How To: Gain Root Access on the T-Mobile G1 (OBSOLETE)

PLEASE NOTE! This method is obsolete! Please refer to the newer Rooting/Loading Custom ROM methods on our site:
Unroot (G1) OR Unroot(MyTouch), then Root, then Load a Custom ROM, Apps2SD/Hero etc.

So your friend with a G1 can not only use 2 fingers to zoom in and out on the internet (like the iPhone), but he can also load custom themes for free, AND he can tether his laptop through his 3G connection using Wifi! Let me guess, you want in?

No problem, let me show you how to get the most out of your G1.

1. First off, be sure to check out this great beginner’s guide by Skri11a over at just to get a quick understanding of how this whole process/concept works and for some commonly used terms.
Click Here –

2. Download the following required files to a folder on your computer.

Required Files:

Recovery Image

HardSPL For G1

3. Rename the file to

4. Unzip the file and take the DREAIMG.nbh file out and move that, the recovery image, and the (used to be onto the very top folder (root folder, not within any sub-folders) of your SD card in the G1.

5. Disconnect G1 and turn it off.

6. Turn back on the G1 by holding down the Camera and End button AT THE SAME TIME until a screen pops up.

7. Follow the onscreen instructions to “update” then restart the phone once it is done.

8.  Once the phone boots up completely and shows the homescreen (with the clock), open the keyboard and hit the Enter key twice then type “telnetd” (without the quotes) and then pres enter (it will show the contacts screen most likely, that’s fine).

9. Open the Market application and search for “Telnet” (again without the quotes) and download/install it. Open it once it is downloaded and click Connect to Local Host. (You should see a # symbol).

10. Type the following commands into the telnet program (make sure spaces are in the proper places and hit enter at the end of each line:

mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
cd sdcard
flash_image recovery recovery.img
cat recovery.img > /system/recovery.img

11. Once you hit enter after the last line you can then power off the phone.

12. Power back on the phone by holding the End key and the Home button AT THE SAME TIME. Do not let go until you see a screen pop up (should have an !)

13. Open the keyboard and hit the Alt key and the L key at the same time. Then hit the Alt key and the S key at the same time to apply the file we put on the SD card.

14. Once the update is done, press the Home key and the Back key AT THE SAME TIME to restart the phone. DONE!

YOU NOW HAVE ROOT, but where’s the fun stuff? Well now that you have rooted your phone, you can download the custom ROMs that give you all the neat new features. We’ll show you how to do that and give you a few of our favorites in different video. Search the How To section under Categories for videos on how to load custom ROMs.

Here is a link to our video on How to Load a Custom ROM, Radio, or Theme to your now rooted G1.

Reported Issues

Issue: I get an error, failure, or nothing happens when I get to the rainbow screen and try to load Dreaimg.nbh file.

Solution: The dreaimg.nbh file is either not on the topmost folder of the SD card OR the file is corrupt or incomplete.
Delete the file off of your SD card and then re download it from our site or on and then put it on the topmost folder of the SD card. You may have to do this multiple times before it finally works. KEEP DOING THIS UNTIL IT WORKS!

Issue: I’m stuck on the G1 screen!

1. To fix this, simply take out the memory card from the G1 and put it into the SD adapter it came with then put that into the computer/laptop.
2. Find the file that is on your SD card and delete it (if you have one).
3. Then put a ROM you want to use (if a Hero ROM doesn’t work then use a Non-Hero ROM) on the SD card in the topmost folder (not in any subfolders) and rename it to
4. Put the memory card back into the phone and turn the phone on by holding Home and End till the recovery screen comes up (for most people this is a triangle with an ! in it).
5. Hit Alt W to wipe the phone (it might reboot, if it does and it is still stuck on the G1 logo, then take out the battery and put it back in and continue to step 6).
6. Turn on the phone again by holding down the Home and End button till you get to the ! screen again and hit Alt S to load the update.
7. Once it is done, reboot the phone and it should pass the G1 screen this time.

247 thoughts on “How To: Gain Root Access on the T-Mobile G1 (OBSOLETE)”

    1. Hey Jason,

      To answer your question, it doesn’t matter what version you have right now (cupcake or not). The beginning of the Rooting procedure actually downgrades you back to RC29 (old version of Android) in order to get Root to work. After you have Root, you goto the Video called “How to Load a Custom ROM” and that will show you how to get one of the custom Roms that have been created (all of which are 1.5 Cupake ROMs) so once you load that you are back to Cupacake but with Root now (and all the perks that come with like better performance, more features, etc.).
      Feel free to comment again if you have any issues and I’d be happy to assist. Good luck!

  1. so after rooting it to the RC29 can I bring it back to RC33 ?
    then would i need to install the updated radio and the hardspl ?

    after doing all that then I can install a ROM ?

    sorry but now to this………..

  2. Hey Jason,

    No problem, glad to help 🙂
    Once you have followed the above procedure, you will be at RC29 with Root access and HardSPL installed. You did that already, correct?
    After that goto the video called “How to load a custom ROM” and load a ROM first (this will bring you back up to 1.5 cupcake as all of the links here link to the latest ROM from each developer). Once you have loaded a ROM, then you can load a Radio after. After that, you’re all set. …Then you can play with Themes 🙂
    Hope this helps, let me know if you get stuck.

  3. help!!

    I loaded the root, jf rom and when i tried to download the appstosd2 my phone froze and now wont go pass the tmobile g1 start screen and my sd is wiped clean.

