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Unrooting the HTC HD2Support

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  1. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    A friend of mine recently switched from T-Mobile to Verizon. He sold me his HTC HD2 as he was getting the latest and greatest one from Verizon. So, now that I have his old HTC HD2, I find that it is somehow using some other operating system? It's rooted, they tell me, but I don't know what that means. All I know is that I have tried to follow the steps you all have listed, but it doesn't work.

    First off, you keep telling me to use Windows Mobile Device Center, and that doesn't work. It doesn't realize the phone is even plugged into the computer, let alone connect to it. Jargon, however appropriate its use, doesn't mean anything to me. What does it mean to "flash" a ROM?

    I feel very stupid right now, not because the computer and phone won't talk to each other, but because I have no idea what all this jargon means. Is there someone who can, in everyday terms, explain to me how to get the phone back to the way it was the day it was opened from the box?

    I have no idea what Superuser is, or what Cyanogen is. Are they the culprits? Gosh, I'm so confused.

  2. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forums! Hopefully I can answer your all of your questions. If something still isn't clear then just let me know and I'll try again.

    By default the HD2 runs Windows Mobile 6.5. It's really an unfortunate thing because the hardware specs of the HD2 are really quite impressive, particularly when the phone was first released. Certainly there are other operating systems out there and the latest ones that are the most popular are Windows Mobile, Android, or iOS (for iPhones).

    Since it was released people have figured out how to hack around things on the phone and replace Windows Mobile with Android. I personally think this is a great improvement. I helped a buddy of mine install Android on his HD2 and he is loving it. He claimed the default OS (Windows) was buggy, had very little applications available for it, and had a really poor user interface.

    This is a term meaning you have unlimited access to the operating system on the phone. Android is based off of the Linux operating system, and the "super user" account in Linux is named root. It's similar to the Administrator account in Windows. The root account has the ability to do anything in the system, including deleting the entire file system itself (which isn't too terribly useful or smart). Of course, you have to execute the appropriate command to do this so don't worry that you're going to do it on your phone.

    Typically manufacturers ship phones with a crippled user account. Rooting your phone simply means that you are gaining access to the root account so that you can do things like remount certain directories with read/write access (instead of the default read-only access) and delete pre-installed applications. There are also certain applications in the market that require root access before they are functional/useful (for example, wifi tether which can shares your phone's internet access with a computer).

    Think of a ROM as an image that defines what OS the phone will run, what themes it will have on it (i.e. what does it look like), what capabilities it has, what applications it comes with by default, etc. So flashing a ROM is simply overwriting the existing image with another image that might look/behave differently.

    If you think about a regular PC, you might think that Windows XP is a ROM and Windows 7 is another ROM. So flashing a ROM on your phone is sort of like going from WinXP to Win7 on a PC. They both do roughly the same stuff but just look different, come with different applications, and have different tweaks.

    Hopefully the super user issue is clear now. CyanogenMod is simply the name of one such Android ROM that can be installed on the phone. There are many other ROMs but again, they are all roughly the same it's just different looks, different apps, etc.

    Hmm, I'm honestly not sure what to tell you about this. It should recognize the device is plugged in. However, Windows Mobile Device Center would probably try to sync with the "Active Sync" program on the phone, but since it's running Android instead of Windows...that program doesn't exist. So I would expect that syncing fails but it should at least recognize it as an Android device. Not sure what to tell you here. :(

    I'm honestly not sure that you really want to do this. Most people that have the HD2 really want to install Android because they feel it is a better operating system. Certainly it has many more apps available for it. I would urge you to stick with Android, though maybe a different ROM would be easier for you to use? Sounds like your friend might be a good resource to help you learn how to use the phone though...

    In any case, if you really truly want to switch it back to Windows then you can get the Windows install image from here:


    Just click on the link under the HD2 and enter in your IMEI number (which you should be able to find somewhere in the phone's settings. I think it is also on the phone itself, under the battery so you can pull the battery out and find it there).

