Updating To Latest Official 2.10.405.2 ROM For Branded Handsets September 18th, 2010
It’s been what seems like an eternity since HTC released the official Android 2.2 – or Froyo as it’s more commonly known – update for the Desire via an OTA update around 6 weeks ago. It’s important to remember that the update was only for handsets that had been purchased SIM-free and were therefore not considered vendor specific; if you had a Desire supplied by one of the main network operators, say Orange, Vodafone or as in my case Virgin Mobile, the Froyo update was not available at all. If this was the case, the only way that you could update to the latest and greatest was to de-brand your phone and fool it into thinking you had a handset that was not supplied by a network operator; only then could you receive and apply the update. At the time, I wrote a post outlining how you could take your Desire, de-brand and then perform the update to Froyo using the generic HTC update and whilst the methods in that post still apply, things have since moved forward. In keeping with the rapid pace of Android development, there are now new and even safer ways of getting the update if you haven’t yet had it. I know that all the network operators are slowly starting to roll out their vendor specific OTAs, but most people are still waiting. Besides, the generic HTC update performs better than the vendor specific updates as it does not have any of the bloat-ware we have all come to know and hate.
If you have been following recent developments, you’ll also know that there has recently been another official update for SIM-free owners, meaning that they are now 2 updates ahead of most users, remembering that most users buy their phone subsidised by a network operator and not outright SIM-free. So if you are still using Android 2.1 – or Éclair – and waiting patiently for your update, you’re probably not best pleased!
With this in mind, I have decided to update the original post and explain how to take your vendor specific Desire, de-brand it and then update to the very latest official HTC ROM, missing out the first 2.2 update in the progress.
Caveat: Even though the method in this guide uses official HTC software and ROMs, by changing the software on your phone you will be voiding your warranty. The method is safe and has been tested thoroughly, but please be aware of this before proceeding. Also, during this guide you will need to format your microSD card so please ensure that you backup all of your files; if you are using Gmail then your contacts and emails will synchronise back to your handset once you have finished but things like your documents and photos will not. Finally, this guide assumes you have read this post from start to finish before proceeding and that you fully understand each of the steps. If you are unsure of anything, don’t be put off but please, ask a question using the comment box at the bottom of the page before attempting anything. This guide is suitable for novices and no specific knowledge is required. Standard disclaimer applies, you follow this guide at your own risk, please remember that.
The guide is split into a number of steps, if you have not changed anything on your device since you received it then you will need to follow all of the steps, however for some of you, you can skip the steps that are not relevant to you, this will become clear as you read through.
Notes: by looking at some of the comments on my previous Desire posts, I thought I would try and answer some of the more common questions first to further put your minds at rest and hopefully give you the encouragement and confidence to perform the update:
- Does this guide apply to my handset? Yes, if you are still using Android 2.1 then this guide will work for you, it doesn’t matter which network operator you are using. if you are unsure of which version you are using then check on your device by going to Menu>Settings>About Phone>Software Information and check your software number; ask below if you are unsure. It also applies if you are using the previous Android 2.2 update which I used as the base ROM in my original post.
- Does it matter if I have an AMOLED screen or sLCD screen? No, my previous guide was based on an AMOLED screen but the method in this guide will flash a newer version of the generic ROM which is suitable for both AMOLED and sLCD screens as it contains drivers for both.
- How do I check my HBOOT version? Turn your device off, and then whilst powering it on press and hold the Volume Down key, this will boot your device into the HBOOT menu showing you not only your HBOOT version but also your RADIO version.
- I’ve heard of issues with network locking, should I be worried? No, so long as you follow the guide step by step and take your SIM card out of your device before starting, you’ll be fine.
- Will following this guide give me root? No, this guide is based on the official HTC software which means that you will update not only the firmware, but also HBOOT. You will get an original HTC software image which does not – obviously – contain root.
- What’s best, coffee or tea? Do you now follow me on Twitter? Coffee, obviously. If you need to ask then you are not drinking enough. Starbucks rocks.
Now we have the formalities over time to get on with the guide. The whole process should take around 30 minutes. You’ll need to ensure that your Desire has a decent amount of charge. I usually like to make sure that I have at least 50% charge in the battery to make sure I don’t have any issues with the battery running flat; you’ll also need your USB cable and a microSD adapter for your computer.