    1. We didn’t put up the how to use Apps2SD how to yet 😉
      But to fix it just take out the MicroSD from the phone and put it into your computer (assuming you have an SD adapter and an SD slot on your computer). Then take off the Apps2SD from the memory card and then put the JFRom back onto the SD card and rename it to like before.
      Put the memory card back into the phone and turn on the phone by holding down the Home button and End key until the recovery tool comes up.
      Then hit Alt S to apply the JF update again and see if that fixes it. Good luck!
      (If it does fix it, don’t use Apps2SD this time just yet…)

  4. i copy all 3 of the files over to the sd card. then i disconnect my phone from my computer and power off the device. but then when i go and press the camera and the end button together i colored screen pops up and says sep 2008 and serial 0 and just stays there.

    could you please help me out!!!

    1. Hello,

      Did you Unzip the RC29 file before putting it onto the SDCard? You just need the one file from inside the Zip not the whole Zip file on the SD card.

  5. mine flashes but the loading screen disappears quickly, btw i got cupcake update!
    what should i do
    thank you
    it says image not found

  6. yes i did it’s ok i figured it out
    i had’nt partioned my sd card to fat 32.

    thanks a lot david!!!!

  7. telnet isn’t working for me it says localhost and 23and when i click connect to server it says error while connecting

    1. Hello Rishi_Hacker,

      Did you make sure to hit enter twice on the homescreen, then type telnetd and then hit enter. After that, then open telnet and try to connect.
      “8. Once the phone boots up completely and shows the homescreen (with the clock), open the keyboard and hit the Enter key twice then type “telnetd” (without the quotes) and then pres enter (it will show the contacts screen most likely, that’s fine).”

      Hope this helps!

  8. what version of HERO is that ? i downloaded the v1.2 and the bottom part is different, am i missing something ?

  9. hey jason could you help me out
    which rom did you use?
    i tried both of them but when i flashed it rebooted before it finished the update on its own??
    now im back to rc29????

    if you know of this problem, could you possibly help me out.

    1. Hey Rishi_Hacker,

      Try to put the Dude ROM on the sdcard (rename it to like normal) then get into recovery mode (hold down the power and home to turn it on). Now hit Alt W (not S). This will wipe your phone but all your contacts and such should sync with Google anyway once you turn the phone back on so no big deal. After it says the wipe is complete then hit alt S. Once the update is done, hit home and back to reboot and let me know if that helps.
      Anyone else have this issue?

  10. dear david,

    right now i have the jesus freke rom 1.42
    could i straight away upgrade to htc hero theme or do i have to update rom.

  11. Hey David,

    What version of HERO do you have installed ? I have it installed and it looks almost identical except for the bottom part where it says “phone” and that sliding ball, how did you get that ?


    I am using CYanogen 3.4, really good and stable.

  12. yeah jason i was wondering the same thing
    also are you sure the htc hero theme will work for CYanogen 3.4.

  13. Hey guys,

    The ROM I was using was a ROM based off of Haykuro’s ROM that Rishi mentioned (wasn’t his ROM but someone’s optimized version of it), BUT I was just testing it and actually ended up taking it off and going back to TheDude’s with a Hero theme instead.
    The Hero ROM (not theme, different) is not very stable on the G1 yet. XDA-Devs are working on it. It’s also a little tricky to get it to work and I would highly caution trying it (at least not until we get a better one working, I don’t think it’s worth the trouble). Soon as they come out with a better one, I’ll test it and then put up the how to 🙂
    I LOVE the Hero ROM, but it’s the HTC Widgets and such that make it so great and frankly as soon as you try to use them on the current Hero ROM the phone slows to molasses… like REALLY bad lol So just hold off for a bit is my recommendation.

    Working on that Apps2SD How To FYI…

  14. David, Im on the 1.5 FW trying to get root.
    I put the 3 files in my SD card but when i try to power on the phone with the camera and end button, it goes to the exclamation and phone sign. I dont get a menu for update.

    HELP what do i do? ? ?

    1. Hello Noori,

      Make sure you did these steps first

      3. Unzip the RC29 file.

      4. Move all files onto the very top folder (root folder, not within any sub-folders) of your SD card in the G1 (check to make sure that the file we have labelled here as HardSPL saved as “update” and it is a ZIP file, VERY IMPORTANT).

      5. Disconnect G1 and turn it off.

      6. Turn back on the G1 by holding down the Camera and End button AT THE SAME TIME until a screen pops up.

      Then just push the trackball down (as if you were selecting something) on that screen with an exclamation point.

    1. This is the program that developers use to send commands and files from their desktop to the phone when it is plugged in using usb debugging mode (I prefer to do everything from the Terminal application on the phone instead personally, but you can use ADB on your desktop instead, preference mostly).

  15. one last thing, what is a SPL ? ive seen probably 2 types such as HAYKURO and HARDSPL ?

    sorry for all the question just a total noob here

    1. SPL is the program that allows you to load custom ROMs. HardSPL is the main one and Haykuro is one the Haykuro made specifically for his ROMs. Do NOT load Haykuros as it requires a certain radio be installed first and it will brick your phone… When I do a Hero ROM I’ll have to show people how to load the Haykuro SPL safely because it is required for the Hero ROM in most cases (since he developer the first Hero ROM), but until then there is no reason to load his SPL.

    1. I’ll post about how to do the Wifi Tether tonight or tomorrow 🙂 But most of the newer ROM’s actually have it built in in the menu as an application…

    1. Hey Drae,

      Did you make sure that you unzipped the RC29 file first, before putting it onto the SD card? All files are on the main (topmost) section of the SD card?
      Then on the rainbow screen just push the trackball down to begin.

  16. so? can i update the g1 to the hero rom, and then jailbreak(root)? im new to andriod! tryin to hook my girl up with some tethering! this stuff is a bit more simple on my iphone! lol!

