How To: Load a Custom ROM (including Hero ROMs) on Your HTC Magic (OBSOLETE)

PLEASE NOTE! This method is obsolete! Please refer to the newer Rooting/Loading Custom ROM methods on our site:
Root, then Load a Custom ROM, Apps2SD/Hero etc.

1. Once you have Rooted your HTC Magic without any issues, find a ROM that you want to use either in our Android ROM sections and download it to your computer (MAKE SURE THAT YOU ONLY TRY TO USE A ROM FOR THE HTC MAGIC AND FOR THE CORRECT MOTHERBOARD, 32A or 32B or you will brick your phone!

Procedure for 32A and 32B –

1. Download a ROM (make sure you are downloading a ROM specific to your own motherboard, 32A ROMs for 32A motherboards and 32B ROMs for 32B motherboards).

2. Save the ROM you want to use to your computer.

3. Plug in your phone via USB cable and pull down the notification on the phone’s screen. Select USB and click Mount.

4. Copy the ROM you downloaded earlier to the SD card of the phone and rename it to

5. Turn off the phone

6. Turn the phone back on by holding down the Home and Power button to get into recovery mode.

12. Once the phone boots up into the recovery screen, select Apply from the options.

13. Once the phone reboots, you should be running a new custom ROM!

Reported Issues

Issue: When I open the command prompt and do step 9 and type fastboot devices, nothing comes up.

Solution: You need to load the drivers, go back to to the How To Root Your HTC Magic video.

Issue: I loaded the ROM and everything worked, but now I can’t type anything.

Solution: Goto Menu > Settings >Locale & text then click Select locale.
Select your location/language.
Go back and click on Touch input and make sure it is correct for your language.
Go back and click on Tutorial and the keyboard should come up. Close it and you should have the keyboard in all apps now.

Issue: When I get into the recovery screen on the computer and try to push the Apply SDCard option it just gives me an error saying something about it can’t mount the SDcard or something?

Solution: Hit Reboot and then take out the battery from the phone.
Then take out the memory card and put it back in, then put the battery back in.
Turn on the phone by holding down the back and power key and wait until FASTBOOT comes up on the screen.
Start back at Step 11 and try again. (If it gives you the same error, repeat this solution and try again).

64 thoughts on “How To: Load a Custom ROM (including Hero ROMs) on Your HTC Magic (OBSOLETE)”

  1. Thanx for the great videos, they are wonderful…I downloaded the Jachero rom onto my G1, but when I tried to do the swapper, all I get is fail,fail,fail and then done…Any suggestions ? Thanx for your help

    1. Hello Unk2009,

      Your welcome! Thanks for using our site!
      You need to turn the phone off and then on, and when it turns on again you will eventually get a SU Request for Swapper. Hit Always Allow and you should be good to go.

  2. Hey david i need your help,,,,how can you remove the htc rom from your g1 so that it can be running back to normal

    1. Hello Amin,

      I don’t understand the question…
      You want to remove the Hero ROM from your G1 so you can go back to a cupcake ROM? Right?

      Try to post these questions in posts about the G1 on in ones about the Magic next time 🙂

      Simply put a custom ROM on your SD card, name it and turn off the phone. Then turn it back on by holding the end and home key and when the recovery screen comes up hit alt s.

  3. David,,,i dont want the htc hero rom on my g1 any more because it is very very slow,,,,so i jyst want to go back to the updated regular g1 theme,,,any suggestions

  4. Hi,
    Will this update be able to be applied to the MyTouch from Tmobile when it is release? Its a Htc magic renamed but was curious because you have tutorial for different carriers

    1. Hello Maryanne,

      It should work, but we have to get a MyTouch and figure out what Motherboard version it is. Whether it is 32A or 32B (or some other one, which would mean it wouldn’t work). But most likely the MyTouch will be 32A.
      Now keep in mind that in addition to the different motherboards different Magics have different amounts of RAM. The unbranded Magic for instance (the one we used in the video), has 288MBs of RAM while the MyTouch, O2, and Vodafone versions to name a few, all have 192MBs of RAM.
      The Magics with 288MBs of RAM run the Hero ROM exceptionally well (mainly because the actual Hero device also has 288Mbs of RAM), whereas the 192MBs of RAM Magics will struggle with it. Just so you are aware, if it is the Hero ROM you are planning on loading…

  5. Thanks for the quick response. I do want to load the hero rom. I was not aware it would have a different ram. Where could I buy a unbranded magic? I have tried searching but only find questionable sources.

