Its the Christmas holidays, there's a chicken the size of a house in the oven and I'm waiting for it to cook. What better time to root the phone and install Android 2.2?
Android 2.1 Eclair on the Wildfire isn't bad. It's actually pretty good. HTC Sense is a pleasant interface to use. But between HTC and T-Mobile it's an old version. There's still no sign of the over-the-air update to 2.2 Froyo...
Reasons why you should:
* get a pure Android experience
* get the Android updates when you want them, without being reliant on carriers or manufacturers
Reasons why you shouldn't:
* you will void your warranty
* you could 'brick' your phone and render it inoperable
* you could wipe a bunch of data off you phone (so export and/or back up first)
Only follow this procedure at your own risk.
Rooting your Phone and Install Custom ROMs could damage your phone to a state where it may not work again. Rooting your phone will void your warranty. Once your phone is rooted, damage could still be done, by using wrong commands in the terminal, overclocking your cpu or overclocking the LED light in the torch app.
This procedure relies on third party software which may be updated in new versions at any time, while it works for the majority, there are documented issues. Full Circle Magazine cannot be held responsible if this method incurs any permanent or non-permanent damage to your device.
Warnings out of the way, here is how you root your Wildfire and install a custom rom.
Both Ed Hewitt and I have gone for the rooting package from Unrevoked, which restores root access to the phone, enabling you to then install the CyanogenMod package for Android 2.2. Other Stock ROM's and rooting packages are avaialble.
We start on the PC. To regain root access, you need to download the rooting software Unrevoked-3 from unrevoked.com, and make sure you choose the Wildfire from the onscreen gallery.
[For Linux, the package to download is reflash.tar.gz. Extract the contents to a folder on your PC hard-drive]
Setup your Wildfire to do USB Debugging, which can be found in Settings > Applications > Development.
Plug your fone into your computer and select HTC Sync when the prompt comes up on your phone.
Start Unrevoked-3, which has to be running as with root privileges itself!
* Start a terminal session, switch into folder containing unrevoked-3 and
The rooting process will begin, sending the software through the USB connection to the phone; soon you will see a bootloader on your phone, use the volume up/down key to navigate the menu options and press the trackpad as the select button - don't use the power button. Select HBoot. And you have root access to install whatever!
Now, install the custom rom!
We are going to use Cyanogen Mod, which is the only community-run custom rom team.
Use the official tutorial for the wildfire on the site
The download links for the ROM and Google Apps are on that page, you will need the Google Apps zip file to access Market
Some further notes from Ed which are not on this tutorial:
* Use the second method, since its the easier way
* To install the custom rom, make sure both files are on the sd card, and you need to boot in to the boot loader. To do that, switch off your phone, then hold down the volume down button and press the power button. You need this key combination otherwise you get a standard boot.
ROM Manager is not available in the market for the Wildfire so the manual steps are required for at least the first time.
Second Method (via Recovery)
1. Download the latest version of CyanogenMod.
While you're there, you might as well get the Optional Download of the MDPI Google Apps for your phone.
2. Place the CyanogenMod update.zip file on the root of the SD card.
Also place the Google Apps .zip on the root of the SD card if you got it.
3. Boot into the ClockworkMod Recovery.
4. Once you enter ClockworkMod Recovery, use the side volume buttons to move around, and use the trackball clicker to select the options
* Remember, the trackpad is the select key, not the power button as the tutorial suggests; pressing the power button kills your install there and then!
5. Select the option to Wipe data/factory reset.
6. Then select the option to Wipe cache partition.
7. Select Install zip from sdcard.
8. Select Choose zip from sdcard.
9. Select the CyanogenMod update.zip.
[You will get a confirmation screen before anything gets overwritten]
For the optional Google apps, install by performing steps 7 thru 9 again and choosing the Google Apps update.zip.
10. Once the installation has finished, you need to select
to get back to the main menu, and select the Reboot system now option.
The tutorial step 10, tells you to go back to the main menu, but doesn't tell you how. This is where Ed got stuck and I needed the hint. To go back, just press the power button for step 10 ONLY. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU PRESS THE POWER BUTTON.
Your HTC Wildfire should now boot into CyanogenMod and enjoy the delights of Android 2.2. RC