    1. Hello Mr. Joey,

      First off, let me help you with the differences with rooting the G1 and jailbreaking an iPhone.
      You actually downgrade the phone to an old firmware (sound familiar?) then Root it (you can call it jailbreaking if it helps, essentially same thing). Then you can load any ROM you want, whether it is a Cupcake ROM, Hero ROM (which I don’t recommend just yet) or any other ROM. Instead of with the iPhone how you upgrade it to a new firmware and THEN jailbreak, Android works in reverse in a way, got it?

      So even if you are running cupcake now, you can still Root the phone. Follow the procedure and it will bring you back to the old firmware, root the phone, and then you can go choose a cupcake based ROM to get back to Cupcake.

      Hope that helps clear things up!

  17. scratch that! if hero has alot of bugs on the g1 i’m not for it, but we are runnin cupcake, so the root proccess will work the same?

  18. it does! thanks! before i go on i have a few more questions tho… will this erase all the numbers on the phone, apps, text mess and such? last question is is this all the exact proccess cuz i’m going to follow it all word for word, line for line , space for space, enter for enter. lol! sorry to be a pain! just dont want to jack my gals phone up! lol!

  19. Hey Mr. joey,

    Google automatically backs up all her contacts, calendar, and gmail. So no worries on that. As for apps, you will just have to redownload them from the Market (App Store).
    And definitely follow it step by step line for line, we prefer that lol You get in trouble when you DONT do that 🙂
    And no worries anything you do to the phone we can most likely undo, good luck!

    1. Hello Drae,

      Make sure that you have the RC29 file unzipped before putting it on the SD card… Other than that, just start over and make sure to follow each step to the T.

  20. so i need more help bois! i have down graded from 1.5 to rc29 ok! or 1.0… i’m am tryin to tether this phone to my lap top… thats really the only reason i tried to gain root… went thru all the steps ok to get root access, but when i open the tethering app it says that i need root access? how do i know if i’ve rooted successfully? please help me bois? if i can do this i’ll donate or subsribe to you!

    1. Hello MyJoeyLoke,

      You need to finish the procedure. Just downgrading to RC29 doesn’t give you root. Follow the rest of the steps, then goto the next video about hwo to load a custom ROM. Once you have finished both of those and have a custom ROM loaded, THEN try to install Wifi Tether.

  21. plz plz plz plz i desperately need help… i followed ur instructions word for word probably about 20 times and i can’t get root access.. i have rc29 but i don’t have root and i don’t even know how to reverse it back to cupcake i’m stuck can someone please help me

    1. Hello Michael,

      If you don’t have root, you did not follow the procedure correct (the rest of us did it fine). I can’t tell what you did wrong without seeing the phone. Only thing I can say is follow the steps exactly, even type telnetd at the home screen, type all the terminal stuff in correctly, and turn off the phone then turn it back on holding home and end. Then hit alt L to bring up the recovery menu then alt s to load the file you should have on your card.

  22. question? i’m sure that i rooted right cuz everything happend as it should have on the phones end… do i need to upload a rom in order for wifi tether to work? if so, what rom can i upload? i used the files from your required files section… thanks! adding a rom is like updating the os huh?

    1. Hello MrJoey,

      Not so much updating the OS, but the updating the section of the phone that contains the OS and all the files the manufacturer loaded onto the device (all the native apps etc.).
      But ya, load a ROM so you can start seeing the benefits of rooting 🙂
      Doesn’t matter which one (just NOT the HERO ROM, wayyyy too slow and a larger process to load), I use the Dude’s new RC2 ROM, I put a link in the comments here I think…

  23. when i am using telnet and connect to local server and type flash_image recovery recovery.img
    it says error reading image header and won’t except the command. what do i do i followed all the other steps properly.

    1. Hey Ricky,

      Make sure you saved the recovery.img to the root folder (topmost folder) of the SD card, then make sure you typed telnetd on the home screen before using the telnet app, and finally make sure you type the cd sdcard as well. Let me know how it goes.

  24. well, after i froze my phone the fist time i tried loading a rom, i found that you need to name the update file,!
    i am all set now tho with the rom and wifi tethering! thanks david! how do i donate to the cause! let me know! thanks again!
    oh! one more thing… do the bites pile up just as i search or brows, or do i need to download files while tethering to go over on my data plan allowance?
    tryin to avoid a costly bill!

    1. Hello MrJoey,

      Awesome, glad you got it figured out!
      Whenever you open any webpage, you are using data and if you do not have an unlimited data plan I HIGHLY recommend switching to one. T-Mobile’s are mad cheap anyway ($24.95 for unlimited compared to most other companies’ $45 or so).
      You can donate to the cause by telling other people to come check out the site and you yourself coming back to see what new stuff we have on here and/or subscribing to the RSS 🙂 Thanks for the support!

  25. i see! we do have the unlimeted data, but i know there is a cap, like 5gb of data… guess i’ll call, and tell em i’m thinkin about switching to t-mobile, and try to get that info out of em…

  26. after i put all the files into my SD card. i turned the phone off. held down the camera/power button to restart it but the screen that came up looked nothing like yours (which you said it wouldnt). but there were no instructions whatsoever and i couldn’t do anything. there were a few colors across the screen.. anyone have this problem?