First of all, you’ll need to download some files to your machine, start the following files downloading and depending on your connection speed, grab a cup of coffee whilst they download. For simplicity I usually download them to the desktop:
- The official Android SDK from Google [here]
- The latest version of HTC Sync [here]
- The latest Desire Froyo RUU [here]
- A hex editor to create the goldcard [here]
Once the files have downloaded, install the hex editor and unzip the SDK into a new folder called “AndroidSDK” on the root of your c: drive, then before you get going on the update, it’s a good idea to check a few things:
- Backup. Have you backed up the contents of your microSD card, if not do it now.
- Make a note of your HBOOT, RADIO and FIRMWARE versions. By doing this if you do run into difficulties it will make it easier for us to help. I have explained above how to find these if you are unsure.
- Remove your SIM card. This isn’t strictly necessary but a few users elsewhere have reported issues after updating Orange handsets if they did not do this, best be safe than sorry.
Next, you need to create a goldcard, to do this follow the following steps:
- Install HTC Sync using the default options.
- Take your microSD card out of your device and put it into your computer, once it has been recognised, open up My Computer and right click your microSD card, then format it using FAT32.
- Put your microSD card back into your device, power it up and connect it to your computer using the USB cable.
- Open up a command prompt on your computer and type the following:
cd[then press Enter]
cd AndroidSDKtools[then press Enter]
adb devices[then press Enter]
you should find that you have one device listed. If at this stage no devices are listed then you have not correctly installed HTC Sync.
- Back in the command prompt, type the following:
adb shell cat /sys/class/mmc_host/mmc1/mmc1:*/cid[then press Enter]
You should now get a long number on the screen, something along the lines of 532600bd227d9c0347329407514d5420.
- Go to this page and copy the number in the above step into the box and hit Submit, you’ll then be given another long number.
- Go to this page and enter this new number into the SD Card Serial (CID) field.
- Enter the other details and hit Generate Goldcard.
- Check your email and save the attached goldcard image file to your desktop.
- Open the hex editor that you installed earlier. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you must run the application as administrator.
- Go to the Extra menu and select Open Disk. Under physical disks, select Removable Disk (your microSD card), uncheck Open as Read-only and click OK.
- Go to the Extra menu again and select Open Disk Image. Open the goldcard image that you received by email and saved to your desktop.
- You should now have two tabs; one is your removable disk and the other is your goldcard image. Press OK when prompted for Sector Size (selecting 512 (Hard disks/Floppy disks)) and click OK.
- Click on the goldcard image tab. Go to the Edit menu, choose Select All then select the Edit menu again and select Copy.
- Click on the Removable Disk tab. Highlight offset (line) 00000000 to offset (line) 00000170, then click on the Edit menu and select Paste Write.
- Click on the File menu and select Save, accepting the warning.
- You can now close the hex editor. Take the microSD out of your computer and then put it back in again, if everything has worked it should be recognised. If it gives you a warning that the card needs formatting then something has gone wrong and you’ll need to follow the above steps again.
- Finally, you can take the microSD card and put it back into your device then power it on.
You now have a goldcard and you’ll be pleased to know that is the hardest part out of the way, next you simply need to install the official HTC update:
- Connect your device to your computer again using the USB cable.
- Run the official RUU that you downloaded to your desktop earlier, if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 you’ll need to acknowledge the UAC message to proceed.
- Check the check-box and click Next.
- Again, check the check-box and click Next.
- The installer will now verify connectivity with your phone, if during this stage you get ”ERROR : USB CONNECTION ERROR“, then you have a problem with your installed drivers, please leave a comment below and we’ll help out before continuing (you can continue using your phone in the mean time).
- Click Update.
- You’ll now be asked to verify that you want to change your existing firmware to the new firmware (version 2.10.405.2), click Next.
- Click Next.
- The update will now take place, depending on your hardware this may take around 10 minutes.
Once the update has taken place, you’re finished. All that remains is to turn your device off again and replace your SIM card, then power on and enjoy, not forgetting to copy your documents and photos back onto your microSD card. Enjoy!
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