How To: Load a Custom ROM on the HTC Desire





I. Before You Begin

1. You MUST have done our How To Root the HTC Desire. If you haven’t, go do it and then come back here to continue.

II. Download and the Recovery Image Package to Your Phone

1. Download the recovery package


2. Save the .zip file to the root of your SD card and rename it to update (NOT in any folders, just on the sd card itself. Do NOT extract it. It should be named update and be a .zip file).

II. Download the ROM You Want

1. Goto our HTC Desire ROMs section on our site and choose from the ROMs there. Download the one you want and save it to your computer (do NOT extract it, leave it as a .zip).

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

3. Copy the ROM .zip file to the root of your sdcard (NOT in any folders just on the sd card itself).

4. Now, turn the phone off and turn it back on by holding down Volume Down and Power until the Bootloader mode comes up.

5. Using the volume buttons and power to select, navigate and choose Recovery.

6. Push Volume Up and Power to get the recovery menu to appear.

7. Select Apply (This should launch the recovery package).

8. In the new recovery menu on your phone, navigate using the trackpad to Wipe and click it. Then click Wipe data/factory reset.

9. Once it is done wiping, click Volume Down to go back to the main menu and now select Flash zip from sdcard and choose the .zip file you downloaded and saved to your sd card just now.

10. Once it is done flashing, select Reboot and your all set! You are now running your custom ROM. Enjoy!

53 thoughts on “How To: Load a Custom ROM on the HTC Desire”

  1. Hi,

    I Have a HTC Desire unlocked.The links (for rom download) above give only cdma roms for HTC Desire. I am on a gsm network..will it be ok if I install a cdma rom?

    Where can I find the right rom based on my serial no HT05MPL12246 (Its not there on HTC main site).

    Also If i unroot can I use the goldcard normally as I used before rooting and converting it to a goldcard..or will it become unusable or have issues and I have to buy another card?

    Appreciate the help.

    1. Nazir,

      All of the ROMs on our Desire ROM page are GSM NOT CDMA. The CDMA Desire is called the Incredible here and we will have a separate ROM section marked as such for CDMA ROMs.
      All of those ROMs on that page are for you Desire (like Modaco’s ROM).
      Your goldcard will function just fine for use as a memory card. If it does have any issues, just connect it to your computer, right click it and click format and that will undo the goldcard procedure.

    1. So has mine, I am on Orange.

      Works ok using no sim card but that kinda defeats the purpose. annoyingly I can’t even choose airplane mode and use the phone with sim but not connected,

  2. Hi,

    All worked fine until rebooting after procedure completed. Phone is now SIM locked (I’ve loaded 2 different custom ROMs). Any ideas anyone?

  3. I’m on 0.80 bootrom & i’ve downloaded rooting tool at modaco. but can’t find the recovery-windows.bat file in it. please advice. how to flash the rom if i have a 0.80 bootrom.

  4. Hi, i Had [Froyo Sense] LeeDrOiD Mod 1.4b and i tried to upgrade it to his 1.4c. (XDA-DEVELOPER FORUM)
    after all i have done at first nothing came up on my phone and just HTC logo.
    then i tried to do the process from the first time, but this time i did wipe the dalvik cache and after i flash the ROM, i did factory resert as well. then i reboot my device. my device just turn on for 15 second and just show HTC logo and then restart!!!!! even when i try go to recovery mode is the same!!!!!!!!!!!! can not do the recovery mode from my pc!!!! pls someone help me!!

  5. Everything worked fine, but now my phone is sim locked… HELP! (I’ve tried 2 different roms already, no success)

  6. hi,first of all let me say thank you to you even if it’s not enough for your effort.
    I used your guide to root and load custom rom(here it’s paul’s rom I chose).
    And I would like to know is that how can I upgrade my radio version to latest (though I have no idea what this radio means and what it does) and really hope to load custom Froyo rom(with or without sense UI).
    I already tried one but not stable as when I start to use camcorder,the phone hang and restart.
    I think I choose choose the right guide to root and load custom rom as the rom and radio version vary from one another.So,I root my phone using ” r5-desire-root-alt ” and load Paul’s rom which is ” ” and now it’s working.
    so,which Froyo custom rom is suitable for me and also how to upgrade to lasted radio (please,if possible a detail guide for upgrading radio version).
    so,thank again and hope you guys reply!