  27. rishi_hacker … you said:
    June 12th, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    yes i did it’s ok i figured it out
    i had’nt partioned my sd card to fat 32.

    thanks a lot david!!!!

    i’m having the same problem with the rainbow screen.. what do i have to do to fix this? how do i partion my sd card to fat 32? i’m new to all this

    1. Hello Kevin,

      Put the memory card into the SD adapter it came with (or USB adapter) and out it into your computer. Then when it pops up in Windows right click it and select Format. FYI THOUGH, this will erase whatever is on the memory card, so save the stuff on there to your desktop or something first then transfer it back when you are done.

  28. Hey David,
    I’m about to “root access” my phone, but,
    do I have to format my SD card 1st?
    you didn’t mention that on the video or on this page?
    nor to save my files to my computer?
    Do I need to do that first??

    1. Hello Javier,

      You shouldn’t need to format your SD card, but you could before beginning if you want to.
      If you don’t format it though, then any files saved to your SD card won’t get erased or altered so no need to back them up (but a good idea anyway whenever doing any type of procedure here on this site, just in case).
      Contacts, calendar, and gmail on the phone are automatically backed up with Google over the internet so those will come back automatically when you restart the phone so no worries about that.
      Good luck with the process and feel free to ask for assistance if you get stuck.

  29. Odd issue after adding rc29.

    Baseband version

    android-build@apa27 #6

    kila-user 1.0 TC4-RC29 115247 ota-rel-keys,release-keys.

    Downloaded telnet app and this is the error I get when trying to telnet to local host.

    “Error while connecting to server: localhost/ – connection refused”
    Then a second error is displayed =
    “Error while receiving from server: null”

    Why do you think I cannot get connected? If this doesnt work I may need to go back to cupcake manual install. Thanks.

  30. oh, ok…
    I have rooted my phone now…
    So, how do I get the cupcake back?
    How do I go back to the way i had it, but with the rrot acces??? So, I can have the
    keyboard, video recorder, etc, all those new
    features that came with the cupcake update???

    Or does it automatically adds when upload a ROM?

  31. My phone looks wack, now.. lol…
    which ROM you recommend?
    what is ROM by the way?
    what does the ROM do?
    Is there a cupcake ROM?
    I just did this “root access”
    cause of the wifi thing!!!

    1. Hello Javier,

      A ROM is the Read Only Memory section on the phone, this section contains things like the OS and a few other goodies.
      But for you the ROM is a custom ROM section that someone has created and optimized, added features (like dual touch), etc.

      So I would recommend, downloading the latest Dude’s ROM (as it has the Wifi Tether program built in).
      Download the zip file, rename it to and then follow the Load a ROM Tutuorial.

      Once you load it, you will have your Wifi Tether (that ROM has it built in) and back to cupcake.

  32. Hey, thanks a lot for all your help David…
    I already Installed it but I get this msg
    every time I go into my home screen..
    I get this Force close msg
    “The application Google Partner Setup (process has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.”
    Do you know what that is? or what does it mean?
    Did I installed it wrong??

  33. will this erase all the files on my phone? and will this effect my warranty or will i be able to take off the root whenever i want and take it back to factory setting?

    1. Hello David J,

      Anything on your memory card will not be touched. And yes you can always unroot the phone to bring it back to the original way it was.

      That is fine, just hit enter or push the track ball down to begin when the rainbow screen comes up (make sure you have the RC29 file on your SD card unzipped and ready to go first though).


  35. since my last post i stopped trying and got tha ota update for cupcake…. then yesterday i decided to give it one more chance… so i downgraded back to rc29 n when i got the the step where i have to press home and the power button to turn it on something went wrong… i didn’t get the “!” what came up was the same screen i saw wen i pressed the camera and power button, i tried multiple times and i kept getting the same rainbow screen… so i just said forget it and stopped trying and decided just to wait for tha ota update to come ova night which it did and when i tried to updae it, it went to the same rainbow screen and didn’t update, is my phone broken? i’m passed worried now

    1. Hello Michael,

      No your phone is not broken. Read the last comment I sent to figure out how to get past it. The loop is a common issue, noone is sure why some people get in the loop and some don’t it’s kinda random. But I explained how to get out of it.


      Here is the original XDA Thread for How To Root Your G1 (Click Here), try following it instead and let me know if you notice any differences in procedure or something that is perhaps explained better in the XDA thread and I can change it here for others who need help.

    1. Hey David .l,

      There would be no reason to do this unless you were sending in the phone for warranty (If you just want 1.5 again with root it will only be better than 1.5 without it, so just download a 1.5 custom ROM, you can find links here or on, and save it to your memory card, name it and then load it according to the Load a ROM tutorial).
      BUT if you still want to get back to unrooted cupcake, here is the process. (Click Here to Unroot).

  36. Hey David Cogen, I can’t change the format of my SD card. When i right click and click on format, it says ” There is no disk in Drive K:, Insert a disk, and then try again.” What should i do?

  37. i’m about to root my phone with this tutorial. Is there anything I need to have to recover my phone in case i brick it?

    1. Hello Chuh,

      Yes, an SD card adapter (the one that probably came with your memory card) so you can plug it into the computer manually if you cannot access the G1.
      Other than that, that’s all you would need to undo anything bad that could have happened.
      Too be honest, now with the new video and tutorial, it is pretty straight forward and you shouldn’t have any issues. If you do, feel free to post here 🙂

  38. Thanks! I’m going to root it tonight. I’ll post if I have any problems. This site is awesome, btw 🙂

  39. when i but in all 3 files and do the end and camera thing it just keeps saying loading and then no image


    1. Hello Alex,

      This means that the 3 files are not on the topmost folder of the SD card, please make sure that they are not within any subfolder on the SD card and are just in the SD without a folder. Then try again.

