Asus Google Nexus 7 Custom Rom Android 7.1.2 (2012 Grouper WiFi Model ME370T)

This 2020 blog post tells you how to install a custom rom on the old Asus Google Nexus 7 ME370T (2012 Grouper WiFi Model), taking it to Android 7.1.2.

Asus Google Nexus 7 2012 with Android 7 custom rom

With the 2020 custom rom the tablet performs well. I’m able to use Facebook Messenger and Skype for video calls. Watch the BBC iPlayer and All 4 for movies and television shows. Listen to music via Spotify and TuneIn Radio. Plus play Angry Birds 2, Candy Crush Jelly Saga and use many other Android mobile apps.

Apps on a Nexus 7 tablet

Nexus 7 custom rom Display

Nexus 7 custom rom drop down options

Nexus 7 custom rom memory

Nexus 7 tablet status

Introduction
The Asus Nexus 7 was the first tablet released by Google and I like the hardware. However when Google updated it to Android 5.1.1 it felt sluggish. My fiancée had been using the Nexus 7, but with the slow performance it wasn’t used between 2017 and 2020!

The last official ROM that I installed was LMY47V released in April 2015. So I decided to breath some new life into the old hardware with a change of ROM!

A huge thank you to AndDiSa over at XDA and anyone else involved in creating the Android 7.1.2 custom rom, which not only takes the tablet beyond Android 5 to version 7, but the performance is excellent and my fiancée is now using the tablet daily!

AndDiSa is a fantastic person as not only was a 7.1.2 custom rom released, but at the time of writing this blog post, security patches have recently been released. Incredible work! Thank you.

Warning: You follow my Nexus 7 instructions at your own risk. Please be aware that you could make your tablet unusable and also you need to backup any data you wish to save to another device before you proceed. Existing data on the tablet will be wiped if you follow this ‘how to’ guide.

Please note: With my Nexus 7 running this custom rom I have to hold the power switch for up-to approximately thirty seconds to get it to turn on. The other day I might have accidentally left the tablet on and drained the battery. By placing it on charge for an hour, I was then able to get the tablet to turn on.

How to install a custom rom on a Google Nexus 7 ME370T (2012 Grouper)

Please also note: These instructions cover using Windows 10 as part of the installation process and I’m not providing help for using another operation system.

2nd Warning: Please read the first warning at the top of this blog post and also make sure your Nexus 7 is fully charged before continuing. I also don’t vouch for any files that you download at your own risk.

3rd Warning: You are going to wipe all data on the tablet if you follow these instructions! You are responsible for any problems and costs that result from following these instructions!

Step 1 – Setup the Nexus to work with Windows 10

  1. Turn on your Windows 10 PC.
  2. On the Nexus 7, please hold the volume down and power buttons until the fastscreen mode is shown.
  3. In the bottom area of Windows 10, where it says “Type here to search”, type device manager.
  4. Connect the tablet to the PC via a USB cable.
  5. If under ‘Other devices’ you see ‘Android’, right click on it, select ‘Properties’ and then ‘Update Driver…’.
  6. Select ‘Search automatically for update driver software’. *
  7. Hopefully the ‘Android Bootloader Interface’ driver is installed. When ready, click on ‘Close’.

* When I performed the download on my PC, it took a while for the download to complete.

If you run into trouble installing the Android Bootloader Interface, you could try the ‘Universal ADB Drivers’ over at adb.clockworkmod.com

Step 2 – Download and extract the necessary files

  1. Download the Google ADB and other tools from here and extract the files from the archive.
  2. Check at Android 7.1.2 AOSP Grouper for the latest version to download. The version I used can be found here and here. *
  3. Download TWRP 3.3.1 Grouper from here or here.
  4. Download Gapps ARM 7.1 Pico.
  5. Place the TWRP zip file in the same directory as the ADB files.

* Obviously I based my installation instructions on the version I used and so please take that into consideration if installing a later version.

Step 3 – Unlock the Nexus 7 and install TWRP

3rd Warning: Again please make sure your Nexus 7 is fully charged before proceeding.

