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Root How to root and install a custom ROM on the Desire HD

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by El Presidente, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
    Moderator Thread Starter
    Jan 3, 2011

    Jan 3, 2011
    This post is just a one stop reference linking to all the guides needed to root and install a custom ROM on the DHD. I obviously take no credit for any of the threads linked to, they were written by those far more knowledgeable than I.

    I, nor are the authors of the below guides, responsible for any damage incurred to your handset during this process, you're voiding your warranty and doing so at your own risk..

    That being said, it is a relatively easy procedure but is obviously not 100% risk free.

    Before you begin, you'll need to ascertain if your handset is branded or unbranded. If you're network branded, there's an additional step you will need to perform in order to begin the downgrade and root process.

    Generally speaking, if you see a network logo when you turn your handset on, you're branded, but this is not the only sign. The easiest way to check is by looking at the software version on your handset. This can be found under software information in the settings menu. To get there follow these steps -

    Settings -> About Phone -> Software Information.

    What you want to look for is the software number. If it's anything other than 1.32.405.6, 1.72.405.3, 2.36.405.8 or 2.50.405.1 you have a branded handset and will need to create a goldcard before you can commence the downgrade process. A gold card will trick your branded handset into accepting non network branded software. I am reliably informed that if after several attempts, the above doesn't work, there is an alternative method here. It does say it's for the original Desire, but it will work with the HD too. (points at D-U-R-X)

    The first/next step in the process is now to downgrade your firmware to 1.32.405.6 (obviously if you're using 1.32.405.6 already, you can forgo this step and move on to rooting). The downgrade is required as HTC made software based on 1.72.405.3 and 2.36.405.8 (Android versions 2.2.1 & 2.3.3 respectively) virtually unrootable. It is possible to a point, but only via the command prompt and on a temporary basis. You'll need the temporary root to downgrade, the procedure for both can be found here. Note, you'll need to register on the XDA forums in order to download the files jkoljo references.

    We are now also able to downgrade from software versions 2.37.xxx.x and above. In order to do so, you'll need to follow the guide by CuBz in this post. Once completed, you'll need to Root, S-OFF, ENG S-OFF as detailed below. The initial guide was posted here by aswethinkweiz.

    If you want to make the downgrade process even easier, try this, provided by JSLEnterprises. There are a number of tools included which automate some of temp root and downgrade commands.

    If you're coming from a branded ROM and just want to debrand, you can stop here. By reverting back to an unbranded 2.2 ROM, you will now be able to receive OTA update straight from HTC without any network bloatware. You can continue with the root process, but it is not recommended you download OTA updates when rooted.

    Rooting and S-OFF
    Once completed, you're now in a position to permanently root your handset, you will also need to obtain something referred to as S-OFF, this is mandatory for installing custom ROMs. This can be done by following the guide here. There's even a handy youtube video, showing you exactly what to do!

    Engineering S-OFF
    The next step is gain Engineering S-OFF. The guide for that can be found here. This step is technically unnecessary, but recommended to give you unparalleled access to your device. If you wish to flash a new radio (more on that at the end), Engineering S-OFF is essential. I recommend doing it now, just in case you do need to flash a new radio later on.

    Installing ROM Manager & Clockwork
    You're nearly there! You now need to install an app called ROM Manager via the Android Market. Download and Install. If you get a pop up asking for Super User permissions during install, click allow. Once installed, open the app and hit the top option, Flash ClockworkMod Recovery, you might get asked to select your device, it should be the only option so this won't be too taxing ;). This will then download the latest version of ClockworkMod ( and install it on to your device. Once completed, you'll get a box up saying "Successfully Flashed ClockworkMod recovery".

    Take note of this post about the previous version of Clockwork Mod, if used to partition your SD Card, it will brick your handset. So ensure you have the latest version of CWM OR just use Windows if you want to partition your SD.

    Installing your chosen ROM
    Now you have clockwork installed, you'll need to chose which ROM you want on your handset. For a list of virtually all available ROMs, look here. 2 of the more popular are LeeDroid and CM7, but the choice is yours. Having used both, I'll flit between the 2 probably, each have their own advantages, LeeDroid is virtually the Stock HTC Gingerbread ROM with all the niceties that Sense brings along with a few performance/graphical tweaks here and there. CM7 on the other hand is "vanilla" Android and whilst it looks nice and is really, really smooth. It does make you appreciate what HTC's Sense overlay does for Android. That being said, it's pretty customisable, so there are enough benefits to make it worth giving a shot.

    Each ROM will have their own install instructions, but generally speaking, Once you've downloaded the chosen zip file, place it in the root of your SD Card, open ROM Manager and select Reboot into Recovery to take you into Clockwork. For a detailed guide on clockwork, look here. As mentioned, each ROM will have their own procedures, but it's recommended you take a backup of your current ROM before flashing a new one. After that, follow the instructions given for install in the thread of the ROM you've chosen and you should be good to go!

    It's worth noting that some ROMs recommend flashing a new radio in order to get the most out of the ROM. In most circumstances, this is not essential and is not recommended unless it 100% says so in the ROMs thread. A bad radio flash can turn your handset into a very expensive brick so DO NOT flash unless you are 100% certain of what you are doing.

    Any questions about the above, fell free to post them here.


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