  40. Hey i need help!! i installed the 3 files and when i do the update, the DREAIMG file turns red and in red letters it says, UPDATE TERMINATE UPDATE FAIL!!! and now i cant get back to my homescreen it just stays in the rainbow part!! i need help im freakin out!!

    1. Hello Gorgio,

      Relax, deep breathe, then do this:
      1. Take the memory card out and put it into the SD adapter and then put it into your computer.
      2. Redownload the DREAIMG.nbh file and put the DREAIMG.nbh file on the top most folder of the SD card (in the top directory, not in a subfolder of any kind. Your explorer bar in windows should just say My Computer > SDCard (or something similar) and NOTHING ELSE BEHIND IT.
      3. Put the memory card back into the phone.
      4. Turn on the phone by holding down the Camera and End button till the rainbow screen comes up.
      5. Wait for it to ask you to update by hitting the end button. Do so and wait for it to finish, then hit the trackball to reboot.

      Let me know if this works.

  41. Man it still says the same thing, “DREAIMG.nbh-FAIL” Update terminate UPDATE FAIL. i downloaded the dreaimg file from the link you provided. Do i have to download some other kind of dreaimg file?? i just got this phone today, and i came straight here to follow the steps.. and like i said it still stays in the rainbow screen even if i take the battery and sd card out! i really appreciate your help!

    1. Hey Gorgio,

      Ok, can you try to turn on the phone and hold down Home and End button and see if you can get the ! screen to come up instead of the rainbow screen?

  42. Nothing man, i did it with the sd card on, and it automatically tries to update, then i did it without the sd and nothing happens, still the same rainbow screen…did i brick my phone?

    1. Hey Gorgio,

      Here is a helpful thread on XDA with people that had the same problem and how they fixed it (apparently it is extremely rare and noone knows why it happens, but they fixed it).

      If their solution doesn’t work for you after a few tries. Then you call T-Mobile and tell them you got an update over the air and while updating it got stuck at the rainbow screen and you can’t fix it. They will replace it for free, try the fix in the thread first though please 🙂

  43. The only diference i just noticed, is that on the on rainbow screen, a new word popped out “RUUNBH” on the top-right corner..

  44. ok so i did this twice!! and i was trying to do the adapp thing and i get to terminal and get “permission denied” no i got this the first time around and re did the rooting and thought everything went ok. everything went exactly like the tutorial. the only thing that i can think of that was different is when i hit enter twice i started typing and got telnetd in grey and a grey background and not in a box like the video, but it did take me to the contacts so i thought i was ok. any ideas david?

  45. Gorgio,

    i just had that happen to me and i freeked. i got a dream failed. but i manged to get it back by putting my card into my computer deleting that file off it and re downloading the file and putting that one back onto my card and got it to work.

    of course apparently i dont have root yet LOL

  46. i seem to have uploaded the files and loaded them but the phone starts up and asks me to create a gmail acct i checked the already have one entered the info and the phone will not connect to tmobile? any suggestions? Or do I call tmobile for the APN info?

  47. well i tried to connect to tmobile several times. had to call them and they say i need a new sim card? im sure i dont ideas anyone?

  48. ok im a idiot. I got setup typed telnetd and hit enter the phone keeps trying to dial the number and so I disconnect. when i try to run the telnet program i see on screen localhost 23 i hit connect to server and i get “error while connecting to server localhost/127.0.01:23-connection refused” then i see “error while receiving from server:null” Sorry to be a pest again any help?

  49. i get to step 8 and enter telnetd and the phone tries to call the number? I hang up and proceed to try to connect to tenet and get error and null messages and ideas?

  50. Hey David,

    I’m following your procedures to root my phone, and when I get to step 6, the rainbow screen pops up, it then goes to the screen where you update, but goes right back to the rainbow screen. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hey Reggie,

      Make sure that you have the DREAIMG.nbh file on the topmost folder of the SD card (not in any subfolder, should be there as soon as you open the SD card on the computer, make sense?) then try again.

    1. Hey Reggie,

      Try this, copy everything you have on you SD card to a folder on your computer (for backup). Then with the phone on and the memory card in goto Settings, SD Card & Phone Storage, then click Unmount and then click Format.
      After it is done formatting, then try putting just the Dreaimg.nbh file on the SD card and nothing else and then get to the rainbow screen and try again.

  51. I followed every single step along with the video. In the final process when I reset my phone it loaded the tmobile g1 screen but didnt go any further. Now, I can’t get the phone to do anything. Please help!

    1. Hello Erika,

      Try the method of taking out the SD card putting it into an SD adapter and into your computer. Then put a custom ROM on there (you can find one here), rename it to and then put it back into the phone. Hold down Home and End and when the ! comes up hit Alt and S.
      Let me know if this works.

  52. I did try that. the ! isnt coming up(pressing and holding for over 30 seconds). it is just staying on the tmobile g1 screen and not going any further. I also tried going through the steps to repeat the root but the phone simply won’t do anything at all except for stay on the tmobile g1 screen.

    1. Hello Erika,

      I made a mistake in the comment, Home and End… not Home and Back (I fixed it). And you do not just hold it. You have to take out the battery to turn off the phone, then put the battery back in, but DONT turn on the phone. Now, hold Home and End at the same time till the ! comes up. When it does let me know, I’ll be on here for a bit more.

  53. after the initial booting of the phone during the reset i noticed the screen was not loading anything further than the tmobile g1 screen

    the steps i have taken since that happened were:

    loading a custom rom onto my sd card, renaming the zip file to
    press & holding both the home and end keys at the same time for a period of 30 seconds or longer with just the tmobile g1 screen showing and not going any further.. no ! screen has shown up.

    then i tried to reload dream onto the phone or whatever the os was that we downgraded to in the video and that did not work either..

    i have tried booting up from holding the home and back keys and also from the camera and end key(or power button)… nothing is working for me.

    i am wondering if the phone has been bricked and if by chance it has… is there a way to reverse this..

