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HowTo - My Guide To Rooting and Romming (Beginner)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by emverham, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. emverham

    emverham Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Preface: I really believe that enough time has passed that the modding community has successfully worked out many of the bugs associated with and rooting and installing custom ROM on the Droid. Not only have they worked out the bugs, they’ve actually gone WAY above and beyond what Google and Motorola and Verizon envisioned for the Droid. Remember that all three of these companies have to pander to a WIDE range of users and hardware specifications. If you are reading things in a “Droid Forum” then you are not the typical user and you should easily be able to follow the steps below. Nothing listed below involves more than downloading a file and rebooting your phone.

    Here’s what I did in the last few days. All of these steps can be done in a couple hours OR you can just do steps 2, 3, and 4 in like 30 minutes if you really wanted to rush through it, but i'd reccommend one step at a time so you actually learn something. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Dont ask a question until you've at least searched in this forum (or Google) for an easy answer.

    Step #1 – Manually update your Android 2.1 Droid to Android 2.2 if you haven’t received the over the air (OTA) update yet on your phone


    If you like the stock Android 2.2 then keep it!.. Consider doing a factory reset on your phone if you think its running slow (settings>privacy>factory data reset). You’ll just have to set up your phone again.. pretty easy, just takes some time. I did this and still found stock Android 2.2 to be somewhat buggy/slow (I gave it a shot for two days). You may have to activate your phone, but the prompts walk you right through it on intial boot.

    Step #2 – Root your phone with this program. It costs $0.99. You have to download/transfer the .apk file to your phone because this application was pulled from the Android Marketplace. You can use the “Easy Root compatability test” app in the market to direct link to the website, but its not needed. Use the paypal link to get a code to unlock. Once installed just click the root button and voila.

    EDIT: Reboot after clicking the root button for it to take effect. Check that your rooted by opening Easy Root again. It will display the "Unroot" button if you are rooted.


    Read more about rooting if you’re concerned


    Step #3 – Download ‘Rom Manager’ (free) from the Android Marketplace. Use it to take an image of your current phone, so you can always restore phone back to this state. Back this up to your computer. You’ll have to “flash” the ClockworkMod Recovery onto your phone. For me I had to do this several times before it “stuck”. You can tell it didn’t “stick” when you boot into recovery and you get the “stock” recovery screen (yellow triangle/ exclamation mark). Hit the volume up and camera key to get past this screen (or remove the battery) to re boot your phone. Go back into Rom Manager and reflash ClockworkMod Recovery.

    EDIT: Nandroid backup = Rom Manager backup. Check that you have the ClockworkMod Recovery flashed by rebooting into recovery (hold down power and x button when your phone is off).

    Step #4 – Download a custom ROM to your SD card to replace the “stock” Android 2.2. I recommend Liquid Frozen Yogurt. You can use the “Install ROM from SD card” option in ROM manager (select the wipe data and cache option) which will boot the phone into recovery mode and install the ROM. You can also manually go into recovery (hold x and power button) and then do the wipe data option and then navigate to the xxxcustomromxxx.zip file on the sd card to install. EDIT: After you install the custom ROM..do another BACKUP with ROM Manager.. this way if you don't like the theme you installed you can switch back easily.

    Here’s a link to the latest version (1.4 which came out 8/16/10)

    EDIT: I liked LYF version 1.3 better than 1.4 and restored my phone back to that version using ROM Manager (maybe they tried to pushed things too far in LFY 1.3..?). Make sure to follow the "thread" of the ROM you install. Always install the "base" LFY first (do a backup) and then apply a theme. Don't install LFY 1.41 until you've installed LFY 1.4. ALSO... the LFY ROM does have a CUSTOM kernel.. so your processor is already being optimized.. feel free to "overclock" by installing a custom kernel, but its really not necessary... LFY developers have already "safely" tweaked some settings. As with regular computers.. Beginners should NOT be overclocking...you'll run into stability issues.. force closes.. etc... leave this for the "big guys".

    Step #5 – Install a ROM “theme”. This will replace some of the icons, colors, and the look of your installed ROM. I really like the “Smoked” theme for the Liquid Frozen Yogurt (its in the link above). Use ROM manager to install this one as well. No need to wipe data/cache because its just replacing minor things.