    1. Hello Maryanne,

      I can definitely recommend a place (I buy all my phones from them).
      But keep in mind that getting an unbranded Magic will have a compromise involved. You’ll have the 288MBs of RAM and be able to have the Hero ROM run pretty well, but you will lose the 3G (because only T-Mobile branded devices get 3G on T-Mobile). This isn’t the biggest deal because most T-Mobile phones don’t get 3G anyway, T-Mobile’s 3G is not available everywhere (you might be in a non 3G area and then the point is mute), and T-Mobile’s 3G is not that much faster then the 2.75G the phone will have anyway (see our EDGE vs 3G video on our site).
      The other factor to keep in mind is that a non-branded device is going to be at least $100 more expensive than a branded device (so T-Mobile’s MyTouch might be $450 without a contract, so an unbranded Magic will be close to $550).

      And one last thing to keep in mind before you purchase either phone. The actual HTC Hero is coming out very soon :), and the same place I am going to recommend will sell it as well once it is released. (Again still no 3G, but a perfectly working Hero ROM) It’ll probably be a little expensive when it first comes out though so, waiting a month or so would be best, unless of course, you just have to have it now 😉

      Anyway, hope that helps, here is the site I’d recommend:
      Use the Contact Us form on their site to contact them as it is usually the fastest way to get in touch with them (phones are a tad understaffed, but they are a very knowledgeable company and ship quickly with decent pricing). Let me know what you decide to do! Curious to know which path you take 🙂

  6. Hey Dave,
    thanks for the great rooting tutorial! very easy.
    I am planing on loading the HTC hero ROM on my magic (rogers) but I was hopping you could do a tutorial on how I can create a nandroid back-up image.
    Alot of people recommend creating a back up using nandroid before flashing new ROMs. But i have not found a great tutorial on how to do so.


    1. Hello Dave,

      It’s pretty simple I believe, just click Nandroid backup in the recovery image (the screen with all the blue letters that you click on, just below that is Nandroid backup). Then after it has done it’s backed up, THEN click
      Follow the instructions before and after that as normal.

  7. Thanx again for all your help…I have a question, I just bought a new sd card 8gb class 6, since I’ve already downloaded the latest Jac Hero ROM 2.7.4 and the latest SPL/Radio…My first question is, how do I partition my sd card, second, do I have to partition it into 2 or 3 parts(and what do I name them…I partitioned my current card into 2 parts,FAT 32 & ext 2)and third, will this help with speed of my ROM(it lags)and last but not least,will I need to continue using the Swapper ? Again, many thanx…UnK

  8. Wow, total brain fart….lol!!! Will I have to download everything all over again(Jac Hero, SPL & Radio) ? Once again, thanx for all your help and your quick replies are greatly appreciated….UnK

  9. well..
    I did all like you said. and put the new in the SDCARD
    then on fastboot (turn on phone with back+power) and I hit update.. then it doesnt work..


    any clues?

  10. I just want to know that if and when if you are going to have a video for the MyTouch 3g thats just coming out soon cause i want this on it

    1. Hello Excited,

      We actually just need to know what motherboard the MyTouch 3G uses. Soon as we know that we can post how to root it etc (either 32A or 32B).
      We will be getting one as soon as they come out 🙂

  11. im a total noob when it comes to android modding. ive done tons of work on iphones but my t-mobile mytouch 3g will be my first attempt at modding anything android. is there any necessary work that needs to be done with the SD card? do i need a specific size or class? are there any steps i need to take to partition the card, and if so can i do this directly from the device?

    ive read a lot of forums/guides on getting HERO up and running on a mytouch and then i stumbled upon this guide (which seems to be the most helpful and direct out of any ive seen thus far). most of them mention changes and work that need to be done on the SD card. i guess as a whole your walkthrough seems to make it rather easy to root and get hero up and running than any other site and it almost makes me feel like im missing something lol. any insight would be appreciated!

    1. Hello Ted,

      I’ll explain the two main reasons why they mention a memory card a lot.
      1. The G1, in specific, has very little internal memory to storage applications on (you know how your iPhone can use it’s internal memory to store applications you download, well the same is true with the G1, BUT the G1 only has 70MBs of internal to store on while the iPhone has 8GB, 16GB, or 32GBs). Now you can add a memory card to the G1 but it does not let you save applications to it (just music, videos, multimedia in general etc) so what we do is partition the memory card and have a portion of the memory card become EXT2 (the same format as the internal memory) then we trick the phone into thinking that that EXT2 section of the memory card is actually on the device and is part of the internal memory. This allows you to now save a lot more apps. Make sense?
      Now, the MyTouch and the Magics have more internal memory and so this step isn’t necessary for most people (I wouldn’t need it myself, but people who want a million apps might).
      2. The reason you see partitioning and memory cards mentioned when considering the Hero ROM is for a different reason. The HTC Hero (the phone that the Hero ROM comes from of course) has 288MBs of RAM. Most Magics and the G1 only have 192MBs. That 96Mbs less is what makes the Hero ROMs run so slow on the G1 and most Magics. So what we do is we partition the memory card just like with the Apps2SD procedure (reason 1) and then we use a program called Swapper (there is also a new program, don’t remember what it is called) to then turn some of that memory into RAM essentially. So that we have a bit more to work with. Now this isn’t the most stable way (at least Swapper wasn’t maybe the new method is better), but it helped a little.
      Now this is unnecessary when using certain Magics (like the Unbranded Magic I use in the video), SOME Magics have 288MBs of RAM just like the Hero so you don’t need to do anything but load the Hero ROM and it runs pretty smooth (not perfect but smooth).