    After you have downloaded the program just follow the on-screen steps and it will overwrite Android with Windows Mobile 6.5. When the phone reboots it will be like Android never existed and you just bought the phone directly from the T-Mobile store.
    cbphillyguy likes this.
  3. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    Understood. Now, when I had Verizon, I had their original Droid. Twas a great program and an excellent phone. I love the Android operating system.

    Yet, Androids biggest claim to fame from my side is its reliance upon Google (tis, after all, their idea). Thus, a g-mail account is required for the e-mail and everything else on the phone. Problem is that his google account can't be erased from the phone unless I somehow remove everything and start over. There has been no operation discovered online thus far to allow me the ability to remove it.

    I have my own Google account on the phone, but it won't take mine in place of his. So, I can't download apps (it wants his password). It won't allow me to go into it and replace his account with mine. Now, if we can come up with a way to accomplish this, I may be more inclined to not go through the trouble of having to redo 208 contacts (I am a cabby, and most are my customers).

    So while Android may well be superior, I can't actually use its functionality because of the Android requirement--or at least its stubborness at not realizing its my phone now! LOL. I can't use Android Market to download anything, nor can I get it to stop trying to sync to his account. He tried to talk me through a reset, but this had no effect, and he's left uncertain as he had a friend of his do this Android update to his phone.

    I feel like I'm an idiot, and I actually had an Android for a long time and already should know how to get around all of this.

    That was splendid. I fully understand what you are saying. You're an excellent teacher! :D

    Well, I have installed and uninstalled and gone through a plethora of attempts to get it to recognize, but it doesn't.

    Well, if the Android is superior, then I'd rather not nix it. However, it won't let me remove his Google account (as I have stated) thus it renders Android almost useless except that I can also have my own Google account on the phone.

    My friend did none of the work to get the phone to its current condition. He has another friend who did all of that and I don't know this person, and he tells me that this person is not in my state. Grrr..... I'm frustrated.

    Except it wants me to use Windows Mobile Device Center, which brings us full circle back to square one--it won't talk to the phone.

    Do you know how to get the phone to remove his Google account? seems like that would be the best solution as it would allow me to keep the superior Android system along with all of its goodies without me having to take the phone into someone to fix it.
  4. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Cool glad to help. I'm on my phone right now so when i get back to a computer i will respond. We can wipe all data and if that doesn't work we can just flash a new ROM on there and it should work. I'll type more when the kids are in bed and I'm back on a computer. :)
  5. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Ok let's get some background information. If you are using Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) then that means you are running either Windows Vista or 7...XP still relies on a program called ActiveSync 4.5. So exactly what version of Windows are you running on your computer?

    I'm wondering if maybe you can't get a USB connection because the checkbox is disabled in ActiveSync/WMDC. Open ActiveSync/WMDC and then go to connection settings and see if the checkbox is checked or not. If it's not checked then perhaps that is why the device is never recognized? Otherwise it might be a faulty USB port (either on the phone or the computer), or a faulty USB cable. Does the charge LED light up when you plug the phone into the USB port? It should do that at the very least.

    Another way we can check for connectivity is to use the bootloader. Power down the phone, then press and hold the volume down button. While continuing to hold it, press the power button and it should boot to a screen that is red/white/blue/green. On the bottom it will say "Serial" but if you connect a USB cable to your computer then it should change to "USB" instead. If not, then you're not getting any USB connection!

    While you're in there, do you see anything about CotullaSPL and SPL-2.08.HSPL?? We need to verify that you still have the "hard SPL" installed so that we can flash Android ROMs. The SPL is basically equivalent to BIOS on a PC. For more information about Hard SPL see another post I made here:


    Pull the battery to power it down, then reinstall it so you can power back on.

    Do you have all of these contacts saved away in your google account? For example, if you login to gmail and click the "Contacts" link does it show all of these people have their phone numbers saved? If so then that is excellent, if not -- DO NOT CONTINUE WITH MY INSTRUCTIONS BELOW YET UNTIL WE FIGURE OUT WHERE YOUR CONTACTS ARE! They might be stored on your SIM card? I don't know...let's get all the facts first. If they are already stored in your google account then let's forge ahead.

