Unbricking an SLCD Bricked Desire (HOWTO)

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  1. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    This is from my original thread from XDA. It has had numerous hits and questions, which made me realize how so many people have had similiar problems. There are solutions on XDA too, but the problem is that there is no one solution to the issue. There are a lot of solutions, but this is a aggregate of all the solutions. I will add FAQs as and when questions are asked, and will keep it as updated as possible. Criticisms, comments and questions are welcomed..

    Elementary Frequently asked questions have been included at the latter part of this post..

    Guide level: Beginner-Advanced (Beginners should read the FAQ at the end, before reading the instructions. Also be well versed with the Requirements I've listed, by reading from the articles listed, before you attempt the methods listed in the post)



    What was my problem (a.k.a What is an SLCD bricked Desire? a.k.a Why is there nothing on my Desire screen after running an RUU/flashing an incompatible ROM)?

    I had an SLCD Desire. When I ran Alpharev on it, it did S-OFF. When I ran the RUU (which was incompatible for my SLCD, and actually meant for an AMOLED Desire), I effectively unrooted it, though not restoring it to the factory state (which is the function of an RUU). Because the version of RUU was incompatible with SLCD displays, I ended up with No Display on Screen (Black screen) and a phone without a working Recovery. The only way I know the phone's hardware is ok is because on pressing power button it vibrates.

    Steps to try unbricking an SLCD bricked Desire:

    Symptoms: Powering on the device just makes a vibration without anything on screen.

    Previous History: You may or may not have done an S-OFF, then tried flashing an incompatible RUU for your device. You might have had an SLCD Desire, then flashed an RUU meant for an AMOLED Desire

    If you had made a Goldcard earlier, you're in luck. You can restore your device with a generic SLCD RUU available for your device, by either running the RUU or by flashing the rom.zip from the RUU.exe file (Tip. This file gets extracted to %TEMP% folder when you run an RUU)

    Things you need to know before you try solving your problem:

    • Know how to use adb from the command prompt. If you dont have adb or dont know how to use it, read this. (Courtesy: VanillaTbone )
    • Be familiar and identify the RUU for your device on shipped-roms site. [An RUU (ROM Upgrade utility) is an application released by the manufacturer to upgrade/install ROMs). Installing RUUs essentially unroots the phone and reverts it to stock (what you got when you bought the phone. An RUU is usually flashed and the rooting process reversed when you want to return your phone to service for warranty purpose]
    • How to create and use a goldcard. (Read the FAQ below)
    • How to navigate to the temporary folder of your Windows PC (Hint: In the run box, type %TEMP%
    • How to turn your device on into Recovery mode and Fastboot without seeing the screen (Please see below)

    Simple search on XDA can unravel more details about these simple mysteries.

    Now, the steps to go about solving your problem: (All methods used to unbrick the Desire, essentially try to unroot it with an original manufacturer's version of files and revert to stock. In fact, the methods are same as the ones to Unroot your device. The only problem is that the issue is compounded because you cant see anything on your screen. Ironically, the problem of SLCD bricks happen when you try to unroot and the solution itself is to unroot it!)

    1. Find out if you have a generic unbranded HTC Desire, or a branded one. A branded Desire has a special Code (Customer ID) which prevents you from flashing a ROM meant for any other brand and also blocks a Generic WWE RUU. If you're from India, it is branded with HTC_038. If you're unbranded, things are looking much easier for you, as generic WWE RUUs for SLCD are easily available. Run the following code from the sdk folder to find out if your device is brandedCode:
      fastboot oem gencheckpt
    2. This displays the CustID Code as HTC__ (and a number). I have noted that the following cidnums are unbranded:

    • HTC__001,
    • HTC__E11,
    • HTC__N34,
    • HTC__203,
    • HTC__102,
    • HTC__K18,
    • HTC__405,
    • HTC__Y13,
    • HTC__A07,
    • HTC__304,
    • HTC__016,
    • HTC__032.

    I'm not sure whether it is an exclusive list. To find out if an RUU is compatible for your ROM, the value displayed by fastboot oem gencheckpt has to be included in the cidnum list of the RUU. If it isnt included, you will need to use a goldcard to bypass the cidnum checks done by the RUU.