      For either procedure, you should have a Class 6 memory card, size doesn’t matter so long as it’s at least 2GBs, I’d recommend 4GBs or 8GBs but up to you.

      Now, one last thing that has to do with Magics (not G1s). There are 2 different motherboard versions (32A and 32B) and you’ll notice there are 2 separate procedures. So what we just need to know (and will find out for sure next week) is what motherboard version the MyTouch is (most likely 32A but we’ll see) and then you can follow the procedure and be good to go.

      Hope this helps explain a few things!

  12. thank you for such a detailed response! since ive been using an iphone since i started modding the concept of partitioning memory cards is just foreign to me. but it seems like its worth a shot to possibly get HERO running smooth…or i guess as smooth as possible haha.

    i just checked my tracking number and i will have my mytouch on friday. if you would like i can get back to you then and let you know which motherboard the phone is operating on.

    1. Hello Ted,

      No problem!
      Yes, please let us know, so we can help others as well 🙂

      The memory card the phone comes with, should have a memory card reader that comes with it as well. If it doesn’t I highly recommend getting one (and possibly a higher capacity memory card anyway, not sure what comes with MyTouch).
      You can find coupons and discounts for a bunch of accessories in our Coupons/Discounts section at the top right of our site. I highly recommend at least taking a look (a high capacity class 6 memory card is pretty cheap from them).

  13. PS can i set up and partition the memory card while its in the phone or do i need to go buy a memory card ready for my computer?

  14. i cant wait to get mine and get mine rooted i have had my g1 rooted and the endless possibilities was sooo nice now i am just patiently waiting for my MT3G to get here and wait for a official working root from somebody =D

    1. Hello Excited,

      We are getting the MyTouch ASAP next week and will work on it and definitely post what we figure out 🙂 Hopefully we get Root up quickly.

  15. Is it safe to do the rooting for a 32B magic, using the 32A tutorial, or should I wait for more information ?

  16. Hey I have a little problem with mounting or something?? Total noob to this. When I get into the recovery utility, and attempt to update using the I downloaded. It says:

    Finding update package…
    E:Can’t mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 (or /dev/block/mmcblk0) (No such file or directory)
    E:Can’t mount
    Installation Aborted.

    Im also not 100% sure if the rooting was successful as all of my files on my SD card are still there. (I heard it wipes your SD Card.)

  17. >LiL JRG

    I had the same problem, i just tried 3 or 4 times (to click the ‘Apply’) in a row, and then it began the update

    I had the exact same problem when i rooted my phone, took about 2-3 retries then

  18. Hi David,
    I decided to go ahead and get the mytouch with Tmobile. They offered me a early upgrade so I got it for the 199.99 price. Hopefully you guys post instructions soon, I am anxious to try it out.

  19. Your guide works for most devices. But it can’t do so on some Magic with 1.33.0010/1.33.0006 SPL. I am just curious it is possible to root these devices soon. Thanks.

  20. hellppp i have followed the steps but when i reach on cmd fastboot boot daldroid-recovery.img and press enter it shows downloading boot.img… failed (remote: not allow) please helpppp!

  21. HI Dave,
    I`ve the same HW specification on my HTC Magic as you have:
    HDBOOT-1.33.0009 (SAPP10000)
    CPLD-12 RADIO-
    May 8 2009,21:02:32

    I`ve already rooted my Magic following you root procedure – Thanks for that!!! The question I have is related to the SPL and recovery img. Is it possible for you to make a video or HOW TO: from A to Z about how to root, change the SPL, which recovery.img and procedure, different ROMs, how to nandroid backup or daldroid, restore if crash, backup the data, etc….? I’ am searching all over the net and didn`t find any detailed how to from scratch. I know the whole information is in XDA but the problem is that the info is in different treats and for a new to Android users is really difficult to collect the whole info and start hacking. The risk of having everything in one place is minimal. I think a lots of users will appreciate your effort in that. Thanks in advance!