  54. it just stays on the tmobile g1 screen.. it doesnt change. it does vibrate but other than that it does no further..

    1. Hello Erika,

      Try this section of XDA:

      “Brick” Thread or Technical Think Tank for Bricked G1’s
      If your phone is stuck at your splash screen (most likely a big white “G1”)…if you you think something is broken…if you otherwise think you have a brick, post here instead of starting a new thread and any online members will do everything they can to help you out. (Reading as much as possible of these threads before posting will give you lots of insight as well!!)

      If you still can’t get it to work, just call T-Mobile and tell them your phone got an Over the Air Update and after that it has been stuck at this G1 logo and you can’t get it past. They will send you a new one.

  55. hello david, sorry to be a pest, each time i try to hit the enter key 2x nothing happens. i typed the number in on the dial screen hit enter and it dials the number? what might I have done wrong? cant seem to get past this part

  56. Hey David.

    Just a quick question about root. I just hard restart my g1 to the factory warranty. Do I need to wait for cupcake 1.5 update before rooting my phone, or root first and then wait for the cupcake update?

    Or root first and then manually get the cupcake ROM root version?

    1. Hello Wind,

      When you root you actually downgrade to RC29 (old school Android) so there is no reason to wait for cupcake to just undo it.
      Follow the steps to Root the phone and then go on to the How To Load a Custom ROM video (NOT the HERO ROM) and you can pick a custom ROM that has cupcake.

  57. I cannot connect to Telnet. After I did the initial steps, I have typed, “enter, enter, telnetd (contacts open), enter” then I click Home to get out of contacts. I then go to Telnet and attempt to connect to localhost “23” and it will not work. I have tried different things before doing the telnet steps, restarted my phone several times. And I know Im not typing it wrong…

  58. Never mind that. I’m on step #8, after the homescreen (with the clock), open the keyboard and hit the Enter key twice then type “telnetd”.

    I did that put when I hit Enter key twice, the type screen didn’t pop out. What did I do wrong?

  59. I’ve finally got it.

    (On step 3), the video instruction is wrong. The file need to be rename to (

    Thanks for the instructions David.

    1. Hello Wind,

      Step 3 in the video is where I show you the file and rename it to (I don’t put the “” because Windows automatically leaves the .zip on the end so all I had to put in was “update”).

  60. Was tryin to load the hero rom to my g1, but I’m aware the the phone must 1st be rooted… Does it matter if the g1 allready has the cupcake update to root it. I am having problems at the “rainbow” colored screen, it will not take me to the load srceen needed to perform the update.

    1. Hello A.P.,

      No it doesn’t matter whether you are on Cupcake or not, the first step in rooting is downgrading down to RC29 so doesn’t matter.
      Just double check the written instructions and video and make sure you aren’t skipping anything. Also make sure that all the files are on the topmost folder of the SD card (not in any subfolders).

  61. hey after i turn off the phone and turn it back on by holding the camera button and power button it goes tot eh raibow screen then tries to load and wont go through. What could be the issue?

  62. well im new at this so bare with me. i downloaded recorery image and afther download, theres a icon of a plain white sheet of paper and the file name is recovery.img. what to do?

    1. Hello Andres,

      No you will have a rooted RC29, then you load a ROM and the new ROM you load can be cupcake or the hero rom. Check out our How To Load a Custom ROM tutorial.

  63. my build number on the g1 is CRC1 and when i try to format it to make it FAT32 it says that i have to insert a disk into the drive, can you help

    1. Hello Nick,

      How are you trying to format it? On the G1? Cause then you just need to put the memory card into the phone and goto Settings then SD and Phone Storage, click UnMount and then click Format and you should be done.

  64. ok i did that and when i power on the phone with the camera and end button, it flashes the loading screen then goes back to the screen where i see my radio version

  65. umm i already loaded the new spl and the radio..i didnt read the first parts that i needed it to be rooted first. umm does that affect my g1 from being rooted? or is there a way i can work around it. kuz i get stuck at the rainbow screen. and i dont have a “root folder” where ever that could be. i dont know if its a specific folder or just the sd card in general. please explain to me. im kinda new.

    1. Hello Matthew,

      Goto the Root procedure and follow that then come back to the Hero procedure. If you are stuck on a screen read the FAQ under the rooting post and it explains a method for getting out of being stuck.
      As for a Root Folder, root just means the very top of the memory card it isn’t an actual folder. So if you open the memory card on the computer put the file there (not inside any folders on the memory card). The path to the file should be E:/thefile (the letter your computer gives the memory card may be different but same concept).

  66. so what i have to do is just redownload the dream file over and over untill it works? and how long would that take?

  67. what it says is no image file on a gray screen for about 1 second and then goes back to the rainbow screen.
    on my rainbow screen it says:
    DREA100 PVT 32B
    HBOOT-0. 95. 0000
    RADIO-2. 22. 19.26I

    Sep 2 2008

    Seria 10 (the “Seria 10” is in a gray bar farther down.)

    is that how it should look.?

  68. i’ve been downloading multiple dream files. it still come to the same thing. i formatted my sd card so the only thing in there is the dream file, recovery, and spl.
    then i do the recovery and dream, and still no luck.
    then i do just the dream file. and the same thing happens. i dont know how to do this. i need alot of help.

    sorry if this is bothering. i just wanna try out the hero rom pretty bad.