  7. im updating mine as vodafone put load of rubbish on tonight, if put a custom rom on, will i still be able to get updates or will i need to add new custom roms each time?

  8. I have followed the instructions found above but have a problem at point 5

    The phone does not reboot to the black ! screen, instead the white HTC logo screen loads once, then off and straight back on, this time the start of the HTC Simply Brilliant splash screen along with half a seconds worth of the audio plays before it reboots and loops like this until I remove the battery.

    Any ideas.
    I have root via unrevoked 3.1
    I have backed up all data using Titanium
    I have 3 ROM’s on the SD card in the root in .zip format waiting to try but can’t get any further.

    Current software information
    Firmware version: 2.1-uodate1
    Baseband version:
    Kernel version: 2.6.29-dd1a7713htc-kernel@and18-2 #1
    Build number: CL199084 release-keys
    Software number:

    Any help or ideas please! One very frustrated Vodafone UK HTC Desire user

  9. I can’t find recovery-windows.bat in your r6-desire root? Please can you point me in the right direction? Thanks. My phone is already rooted. Done by someone else.

  10. hi i have successfully rooted my desire and placed also the new new rom which i wan to flash) in sd root..nw on applying from no new recovery menu is opening…instead it installs like it did while rootin..pls help..

  11. Hi any one stuck with getting to the other recovery menu when you download the recovery package dont put the from the desire root just rename the recover to and follow the rest from there also in the new recovery menu the one that launches after clicking apply dont select by pressing power button select by pressing the actual track ball.

    Hope this helped

    1. My God. I was there for maybe an hour trying to work out how to get this other recovery screen. Thank you for the info

      This post needs to be integrated into the original guide.

  12. Hey
    I rooted as the instructions go and got 1 rom working (opendesire), but the other ones dont. When i try to boot them from SD card (i rename them they always say e:signature not verified or sth like that and abort.
    I had branded unlocked desire, with android 2.1 instelled out of box

    what am i missing, any way to bypass the signature verification parT?

  13. Hi,

    After following all the steps of your rooting procedure (usb drivers, goldcard and this) it failed at the step1-windows.bat. The bat tells me it completed wich might have been true but somehow my screen and sound driver got corrupted. so i could feel my phone start up again after trying some buttons, but no image or audio.

    At that time i tought i was fucked.
    Now it got me thinking i might have a Desire with the new SLCD screen, and that the rooting package didnt have correct support for this?

    Anyway. Luckily my phone could still be connected via USB. So i put in my goldcard again and used the WWE (world wide english) htc desire rom. To bad my boodloader got updated to 0.83 now instead of 0.75 but i can live with no root for now.
    So i you have the same problem, thats the only way for me to get it back up and running. I was about ready to return it, since i have the T-Mobile branded version (or rather HAD) and that wouldnt recover with the HTC image. Thank god the gold card can fool your phone about that. Now im running the official HTC 2.2 image, looks good.

  14. Hi there, just did all the steps for rooting and flashing my desire. Now i’m stock in the flashing setup. I downloaded Recovery, saved the file into my sd (root), and then followed all the steps. But the new recovery screen does not appears. It remains in the old one, so i dont have the trackball option or the option.

    I’m missing something here?

  15. I attempted to follow the procedure in:
    and after running the updater (RUU_Bravo_HTC_WWE_1.21.405.2_Radio_32.36.00.28U_4.06.00.02_2_release_126984_signed.exe) the device went off and will not startup.
    – All I get is a operating beep, black screen and illuminated buttons and upper led.
    I started out with a brand new O2 branded phone.