    1. Check if you have made a goldcard (A goldcard is a special microsd card you made while your device was in working condition. It will allow you to restore your device using a generic RUU or an OTA). The purpose of a goldcard is that when apparently incompatible ROMs are flashed with a goldcard inside the device, the flashing process skips certain checks like the Customer ID check (and hence no CID error)
    2. If you dont have a goldcard, you might try to create one at this point. This may work only for some people. Try to see if Recovery can be booted up. Poweroff phone, then power it on by pressing Vol- and Poweron key, then wait 30sec and press Vol Down and Poweron button again. At this time, phone gets detected in Windows (as shown by the icon in the bottom right of taskbar and a notification sound.

      adb devices
      If this displays a code SH**** after "List of devices", you're in luck. You can issue an adb command and get a CID of your device, following which you can create a goldcard.

      After creating a goldcard (See the start of the post for how to do it) , it will allow you to run a generic SLCD RUU. Check this link for a latest RUU.
    3. Note that you can flash an RUU in three ways. One is to just run it from Windows. The Second is to run the RUU, and monitor your TEMP folder for changes. A directory starting with weird characters in its name appears while the RUU is run. Within that you may find a rom.zip file, which can be flashed onto your device with Fastboot.exe. The advantage is that in most bricked cases, even if the recovery wont run, Fastboot will.
    4. If you dont have a goldcard, and adb doesnt show the device in Recovery mode, it means Recovery is corrupted too. In this case, check if the device can interact with adb in FastBoot mode. Power off device. Then Poweron by pressing Back key and Power on key. Again try adb devices command. If it shows the device, follow the steps of previous step. Some people ask you just power on the device and wait for 3-7 mins and then to check if the device interacts with adb. Note that if adb successfully displays the device serial code, you can successfully create a goldcard.
    5. You can also create a goldcard by putting your microsd card into a friend's phone and following the steps needed to create a gold card, provided that your friend's phone was purchased in the same country. Note that you have to do this with YOUR goldcard. You cant have him create a goldcard, and use his CID. But you can have him mail his goldcard to you, again if you have the same brand of device from the same country.
    6. If adb doesnt show your device in either Fastboot (previous step) or in Recovery, then you're in trouble. The only way to unbrick your softbricked device is to get a Generic RUU for your device (Check shipped roms site, or search XDA), and flash it. There is also a method if you have the original OTA zip for your device. Note that the generic ROM wont flash (without a gold card) if you have a branded device. Check teppic74's posts on XDA for this method.
    For those, who have searched forum after forum for any solution, note the following:

    IF YOU SOFT BRICKED AN SLCD BRANDED DESIRE WHICH HAD AN UPDATED VERSION OF HBOOT BY FLASHING AN INCOMPATIBLE RUU, AND IF THE DISPLAY WONT TURN ON NOW, YOU CANNOT RESTORE THE PHONE TO WORKING CONDITION UNLESS YOU HAVE A CORRECT RUU FOR THE UPDATED HBOOT, OR A GOLDCARD. Dont waste your time looking for more solutions online. You wont find them. There is a method for downgrading an updated HBoot to a lower version. I can't assure you that it works on a bricked Desire though.

    AN INDIAN HTC DESIRE IS A BRANDED DEVICE. IT IS BRANDED AS HTC_038. IT IS ALSO AN SLCD DEVICE IN MOST CASES. So, before Rooting an Indian HTC Desire, keep a gold card ready.

    If you have an Indian Desire, you're done for as I found out. If you dont have a goldcard for an Indian Desire, or the OTA zip, you have no option than to return it to HTC. This is because, to date, there hasnt been an updated version of the Indian RUU. Dont worry about Warranty being lost if it is a new phone. HTC has to repair it according to their Warranty policy.


    [FONT=&quot]What is Rooting?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Rooting essentially means giving yourself Root(or Administrator) access over a system. Root access is typically disabled on Android phones, to limit users from inadvertently damaging system files[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]What is an OTA?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]An OTA is an Over The Air release, a software package that is available over your network connection, which upgrades the software released by the manufacturer. It is downloadable as a zip file (in case of HTC OTAs), and automatically run by the system or by the user.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]What is an RUU? [/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    RUU stands for ROM upgrade utility. These are officially released by HTC for upgrading ROMs. Many ROMs have been leaked over the years, and they have been hosted at Shipped-Roms. Running an RUU essentially reverts the ROM on your device to stock (what came on the phone when you bought it), unrooting it in the process.

    [FONT=&quot]Is running an RUU safe?[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

    It depends. If your device is an SLCD, running anything less than version 2.x has the potential to brick your device unless it is specifically certified to work with your device.