    Glad to help and thanks. I taught some undergraduate courses for a few semesters while I was in grad school. I suppose some of that experience may have paid off a little. ;)

    Anyway, if you want to completely delete his account from the phone then let's just wipe the thing. There are a few things we can try. The first is to try a wipe through Android and see if that works. Note that I and others reference the Menu key, but on the HD2 that is mapped to the Windows key.

    Option 1:
    Unlock the phone and from the home screen hit Menu > Settings > SD & Phone Storage. Then tap on Factory Data Reset. It says it erases all data on the phone so in theory this should delete all of the data and bring it back to a "clean" install of Android. I have never tried this so I really don't know what it will do, but have always seen the option. Give it a shot! If that doesn't work or you have already done that then move on to the next option.

    Option 2:
    Let's just flash a new ROM to this bad boy and that will truly make it back to a clean install so you can link to your google account. Believe me this is much easier than it sounds. Assuming you have the hard SPL installed (see above for steps to check this), then I am also going to assume you have the correct radio version installed (most people recommend, as well as something called MAGLDR. You can check the radio version by looking at the "R" in the lower right corner of the screen when the phone is booting up.

    To verify if you have MAGLDR installed simply power down the phone, then press and hold the power button. Continue to hold it down and it should boot into a black screen with a bunch of white text that says MAGLDR at the top. If so, we are ready to flash an Android ROM!!!! :)

    Honestly I think you have to have all of the pre-reqs still present otherwise I don't think your current Android ROM would boot. Certainly someone ran through these pre-reqs in order to get Android on there in the first place.

    It's up to you which ROM you flash but I really recommend the prj Clean Desire ROM which you can get here:

    [12 JAN] prj Clean Desire v0.3.2 [Kernel: prj v0.4] - xda-developers

    Note that the steps there assume you have 2.08 HSPL, an appropriate radio version, and MAGLDR. Assuming that is all correct just follow his instructions there (which I will tweak/paraphrase below and reorder a bit):

    So if you can verify that USB connections can be established and that you have all of the pre-reqs (which I assume you do) then the install process is really that easy. Just download the rar file, extract it, and run it. Then load your phone into MAGLDR and hit the USB flasher option. It will take care of the rest and you're now an expert in flashing custom Android ROMs on your phone! :D

    If it fails with some error about rspl.cpp and a USB issue then simply close the program, uncheck the USB connections in ActiveSync/WMDC, then launch the ROMInstaller.exe program again and it should flash it this time. The problem is that ActiveSync/WMDC is hijacking the USB connection and won't give it up until you manually tell it not to allow USB connections.

    You're welcome to try some other ROM but the installation instructions will possibly differ...and could certainly be more complex.

    So I know that is a lot to read but let me know what you find and if it's all ready to go, try to flash the thing and let me know how it goes!!
  6. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    Well, as you were earlier, I am at work and on the phone. However, I can tell you that I do use windows 7 on the PC. My contacts are backed up on Google, and in bootload, the phone does connect to the PC Jason ive already checked that out.

    I do see cotullaHSPL and spl-2.08.HSPL.

    Its using aMagsar or something like that as it says it in white text at the top of the boot screen.

    I will try option 2 when I get home as a factory reset was ineffective. I will also check out that checkbox option for ubs in wmdc.

  7. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Ok well HSPL is still installed so that's great. Since Android is booting that means the radio version is also sufficient. The HD2 comes with 576MB of RAM but certain radio versions limit the software to only use 512MB. Installing/running Android requires the ability to address all 576MB of RAM so since you currently have Android on there, the radio version must be sufficient.

    Again, power down the phone then push and hold the power button to see if it boots in MAGLDR. It needs to be version 1.13 for some ROMs...I'm not sure about this one.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that assuming you flash the new ROM, you will need to enter the APN settings to get it to use the 3G data connection. Otherwise you will only be able to use data over wifi (so no emails, no web browsing, no apps that send/receive data, and so on). To enter these values simply go to Menu > Settings > Wireless & Networks > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names. The settings differ by country and so on but here are some US settings my friend used and they worked great. If they don't work for you google more APN settings.

