Nexus 7 Configuration Guide
This guide covers all steps needed to prepare your tablet and install the custom ROM. We will define some terms first and give some links where those who are technically curious can find deeper explanations. However, this guide is written assuming the user has minimal knowledge and can successfully complete these steps simply by following illustrated instructions. I highly recommend printing these instructions before starting and checking off each step as it is completed. If any error codes or problems should be encountered during the process, I can only help if I know exactly which steps were successfully completed and any error codes that were presented; so it is essential to use the checklist and take notes as you go unless you are prepared to troubleshoot this by yourself.
A Few Definitions
Option to display menu items which are normally hidden and reserved for developers.
"Rooting" a device gives you "root" access to it. What this means is that you have read/write access to folders (including parts of the operating system) that reside in protected space which you would otherwise be unable to access. This is somewhat analogous to having administrator rights for a PC.
This is a Read Only Memory which stores the operating system code which runs your tablet. A stock ROM is what comes preloaded into the tablet when you purchased it. There are different versions for Wi-Fi only and Mobile (3G/4G) versions as well as different release dates. You can identify the version you have by selecting Settings / About tablet. The current ROM version will be listed under Android version (e.g. 4.2.2). Custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod replace the stock ROM and provide additional functionalities, more efficient code which can improve performance or battery life, and stylistic changes.
The heart of the Operating System (OS) which translates software instructions to control the hardware and input/output actions. It is analogous to the deepest part of our brain that controls muscles.
This is a special bootable memory area which provide tools for repairing (restoring) or updating the OS installation. It is normally accessed by simultaneously pressing the Power, Volume+, and Volume- buttons for several seconds
Refers to erasing one or more reserved memory areas. This is required when installing new ROMs to prevent remnants from the old code from corrupting the new code being written.
Refers to the process of copying and writing code into memory.
The first piece of code or instructions that are executed when the tablet is powered on. This code controls what commands are executed next and what is loaded where.
Backup / Nandroid
A complete and total backup of your tablet which stores a copy of the OS, settings, data, apps, etc. This allows you to restore your device to the exact state that it was in when you made the backup. This should always be done without fail before modifying the device and again after all modifications are complete and working.
Android Police: Custom ROMs for Android Explained