Rooting and custom ROM questions...


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  1. ksyrium

    ksyrium Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    So, I've recently rooted via the 1-click method and I now want to try a custom ROM. I've tried to read many, many posts but I still have some questions.

    1. I'm still not quite clear on how much will be "wiped out" when I flash a new ROM. Is it similar to when I did the OTA 2.1 upgrade? Will I lose all of my installed apps?

    2. I thinking of trying xtrSENSE. In looking through the info for that ROM, it's a bit hard to distinguish what's current info and what's info that has evolved over time as the different releases have come out. Is there a single, reliable place to go and be sure I'm getting just the latest info?

    3. When I did the 1-click process, I got confused about when to use Vol Up+Power and Vol Down+Power. Can someone explain what each one is for? For example, when I used one of them (can't remember which) I got a screen which I did not really understand. It said "HBOOT" and a number of other things on it. Is there an explanation of this screen somewhere?

    4. I assume "personal" data on my SD card is safe? For example, photos? Or is there the chance I will lose all of that too?

    5. How about SMS messages? Do I need to back those up too if I don't want to lose them?

    Thanks for all of your help!! :)
     

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  2. greenmunky

    greenmunky Well-Known Member

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    1. It is recommended that you do a full wipe each time you flash a new ROM... that will wipe out all your apps, settings, and soforth. Download Titanium Backup (pay to upgrade to pro, you'll be glad you did, ask anyone in this forum) and use it to back up all your apps, all your non-market apps, and their associated data. You can also select certain system settings (the ones Titanium recommends you back up will be in green, those you want to ignore will be red) such as your alarm clocks, ringtone assignments (which may or may not translate) and other such time-consuming things to set back up. Once you have wiped your phone and flashed the new ROM, just download Titanium from the marketplace again, install and run it and you'll be able to restore damn near everything back to your phone.

    2. xtrSENSE is aMAZing... I'm currently running 4.1 but I understand there's now a 4.2 and 4.5. I would recommend, in your case, downloading 4.2. It'll be everything you've grown accustomed to on your phone but optimized and free of all the crap you don't need. The xtrSENSE thread is updated every time a new revision is released so you should be able to find what you need within the first post of that particular thread on XDA.

    3. HBOOT is Vol Down+Power... never used it. Vol Up+Power is recovery mode (that's the one you want to use to wipe your phone and flash ROMs).

    4. You assume correctly. The only reason you would wipe your SD card is to partition it to use apps2sd or cache2sd... both of which are no longer needed when using xtrSENSE because of the added cache2cache feature... awesomeness.

    5. I don't know if its because I back them up with Titanium or not but I've never lost any of my SMS messages between ROM flashes.

    One final piece of advice... ALWAYS TO A NAND BACKUP PRIOR TO WIPING YOUR PHONE OR FLASHING A ROM. That is all. :)
     
  3. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    to clarify, everything on the "internal" memory will be wiped. photos, nandroid backups, basically anything that shows up when you mount your phone as a drive is safe. I keep a half dozen updated roms (zip files) on my sdcard just so I can play around whenever I'm bored.

    check the droid eris section at the xda-developers site also, though like he said someone usually reposts it here when there are big updates. changelogs and the like should be included with all that. 4.2 is the current full release, 4.5 is the beta.

    see #1

    my preferred method is to use google voice. saves me 20$, don't have to back up (google sync), and I can reply to texts through gmail :)

    one other thing: you don't technically need to take an image (backup) every time, at least until you're sure you've found the rom you like. if you load a rom you don't like, don't even bother, just wipe it again try again. It is probably a good idea to keep around (at the least) your original, stock image, though even that is technically not necessary.
     
  4. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    To add to what Greenmunky said, if you do not use Titanium Backup, the first time that you go into the market after installing after a wipe, all of your apps, including your free apps, will be in the market, and as long as you stay in the market and install all of them before leaving, they will all be available to reinstall.

    That said, I like Titanium Backup. One other plus to it is, in addition to restoring your apps with your data, it also links to the market, so any updates will be installable from the market going forward. This is not true of other backup and restore options out there.

    The best place for updated info in xtrSENSE is here: [ROM][9/13/2010][GPL] xtrSENSE4.2 & 4.5[cache2cache,apps2sd,oc,jit,flash10]-HTC Sense - xda-developers


    Greenmunky has it backwards, actually. You will always use Vol-Up+Power to access Amon's Recovery to flash, backup, and wipe data. The bootloader is generally used to install official ROM updates, or to access the Fastboot interface. Trust me - you will not need to use the bootloader.

    Vol-Up+Power - that's what you need to remember and use.

    I use a free app in the market called SMS Backup & Restore - I recommend it highly. While Titanium Backup can back up and restore SMS messages, going to different ROMs with this can be problematic. SMS Backup & Restore has always worked for me.

    SMS Backup & Restore - Android app on AppBrain
     
  5. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

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    Just to clear-up a little confusion regarding how to boot into recovery.

    You can boot into recovery by at least 3 ways (that I know of):

    1. Via the "adb reboot recovery" command (don't worry if you don't know what this is).

    2. From the phone being in a powered-off state, press volume-UP and the end/power button at the same time (continue to press the volume-UP toggle until you see Amon_RA's recovery menu). Some folks have reported not being able to do it this way (I used to suspect it was because they were releasing the volume-UP button too soon).

