This guide is intended to alleviate some of the confusion about which rooting procedure to use for your particular Wildfire S.
Your Wildfire S
There are basically two categories of Wildfire S phone: GSM
, which are competing types of mobile network technology. Your carrier uses one or the other; a few use both. GSM phones require a SIM card while CDMA phones do not
HTC makes the Wildfire S for both types of system. The GSM phones (also called “Marvel”) have part numbers A510a, A510b and A510e. The difference between the three is radio operating frequency, but all three are GSM phones. The CDMA phones (also called “Marvelc” or “Marvelct”) are part number A510c. You can check to see if your phone is Marvel (GSM) or Marvelc/ct (CDMA) by booting the phone into bootloader (turn phone off, pull and replace the battery, hold down volume and press power). It will say at the top in all caps.
This is determined by what kind of phone you have, whether GSM or CDMA. All phones can be rooted using the same procedures, but gaining permission to root is the key. Obviously rooting requires greater access to the phone’s operating system than the typical user has. Obtaining root access requires either gaining what is called “S-OFF” or unlocking your phones' bootloader. For those who care, S-OFF grants access to write to the phone’s NAND memory, and the bootloader is a piece of code that runs when you first start your phone which determines environment variables and the boot order of the OS kernel.
With both types you can gain S-OFF by using a device called an XTC Clip
which costs about $50USD. It obtains S-OFF by exploiting a particular software vulnerability. Once you have obtained S-OFF you may then go on to root the phone. But spending another $50USD is no fun. After all, you bought the Wildfire S because it was inexpensive! So what’s the free way?
CDMA/Virgin Mobile Phones
These phones (which don’t require a SIM card) can be rooted by gaining S-OFF via a software solution. The basic procedure is to prepare a special MicroSDHC card called a “Goldcard” which you then use to obtain S-OFF. Once that is accomplished, you can move on to root the phone. If you have a CDMA phone, refer to this guide to gain S-OFF using a Goldcard:
Tutorials, Roms, Team MarvelUSc -- EVERYTHING YOU NEED
GSM Phones and many CDMA Phones
These phones can be rooted by unlocking the phone’s bootloader. HTC has released an unlockable bootloader
for most versions of the HTC Wildfire S. This procedure involves upgrading your phone’s current bootloader which is not unlockable to one that is, and then flashing an image file from HTC that unlocks it for you. Once the bootloader is unlocked, you may proceed to root the device. Refer to this guide for help with this procedure:
[Guide] How to root the Wildfire S A510e GSM with S-ON
Even though many CDMA phones can be rooted this way, I recommend going the S-OFF route because it’s easier.
Rooting is the easy part, believe it or not. Both of the tutorials mentioned above end with explanations on how to finish the job. There is also a method found here: [Guide] How to root the Wildfire S
. I’m not too shy to plug the method found in my own guide above (unlock bootloader with S-ON) —
I think it's the easiest and most fool-proof!
A Word About Warranties
Don’t root your phone unless you are willing to sacrifice your warranty. HTC has warned us in advance, and if you go the unlocked bootloader route you have to fill out disclaimers at htcdev.com waiving your warranty rights.
Somebody always asks if there is a way to revert to the stock ROM and regain S-ON or a locked bootloader to get warranty service in case of a hardware problem with the phone. Think about it: if a physical component of your phone fails (like the touchscreen), in all likelihood you will be unable to revert even if such a procedure existed! You’d spend less time getting a part-time job at McDonalds flipping burgers to buy yourself a new phone.
That’s the basics. If you have further questions, feel free to reply to this post. We're here to help.