How To: Load a Custom ROM on the HTC Desire

I. Before You Begin

1. You MUST have done our How To Root (Unrevoked Method) procedure before doing this one.

II. Loading a Custom ROM

1. Head over to our ROMs section for your phone and choose a ROM you want to try. Download it and save it to your computer (do NOT extract it, leave it as a .zip)

2. Plug the phone in via USB cable and mount the sd card so we can transfer files to it.

3. Copy the ROM .zip file and save it to the root of the sd card (NOT in any folders just on the sd card itself). Once it is done copying, unplug the phone from the usb cable.

4. Turn off the phone, then turn it back on by holding down Volume Down and Power until the white bootloader screen comes up (if it finds the PC36IMG.zip on your sd because you didn’t delete it, just say NO when it asks you if you want to update). Now using the volume buttons select Fastboot, then select Recovery and wait for the phone to boot into recovery mode.

5. Scroll to Wipe Data, select wipe data/factory reset and then select wipe dalvik cache.

6. Now scroll to Apply .zip from sd card and select the ROM .zip file we saved to the sdcard and wait for it to finish flashing. Once it is done, hit reboot and you are all set! Enjoy! If you want to flash a different ROM, simply redo this procedure and choose a different ROM.

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  • cosmo

    hi, ive done the root step by step and it work fine, ive made the goldencard. ive coped the recovery zip and the new rom and the phone want update

    • Bekabeksi

      i have problem with my desire , when i install some aplication and uninstal that aplication my internal memory is not the same size as before I installed that aplication, If anybody now what about this problem is , please help ????????????????????????

    • Bekabeksi

      i have problem with my desire , when i install some aplication and uninstal that aplication my internal memory is not the same size as before I installed that aplication, If anybody now what about this problem is , please help ????????????????????????

      • This isn’t really the place to post this but…

        What is happening is that the apps leave behind files like caches and user data (in case you reinstall the app). You can go in to recovery mode (if you are rooted) and Wipe Cache, Dalvik cache, etc. to fix this. *Remember though that if you click Wipe Data it will essentially reset your phone.

  • Does anyone get a box with an orange arrow and a android logo when trying to install a new ROM?

  • BILLYJC

    I get a red arrow earlier when i select recovery it red arrows me straighte away i cant get past this step! i select fastboot it shecks the sd or something then brings me back to the first screen and then i select recovery and it red arrows me. Any help would be appreciated.

    billy

  • Conrad

    hey guys i need some help out here i have a htc desire. I have followed all the above steps but when i select – apply sdcard:update.zip its gives me the follow error – verifying update package…E:signature verification failed Installation aborted

  • Or Bar

    I have a stock Telus desire with slcd and HBOOT 0.83, will this guide work? if I follow this guide will I recieve an OTA update to stock 2.2 from HTC or will i have to load a ROM in order to do that?

  • Rahul

    Hi Unlockr, will i need a gold card inserted everytime i flasha new rom to a branded phone?

    • You don’t need a goldcard to root the Desire at all firstly (just do our Unrevoked Method procedure). If you did use one though, no problem. You do NOT need it to load any other ROMs, just to initially root the phone is all.

      • Rahul

        Thanks, just rooted using unrevoked. will i only need a gold card when if there is a OTA update where the radio might change? i assume the gold ccard is for any update where the radio will change?

  • faris

    hello unlockr, i have a question.
    my rom is defrost 5.3a, and 5.4 is out now.
    is it possible to upgrade from 5.3a to 5.4 ? if yes, how to do it?
    just wipe the data/factory reset and then install the .zip?

    • Correct. To switch to any new rom just wipe and flash. If its an update to the same rom, then you might not have to wipe, just flash it. If it gets stuck in a boot loop then boot back into recovery and wipe then flash.

  • Richie

    Unlockr, thanks a lot for all the support this far.

    I have just one question, are all roms made for the desire able to work on one phone or another?
    The reason i ask is because i flashed one and during bootup my screen stayed illuminated black while i was able to hear the bootup. Is there a reason for this? Or should i try to flash the same rom once more?

    • Try to flash it again but make sure you do a wipe in recovery right before flashing the rom. If it doesn’t work flash a different rom, so just are glitchy.

  • Richard

    ok thanks, working on it now.

    tried again with a different ROM… I started poking around and I now I’m wondering what it means to have a “signed” ROM… The clockwork mod requires my .zip file to be named as “update.zip” or else it won’t find the ROM… could that be the issue?

  • Parmjitsc

    Hi,

    I tried to root my HTC desire via the Unrevoked Method procedure and it showed all was done (however no data was wiped off my phone and I had all the contacts still). I did get the Superuser Icon (Ninja one) and when I tried to load a new rom (AuraxTSense ROM) but when I boot in the recovery mode it doesn’t give me a screen with the ! mark but just boots with a black screen and green options. I go to wipe data but just gives me a blank screen and if I click on power again it brings the menu back.

