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 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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  • 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

    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:
        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 ( 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