    [FONT=&quot]What do I need to do before I run an RUU?[/FONT]

    1. [FONT=&quot]Decide that you definitely want to unroot your phone [/FONT]
    2. [FONT=&quot]Create a goldcard. Never mind whether you think your phone is unbranded. You never know. I did not know when I ran an RUU, that my phone was actually branded, though it wasn't locked to an operator. I ended up bricking this phone, but creating this thread. [/FONT]
    3. [FONT=&quot]Install the pc drivers for HTC Sync. But Exit from HTC Sync app or uninstall the app. Dont uninstall the HTC driver though.[/FONT]
    4. [FONT=&quot]Connect the device to pc. Put the goldcard in the device, and run the RUU.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]How to Create a Goldcard? [/FONT](via[PC Application] GoldCardTool - Android @ MoDaCo)
    [FONT=&quot]There are longwinded manual guides, but since they usually scare away newbies, I am posting the simplest guide to creating a goldcard, which is using[/FONT] klutsh’[FONT=&quot]s Goldcard creation tool. The following instructions are by klutsh at Modaco. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Download the Goldcard Tool here[/FONT]


    • [FONT=&quot]Latest HTC Sync software installed (www.htc.com)[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Spare microSD card[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Windows PC (Tested on Windows7 x64,Vista x86)[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot].Net Framework 2.0[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Step by step instructions:[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Format the microSD card to FAT32 format.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Put the microSD card in your device and boot it.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Launch GoldCard Tool (Right Click and run as Admin if needed)[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Connect Android device to USB (USB Debugging must be enabled on the device)[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Click 'Get CID' (If MMC1 fails try MMC0)[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Click the link to open revskills.de, enter the CID number from Goldcard Tool and create your goldcard image, which will be e-mailed to you.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Enable USB Mass Storage on the device.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Click 'Refresh' and select your microSD card in the drop down menu.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Click 'Load GoldCard.img' and open the .img file you got by email.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Click 'Patch MMC'[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]There is a manual method which you can try if this method fails.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]How to Unroot your HTC Desire to stock.[/FONT] [FONT=&quot][via http://android.modaco.com/content/ht...ur-htc-desire/ and http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=672770]

    This is a repetition of the above FAQ. Unrooting essentially involves running the RUU, either as .exe from PC, or as a PB99img.zip from phone.

    You will need:[/FONT]

    1. [FONT=&quot]HTC Sync (For Drivers)[/FONT]
    2. [FONT=&quot]The Download Above[/FONT]
    3. [FONT=&quot]A Windows PC[/FONT]
    4. [FONT=&quot]A Goldcard[/FONT]
    5. [FONT=&quot]An HTC Desire[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The Guide:[/FONT]

    1. [FONT=&quot]Make sure your goldcard is in your phone (If Required)[/FONT]
    2. [FONT=&quot]Turn off your HTC desire, then turn it back on with the 'back' button held down. You'll see 'FASTBOOT' written on the screen in a red box.[/FONT]
    3. [FONT=&quot]Connect the phone to your computer, then run the 'ruu' that you downloaded above (it may take a short while to start). Let the update complete. If you need USB drivers, you can find them as part of the HTC Sync install.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Whatever you do, DO NOT turn off the device manually unless the software tells you to. If something goes wrong, dont switch off phone. Keep the phone on while trying a solution. Newer RUUs dont usually wreck a phone, and with a goldcard, you can always recover. But, the flash SHOULD NOT be interrupted by switching off or disconnecting the cable.

    Always start with a battery with >50% power (full recommended).

    What is PB99IMG.zip?How do I use it?

    It is the actual ROM in zip format.This is a part of the RUU. The RUU is an exe file, and when you run this file, it creates a folder in your Temp folder(Type %TEMP% in your Run Window, and press Enter). Delete all the files and folders in your Temp and then run the RUU. You will see two folders created when you run RUU. One of them (name starts with { curly brackets). Within that is another folder which contains many files, one of them is rom.zip. You need to put it in the root of your sdcard, and rename it to PB99IMG.zip. Then, when you start phone by Vol- and Power button, this file is automatically found by the device and prompts you to update ROM with this file. Note that you may need a gold card.

    Why do I need to create a goldcard?

    When an RUU is run, there are many checkpoints which need to be passed before your ROM can be updated. One is the version check. Ordinarily, you cannot upgrade to a lower version. Another is the CID check (cidnum variable). CID is different for different regions. There are some regions which have unbranded devices (the WWE edition). Branded phones cannot be normally upgraded to a ROM meant for another region, including the unbranded WWE RUU.

    Note that I've written normally
    Both CID check and version check can be bypassed by putting a goldcard in the phone while running the RUU or upgrading from the PB99IMG.zip.

