How To: Load a Custom ROM on the Nexus One (Updated 1.11.10)

Have root access, but now you want to load some custom ROMs for even MORE features?! We’ll we’re here to help 🙂

Thanks Paul at Modaco!
Thanks Amon Ra!

I. Before You Begin

1. You MUST have root access! Do our How To Root the Nexus One procedure and THEN come back to this procedure and continue.

II. Flash a Custom Recovery Image

1. Download the Nexus One Amon Ra Recovery Image below:

Nexus One Recovery Image (Link under Download in the first Post)

2. Save the recovery image file inside the superboot folder you used to root the phone.

3. Turn the phone off and then plug it in via USB cable.

4. Turn it on by holding down Power and the Trackball to get into fastboot mode.

5. Open a command prompt and type the following with hitting enter at the end of each line:

cd c:\superboot
fastboot-windows devices

*this is to check that the computer can see the phone (a serial should pop up if it can)

6. Then type:

fastboot-windows flash recovery recovery-RA-nexus-v1.5.3.img

7. This should flash the recovery image onto the phone.

III. Flash the Custom ROM

1. Download the ROM you want from our Nexus One ROMs section.

2. Turn off the phone.

3. Turn it back on by holding down Volume Down and Power until the bootloader screen comes up. Let it finish searching then select Recovery by using the volume buttons and click power to select.

4. Once the recovery screen comes up, select Nandroid Backup (to save a backup just in case, optional)

5. Then select Mass Storage On and plug your phone into the computer.

6. Copy the ROM .zip file to your phone’s SD card then unplug the phone.

7. Click USB MS Toggle.

8. Click Apply .zip from SD Card and then select the ROM you just copied.

9. Wait for it to finish loading and click Reboot. All done!

Reported Issues

Issue: SU Requests brings up a blank black screen.

Solution: Goto Settings > Applications > Development and turn on USB Debugging and then Reboot the phone.

Thanks Peter for sending this in!
Thanks Wagz!

  • Matty

    every time it try to flash the recovery it gives me an error and says

    cannot load ‘recovery-RA-nexus-v1.7.0’

    File is in the Superboot folder fine and computer does recognize device. Any ideas?

  • Jo

    Do I still have any luck?

  • Luis


    So i was able to install a custom rom but i was wondering if i wanted to install a different custom rom do i have to go back to stock rom or can i just install a new one while running a custom rom?

  • SigmaGears9

    Dear Unlockr, your guides are extremely helpful and I as a novice I was able to Root my N1. I havn’t loaded any Custom ROMs but still havn’t got the OTA 2.2 update so I’ve been trying to do it manually. I tried to just push the update I got an error 7 so I came here looking to load the root version of 2.2 but when I try and load the custom recovery image it says FAILED (remote: not allowed) I’ve tried your process at least 10 times and both methods have produced errors I really want to update to 2.2 can anyone help?

  • Matt

    I’ve just rooted and flashed the rom that I wanted onto my nexus one. After I chose reboot from the recovery screen, my phone rebooted and it went to the htc quietly brilliant screen. It appears to be stuck at that screen. Did I do something wrong? I flashed the recovery image the right way and I flashed the rom the right way after I set up adb/usb drivers. What did I do wrong?

  • jb

    everytime i try to load the recovery img it says unknown partition cannot determine image filename for recovery-RA-nexus-v1.7.0?? what do i do please help??

  • Brandon

    unknown partition cannot determine image filename for recovery-RA-nexus-v1.7.0.1 or 0/

    i just unlocked it and it shows the unlocked symbol and stuff so why is it not working??
    help please

  • Brandon

    never mind i GOT IT to work… make SURE you guys put v1.7.0.1<– need that one(1) if file has that one AND!!!
    you need .img at the end

    hope that helps

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  • Tommy

    i downloaded the recovery image 1.5.3. When i opened the zip file, it gave me an error (internal processing iso image).

    I copied the zip file as it is into the drive and i was not able to flash the image following the above instructions.


  • Tommy Roberts

    help I loaded the desire rom on my nexuse one phone and love it. But I am having a issue connection to the internet. I can connect using WIFI just fine. But if I turn off WIFI it tells me I need a internet connection I can make and receive phone calls just fine I can even receive text. When I roll back to the nexuse rom I can connect just fine. Please tell me what I need to do on this issue.


  • anthony

    I can’t get past STEP 3 after flashing the rom. Everytime I press the power button on RECOVER option, I get a triangle with an exclamation point and a little android standing next to it. I CANNOT access that green recovery mode. Please help me.

    • Rusty

      I am coming to that same screen. Did you ever figure out a fix?
      Thanks for any help

    • Nirtoms

      i am in the same boat as you.
      i have just given up cause i don’t want to bring the phone.

  • Zyzoul

    i have problem with my power button.its broken already.can anyone tell me how to fastboot (normally u guys do it by pushing the trackball &  the power button)

  • Inspirationsin

    Need help in fixing my Nexus One..
    Here’s wat happened ..  I installed ClockworkMod Recovery image and then tried installing the cynogenMOD ROM.. there was no error, but the installation said..installation aborted..
    Now when I try to restart the phone , it hangs on multi color cross screen.. but the phone is starting correctly in boot loader mode.. Please help