Arnova 9 G2 custom firmware upgrade to Android 4.0 ICS with Google Play, full root and Face Unlock


We recently reported the existence of the Arnova 9 G2i, which is basically an Arnova 9 G2 sold with Android 4.0 ICS. By chance, the great guys from Italian forum have published a firmware dump of their device that is confirmed to work on the regular Arnova 9 G2. We have modified that firmware dump to add Google Play/Android Market, Face Unlock, full root and write access to /system partition.

Arnova 9 G2 custom firmware features

  • Clean installation of latest Google Play Store 3.5.15, no more missing apps (Twitter, Facebook…)
  • Full root support with writable /system partition
  • Root access is controled thru SuperSU.apk v0.89 (free version), a cool upgrade to SuperUser.apk by XDA developer Chainfire
  • Added Face Unlock feature from XDA dev

  • Face unlock works reasonnably well considering the relatively low camera resolution (0.3 Mpix)

    Quick demo of the Face Unlock feature on an Arnova 9 G2 running a custom ICS firmware.

    Install procedure

    Before starting, please make sure you backup all your existing apps, data and files that are on your tablet as they will be erased during the flash process. Also make sure your device is connected to the power.

    Step 1. Download

    Kasty custom firmware download (version 0.4)

    This firmware is specific to the Arnova 9 G2 and Arnova 9 G2i and should not be installed on other devices.




    Download the file above and extract the custom firmware image (update.img) on your computer hard drive.

    Step 2. Install and run Rockchip Flashing tool

    Please follow the Rockchip Flashing tool procedure: that will explain how to download Rockchip flashing tool, unpack the archive, put your device into flashing mode and flash the custom firmware file that you have unpacked in Step 1.

    Step 3. Arnova 9 G2 flashing and restart

    After Rockchip flasher has transferred the custom firmware to the tablet, the device will restart and install the firmware. Finally you will be back to Arnova default startup wizard.

    You will find the 3 easy steps of the installation procedure in the following video, see how to get Google Play and root to your Arnova 9 G2 in less than 10 minutes.

    Support the project!

    If our web site and applications helped you, thanks for supporting us by donating using the Paypal form below or visiting our Donations page. Donations will be used to pay the bills for our server hosting costs, tools and purchase new tablets to support.

    Firmware release history

    Version 0.4 (2012-06-06) :
    Updated Google Play, no more missing apps (Twitter, Facebook…)
    Updated SuperUser.apk to SuperSU.apk v0.89 (free version) to control root access
    Updated writable /system partition
    Updated firmware package, the firmware is now flashed using Rockchip Batch Tool.
    Added Google Face Unlock feature from XDA dev

    Version 0.3 : Unreleased

    Version 0.2 (2012-05-21) : Fixed internal storage not formatted issue
    (included misc.img from Arnova 9G2 Gingerbread with recovery.img from dump)

    Version 0.1 (2012-05-16) :
    – Arnova Android 4.0.3 firmware (2012-04-19) with all stock apps from the Arnova 9 G2i model and Google Play Store 3.5.15
    – partial root support, the system partition (/system) is still read only
    – Google Play is missing some apps (ex. Youtube)
    – with the limited memory on the Arnova 9 G2 (512 Mb) the tablet can get a little unresponsive when many applications are running

    Let us know how this firmware works for you in our Arnova 9 G2 forum.

    Thanks to Italian forum for the Arnova 9 G2 firmware dump.


    1. Can’t get my Vista tablet to open your zip file. It says the zip file is empty upon trying to open but if you hover over the file it says it has 64MB in the folder. What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried downloading it with 2 different browsers. I have a 32 bit Windows Vista OS. I bought a new 9 G2i online but it didn’t come with the full ICS or Google Play. I’m missing many ICS features. I’ve never had an Android before I don’t really know what I’m doing and I really need this to work! Please help! 🙂

    2. Hi
      this is an excellent rom. The only problem I am having is trying to usesky go tablet. It wont run on rooted devices. Any of the hide root aps I have tried do not work with this rom, is there anything else I can try to get sky go to work.
      Thank you

    3. With my Arnova 9 G2, the correct procedure to enter flashing mode was:
      1.Press and hold menu+pwr
      2.Press the reset button with the clip
      Then, with Win7-64, I had to search the “new device” through Control Panel->System->Device Manager and force the installation of a new driver.
      It only worked with the “Restore” function of the Rockchip Batch Tool (not the “Update” function).
      Now, with Android 4, Google apps, etc, it is a brand new tablet, incredibly faster and improved than the older Android 2.3 version. Thank You

    4. here it is 2013 i have been given an arnova 9 G2, and i have used the instructions above to successfully flash my tablet to this ics firmware. i experienced an issue after following the video instructions to install youtbe as well as root & superuser. it all worked fine until i tried to install a new keyboard? or perhaps it was the installation of a usb host app from the playstore. nonetheless i was stuck on the logo screen and was not able to shut down the tablet however i was able to press the pwr and home key at same time then press reset and the pc and rockchip install tool finally recognized the tablet in the correct mode, i then used restore button on the tool and the 9 G2 is running fine.

    5. Recently purchased an Arnova 9G2 that already has 4.0 ICS installed but still require Google Play/ market. Do I still have to use the custom firmware ICS/GOOGLE PLAY/FACE LOCK upgrade to get Google Play or is it possible to just add Google Play?

    6. Pleace help!!!
      Problem with Arnova 9 G2!android 2.3.1 karnel
      I try to flush a several custom roms, but the only way to put the device in recovery is by holding reset,power and menu,not like is shown on the top for this divise!And its recovery,not flash mode!
      In the recovery I cant move the line up or down and there is a massage:
      Recovery system v1.3.37
      E:Cant open /cache/recovery/command
      If I connect the device in this condition to Rockchip_Batch_Tool. The program recognize devise bud the color is pink,not green!After hitting the upgrade button I get massage:This operation didn’t do because of not supporting!

      • same problem…..
        pluged in ,power and usb,turned it off,
        then holded menu+power
        just when i was about to reset it,
        my pc found device but didnt install driver…than in device manager clicked other devices /unknown device and update from rockchip folder.
        (note: tablet screen did not turn on till the update was done)
        when i installed the driver on pc,in rockchip tool pink device turned to green and clicked update, 5 min later all done waited for screen to turn on…hope it helps

    7. After I did this on my 9 G2 it worked for about 3 minutes then it went off automatically and then its stuck now on the Arnova screen. I did reset but it comes back to the arnova screen and stays that way. I cant even turn it off. What to do now? My notebook cant recognize it either.

    8. I just did a an update by copying the update.img to the device root – device picks it up and asks you if you want to install.

      I had previously tried to get Arctools to work (this was easy on a g3 tab), and screwed the google services install so the rom didn’t work but a reset to remove all the apps installed was all it took.

      Thanks to the rom modders nice work 🙂

    9. I followed the instructions, the rockchip tool failed and now the bloody thing wont even turn on, just has the ARNOVA screen, it wont reset again like it did before and the rockchip tool no longer recognises it, what the hell have you guys done to my tablet???

    10. i have an arnova 9 g2 , i follow the steps but my tablet do’t turn in in recovery mode , why ? i shut down the tablet open the Rockchip Flasher tool , the new version of it then hold reset button then menu button release and my tablet just turn on ? any soloutions ? plz !!

      ps sorry for my bad eng

    11. is it possible to put or make an image update.img that start without rockshiptool, because it’s impossible for me to put my arnova 9 g2 in recovery mode, no combination keys works. like kasty in arctools to put market and root for example…thanks in advance

    12. I cannot get this to work. I don’t seem to be able to get the tablet into recovery mode. I have tried menu button then reset, reset then menu button, I have tried with it switched off, switched on, USB storage on, usb storage off…

      When I try to get it into recovery mode Windows 7 just says “USB device is not recognized”, and no connected device shows in Rockchip.

      Could exact step by step idiot proof instructions be given please!? What state should the tablet be in before we start? Which button is pressed first – do you hold it/them down or just press it/them? What should you expect to see on the tablet screen, if anything, when it is is recovery mode?

    13. I have Arnova 9G2. I did what it said but i only got Google Play but not the full updated softwear.
      No face unlocking.
      Always freezes.
      Loads long.
      The rock ship tool dosnt link up with my tablet it dosnt show green
      Does Rockship Tool work on windows 7?

      • i did mine on windows 7 you have to plug the tablet into the computer while turned on, then turn it off, while its off hold menu and press the reset button. if you have the problems i had which are in my comment below do the same again but click restore instead of upgrade! hope that helps!

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