Rooting aboot

Rooted my HTC desire the other day. Why? I guess to join the geek club but I am glad I did it now. It’s probably the first time I’ve actually read up quite a bit around the subject before diving in and that helped quite a bit. Before I go on the usual disclaimer – rooting your phone voids your warranty. It can also leave you with a phone that doesn’t work. Brick is the expression they all love to use. Didn’t brick my phone but I was bricking it a few times. Scary stuff. What it does do though is allow you full control over your phone. You can do much more complex backups. And you can install new operating systems, try things out and then return the phone to some point in the past if you preferred that.

The two main things I used was the Unrevoked root and reflash download from They promised a painless experience and on the whole it was. The other great resource is the Cyanogenmod wiki at as that was the new version of the operating system that I was going to install on my phone. Open source and free and well worth a look. You can donate to the Cyanogenmod team.

So this is the order I did everything:

1. Installed the HBOOT Windows drivers on my 64bit Windows 7 Dell laptop.
2. Downloaded and tried to run unrevoked3.
3. Unrevoked 3 couldn’t find my phone  but remembered reading about HTC sync. I knew that you shouldn’t run unrevoked3 with HTC sync installed on the PC but the installation can help sort out all the correct drivers so I installed it and then uninstalled it.
4. Ran revoked again but this time it said the firmware on the phone was too new.
5. Read somewhere that a factory reset can fix this.
6. Unrevoked again.
7. Root!

So now for the new operating system. Did a complete backup using the Nandroid back up which allows you to take a snapshot of the phone so you can restore to this at any point.

8. Downloaded Cyanogen for Desire.
9. Downloaded Google apps for Desire.
10. Copied them to the SD card.
11. Booted into recovery on the phone using the ClockworkMod recovery. Followed the instructions on the wiki.
12. Installed.

Differences: no fancy animation showing windscreen wipers when it’s raining. Rom manager now installed automatically. Phone sometimes can’t wake up when it goes to sleep and you have to do a soft reset. But we are all a bit like that sometimes aren’t we? New animation on the home screen showing moving lights. TalkBack accessibility function has stopped working. Titanium back up now has root access and can do complex backups of your phones data to help restore things when you’ve fiddled too much.

So what’s next. This weekend I shall get Rom Manager working properly and then going to install another operating system or flash a ROM as I like to say. If anyone has any suggestions about which ROM to flash please let me know by comments or follow me on


About assistivetechno

Bruce Darby - Assistive Technology Advisor at the University of Edinburgh
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