    EDIT: Make sure to install a theme that is compatible with your ROM. Contact the "themer" to verify if you're unsure. This can wreke havoc on your newly rommed phone if its not compatible. Watch theme versions as well and make sure they were written for the version of the ROM you have installed. LFY developers release updated versions of their themes with every release.

    EDIT: Step 6: Install a custom kernel. While I was leary to "overclock" my phone, without any trouble at all I've been able to install pretty much any kernel and my phone runs fine. Its up to you to decide if overclocking makes any improvement in the daily use of your Droid. I would say that phone maintenance is the best way to keep your phone running smooth. Many custom roms also come with preloaded kernels of varying speeds (frequencies) and voltages. Find one that fits your desired usage pattern (slow or fast).

    Step #7 - Your applications will all re install automatically and you’ll have to enter in your username/passwords in all your apps

    EDIT: Mine didn't installed when I did a data/cache wipe when I installed LFY 1.4. I just treated it as a good "spring" cleaning for my apps. I use appbrain so it was easy to reinstall apps that I had previously.

    Step #8 – After a day or two I’d recommend using Rom Manager to back up your phone again. You can do this right from the menus in the Rom Manager application. No need to do it from recovery (the program will boot into recovery for you).

    Step #9 - Download some other programs to take advantage of your new phone’s rooted capability. Like wifi tether (in the Android Marketplace). I love drocap2 as wel.

    Note: You can (theoretically) always install the original stock ROM and “unroot” if you need to bring your phone into Verizon or you want to sell it. I haven’t tried this, but its an option.

    Feel free to comment or ask questions about my experience.

    EDIT: Thanks for everyone's comments! I was bored at work one day and decided this would be more productive. I encourage other new users to continue to post their experiences.

    woodchc, Eddifire, Amrov and 14 others like this.
  2. patch

    patch Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting, I've used this method also to great success -- also wanted to point out that steps 3-7 are optional if you're happy with the stock Froyo :)
  3. Amrov

    Amrov Well-Known Member

    On Step #4, where it says to wipe data & cache, is that like a factory reset -- I'd have to reload all of my apps and data again? I'm on my 3d factory reset and it's been tiresome, so I want to know before I do this... although I'm VERY tempted by the claim to easy rooting, b/c I've wanted to root for a long while now.
  4. Psychokitty

    Psychokitty Android Enthusiast

    Yes, that's like doing a factory reset, but the apps market uses your Google account to keep track of your apps. The market will eventually re-install them. You have to be patient with that part because it can take a while. The market seems to get overwhelmed, and hitting "Update All" can cause the updates and re-installations to sit their in limbo, frozen. It's not permanent, but it can be fidgety.
    I suggest installing (purchase required) Titanium Backup. With Astro file manager you can navigate to sd/backup/apps and use the Tools menu to back up all of your apps. Astro will save a list of your app apks that you can get to (that won't be deleted with wipe) and you can reinstall them, one by one.
    However Titanium can run batch operations where it can reinstall all of the apps it backs up in one shot.

    However you get the apps back on, once you're all up to date, any wierd behavior by the apps market that you may have encountered will be done and over with.
    AMTrombley0924 likes this.
  5. SNeitzel

    SNeitzel Android Enthusiast

    I've seen many recommendations on which ROM to use but have yet to find a clear description on most of them as to what they change or improve over stock.

    Anyone know of a source to compare ROM features?
  6. Jedii

    Jedii Android Expert

    There is a Rom thread that has polls and screenshots. This should help.

    ROMs (Droid) - Android Forums
  7. ihaveadroid

    ihaveadroid Newbie

    I have just decided to root my droid for the first time and I can't even get it to work. I manually updated to the 2.2 update. I then downloaded EasyRoot to root my phone. no problems there. when i downloaded ROM manager though, when I first click Flash ClockworkMod Recovery and click my device it says "An error occurred while attempting to run privileged commands!". Is there a step I'm missing here? Or am I doing something wrong? I knew this was alot harder then people make it seem. Please some one help me. Thank you.
  8. patch

    patch Well-Known Member

    Did you open EasyRoot, cick Root Me, then restart your phone?
  9. frpst9

    frpst9 Newbie

    Thank you for this guide. The one thing that has prevented me from jumping in to the custom ROM's is the clarity on how to revert back to stock if need be. I understand how to unroot and I get that taking the backup before loading any custom ROMs would allow me to get back to present state, but I'm still left with a custom Clockwork Recovery. What if I need to go back to the original/default recovery for some reason? Is there a simple method for that?
  10. JezterVA

    JezterVA Newbie

    I've started off down the road to root. I'm still at work without a USB cable though, so I've only finished up to "install rom manager and perform a back-up".