  22. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the great website! I’m running a rooted 32A Magic as per your tutorial video and uploaded the fatal1ty hero ROM (Fatal1ty_Hero-Full_v1.4-ROGERS-signed). I’ve downloaded the new HTC Sync 2.0.4 and now having trouble syncing my phone to my PC. In fact, the HTC Sync manager doesn’t seem to recognize that my phone is connected.

    I’ve read somewhere about needing PCSCII.apk
    and SYNC.apk, but not sure where to begin.


  23. Hi,

    Just wondering while i was waiting for the Hero ROM to become available for the mytouch, is the bluetooth and Wifi working on the previous ROM’s you have already done for the magic and is it likely that i will work on the mytouch as well? Thanks for everything…

  24. Hi Dave,

    Im still having trouble geting the swapper to work. everytime i try to turn it on, it just says FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. Ive turned my phone off numerous times, and still run into this problem. Any suggestions?

  25. The Unlockr i have a favor to ask i know you figure the stuff out yourself or find em on other sites to make the tutorials, for the MyTouch 3g XDA Dev were able to root the MT3G via this Link “” may want to try this may help fixxing that perfect SPL

  26. Or here is a better Site for the process on how to gain Root Access on MT3G straight from the genius Haykuro himself “”


      Thanks for the link! I heard about the MyTouch being rooted and have just been trying to get my hands on a MyTouch all day so I can do the video lol I believe we are getting one tomorrow and I will immediately get to work on the vid and hopefully have it up ASAP! Check back tomorrow night or the next day (or subscribe to our twitter for a notification of when I post it up).


  27. I know this is a noob question but is there a simpler explanation of how to install the wallpaper pack from “”

    I’ve rooted my phone and have the latest HTC Hero ROM on there but i guess i need to install the wallpapers the correct way cuz there is only 1 wallpaper available and whenever i go to select the other non-existent ones which just appear as black spaces, the mere selection causes a force close.

    1. Hello Hakim,

      If you want a different wallpaper, just download the wallpaper app from the market and choose one from there and it can set it directly from that program, much easier than installing a pack.

  28. I understand and will do that if I can’t get the wallpapers to install…but my issue is that I want the native client for selecting wallpapers in this ROM to be able to actually select those wallpapers. Is there a place I paste pictures to on the sd card that allows it do that?

  29. Unlockr, please help me.. All i want to do is to be able to run apps off my SD card. And partition it correctly..

    Currently I downloaded the Hero ROM for my HTC Magic 32A.

    All i need to know is how to partition my SD card, and run apps from it.. Please assist 🙁

  30. hey dave thanks for the video.but i have a problem…whenever in cmd i enter fastboot boot daldroid-recovery.img it says failed.i even updated the drivers and did everything in the tutorial but in vein…please help me i want the hero rom on my magic please…

  31. hello theunlocker

    i got one more question for you ..can you please tell me which rom do i have to download for my htc magic 32b mother version…


    1. Hello Liri,

      Goto our Downloads page and then Android and ROMs, any of the ones that say 32B next to them will work. You can also check on XDA-Developers for more ROMs.

  32. thanx to you theunlockr i got my phone rooted ..but still i cannot recieve files via bluetooth i’ve downloaded the bluex from the market and still cant recieve files from other devices. now i can’t even send them with my rooted phone when i press search devices it shows error in local device (power disabled?)…let me know if you can recieve files via bluetooth …

    and by the way my phone is a bit slower then before especialy when i want to go from browser to home, is that normal???


  33. hey theunlockr…i’m sorry if i’m bothering you but you did not reply to my previous quesion.actually i desperately want that hero rom.please help me out.mannu!

    1. Hello Mannu,

      Sorry not sure why that is, only thing I can recommend (since I can’t see the phone itself) is to start over or use the search at the bottom of the post to search sites for people with a similar problem.
      But hey I am actually doing a new video and procedure for this by the end of the week end (much easier method if it works correctly). So just wait for it (subscribe to the twitter or RSS if you want to be notified the minute I put it up).

  34. hello theunlockr

    i think i bricked my phone i’ve rooted my htc magic with a hero rom and it was taking long time to load the screen..and for that i went to restore factory setings and now when i try to turn on my phone is stucked on the hero screen…please let me know how to make it work again sorry for disturbing.

    1. Hello MC,

      You are looking at an obsolete procedure. Look at the bold writing at the beginning of the procedure…

      To go back to stock firmware, you could just load a Non Hero Custom ROM (Cyanogen’s in our Downloads section is recommended), OR you can completely unroot, by doing the How To Unroot Procedure. Just use the category drop down on the homepage and select Android How Tos to find it.

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