    (Newbies to the world of Android are encouraged to ask questions here. As you ask, I will update the FAQs )

    Disclaimer: This is not a full HOW-TO since I have not included all links. More so, because if you have got yourself in the same scenario as me, there is no solution! You will have to search and find things mentioned in the steps. This is just an outline of the various methods one can try to unbrick an SLCD bricked Desire. Each step on this has seperate threads on XDA and Androidforums.com with complete details. A simple Google can bring it up. I am however trying to make this a complete guide which is Newbie-proof.[/FONT]

    miuzikboy, alshop, raybi and 2 others like this.
  2. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    Reserved for more FAQs
  3. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    Reserved for more FAQs(1)
  4. pedrobogus

    pedrobogus Member

    I have two CDMA, SLCD (US Cellular) Desires. One is stock and the other is rooted with S-OFF and is having the HTC reboot problem. I need to send it back for repair but need to unroot first (and set S-ON). Will following this guide unroot and set S-ON or just unroot? I also am wondering if I can do this without a US Cellular RUU - it has never been released. Sorry for so many questions but I would love to get this thing fixed up so I can get it repaired.
  5. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    Following the guide will revert the device to factory state..i.e Unrooted and S-ON

    But, since I've never used a Desire CDMA (bravoc), I cannot assure you that this method works on your device. It should, provided that you substitute the corresponding files with those for your device.
    raybi likes this.
  6. raybi

    raybi Member

    First of all thank you so much for this tutorial it gives me some hope

    my desire its detected using adb or fastboot but my problem is i can't mount the sd card so i can make the goldcard, i mean i downloaded the goldcard tool got the cid went to website and got the goldcard.img but the next step which to enable mass storage, refresh and select the sd card i can't do it so pleeeease help me :(

    EDIT: i found the command

    adb shell
    echo /dev/block/mmcblk0 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file

    i exctracted the rom from the RUU do i just flash it using fastboot ?
  7. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    The gold card can be inserted into a card reader and the rest of the steps performed. There is no further need of the phone after cid is generated
  8. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    No. you have to rename it as PB99IMG.zip and follow the pb99img method. Search for threads started by me. I have written another detailed tutorial for this here and on xda. The one on xda is fully illustrated
  9. raybi

    raybi Member

    Ok i found your thread,but the thing is i'm stuck here "Put the file PB99IMG.zip into the root of the goldcard" when i formated my sd card and patched the MMC i opened the sd card and i found its empty, please bear with me :)
  10. raybi

    raybi Member

    Please Droidzone you are my only hope i'm really frustrated about what i've done :(
  11. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    I'm traveling by train and my net connectivity is limited.

    See my xda thread. It's more detailed.

  12. raybi

    raybi Member

    Ok buddy have a nice Trip, i'll come back later cuz its really late here, take care and thanks
  13. Hadron

    Hadron Well-Known Member Contributor

    Apologies if I'm misreading you, but you seem to be saying that after formatting the card you found it empty? That's what I'd expect, because formatting wipes a card - you need to put the file on after formatting.
    raybi likes this.
  14. raybi

    raybi Member

    I DID IT ! my Desire came back to life lol,i honestly can't find words to thank you and to show how grateful i am :) you really saved me Droidzone thank you soooooo much :)
  15. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    Excellent..glad to hear that.. I spent a lot of sleep less hours when I first faced this issue myself..unfortunately I had no gold card at the time :)
  16. 999howard

    999howard New Member

  17. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

  18. harishvr9

    harishvr9 Member

    i have an Indian HTC desire and after some issues its bricked. It is still under warranty. If i take this phone to the HTC service center, would the phone be repaired under warranty or would I have to pay for the service?
  19. droidzone

    droidzone Well-Known Member

    I really doubt that you have bricked it. In 99% of the cases, it is possible to "unbrick it". Real bricking usually occurs when tampering with the hboot and other protected areas.. What exactly have you done with it, and what is its present status. If you want to take it to service centre, its fine.. They have to repair it.. No software issue can be excluded from warranty
  20. clue-less

    clue-less New Member

    Hi I have a problem where my phone dropped from a bedside cabinet when trying to turn alarm off (only less than 1/2 metre) but when i picked it up it had turned off. I switched it back on and got this on the screen
    HBOOT- 0.93.0001
    the date i purchased

    HBOOT (highlighted)
    vol up
    vol down


    I cant get the volume buttoms to move to select anything different than fastboot and when i select that with the power button nothing happens.

    Is this what they call bricked and what else can i do? Would it make any difference to connect the phone to the leptop and see if any messages come up? Maybe its best to send to HTC....

    Thank you anyone who can help
    I know its similar to what some people experience but usually they can get the volume buttons to select something that helps!!!

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