    I have the Froyo and boot loader 0.93, is there something wrong that I am doing or have I not rooted the phone correctly?

    • Mg1993

      Same situation here… 🙁

      • John Middlehurst

        On the clockwork recovery screen (black with green writing) the power button doesnt select, it just locks the screen. Use trackball to select.

      • John Middlehurst

        On the clockwork recovery screen (black with green writing) the power button doesnt select, it just locks the screen. Use trackball to select.

    • That sounds like it worked. The issue night be that for that recovery image it might be a different button to select. So instead of Power try the camera button or menu button or any other physical button on the phone. Let me know which button worked for you and I’ll update the procedure. Thanks!

    • That sounds like it worked. The issue night be that for that recovery image it might be a different button to select. So instead of Power try the camera button or menu button or any other physical button on the phone. Let me know which button worked for you and I’ll update the procedure. Thanks!

  • Parmjitsc

    Hi,

    I checked and I have the ClockworkMod recovery mode which doesn’t allow me to wipe the cache data and just keeps going to the black screen as if it isn’t doing anything.

    Please HELP!!! I tried doing this custom rom through Rom manager and it cleared the cache but got stuck on the clockworkmod screen again, luckily I had backup the current rom so don’t know if that saved it or it was it just a default where it goes to original stock when something goes wrong.

    Regards,
    Parmjit Singh

  • Please Help!, I rooted my Desire using unrevoked which went well, Wiped the Data/Factory Reset and then selected Wipe Cache Partition anf Finally installed the MoDaCo Custom Rom (http://android.modaco.com/content/htc-desire-desire-modaco-com/307881/27-may-r3-1-modaco-custom-rom-for-htc-desire-with-online-kitchen-2-1-eclair/) but Now when I boot the HTC Splash screen has black marks on it and it takes me to a black screen afterwards.

    Need Urgant help, I just got the phone on Contract with orange and I dont know what to do 🙁

    • Markdoyle Mail

      I am having the same problem as Matthew. Please can you give instructions on how to rectify this problem.

  • Narek Bayanduryan

    You Have to use the trackball button to select.

  • Darren

    Works beautifully, thanks!

  • Bot
    • hi there
      i had this problem as well
      i just took my battery out and then reinserted it then it took me to boot screen then i restored the original rom as some of the roms may have some prob.

      cheers

      Raj

  • Rey

    my HTC got rooted by unrevoked way. but in last step it show E: cant mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p2
    then
    E: cant mount SDEXT
    E: Failure at line 11

  • Means the ROM you are loading requires SDEXT and you don’t have it. Please read the ROM page of the ROM you are trying to use and follow his steps before loading the ROM.

  • Zakj

    You forgot to tell people the most important part before flashing a ROM – how to do a backup of what you already have! Please add that *very* important step!

  • Most of our custom ROM procedures have that step… this one must have missed it. Thanks will add it ASAP.

  • Doucme

    Followed all steps seemed to work went to reboot phone and got stuck on loading screen (pink circle) please tell me i aint bricked it.

  • Doucme

    Followed all steps seemed to work went to reboot phone and got stuck on loading screen (pink circle) please tell me i aint bricked it.

    • It’s not, just boot into recovery wipe data and reflash the rom.

    • It’s not, just boot into recovery wipe data and reflash the rom.

  • Bbushmaker

    Rooting worked great and getting the new ROM worked great as well. I am having a couple of issues though. 1. MMS does not work. 2. Phone is now thinking it is part of the US Cellular network. What do I need to do to fix those issues? Thanks.

  • Bbushmaker

    Rooting worked great and getting the new ROM worked great as well. I am having a couple of issues though. 1. MMS does not work. 2. Phone is now thinking it is part of the US Cellular network. What do I need to do to fix those issues? Thanks.

  • Bbushmaker

    Rooting worked great and getting the new ROM worked great as well. I am having a couple of issues though. 1. MMS does not work. 2. Phone is now thinking it is part of the US Cellular network. What do I need to do to fix those issues? Thanks.

  • Bbushmaker

    Rooting worked great and getting the new ROM worked great as well. I am having a couple of issues though. 1. MMS does not work. 2. Phone is now thinking it is part of the US Cellular network. What do I need to do to fix those issues? Thanks.

  • Hi there, I have rooted my previous HTC Desire and even installed LeeDroid 2.2f. I have seen that there is a recommended ‘Radio’ for this ROM, my question is this: Do I install the Radio before or after installing the ROM? and at what stage? after clearing the Cache+Data or before? I ask this because even though the ROM runs smoothly the reception is TERRIBLE

  • Hi there, I have rooted my previous HTC Desire and even installed LeeDroid 2.2f. I have seen that there is a recommended ‘Radio’ for this ROM, my question is this: Do I install the Radio before or after installing the ROM? and at what stage? after clearing the Cache+Data or before? I ask this because even though the ROM runs smoothly the reception is TERRIBLE

  • Mchockeyvette27

    im trying to download custom roms from my mac, but i think it automatically un zips the files right after it downloads. any way to get around that? im pretty sure i cant load the roms on my desire because the get un zipped…

  • Anonymous

    Internal Error: am reported error starting service, if you get this message like I did, try the older version of unrevoked. I think i used 3.2.1?
    http://downloads.unrevoked.com/recovery/3.21/reflash_package.exe

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  • AstigmaTT

    hello. before starting the process i need to be sure how could i rool back to original rom that i currently have on the phone if i don’t like the new one. could u please give more information about it? Thank you…

  • swmiller944

    Used Unrevoked and clockwork recovery. phone either gives error message or won’t boot past htc splash screen. Need Help.

