How To: Root the HTC G1/Dream



I. Before You Begin

1. This works on all G1’s and Dreams


II. Downgrade to Cupcake

1. Download the Original DreaIMG.nbh and the Original Cupcake
Original DREAIMG.nbh

2. Plug the phone into your computer via USB. Select Mount by pulling down on the notification bar at the top of the phone’s screen and selecting the USB notification. You should now be able to access the sd card in your phone on your computer.

3. Now, put the DreamIMG.nbh file and the (do NOT extract the .zip file, leave it as a .zip file) files that you just downloaded on the root of the SD card (NOT in any folder, just on the sdcard itself).

4. Unplug the phone and turn it off.

5. Turn on the phone by holding the Camera button and the End key until the bootloader screen comes up.

6. Hit the End key to start the update. DO NOT INTERUPT THIS PROCESS.

7. Once it is done, hit the trackball to restart the phone. You now are on the stock firmware RC29.

8. Then turn off your phone and turn it back on by holding down Home and Power and keep holding until you get to recovery mode (the ! screen).

9. In recovery mode, slide out the keyboard and hit Alt L to bring up the menu, then hit Alt S to Apply the update.

10. Once the phone reboots, go through the normal setup process to get to the home screen.

III. Flash a Custom Recovery Image

1. On your phone, goto Settings, Applications, and make sure Unknown source is checked ON.

2. On your phone, goto Settings, SD card and phone storage, and click Unmount SD card.

3. Then click Format SD card (it should automatically remount after this).

4. Plug the phone into the compuer via USB, then pull down the notification bar and click on the SD card notification. Then click mount.

5. Download this APK and the recovery image and save it to your computer:


Amon Ra’s Recovery Image

6. Once they are saved to your computer, copy them both to your SD card (do NOT put them inside any folders on the SD card, just put them on the SD card itself).

7. Unplug the phone from the computer once they are downloaded to the SD card.

8. Goto the Market and download Linda File Manager or any file manager program if you do not already have one.

9. Open the file manager and goto SDCard and then find the FlashRec apk file and click it. If asked tell it to use Package Installer to open it. It should automatically install the apk.

10. Open the FlashRec program and click on Backup Recovery Image and wait for it to finish.

11. Once done, click on the empty text box in the FlashRec program and type:


Then click on the Flash Custom RecoveryImage button and wait for it to finish.

12. Turn off the phone and turn it on into Recovery mode by holding down Home and Power to turn it on (keep holding until the recovery screen comes up has a bunch of text on a black background). So long as that screen comes up, LEAVE IT ON THAT SCREEN, you have done it correctly and can now go on to the How to Load a ROM video below:

How To Load a Custom ROM on the HTC G1/Dream

13. To get Root access you MUST go to the next video mentioned above and load a custom ROM.

Reported Issues

Issue: G1’s are erasing the recovery image before we can load a Radio, SPL, or ROM.

Solution: Once you do step 12 and boot into recovery mode, go straight to the next video, leave the phone in recovery mode, and do Section II to load the SPL. If you turn the phone off and on before then you will have to redo these steps.

Issue: I get Invalid Recovery Image or Flash Recovery doesn’t show up, it stays greyed out!

Solution: Make sure that the spell correction and auto completion are OFF in the Text Settings (Settings > Locale and Text > Touch Input > Text Input then turn off Prediction, spell correction, and word completion) of your phone. If not then it may put in spaces where they do not belong. (I had it put a space after .img and couldn’t see it so couldn’t figure out why it kept saying invalid recovery image, like you guys).

Other than that, just make sure it is on the root of the SD card (not in any folder) and that you are typing in:


and it should show Flash Recovery

Issue: When I download the FlashRec.apk it shows up as a .zip not an apk.

Solution: No problem. Do NOT extract it, just simply replace the .zip with .apk and then proceed with the procedure.

Issue: I get backup failed or flash failed when I try to use the FlashRec progam.

Solution: This is most likely because you already have a custom recovery image (OR HAVE DONUT), please use one of the unrooting procedures to get back to the original recovery image and THEN you can use this procedure.

Issue:I get serial0 on the rainbow screen.

Solution:Turn your phone back on to the hone screen, the plug in the phone via USB cable and mount the sd card.
Then right the sd card on your computer and click format (this will erase everything on your card so save it all to your computer first if you want to keep it). Select FAT32 when it asks you what format to format it to. Once it is done save the file you were trying to flash back onto the sd card and try to flash it again.

  • Ansriazch

    when i tried to do 2nd step (Downgrading to Cupcake) it shows a msg “checking …. Not allow”
    please help me to get rid of this type of error. i want to upgrade my G1. waiting…

  • Datz Skinny Mini

    I followed all the steps and and I was about to backup it said “Backup FAILED:Could not run command” why is that

  • I’ve nearly bricked my phone 4 times taking stupid advice off people. Went through a plethora of roms loading them all on to no avail. Was about to give up hope and landed here. YOU ARE GOD! I am going to Georgia soon to work for a year and I bought a cheap tablet in china and its not 3g so I figured get my phone to be a wifi tether device…. Need root….. the problems began. but now you fixed it.

    ADVICE TO NEWBIES….. I WAS CLUELESS! Just follow the steps…. EVERY STEP….. WORD FOR WORD……. and your phone will be rooted then you go to the next page WHICH YOU MUST DO! then your phone will be ready for custom roms.

    These guys are lifesavers trust them!

  • Imbigsmokey

    I get all the way to II-10.  But it seems there is no radio image to allow the phone to connect to the network….so i can’t make it to the home screen since i can’t access my google acct.  

  • Hi, I did everything but when I get to Step 12 for Flashing a Recovery Screen, it says no image found and goes into a rainbow screen with “Serial0”. 
    I keep formatting the sd card on the computer because I can’t find the “Format SD card” option in the phone’s setting.
    I made I put the recovery.img into the root of the memory card but it won’t find it?

  • Welcomechsm

    again i thank you for htc dream,i already with your help update motorola dext to 2.2.thank you thank you thank you.

  • Warsanbee

    Did everything, but im having a problem with 5- 13, dont c the blank screen with texts u speak of, then on top of that, my computer no longer recognizes the phone

  • Warsanbee

    Did everything, but im having a problem with 5- 13, dont c the blank screen with texts u speak of, then on top of that, my computer no longer recognizes the phone

  • Mike76_lb

    hello guys i am sorry to say that unfortunaly after i follewed the steps and downgraded my g1 and then flashed it with the rom all were going good then after the flash done i rebooted my g1 and then stuck with the screen of t-mobile g1 , any help plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:(

  • Ansh Ramjas

    i suddenlt got stuck on multicolor screen with some codes..
    what should i do next to resolve this problem..please anybody help me..:(

  • Ansh Ramjas

    i have suddenly got stuck on multicolor screen showing codes as follows.

    DREA110 PVT 32B




    sep  2 2008


    plz somebody help me what should i do to resolve this problem

    • Rdd1963

      Did you ever get an answer to this screen.  I have it also. 

      • Ansh Ramjas

        no buddy i havnt got yet..but if u get any solution regarding the problem please forword it to me..please/…

  • Usama 1446

    whenever i start te boot loader it loads the image and then shows some eror some kind of 0800082 or like that and says not allowed

  • Ergi_pg

    hi…when i press end button and camera button says loading,Checking and then Not Allowed…can you help me please??

  • Machristina_ty

    help.. don’t know how to use it. har har har

  • Razaquat

    hi there i have a g1 i want to get it rooted but i have also unlocked it if i root it will my phone still be unlocked ??
     please help