    Code (Text):
    2. Name: T-Mobile
    3. APN: epc.tmobile.com
    5. The rests are blank (not set) until you get to MMSC.
    7. MMSC: http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
    8. MMS proxy & port are <not set>
    9. MCC: 310
    10. MNC: 260
    11. APN type: <not set>

    Cool, if you are seeing the USB connection then it's probably just the checkbox in WMDC is not checked. But you'll need it unchecked to run ROMInstaller.exe and load up the prj ROM anyway so leave it off for now.

    I have no idea what that is or means. If you hold the power button down while booting up it should hopefully drop into MAGLDR 1.13.

    Yeah I have no idea what this option does. It probably just deletes all info from the /data partition on the phone, which is where it stores the apps you have downloaded from the market for example. It clearly doesn't delete *ALL* data. Good luck!
  8. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    It always comes up with a text box which at the top states MAGDLR 1.11.
  9. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Excellent. Sounds like you are a little out of date with the version but I don't see anything about specifically requesting version 1.12 or 1.13 for this prj ROM. I would say just try it. If it doesn't flash properly then you might be stuck with a phone that won't boot up, but that's not an issue because you can just upgrade MAGLDR to 1.13 and then flash again. I seriously doubt you need a higher version though as this is the changelog for MAGLDR:

    cbphillyguy likes this.
  10. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    You..... you're good.

    The phone has flashed the new ROM, it is screaming across the mobile network and the APN is set up as per the settings you described. And, I love the new look to the phone!

    You are simply the best. You took me, a n00b, broke it down into simple terms and now, thanks to you, the phone is perfect.

    I am forever in your debt, oh kind person! :D
  11. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Wonderful news! Now see you just did a complete 180 from being confused and frustrated to being happy with your "perfect" phone. This stuff looks daunting and sounds horribly difficult but it's really not.

    And now you can pay it forward and help others since you're somewhat of an expert on flashing Android ROMs to the HD2 now (for sufficient interpretations of the word "expert"). ;)

    I'm really glad to hear that it worked for you. While I didn't actually write any software for you, I'll just charge you for my time under the "beerware" software license (which, according to Wikipedia is defined as follows: "Should the user of the product meet the author and consider the software useful, he is encouraged to buy the author a beer"). :D

    Two suggestions for you right away:

    1. Display all apps on your phone (from your home screen it's the little arrow on the bottom left). Open the "Talk" application and hit menu > Settings and disable the "Automatically sign in" feature. This will kill your battery life and most people don't chat with others on it anyway. Also be sure to go back to the main Talk screen and hit Menu > sign out.

    2. Download an app called Y5 from the market. It will help save your battery life. The idea is that connecting to wifi is cheaper than 3G. However, once you leave the wifi network the phone will constantly scan for a wifi network to connect to, which drains battery. Y5 intelligently disables your wifi antenna when you leave the range of a known wireless network and enables it as soon as you get close to it again. It's completely automatic and very useful.

    Enjoy your new phone!

    P.S. That ROM is rooted so you have super user permissions. ;)
  12. cbphillyguy

    cbphillyguy Member

    Beerware, eh? Deal!

    I will pay it forward. Seems easy to do all this now that I have done it. I also will now investigate this phone and see what it can do.

    Thanks again for all of your help.
  13. gamblor01

    gamblor01 Well-Known Member

    Just FYI, prior to installing MAGLDR and flashing the ROM you have to update the radio and the SPL version. Those two steps are pretty simple as well. In case you wind up helping anyone else do this, here are some links that describe the two steps and contain the files that you need to download. Just a note for the HSPL -- be *SURE* that you select 2.08HSPL instead of 2.08.0000. I made that mistake in the past and it won't let you flash anything after that except for the official Windows image from T-Mobile until you flash 2.08HSPL back on there.

    HSPL 2.08:
    How to Install HSPL3 on HTC HD2? (Video)

    Radio (which is known to work very well):

    How to Install Custom Radio ROM on HTC HD2? (Video)

    Hope you're still enjoying the phone. Cheers!

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