Category Archives: Mobile

Rooting and rebooting

I’m starting this post on the train whilst listening to SBTRKT. Chances are I’ll finish it on a PC or even a Mac.

None of this has anything to do with why I’ll be rooting my phone. Rooting it will not give it a bigger screen or real keyboard. The reason for me doing so is freedom. I’ve paid good money for my phone, I own it outright, and I want to do whatever the hell I want with it. (For those of you more familiar with their Apple and iOS lingo, this is the same as jailbreaking.)

I’m an Android user and I currently own a Wildfire. It’s my second Android phone and I like Android. I previously had this phone rooted and even had it running Cyanogen Mod 7. The headphone port broke and I had to have it repaired (Telstra shop guy was great, repair centre weren’t). The repair they carried out was to replace the mainboard, essentially returning me a new phone. I’m now running the current HTC/Telstra ROM which isn’t too bad but it has some major niggles. The main one being that it isn’t my idea of current. Another big one is the bloatware on it – I’ve already run out of internal storage! Sure, apps can be installed on the SD card, but as any Android user will know, a great many apps can’t be moved, especially the large Google apps. What I ideally need to do is get rid of the apps that were installed on the phone when it arrived (especially that Garmin sat nav one that daily tells me it has an update). This is where rooting comes in. Even if I decide not to install CM7 on it, if I have it rooted I can uninstall all of these useless pieces of software (why would I want a maps app when Android comes with Google Maps?).

Before I go any further, here is the mandatory disclaimer. Rooting your phone is a scary and risky process. Read the whole set instructions twice before you start and make sure you have all the drivers ready to go.

First attempt this time around I gave unrevoked a try. Not so hot. First attempt did nothing. Second attempt looked a lot more promising when it restarted. Then it hung mid boot. on disconnection, I got a pretty scary looking red exclamation mark on the screen and nothing else. It wouldn’t turn off or do anything. After pulling the battery it rebooted. Slowly. 3rd attempt was nearly successful, but at the last step it failed. This is down to my phone having too modern a version of the HTC security software (a combination of bootloader and NAND lock).

Next I used the “Goldcard” Method. This is the same method I used last time so I know it works. Essentially this is an extended version of the unrevoked method, involving a preparatory step flashing a different bootloader and disabling the NAND lock. It all went well with this method until the last reboot after flashing CM7. I found myself in a loop with my phone just restarting itself. Re-reading the instructions I realised I’d forgotten to clear the cache and factory reset. After that, success!

Yes, you may have noticed I did flash my phone with CM7 in the end. I decided that since I would need to do this in order to use my Australian phone in the UK (with a UK SIM that is), I may as well just do it at the same time as rooting. So, my phone is now running Android 2.3.7, up from 2.2.1, and more importantly has a load of free space. I’ve found a lot more apps can be moved to the SD card than previously as well as the bloatware being absent. Next I need to work through some of the smaller niggles I’m having with CM7, namely that the Market (or Google Play as it’s now known) can take 30 mins from me hitting install to it actually start doing anything.

All in all, this is a vast improvement on how it was before!

You can listen to the whole of SBTRKT’s album SBTRKT on Spotify.