HTC Desire: Downgrading HBOOT And Installing Custom Froyo ROM August 28th, 2010
** Last Updated 30/08/2010 23:45 – I have updated the post to reflect the release of OpenDesire v4.0 (the original post was built around v3.6). For future releases, I will not revise the post as all you need to do is substitute the ROM file for the newer release if available; the rest of the guide remains the same. To check the latest file, head over to this thread **
It’s been a while now since the official Froyo OTA was released and installed by most people who will be reading this post. For most of you, using the official Froyo will be more than enough to satisfy your soul but for some, you’ll be wishing you had waited a few days; certainly enough time to allow the developers to root the official OTA and thereby giving you what we all – apparently – want, value added extras!
Initially, for those who followed the official upgrade path to Froyo, and I include myself here, there was not much we could do once the initial Froyo honeymoon period was over. The Froyo update also included a new HBOOT driver which meant that we could not perform root, or play with the recovery very easily. As with all things though, a little time and this has all changed. So, if your happy with Froyo (and please, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with it, the official Froyo is great and for the average user, will be more than enough to bring a big smile to your face) then you can stop reading this post; but if you crave the ability to root and delve further into your Desire’s abilities then read on, I’ll show you how to downgrade your HBOOT and install an already rooted, custom Froyo ROM image and install a custom recovery along the way meaning you can easily change ROMs at will in the future.
I decided to install the excellent OpenDesire ROM from AdamG which is as close to stock as possible but with performance enhancements and a very small footprint. It’s also a vanilla ROM so does not contain the Sense UI overlay (which I prefer as it runs much quicker and smoother than the HTC ROM). Of course, you can choose any ROM you wish; see here for options and more information on each ROM. Once you have a custom recovery and root, you can of course swap and change between these ROMs at will, daily if you wish. To use a different ROM, simply change the download in the first step of the guide below.
Caveat: A word of warning, HTC and your network provider will frown at anyone trying to install custom software onto one of their devices and will quite rightly use this as an excuse for not honouring any warranties. The method shown in this post has been tested by myself and works, however if you do not understand any of the steps or do not follow the guide, you risk damaging your phone and owning a very expensive ‘brick’; please ensure you read the entire post before attempting this yourselves and ask any questions before you need to ask them. I will not be held accountable for any bricked phones; you follow this guide at your own risk.
This guide is based on an unbranded Desire handset running the latest HTC official Froyo ROM (although my Desire once upon a time used to be a branded Virgin Mobile handset, you can find a guide here for a step by step guide for debranding and upgrading to the official Froyo ROM) meaning a firmware version of 2.09.405.8, HBOOT version of 0.92.0001 and radio version of 5.09.00.20, importantly it is also based on an AMOLED Desire and not one of the newer sLCD versions. It’s very important that you check to make sure what specifics you have before following this guide; if unsure ask a question. This guide will also work on other combinations but you may need to follow additional steps depending on your individual device.
Before proceeding with this guide, ensure that you backup any important data on your Device, by following this guide your Desire will be restored to a state which does not have any of your applications or user data. You’ve been warned.
Ok, now that’s all of the boring stuff out of the way, let’s get on with the guide:
- Download the following files to your local machine, for simplicity I usually save them to the desktop as you’ll be needing them again shortly: [PB99IMG] [Official 2.1 WWE OTA] [misc_update] [OpenDesire ROM] [Froyo Radio]
- Remove your SIM care from your Desire. You shouldn’t need to do this but some devices has been SIM locked during ROM flashing so best be safe
- Ensure your Desire is sufficiently charged, I usually make sure it is at least 50% charged; you don’t want the battery running out during the flashing process
- As above, triple check everything is backed up that you want to keep
Now we can start the actual downgrade process.
Important: This guide assumes that you still have your original gold card from previously upgrading your Desire’s ROM. You will need a gold card in your Desire to successfully complete this guide so if you do not have one or have formatted your microSD since you last used it, create one with the aid of this guide. If you’re unsure, create a new one anyway.