    3. From the phone being in a powered-off state, press volume-DOWN and the end/power button at the same time. You'll see the phone quickly display several lines down the screen and then you should end-up with this:

    Eris-HBOOT-menu.jpg

    As you can see from this image (sorry for my poor photography skillz ;)), there is a "<VOL UP> Recovery" option here on this menu. Pressing volume-UP now at this point will take you into recovery (depending on whether or not you have stock recovery or Amon_RA's custom recovery--you'll go into recovery in either case).

    I think this also explains why option #2 above works with continuing to hold the volume-UP toggle takes you automatically into recovery--I think this menu screen above is bypassed when you hold and press it as described in option #2 above.

    Hope this helps. Cheers!
     
  6. ksyrium

    ksyrium Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Wow, thanks very much for the quick and extensive replies including one with a photograph! Is it acceptable forum practice to "Thanks" every poster? :)

    A few follow-on questions:

    1. Does a NAND backup basically take a backup of the ROM? And thus if I don't like the new one, it's a way to restore the phone to the previous ROM? Does it just preserve the ROM or other things as well? I did a NAND backup as part of the 1-click root process. Did that make a copy of my stock 2.1 ROM? Do I need to make another backup now after rooting? I assume not...

    2. Thanks for the clarification on Vol Up + Power. I followed the thread on the 1-click root method and I believe those instructions have it wrong as well which is one reason why I was confused.
     
  7. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

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    You are very welcome (for my small contributions, at least)...the others did the real heavy-lifting.

    1. Yes, a Nand(roid) backup takes a "snapshot" of your phone so that you can restore it at a later time like it was when you took the backup. It actually copies the boot (mdt2), data (mtd5), and system (mtd3) partitions of your phone, which is enough to get you back to where you were ;).

    In case you didn't know, the Nandroid backups are actually made to your /sdcard/nandroid directory under a folder named with your phone's unique identifier (don't publish that since it identifies you and your phone) and a subfolder named in this format: BDS-ccyymmdd-hhmm. If you rename this BDS-ccyymmdd-hhmm folder to make it a little more meaningful, be sure to not use any spaces.

    I do think its a good idea (especially if you have the room on your /sdcard) to take a Nandroid backup as soon as you have custom recovery (which jibes with the 'always take a Nandroid backup before flashing anything or making major changes to your phone' credo).

    2. You are welcome again :).

    Cheers and happy rooting!
     
  8. prj

    prj Well-Known Member

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    Correction...

    HBOOT is Vol down + Power. Vol Up + Power is recovery mode


    Also after installing a couple of ROMS I'm not convinced that Titanium backup is necessary. I found that google backs up all of the installed applications and re-installs them automatically after installing a new ROM.

    I'm a minimalist though and never save any SMS or e-mails so that isn't important to me. They get deleted after I am done reading and replying.

    Any of the custom menu settings takes at most five minutes to reset them to my preferences.

    It seems everyone has their favorite ROMs. My favorite so far is Nonsensikal. Not only is it speedy and quick, it was one of the few that I found that I can uninstall all of the bloatware...google talk, amazon MP3, google voice, twitter and a few others.
     
  9. ksyrium

    ksyrium Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    prj - I followed your instructions from here http://androidforums.com/1549578-post153.html when I did my 1-click root recently. I believe Step 3 is wrong regarding which volume key to use? Thanks for writing up the steps, they were very helpful!
     
  10. greenmunky

    greenmunky Well-Known Member

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    Very sorry for getting that backwards.
     
  11. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member VIP Member

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    TB also backs up the settings for your apps. To ME that's a big deal, others may not care as much. Many times I've just restored settings (data) from TB rather than the actual app itself because, as you pointed out, Google has that info stored and the app has already been installed for me. Though I believe it only works on 2.2 ROMs.

    Clearly this is one of those YMMV things. :)
     
  12. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    +1. This is especially easier for me with an apps and services that sync or access data online, like Twitter, Evernote, Dropbox, etc., for which I have passwords that look something like this:

    tXwn"1(r!h?bkD=VXb
     
  13. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member VIP Member

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    Good grief, you must work in an IT department somewhere. Only a true geek would have passwords like that! :)
     
  14. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    I used to run one. I like to be secure. ;) For a PC/Mac/Linux, this is easy to manage; it's more of a PITA on a mobile device.
     
  15. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    I prefer diceware generated passwords. 128bit strength that I can remember easily
     
  16. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    Easy to remember is one thing - a different easy to remember for each site still requires a password manager. See this: xkcd: Password Reuse
     
  17. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

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    +1 and lol! My daughter turned me on to xkcd several years ago...I haven't been keeping-up lately... I see that there's an xkcd book for sale through ThinkGeek.com...xkcd rocks! :D
     
  18. ksyrium

    ksyrium Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've not tried a custom ROM yet since I'm still doing my research. I really want to know what I might be in for :). So, I have another question:

    I've heard about some of the new, cool capabilities that the various ROMs can get you. However, I'm wondering about existing apps. That is, what's the chance that an app I use today on my stock 2.1 OTA ROM will *stop* working on a ROM like xtrSENSE? Is it usually the case that if it works on 2.1 OTA then it should be fine on a custom 2.1-based ROM as well?

    I've got quite a few apps installed but the ones that I really depend on are:

    - Swype
    - Weatherbug
    - My Tracks (Google)
    - Google Listen
    - Handcent SMS
    - Barcode Scanner

    Will I have an issue with these on a custom ROM? Thanks.
     
  19. ToastPwnz

    ToastPwnz Well-Known Member

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    Occasionally you'll run into force close issues with certain apps, but it seems fairly rare and if you report them to the developer of the ROM the problem normally gets fixed pretty quickly.
    Besides that you should have no problems.
     

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