  • Khilesh Shah

    Fantastic. I was afraid the rooting process was going to take long and i might mess up somehow, but it was so simple. However, in installing the custom roms, the last step did not work for me. It kept saying that it could not find sd/update.zip. I was about to give up, when i noticed that i could manually locate the file. After that, it was a breeze.

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  • Jas96782

    When trying to root my HTC desire on 2.2 I get the error failed to unlock NAND flash

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  • hi guys, i successfully rooted the desire. i’m at the point of loading the ROM. every time i select ‘wipe data/factory reset’ i get a blank screen and nothing happens. how do i fix this? thanks.

    • Alienanthropologist

      I also had this problem but discovered that you are required to press the optical mouse button in to make the selection.

  • Hi,

    i successfully rooted the phone via unrevoked.

    i was attempting to load the following ROM:
    [ROM] Pays-ROM Desire Sense v2.3 A2SD++ BraveSoul WLAN N + Tether [12th July 2010] – xda-developers

    steps given:
    -You need ROOT access to flash this ROM.

    -Put your Desire in Recovery Mode

    -Fully wipe Data and Cache / wipe Dalvik-cache / wipe SD:ext (with AM Desire Recovery)

    -Flash latest ROM from SD Card and if you like it

    i think in my naivety i’ve done something i wasn’t supposed to.

    i went into recovery:
    1. wipe data/factory reset – completed (just thought i’ll also mention that i can’t see ‘dalvik cache’. it just says ‘user data’
    2. wipe cache partition – completed (i don’t think i was supposed to do that )
    3.install ZIP from SD card – successful
    4. reboot

    this reboots into the carrier’s splash screen and its just stuck there.

    i’ve tried turning the phone off/on (by removing the battery)

    i don’t think i made a successful backup every time i try ‘back up and restore > restore’ it says:
    ‘couldn’t find clockworkMod Recovery [version number]
    couldn’t open directory.
    no files found.

    please help!

    right now i’ll take any rom that would easily load without having to do to much..thanks!!

  • when i got to wipe data/ factory reset, my screen goes blank and i have to take out the battery to turn my phone off. how do i get it to work?
    what am i doing wrong?

  • my phone is stuck on htc screen after completing all steps. what happened?

  • Serafi Aggemyr

    Used also Unrevoked recovery all did go well but when i shall wipe Data/Factory and cache it says error cant find /misc or something like that on them both what am i doing wrong?

    happy for awnsers 😀

  • Yusuf

    How do I make a backup of what I have?

  • Tasosmnlks

     if yr phone is rooted, then no guarantee from the company and htc, if u see the superuser rights, there is actually nthng, because we dont have since we rooted our phone, and u will be vry worried if yr desire bricks.

  • goodyear2

    Hello,
    I’ve tried numerous ROM’s for my HTC Desire, so far only the Cyanogen MOD works on my phone, all the others either never boot (stay on the HTC boot screen) or they take ages (30+mins) to boot up, but i’ve read that most boots shouldnt take longer than 5mins and if still booting after 10mins you are advised to take the battery out and try again. Any ideas what this could be? My phone is fully rooted!

    • Seeking

      I have the same problem, thanks to you I installed the Cyanogen MOD. all other roms i tried  didn’t work,    you found other ROMS that did work ?  

      • Goodyear2

        I’ve found the reason to why most ROMS don’t work on the Desire – Its because you need to partition your memory card first – many roms store apps and other things on it, thus why it is required to work. 
        Here is a site that guides you through how to partition your card: http://www.everythinghtcdesire.com/tutorials/how-to-partition-your-microsd-card-for-app-storage
        But the way I personally did it was, if you hold down the volume rocker and go into recovery, you can go to ‘Advanced’ and its one of the options on there, if you follow this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3RMJdpfHIc) that I used you should be able to partition it a few times and have plenty of space to install apps – way more than you can with a stock ROM. 
        Thanks 🙂

      • Goodyear2

        I can now install pretty much any ROM I wish too! Personally I use the Sensation XL ROM, but Cyanogen MOD is pretty good too – a lot more faster than the other ROM’s

  • Seeking

    I followed your advise about the memory partition, I can now successfully install other roms,at first i couldn’t find SD partition on the recovery  but once I updated the CM recovery to (3.0.somthing ) it was possible  thnx