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The Android Project

MY THOUGHTS ON CUSTOM ROMS

by Dalibor Lanik

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    After HTC announced that they will not update Desire HD to the latest Android ICS, I decided to definitely root and try out some custom ROMs. Here are my thoughts and experiences on each ROM I have tried (will be updated as I try out new ROMs) and the general process of installation.

ROOTING

    Before you install any ROMs, you need to be rooted. There is no much use of root if you are not going to install ROMs. Some people would disagree, but I had my DHD for about year and a half and didn't miss root until the time I wanted to flash ROMs. For DHD, there is really ony one option. It is called AAHK, and you can find it here. But before you download anything, please read on. You might not need it on your windows machine.

    After through reading and investigation, I have decided that the best way to root DHD is to download Ubuntu ISO image, burn it onto a CD and boot with it. That way you don't have to worry abot windows crashing, having bad drivers for USB or having HTC drivers at all. You just boot into Ubuntu, type one line and everything is done for you.

    First get the image from here. Get the 32 bit version. After you download ISO file, burn it onto a CD with i.e. Nero. Now you have Ubuntu live CD. Just put ut in your drive, reboot the PC and boot of off CD. It will popup a screen asking if you want to install - just select "try" option, it will boot whole OS from the CD.

    Once you are in Ubuntu, you need just one thing - internet. If you have Wi-Fi, that should not be a problem, just connect to your Wi-Fi router. Then connect your DHD with a cable. From the AAHK page, find the name of the latest AAHK package, right now it is aahk-12062012.zip. Remember to replace this name with the latest one from the AAHK page.

    Open up Terminal Emulator and from the prompt type:

wget http:///tau.shadowchild.nl/files/aahk-12062012.zip && unzip aahk-12062012.zip && sudo ./hack-ace.sh

    What this will do is:
    * download the packege
    * unzip it
    * run AAHK
    * downgrade your DHD so you can use the rooting exploit
    * reboot it
    * root it
    * install super user application
    * install 4EXT touch recovery

    just follow the screen, and read the EFFEN-manual found in the ZIP. You will probably have to enter the password at one point, which the AAHK will generate in the tools/txt/CAJUN.txt file.

MORE APPS TO MAKE IT EASIER

    After you have finished, you will have rooted phone and you can flash any ROM you like. But this would involve turning off your device and then pressing volume button together with power button to enter recovery, then using volume up-down to scroll up-down and power button to select, which can be a bit cumbersome and can also destroy your volume rocker. This is why I recommend installing another program on your phone, which will reboot your phone straight into recovery. It is called 4EXT Recovery Control.

    Now you have correct setup for easy flashing. But wait, what about all your programs and settings? As far as contacts are concerned, they will be automatically restored once you logon to google, if you checked the option to backup your settings and contacts in your phone settings. Ana as for your programs, and program settings, you must back them up with Titanium Backup. There is just another app which you will need, in order to backup your SMSes. It is called SMS Backup & Restore and is completely free and does the job. Titanium is also free, but if you batch-restore apps, you have to "click" each one which can be a bit tiresome for ~100 apps. That's why there is "pro" version which is payed app but works in batch mode without this restriction.

BACKING IT UP

    Frior to flashing you have to make sure that you have backed up everything, just make sure the setting to do backup and auto restore are checked:



    Now, run SMS Backup & Restore and backup your SMSes to your SD card. They will be in the SMSBackupRestore folder on the root of SD card. The app is pretty simple, hit backup button to back up, restore button to restore :)



    Finaly, run Titanium Backup, and backup all apps and settings. You don't have to backup system apps or settings. Some of those will be backed up with google account and restored automatically, but most simply won't exist in your new ROM, so it is kind of unnecessary to backup unless you plan on returning to the same ROM. Mind you that restoring your system app settings to a different ROM can freeze your phone and you would have to take out battery to re-freeze it and flash the ROM again.

 

    Now, we have backed up SMSes, apps and app settings, and have rooted phone with 4EXT recovery and app to reboot into recovery. All we need now are...

ROMS


 (to be continued...) :)







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