    If I try to turn it on and plug in to PC, device makes a bird tweet sound and PC identifies it a an empty removable disk drive (with no inserted disc).

    If I try to turn it on while pressing the volume down button, PC
    My PC identifies the phone as an “Andriod 1.0” and no drive is added, device does not make any sound this way and nothing lights up.

    Anything I can do to restore my phone?


  16. Hey,

    Had my Desire 4 weeks (T-Mobile UK), they don’t seem to be in too much of a rush to release 2.2 so I followed your Root guide but got into problems in the last couple of steps, when running Step 1- Windows (On Win 7 Pro 32 bit) it just kept failing the signature verification. Anyway, I used unrevoked instead, and then followed your guide above. For some reason I don’t need to follow the step, in fact I can’t, just says cannot find. But I ran the ROM anyway and it installed fine. MoDaCo r8…so yeah, thanks a lot for this to you, MoDaCo and the xda forum.

    Top work.

    Now to go an play.

  17. Same problem.Same question? … or do we rename the package. The instructions specifically say’s do not rename update, but it is not named update anyway. All a bit confusing.

  18. hi
    Thanks for your post
    I rooted my phone using guide n instructions
    then i used the instructions to install custom rom, everything went well but later on my htc desire when i rebooted it then now my phone screen is blank and nothing coming on it

    when i am switching it on i can not load anything
    i thing i messed ur phone

    can you please help me to sort this out
    please do me reply oin my email



  19. *

    Hi there 🙂 I’m even scared to write… 😉

    Newbie Noobie here. Greetings!

    Got myself a birthday present a few days ago – HTC Desire.

    If it helps, here are the details:
    Firmware version: 2.2

    i rooted my phone and then followed the steps to install custom rom

    Anyway, here’s my problem (there were posts about it before as well).

    Once I reach point 5 in Step 2 [i.e. Turn off your phone & turn it back on holding POWER + VOL DOWN then use vol up/down to scroll down to ‘Recovery‘ and power to select.] after I click ‘Recovery’ my screen either stays white with the green HTC logo or just goes black – in either case, that’s it… nothing happens and no buttons work.

    The first time it happened I almost got a heart attack (well, which noobie didn’t?) because I thought I’d just bricked my baby… Right now it is still the only way for me to do ANYthing after getting the black screen…

    Any suggestions/help will be more than welcome! Thanks in advance!!!

    (And sorry for the long post… I always need long intros and all the details listed to make myself as clear as possible)

    Please do help me

    i am nearly crying while typing it

    email me the response



    1. Risingmorningstar

      This may have been said b4 but this way of rooting an uscc htc desire cdma does not allow for new roms. there is another way to root that you have to use.

      1. I have the same problem where I have loaded one of the custom roms and received a black screen for my efforts. How can this situation be remedied. Thanks in advance. Mark.

  20. I have desire hboot 0.93.00001
    Rooting prosess went fine. But when I try to flash rom, I dont get any errors.
    Vut when I reboot it hangs on white screen with htc logo. For around 20 min.
    I tryed several roms. Any Idea?

  21.  i tried the above method but installation is aborted … the message is : error in /sdcard/……(status 7)

  22. I’ve rooted my Desire with your guide (How to gain….). After this I tried to install an custom rom (RunnymedeMod007_v13_c-CM7-STOCK). I wiped the phone, after I installed the rom. After reboot I typed in the pin code, but it was several force close message and the phone didn’t started. I tried several roms, but no one worked. What is the problem??

    Sorry for my english…

  23. Hi!

    I rooted my Desire with your guide. It worked. After this I wanted to install a custom rom – íRunnymedeMod007_v13_c-CM7-STOCK. I wiped the phone, installed the new rom. After the restart I typed in the pin code, after this popped up several force close message. After restart again it was the same. What is the problem?

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