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What is ROM?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by IzzyLawliet, May 20, 2011.

  1. IzzyLawliet

    IzzyLawliet Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I just recently rooted my phone and would like to start changing things, but before I do that, I want to make sure I don't do anything to brick it.

    I've heard a lot of people talking about changing the ROM, or flashing it. I know what flashing is, but I don't know what the 'stock rom' is or any other thing to do with it.

    Could someone please help me understand what the ROM is or the benefits of changing it? A link to somewhere else is fine, just as long as it gives good details.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    fried chicken likes this.
  2. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Literally it stands for Read Only Memory, in this case referring to the phone's internal memory where your firmware/apps are stored. When people say they're flashing a new ROM, it means they are flashing a new version of the firmware onto their phone - the two terms are interchangeable.

    A custom ROM (firmware released for the phone by anyone except for Huawei) might have performance tweaks, new features such as overclocking and so on. I believe the most popular custom rom for your phone is Cyanogen 6 or 7, which are both vanilla android firmware.

    I run cyanogen 7 on my phone (it's available for just about every phone) and it is excellent.

    Welcome to the forum :)
  3. nuttmeg

    nuttmeg Extreme Android User

    well said!!!!;)
    Xyro likes this.
  4. IzzyLawliet

    IzzyLawliet Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Mmm....that clears up a lot of things. thank you so very much. Are there many different ROMs? Is there a difference between each ROM or do they all basically do the same thing?
    And would you happen to know how I would go about changing it?

    Thank you, I think I will be here quite often.=)
  5. Sinner67

    Sinner67 Well-Known Member

    The 3 most popular ROMs for the Ascend is Icarus 1.1, CM6, and CM7.
    The best information on installing these ROMs is on TokenPokes thread http://androidforums.com/ascend-all-things-root/320265-ultimate-ascend-customization-guide.html
    Stock ROM is the software that came on the phone when you pulled it out of the box. Unless you bought the TapOut edition, you have 2.1.
    Icarus is basically 2.1 but with the Metro/Cricket branded junk removed. It runs much faster than Stock.
    CM6 is 2.2 modified to run on the Ascend, and CM7 is 2.3 modified to run on the Ascend.
    fried chicken likes this.
  6. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    I don't know how active the Ascend development community is, but in general custom ROMs can vary a lot. You can have android 2.1/2.2/2.3, different UIs (such as vanilla android or the UI the ascend came with) and any number of tweaks and optimisations. You can get almost stock ROMs, highly modified stock ROMs, ports of firmware from other phones or even created from scratch creations (like CM7).
    septembersrain likes this.
  7. IzzyLawliet

    IzzyLawliet Lurker
    Thread Starter

    thank you for all your help.

    But I have another question. If I started using Icarus, but didn't like the way it ran, would it be possible for me to switch to CM7? Or is that why we're told to back up all the stock apps and such? Is that where flashing the stock ROM comes in?
  8. Sinner67

    Sinner67 Well-Known Member

    You could flash from Icarus to CM6 or CM7 or back to stock then to CM7, etc. Some people will flash from one to another whenever they get bored.
  9. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    I assume people are backing up stock apps because they are rooting the stock firmware and removing bloatware apps. Without a backup, they would have no option but to reinstall the firmware again and lose all their data.

    If you're using custom firmware, you would have the option to reflash your current firmware without wiping your data. You can also create complete backups of the phone's internal memory, allowing you to go back to a working configuration in minutes if you mess something up. So it's not so much of an issue if you're running custom firmware.
    septembersrain likes this.
  10. dhruvbatra205

    dhruvbatra205 Well-Known Member

    What are the risks of flashing ROMs?
  11. Scur

    Scur Android Expert

    On the Ascend? The only risk on the Ascend really is the risk of losing data, and losing time to fix an error. It's a cheap, low-end phone, but this thing is tough as nails internally speaking. As long as data is backed up off phone, and as long as you're willing to have patience, I say go for it. You couldn't ask for a better phone to learn on.
  12. dvdlesher

    dvdlesher Newbie

    Sorry for bumping this thread again.

    Okay, so is it safe for me to assume that different ROM -> enables new and (sometimes) disables features of Android phone?

    But ROM is not the phone's OS, right? (Yeah, I'm very new with Android phone)
  13. ShinySide

    ShinySide Extreme Android User

    The rom contains the OS. If you flash Icarus, which is a rom, youll have a modified and better then stock 2.1. If you flash CM6 also a rom, youll have a modified and better then stock 2.2. And if you flash CM7 you'll have Gingerbread 2.3 on your Ascend. Dont get me wrong at all, I have CM7 on my Ascend, but even PG has said before too, but its not the full experience of 2.3 because since there was never a update for the Ascend to 2.3 Issac and him had to modify things from the 2.2 to fill in the blanks when they went to 2.3 But dont get me wrong, CM7, and even CM6 and other roms for the Ascend have ALOT more features and are faster then the stock OS for the Ascend. If it wasnt for CM7 2.3 to be honest my Ascend would of been smashed with a 20 pound sledge hammer within the first month with out a doubt.
    Can0dope and lriv like this.
  14. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Yeah, although ROM technically has a different meaning (as in the post I quoted), for all intents and purposes 'ROM' and 'firmware' are interchangeable words when it comes to android.

    So if you change your rom, then yes, you've changed firmware. The effect that has on your phone depends on the OS version and features available on your new choice of firmware.
    Can0dope, lriv and nuttmeg like this.
  15. Cyverm555

    Cyverm555 Lurker


    I just wanted to clear some 'mess up' I have. Does the ROM include the apps and settings that you have installed formerly?

    Also, do you need to have an unlocked bootloader to flash a custom ROM?

    Many thanks!
  16. Scur

    Scur Android Expert

    No. But you can add them using your backed up information.
  17. master0fn0ne

    master0fn0ne Lurker

    Can I flash even if the phone is locked by a network provider code?
  18. benawhile

    benawhile Newbie

    On a technicality, if it's called ROM, in general micro electronic terms, isn't it correct that you couldn't do anything at all to it, even flash it, because it's called "Read Only Memory". There are terms like EPROM (Erasable Programmable memory) wouldn't that be more accurate in this case.
  19. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42

    Yes, you're right that by strict definitions ROM is entirely unmodifiable once written. That said, EPROM is short for Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. In that case, ROM is being used to refer to the fact that it is non-volatile memory (as opposed to RAM), which I presume is probably more a remnant of how the technology was developed than a truly accurate name.

    If we're being accurate, referring to firmware distributions as ROMs is technically inaccurate because you're not literally downloading memory. But still, if you're going to have a shorthand for it, I guess ROM is snappier than EPROM. :)

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