  1. Make sure the tablet is turned off.
  2. On a Windows computer, open a command prompt and then go to the directory where you extracted the Google ADB files to. *
  3. On the tablet hold the volume down and power button until the fastscreen mode is shown.
  4. Connect the tablet to the computer via a USB cable.
  5. If the lock state on the tablet’s screen shows ‘locked’, in a command prompt type fastboot oem unlocklock state lockedfastboot oem unlocklock state unlocked
  6. You will be prompted to select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Select ‘Yes’ to unlock the Nexus 7.unlock bootloader
  7. Now type fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.3.1-0-grouper.imgfastboot flash recovery twrp
  8. Type fastboot reboot and then hold the volume down and power button again to boot into the fastscreen mode. **fastboot reboot
  9. Use the volume up button to change the option to ‘recovery mode’ and press the power button to boot into TWRP.
  10. In TWRP move the arrows to ‘Swipe to Allow Modifications’.Swipe to allow modifications

* In are of Windows 10 where it says “Type here to search” you can type command and press enter.

** If you don’t do step 8, 9 and 10, the tablet will boot up and wipe the TWRP installation!

Step 4 – Install Android 7.1 AOSP Grouper and Gapps on the Nexus 7

  1. In TWRP select ‘Wipe’ and then afterwards perform a ‘Factory Reset’.Swipe to Factory Reset
  2. After the reset use the back arrows to return to the main menu.
  3. With TWRP running, connect your tablet to a Windows 10 PC via a USB cable.
  4. Move the AOSP Grouper zip and ARM 7.1 Pico Gapps files across to the Nexus.
  5. From the TWRP menu, select ‘Install’.
  6. Find the AOSP file you placed on the Nexus, select and then ‘Swipe to confirm Flash’.AOSP Grouper ZIP fileSwipe to confirm Flash
  7. Select ‘Reboot System’, then reboot into recovery mode, by holding volume down and the power button, then selecting ‘recovery mode’.Reboot SystemRecovery mode
  8. In TWRP select ‘Install’ and then find and select the Gapps file and then ‘Swipe to confirm Flash’.Open GappsSwipe to confirm Flash option
  9. After the flash find and select ‘Wipe Cache/Dalvik’ and then ‘Swipe to Wipe’.Wipe Cache/Dalvik option
  10. Finally find and select ‘Reboot System’.Reboot System option

Q. How do I solve the “The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)” error.
A. On Windows 10 you can try updating the driver via ‘Device Manager’ and hopefully the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ option will install the LeMobile Android Bootloader Interface.

Q. How do I close an application on Android 7.1?
A. If the option isn’t shown at the bottom of the screen, move your hand from top to bottom and hopefully three additional buttons appear. Then you can use those options to switch between applications and to close them.

I hope you’ve found my how to instructions useful and I would appreciate a thank you in the comments.

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Graham Miller
Graham Miller
1 month ago

Thanks for this Andrew. Wow, the performance is much better than Android 5.1.1.

I used my Fedora 32 Linux PC to do the upgrade and it is very similar to your description. Here are the variances:

1/ Install android-tools package (which has the drivers and utils) with:

$ sudo dnf install android-tools

2/ When using fastboot, it must be called by root user or using sudo thus:

$  sudo fastboot oem unlock

3/ My filemanager on Fedora (Nemo) picked up the Nexus (in TWRP recovery) automatically and allowed me to transfer the files over no worries.

Oh, and I used this command to reboot into recovery instead of using the Nexus buttons:

$ adb reboot bootloader

I think those was the only differences. … Cheers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Miller
Anurag
Anurag
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for the detailed steps.
I followed the steps mentioned in your post, but after reboot, my tablet is stuck at the welcome screen and not booting. Its been more than 30 minutes and its still stuck.

Attached screenshot for reference.

Can you guide me whats wrong ?

TIA,

Anurag

android.jpeg
Anurag
Anurag
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Thank you for your reply Andrew.

I tried LineageOS on my device and it is up and running now. Performance is pretty decent as well.

Followed the steps mentioned here: *link removed*

I once again thank you for the your detailed steps. It really helped me to recover an unusable tablet.

Best Regards,
Anurag