 ROM). On top of that, when I go to "Settings," there's usually categories for "internal memory," another for "internal memory," and one for (external) "SD card." But now, there's nothing under the second "internal memory" banner. What's worse, every time I insert an SD card, I get a message that says "SD Card is damaged; try reformatting." But when I push the button to reformat, I get the same "SD Card is damaged" message. Strangely, I can still flash recoveries and install ZIP files from the SD card while in Recovery Mode. Sometimes I can even play music and view photos from it.

      To recap:

      -"SD Card currently in use" message when I try to launch a game.
      -computer doesn't recognize tablet. (or SD Card if it's installed)
      -tablet does not recognize second internal memory partition. (?)
      -get "SD Card is damaged; try reformatting" message when inserting SD Card, but card does not reformat.

      I already tried factory reset and re-flashing the ROM image.

  4. My daughter has a Polaroid PMID4311, her Nana got it for her so I don't have the box and manual. She forgot her password, it's not the swipe password type, you type in your password on a pop up keyboard. It will let you try to put in 20 incorrect passwords and then it makes you wait so many seconds before you can try again. I can't find a reset button. Does anyone know how I can fix this?

    1. There's a section of the manufacturer's website devoted to forgotten passwords: