This guide will show you how to setup your Nexus 7 to run on Windows 8 (but this also applies to Windows 7.) I won’t be covering how to unlock and root your Nexus, because I’ve already done this and I’m already running a custom ROM on my Nexus, there are in program guides on how to do this, it’s pretty simple to use and understand. It literally is a few clicks.
Downloads– You need to download a few programs in order to setup and use your Nexus 7 on Windows 8 (or Windows 7) You need the Java SDK, Android SDK (Google Drivers, platform-tools etc) and Nexus Root Toolkit.
Click Download under JDK for Java SE 7u9 (most recent version since posting). You will be redirected to another page, press the radio button to “Accept Licence Agreement”. Scroll down and select the version of Java you want to install. I am using 64bit Windows, so I chose that. When the Java SDK is installed, move onto the next step.
Android SDK – http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
You might have issues with the Android SDK installer finding the Java SDK on your system. This is because of where the default environment path is pointing. If you do, do the following so you can complete the installation:
1) Open Explorer, right click Computer and Select Properties.
2) Open Advanced system settings on the left hand sidebar.
3) Inside System Properties, at the bottom select “Enviroment Variables…” and add the following as a New variable.
The variable name is JAVA_HOME. The path will be – C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_09\– Click OK to save this variable, then run the Android SDK installer again. (You can set the variable as either a user or system variable. I set both to prevent future compatibility issues.)
Then install the Android SDK. I suggest you change the path from the default to something shorter. Mine is always set to C:\Android – makes it easier to open the ADB in cmd.
After the Android SDK run the manager. On the menu bar, select Tools > Options. Tick the box “Force https://”. Then click OK. On the main window, under the Tools folder, tick the “Android SDK platform-tools”. Select the Android 4.1.2 API, and finally under Extras, select Google USB Driver. Select “Install 8 packages”. Accept all and wait for the packages to be downloaded and installed.
Nexus Root Toolkit – http://www.wugfresh.com/dev/nexus-root-toolkit/
Download and install the Nexus Root Toolkit. Now plug in your Nexus 7. The Nexus Toolkit will ask you for your build of Android. If you’ve updated to 4.1.2 and are rooting for the first time, select the option from the list. (I’m using a custom ROM so I’m selecting that.)
Now inside the Toolkit there is an option to install the drivers, it tells you exactly what to do (but I personally don’t bother using it). First before you start, go to Settings > Developer Options >Enable USB Debugging on your Nexus 7.
Click “Open Device Manager” button at the bottom, then look for Google. This is your Nexus 7. Right click it and select “Update Driver Software”. Then browse manually for the drivers, enter C:\Android\extras\google\usb_driver (or wherever you installed the Android SDK). Click Next and wait for Windows to install the drivers. You now should have the ADB Interface installed.
Inside the Tookit, select “Step 3” on the Configuration Guide window, then “Full Driver Test” just to verify that the drivers were successfully installed and working. This will check ADB connection status, then put your device into the bootloader. Check fastboot status and then reboot your device. Your Nexus is now setup. You can now use the rest of the toolkit to root/unlock/relock/whatever your Nexus 7!
You can also browse your internal storage of your Nexus 7 using Explorer. You have to unlock your Nexus 7 before anything will appear, otherwise you’ll just get a “this folder is empty” message. There appears to be a problem with files updating in Explorer. Not sure if this is a setting disabled on my computer or what, but I find if you open Root Explorer (or equivalent) or shut down and power up your device, it will update.