    1. Hello Matthew,

      If you are still having issues, head over to the site and click on the Android Development thread next to the picture of the phone. Then look for the Informative Threads section and you can find a new download link in there. Try to download it from there and try again.

  69. i got a update news to my phone to install should i do it if my phone is rooted because i don’t wanna lose my rooted power


  71. hey my phone is stuck on the g1 screen. i did the processes of trying to put app on the sd card. i got to the final step and when it rebooted, it wont go past the g1 screen. i dont know what to do? HELP please!

    1. Hello Jay,

      Do not reboot the phone. After you put the on the SD card and put it back into the phone. Turn on the phone holding down the End and Home button until the Recovery screen comes up. Then hit Alt W and then Alt S.

  72. Hey David,

    I’m trying a lot of things and i keep ending up having the same problem that Tyler has, when i put all 3 files into the root of the SD card, turn it off, then turn it on again while holding CAMERA + END the rainbow screen will come up, change to the screen where i have to “update” the phone, then change back into the rainbow screen, can you help me on this issue?

  73. i don’t have root access coz this problem
    when i
    E : No signature
    E: verification failed

    and DREAMIMG.nbh
    loding and 0020080
    not allowe

    what can i do i want root access coz i want to load HERO ROOM my phone from Germany

  74. hello David,,,,after i put the 3 files onto my sd card i turned my phone off then i turned it back on using the camera and the end button,,,once ive done that my screen would stay on the rainbow screen,,,and my radio says some number like 2.1 something lke that do you have any suggestions

  75. i mean do i copy the whole file onto the SD card once i unzip it? or is there a file inside the file that i need to put on the SD card?

  76. Hi I did this steps for my g1 when I had cupcake and it work perfectly.

    Now I wanted to root my sister’s g1 but I heard she updated to the latest OTA from Tmobile. I think the build is now CRC1?

    My question is
    Will this procedure also work for that?

    Thank you soooo much!

  77. Richelle,

    Yes, these steps have been confirmed to work on the OTA update CRC1. There is nothing in this update that prevents downgrading to RC29 which allows the rooting process. Good luck

  78. Hey,
    I was trying to root my g1 and now I am stuck on the Telnet step. I keep receiving a error message “Error while connecting to the server: localhost/ Connection refused”, when I click on Connect to Server.

    1. Hello Stev,

      Try and do this step again and then try to telnet and see what happens.

      8. Once the phone boots up completely and shows the homescreen (with the clock), open the keyboard and hit the Enter key twice then type “telnetd” (without the quotes) and then pres enter (it will show the contacts screen most likely, that’s fine).


    1. Hello Ikey Ro$$,

      First, take a deep breath and turn off the caps lock 🙂
      Now, what seems to be the problem exactly? Are you stuck on the G1 screen, rainbow screen etc?

      Also take a look at the FAQ under the post for some quick help to solve most issues.

  80. Hi
    I followed all your instructions showed on the video without any problem, but, when I did the last step where you press at the same time the power and home keys my G1 does not display the android display utility like your. What I did wrong? or that is enough and I have the G1 root, thanks in advanced.

  81. Im guessing the last update prevents you from rooting, iv tried downgrading with none modded etc iv tried all ways i can find on the web, itll load up the rainbow screen say no update then itll go back to rainbow screen, any suggestions? I know a lot of people are having this problem when i search the web.

    1. Hello Owen,

      That is a common issue, read the FAQ under the post for some help.
      Also make sure that you put the DREAIMG.nbh file on the SD card but NOT in any folder. Also make sure it is the DREAIMG.nbh file only and that Windows or Mac didn’t try to change it to a different extension (

    1. Hello Blaze,

      No, you should be fine. Just root. (You may have to reload the radio again, but CHECK FIRST before you do, instructions on how to check are in the How to Load a Radio procedure on our site. If you still have the newest radio at that point then do NOT reload it, if you do not have that Radio then go ahead and update it).

  82. i’ve copied all 3 files to my root folder.. when i turn to phone with the end and camera key.. the rainbow screen pops up but then it says.. serial 0. ? can somebody help me.?

  83. hey….. rooting my phone will erase my contacts?…..and if i decide to go back to jf 1.5 would i be able to do it with no problems?

  84. i try to update and it said update fail and now im stuck in the rainbow screen i cant even connect my phone to the computer to erase and upload the files can you please help me

  85. ok, i downloaded everything, put it at the most top root folder renamed that “hard” file folder, n pressed the button u said to press and it keep on saying no image found then quickly go back to the rainbow. i dont know what to do to mod this phone…… i even tryed to unzip the file u said to name “update” didnt work. even tryed to name all files in the “Hard” folder update still nothing …….please help me. idk if this info help butt the rc29 when downloaded says dreaming.nbh and u cant unzip that… i read that from an answer u gave some one ………..please help

  86. Hey David
    I just got the g1, I downloaded all the files and put it into the sd card root folder. well when i get to the rainbow screen it says it doenst see any files. then doesnt do anything. any suggestions. THanks


  87. Hi Unlockr
    You have excellent tutorials on your blog, but could be possible to include how to install debian linux in a G1. Have had read the instructions in this site,, but, a video say more that thousand words, also when the spanish is my first language.

    Sorry hijack the comments

  88. Hey, ive been folowing this guide and other guides for all of last night and today but when i try to type su in terminal emulator i get premision denied please help!!!

  89. hello im a noob at i was just wondering??? ya keeping saying the files have to be unzipped How, When and Where do you do that at????

    1. Hello JohnG,

      There aren’t too many files that need to be unzipped. Just the RC29 file… but you unzip it by downloading it to your computer, then right clicking on it and clicking Extract to… then you take the one file you need out of the new folder it unzips to.
      You need a program like WinZip or WinRar on your computer.