- Copy the 5 files that you have just downloaded onto the root of your microSD card and then depending on how you did this, either put the microSD card back into your Desire or unplug your Desire from your PC
- Turn off your Desire
- Turn your Desire back on whilst holding down the Volume Down key, this will take you to the HBOOT menu. Wait until PB99IMG.zip is automatically found and verified
- Press the Volume Up key to begin the downgrade process. Once the downgrade has started wait until all of the steps have completed, your Desire will automatically reboot during this process. It’s important that you do not interrupt the power or turn your phone off whilst the downgrade is talking place
- Once the downgrade process has finished, press the Volume Up key to reboot
At this stage, you will have a downgraded Desire running an official 2.1 Éclair ROM. You can check this by skipping through the initial installation steps and going to Menu>Settings>About Phone>Software where you should now find your firmware is version 1.21.405.2, if you were watching while your Desire rebooted in the above step you’ll also have noted that the HBOOT is now 0.80
You now need to remove PB99IMG.zip (there is no need to remove the other files, unless you want to) from the root of your microSD before continuing with this guide, also download the following files, again to your desktop for ease: [Unrevoked3] [Unrevoked USB driver]
Next continue with the guide:
- Uninstall any versions of HTC Sync that you currently have installed on your PC
- Enable USB Debugging on your Desire, this can be found by navigating through Menu>Settings>Development>USB Debugging, you’ll be asked to confirm this with a security dialogue box, click OK
- Ensure that the correct adb drivers are installed on your PC, to test this restart your phone in HBOOT mode (reboot with the Volume Down key held in) and go to Device Manager on your PC. You’ll probably find that the adb device – your Desire – will have an exclamation mark next to it meaning the driver is not installed correctly. Right click this and choose to update the driver, pointing the wizard to the USB driver you downloaded on your desktop earlier (you may need to extract the archive first)
- Start the Unrevoked process by running the reflash_package executable on your desktop and follow the onscreen instructions
The Unrevoked package will now root your Desire and install a custom recovery image, meaning you’ll have far greater control over your Desire in the future and allow you to now continue and install the custom Froyo ROM.
- Once the Unrevoked process finished, you should be in your new custom recovery
- Select install zip from sdcard by using the Volume Up and Volume Down keys to navigate, using the optical trackball to select the correct option
- Select choose zip from sdcard
- Select misc_update from the SD and confirm it by navigating to Yes. This will repair your /misc partition
- Go back to the front screen on the recovery menu by using the Back key
- Select both the wipe data/factory reset option and wipe cache partition option before continuing
- Select install zip from sdcard then choose zip from sdcard
- Choose radio-5.09.05.03 2.zip from the list and wait for the upgrade to take place then update-od-4.0-signed.zip and wait for the upgrade to take place (remembering that if you downloaded a different ROM at the beginning, you’ll need to select that option instead)
- Once the upgrade has taken place, choose reboot from the menu
The initial reboot will take longer than normal, once your Desire has started turn it off again and replace your SIM card, then turn it back on and enjoy your new, even faster Froyo!
Notes: I’ve followed this procedure a few times now to test it all works, on one occasion during the initial reboot after the upgrade process my Desire seemed to sit way too long on the initial boot at the splash screen. If this happens to you (I mean more than 5-10 minutes, it will take longer than normal this is OK) then don’t panic, just pull the battery and restart in HBOOT mode, then reflash the ROM again by following the final 4 steps above, very occasionally it doesn’t seem to take first time, this used to be the same when I was flashing my old G1! Before reflashing, use the wipe data/factory reset option and wipe cache partition option.
For those like me who miss the HTC clock widget, there is an alternative available (although it has long since been pulled from the market) called fancywidget which can be downloaded from here. It’s almost undistinguishable from the original HTC version.
I hope you’ve found this useful, please remember to sign up to my FeedBurner service to receive email updates of further posts. Please leave any comments of questions below and either I or one of the other frequent flyers will get back to you soon.
Tags: Desire, eclair, froyo, htc, opendesire, ROM
This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 1:33 pm and is filed under Android OS, Blah, Desire, Google, HTC, Technology Related. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.