I bought my Kaiser on early 2008 and it has been a great pal to me. From waking me up from bed till snapping my wife’s pictures, it has done a great job. With time passed by so are the technology so a few months after TyTNII was introduced, HTC launched a few more sophisticated and sleeker phone and my ol’ Kaiser is now history. Although being a cheapskate I am, I didn’t bought a new phone as mine is still working and it does the job, GOD knows how much I want to have a newer phone, even considering to buy HTC Hero and Nexus One! lol..my wife’s didn’t like the chin though. So, finally the Kaiser starts to show “replace-me-symptoms” like battery lasts only for 30 minutes. Yeah, changed a new battery, original battery but still gave me the same issue. Back then I was waiting and hoping to get my hand on the new Desire HD that was just rumored to be announce in a few weeks but surprisingly a few weeks ago my wife’s give me the original Desire as a present. (Yeah, I love her for knowing my dream phone.)

The third day after I got the phone I went to XDA forum and reading the threads about getting root access to my phone and flashing new custom ROM. Within hours I switching from ROMs to ROMs looking for something that I liked and finally settled on a ROM called LeeDroid’s ROM. So, in case anyone would want to know how I do this you can either have a read at XDA-developer forum or continue to read below:

First: I root my Desire.

A simple explanation of Rooting is gaining full permissions to do whatever you want to the phone including changing your phone’s operating system or ROM. My choice of rooting method is by using [qrcodetag tooltip=”QR Code content”]unrEVOked[qrcodetag] tool which is available for Mac, Linux and Windows. For advanced users they probably went on and use Linux or Mac version but for me as I already have HTC Sync software installed on my PC, I chose the Windows version. [IMPORTANT] Using Windows version of unrEVOked meaning that you will need HTC Sync Software to be installed on your computer. Then, you will need to uninstall the software and leave the drivers, this is because unrEVOked need the USB drivers. You will also need to install these HBOOT drivers [video guide]
As provided by the unrEVOked team, here are the instructions to install HBOOT on Windows:
  • Download the unrEVOked modified USB driver and expand it somewhere you will remember.
  • Turn off your phone, then boot it into the HBOOT menu by holding power and volume down.
  • On your phone, you will have to select HBOOT USB at that menu by pressing volume down four times, then power. Wait until the screen flashes through an “SD Checking” message before pressing buttons; otherwise, the phone will ignore keypresses.
  • Connect the phone to your Windows machine with a USB cable and wait for the phone to say HBOOT USB PLUG on screen.
  • Open Device Manager.
  • Click Start, then right click on Computer, then click Properties, then click Device Manager.
  • Under Other devices, you should now see the Android 1.0 device.
  • Right click on Android 1.0 and click Update Driver Software:
  • Click on Browse my computer for driver software.
  • Click on Browse and select the Android USB Driver folder on on your computer, click ok, then click next.
  • You should get a status bar indicating that the driver is installing. If you get any warnings, just click Ok.
  • Your driver should install.
  • Click Close and make sure Android Bootloader Interface is listed under Android Phone.

and here is the instruction to root your phone using unrEVOked software:

  • Make sure you downloaded Unrevoked3 for your OS.
  • If you’re on Windows, make sure you “uninstall HTC Sync or any other program that might talk to the phone over USB (doubletwist, etc). They will cause problems” (Unrevoked.com).
  • Plug your phone into your computer with USB.
  • Drag down from the notification bar on your phone and select “Charge Only” and “Remember this”
  • Make sure your phone has USB Debugging turned on by going to Menu>>Settings>>Applications>>Development and checking USB debugging.
  • Run the Reflash application that you downloaded.
  • Unrevoked will run its processes. Follow the few instructions it gives and thats it!

So now you have root access to your precious Desire, go crazy! Start choosing the ROM of your choice by going to xda-developer forum and follow the instructions given by each ROM’s chef. I personally recommend LeeDroid ROM or VillainROM as they both seems to be stable and quite fast (people said Villain is faster than Lee’s). As of this week, the devs at XDA has released S-Off mods which will turn off (or making your HBOOT believe that security has been turned off) your security flag and allow rw access to the phone’s system folder. If you decided to use this, use with care ONLY if you know what you’re doing.

p/s: Just in case someone need a stock ROM for Desire SEA to flash back before claiming warranty. [..more stock ROM]

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