  90. Hi I have been messing around with this for the last week but still can’t get it. I just want to be able to get jf 1.51 and install some themes- do you have any more guidance for me?

  91. hi im tryin the part where you would restart you phone by pressing the home screen and power button to allow me to do the update..this is all i keep getting E:CANT OPEN /sdcard/
    (no such file or directory)
    installation aborted

    somebody plz help me

  92. Hi, thanks for putting up this video tutorial, really helpfull, but when i get to the last part its says
    cat recovery.img > /system/recovery.img
    cannot create /system/recovery.img: read-only file system

    Any suggestions I’m stuck at this part, your help is appreciated in this thanks.

  93. HELP!!! someone please!!! i just finished step 7 and im stuck…my g1’s screen is on the rainbow screen…how do i restart it? help asap!!!

  94. Hey,
    I have the HTC Magic from Rogers, the one without the keyboard. So I’m just wondering how do I root my phone if my keyboard is…well ON the screen. And do I have to rly do this in order to have the Hero ROM?
    I would love to have some help, I am really not good with this stuff and I rly don’t want to screw up my phone.
    Thanks much ^^!

  95. Okay So I Am Doing The First Three Steps Good Until I Press The Home And Camera Buttons, Now The Flashing Screen Comes On But When The Grey Screen Comes On Its Keeps Saying There Is “No Image File”. Can Sumone Please Help Me Cuz I Am Gettn Very Aggravated And I Have Been Doin This For An Hour Now

  96. Ok I Am Having A Problem With Formatting My SD Card, Everytime I Right Click To Format, Its Keeps Disconnecting And Saying “There Is No Disk In My Drive”, Please Help!!!!

  97. Im tring to change the theme for my phone but when i put the home and power button it wont load up it will be stuck with the image of the phone and a exclamation mark what does it mean?…

  98. Hi, i followed the steps. when i turn off the phone and press the camara & power button to turn it on everything goes good. the rainbow shows up then it goes to the white loading screen. its shows loading but right under it, shows “no image file!” then goes right back to the rainbow. what am i doing wrong? plz help i’v never done this before but it looks pretty cool


  99. i tried formating it with the sd card in the phone and it jus disconnects. does that mean i have to have the adapter

  100. Hey everything seems to be working fine…but for some reason (im up to step 10) when i type the final command “cat recovery.img > /system/recovery.img” instead of just getting “##” i get cannot create /system/recovery.img: read-only file system

    im rooting my G1 for the HTC hero. Been up since 12am…lol Help would be much appreciated.


    1. Hello Clashin’,

      Wish I could help but I can’t figure out what you did wrong without actually watching you do it, too be honest when I made all these videos I had to Google a lot of errors (just type in the exact error you got, Cannot Create /system/recovery.img, and you’ll find someone else with the same issue and usually how to fix it.
      The only thing I can tell most people is to start over the procedure, sorry wish I could help more 🙁

    1. Hello Priyank,

      Not recommended, we need about 500mbs for the ext 2 partiton and 32mbs for the linux-swap partition. That would not leave you very much room for any music, videos, etc. Up to you though (a 2GB card is under $10 at BestBuy or other places).

  101. so my phone is already 1.0 firmware and the recovery doesnt work im stuck on 1.0 everytime i press the end and home keys my phone freezes on the g1 screen but i can turn it on regular. i cant restore to factory settings it just freezes on the g1 screen every time what do I do!!?

  102. actually now when i boot it up it only goes the the rainbow screen even when i hold end and home keys it takes me their and it says that the dreaimg.nbh has failed and i put that on the sd card please help

  103. thanx a lot for ur quick response 🙂 …. i would like to know here that..if its 1 GB only…will work or not…and how to do partition? is it suppose to be done before rooted?

  104. what i did was i got my friends g1 put my sd card in his ,transferred the files to my sd card that i needed and it works now but i dont know if i completed the whole rooting process. i did a hard reset to my phone will that take everything off that i put in for the rooting process because i dont want my phone rooted any more but its still firmware 1.0 will i get an update back to cupcake?

  105. What is the EXACT syntax including spaces for mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system

    I get usage error if I use that spacing. I’ve tried 50 times and can’t get past that part.

    1. Hello Joe,

      The syntax is exact in that procedure (worked for plenty of people). You may have another issue, try googing the exact error you got and see if anyone else had the issue.

  106. Hi,

    I love this site!!!..I’ve watched the rooting video 3times (lol) and I think Im ready to root my G1 but I have a couple questions. Will my contacts be affected by rooting? Whats a good theme? And how do I check what spl I have.

    1. Hello Cece,

      Just sync your contacts with Google (it should do that automatically) and then when you sign in again when done, you will be all set.
      There are a lot of good themes, we have some in our Downloads section but there are a lot more on
      Good Luck!

  107. Im put in the files and restarted it by holding the camera and on button but it just stays on the rainbow screen. WHAT DO I DO?!?!

  108. Helo david my name is carmelo I have seen ur video at least 8 time. I have done every time as u say almost every thing it seems to look fine but when I do the last step were I have to turn of my g1 and the hold home and end I press alt l and alts. Every time I do this step I get this E can’t open sdcard no such file ordirectory imstallation aborted. This is what I get every singal time I try it can you please help me I think this is the only thing that is keeping me from rooting my g1 Pls help

    1. Hello Carmelo,

      You need to make sure the file is named correctly ( not accidentally etc) and make sure it is on the sd card NOT in any folders.
      Also check the reported issues below the post.

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