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Installing custom ROMs on HTC phones

Posted on February 26, 2013 18:47

If you are like me, a proud owner of an Android phone, you probably wonder why is this OS so bloated with apps that add nothing to the OS functionality.  I wish phone manufacturers would clean up their act and their operating systems.

There is absolutely no reason to ship a phone with Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter and number of other apps.  I guess they want to be hip, but in the end, their OSes are slow and full of questionable apps.

So how do you cleanup your phone?

First thing, first. You need to download and install Android SDK.

download adt-bundle-windows-x86_64:

http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

Next, you'll need to boot to check if your phone bootloader is locked.
Press and hold power+volume down buttons.  The phone should load into
bootloader menu.  You will be using fastboot and recovery options.

If your bootloader is locked, you need to contact your manufacturer (HTC)
to unlock it.  Unfortunately, my HTC One X had a bootloader locked.

To unlock it, I had to go to:

http://www.htcdev.com/bootloader

follow the instructions. HTC will email you the img file that you'll need to fastboot to your phone.

Once you have an unlocked bootloader, you can load boot or recovery images.

The recovery image I used was clockworkmod.  This software allows you to load ROMs,
mount SD/USB storage, perform cleanup etc.  The current version is:

recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.4.0-endeavoru.img

You need to load the above image with "fastboot" utility that comes with Android SDK.

This is a critical tool if you load the wrong ROM.
It allows you to format/clean SD card, mount USB storage for loading ROMS from a PC.

copy sdk/platform-tools to c:\android

run the following command:

fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-touch-5.8.4.0-endeavoru.img

Next step would be to get a ROM you want to load and put it on SD card.  I recommend Android-Revolution_HD

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1562603

Android_Revolution_HD-One_X_18.4.zip
Flash_boot_18.x_0.1.rar

Once you download the above to your PC, you need to upload them to your SD card. If you have a working phone just plug it in and copy the files.  If your phone is bricked, you need to boot into recovery mode and mount USB storage so that your Windows OS can mount the SD card.

Once you have the ROM file on your SD card you are ready to use clockworkmod to install it. Boot to Recovery mode. Select "Install zip from SD card", reboot, and boot to Fastboot.

You need to install a matching boot.img with your ROM. Once your phone is in Fastboot mode, unzip Flash_boot_18.x_0.1.rar, and run fastboot file to install the boot image.

With both ROM and boot images installed, reboot your phone.

Long process, but now you can download "Nobloat", "Root app delete" or "SD Maid" to tidy up your phone, get rid of pre-installed system apps etc.

Finally, Google, Facebook and Twitter apps, be gone!!!