    Thanks for this write up.

  11. zoobcool

    zoobcool Lurker

    I am trying to install Liquid Frozen Yogurt, but for some reason it will not install. I have tried using ROM Manager to install from SD and all I get is a white triangle with an exclamation point inside of it and a phone laying down next to it. I then try to install it by going into recovery mode and it does the same thing with the triangle. Is there something I am doing wrong?
  12. j_rocca42

    j_rocca42 Newbie

    After following these instructions can i ever go back to my stock 2.2?
  13. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Yes, using RSDLite to go back to 2. using the SBF, both from Peter Alfonso
    j_rocca42 likes this.
  14. emverham

    emverham Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I would ask this question in the latest LFY (liquid frozen yogurt) thread...there are a number of small things that might prevent it from installing...sounds like clockworkmod recovery didn't flash right?...try reflashing from rom manager...
  15. emverham

    emverham Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Yes it is a reset...the apps 'should' install..but when I switched to the new LFY 1.4 myb apps didn't autoinstall...I actually liked LFY 1.3 better.. and my apps autoinstalled...I do use appbrain though..so it is easy to keep track of all the apps u install..I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND appbrain. The market only keeps track of the paid apps that u install (menu >downloaded). I treat my factory reset time as a house cleaning, because I only ever use about one third of the apps I have installed.

    Good luck!!
  16. frpst9

    frpst9 Newbie

    Using RSDLite with the SBF will also restore the stock recovery, right? Thanks very much JohnGalt!
  17. AMTrombley0924

    AMTrombley0924 Android Enthusiast

    If the Clockworkmod Recovery "sticks," then should it also boot into Clockworkmod Recovery if I manually boot recovery mode (power + x)? Mine only boots into Clockworkmod Recovery if I hit "Boot into Recovery" from ROM Manager
  18. Danielson2047

    Danielson2047 Android Enthusiast

    Just to clarify, market will restore both paid and unpaid apps. Or at least it should. I've had it not do it once and i just reflashed the rom and all was well.
  19. may2700

    may2700 Well-Known Member

    just rooted using easy root, installed rom manager and want to put liquid froyo on, do i have to rename the liquid froyo file to update.zip? if not how do i find it on the card?
  20. Cruzatte

    Cruzatte Member

    I used easy root to root properly (great results), then put on the Liquid Frozen Yogurt ROM (great), but then I installed Smoke LFY after the ROM and now my phone is completely haywire. It boots (and has some of the SLFY UI stuff) but it basically isn't operational and there's a constant error message in garbled text saying that something or other has stopped responding.

    I've done all the backing up, but when I boot into recovery, I can't see any of the ROM Manager options... how do I find my backup ROMs? (Also, I can fight through the error messages and access the ROM Manager app in a pretty limited way (for example, I can't flash a clockwork recovery because it says there's no internet connection.))

    (Oh, also when I first get into ROM Manager it gives me a "recovery failure" dialog... so, if I can get recovery mode to work, then I can flip back to an old ROM?)

    Thanks for any advice anybody has.
  21. Danielson2047

    Danielson2047 Android Enthusiast

    Only if using SP Recovery. If using clockwork u can name it whatever.
  22. Amrov

    Amrov Well-Known Member

    OK. I have a block of time available. A fresh, chilled Coke Zero at my side. Mood lighting and music. I'm going in, but with a fair amount of trepidation, given some of the problems posted just above. I'm just a baby step above a total noob (I did force 2.2 two weeks early). Will post results. I plan to start with Liquid Frozen Yogurt, as that seems to be the popular ROM right now.

    cover me.
  23. Amrov

    Amrov Well-Known Member

    Quick question (as I begin the process) -- I have my apps and data backed up with Backup Pro. Any reason I should NOT use the restore feature of that app to restore my info after the wipe?

Motorola Droid Forum

The Motorola Droid release date was November 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 5MP camera, 256GB RAM, processor, and 1400mAh battery.

November 2009
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