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HTC Wildfire - Flash your phone from HTC Sense to CyanogenMod AOSP

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This guide explains how to convert your HTC Wildfire mobile phone running Android with HTC Sense to a brand new Gingerbread Android Open Source Project smartphone.

HTC Wildfire

But, you may ask : Why to do so ?

Some of the answers may be :

 * to get rid of the Sense user interface
 * to upgrade the phone to the latest Android 2.3.4 branch (Gingerbread)
 * to get a very fast & responsive phone
 * to feel like a real geek :-)
 * to have fun ...

 

All the following steps will be done with a Ubuntu workstation.You won't need any proprietary operating system at any stage.

I will use an Android ROM called CyanogenMod 7.1 from the Cyanogen project.

This ROM is straight from the AOSP project and has been tested to be very stable and very responsive on the HTC Wildfire.

1. S-Off

Most of the HTC phone are nowadays protected against boot loader modification. To be able to modify the boot loader, you have to go thru a process called S-off.

This has been done by the AlphaRev-X team, now called Revolutionary. So, go on the site http://revolutionary.io/, download the tar.gz and unpack it.

The following steps suppose that your HTC Wildfire is having a HBoot in version 1.01.0001 (which is mostly the case). If it is not the case, the Revolutionary program will refuse to go further. You will then need to flash your phone to get the proper version. A guide is available there, but I've not tested it.

So, from the http://revolutionary.io/ site, fill-in your HTC phone serial number (available under the battery). Your beta code will be generated.

Before next step, make sure that your phone is :

  • in USB debug mode (main menu / application / development)
  • in Charge only mode (main menu / PC connexion / default connexion type )

From the directory where you have downloaded the tar.gz file, extract the revolutionary file & run the following command :

# sudo revolutionary
=============================================
| Revolutionary S-OFF & Recovery Tool 0.4pre4 |
=============================================
Brought to you by AlphaRev & unrEVOked.
Waiting for device...

Connect the phone fully charged to you Ubuntu workstation.

When asked :

  • Enter the beta serial code generated from the Revolutionary site
  • Answer Y to the download question

The program then does the job …

Found your device: HTC Wildfire (buzz-1.01.0001, Android: 2.2.1, ROM version: 2.22.405.4)

Please visit: http://revolutionary.io for more information.
Enter beta key [ serial: SH15XPY01500 ]: xxxxxxxxxx

Beta key accepted - thank you for participating!
Zerging Root... this might take a minute or so.. Root acquired!
Sending in Caroline...
Cleaning up...
Rebooting to fastboot...
When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back!
Waiting for fastboot...
Rebooting to fastboot (Once moar...)
SUCCESS - Life gave us lemons, we didn't make lemonade!

Do you want to download (Internet connection required) and flash ClockworkMod Recovery? [Y/n] Y

Downloading recovery for your phone (buzz)...Done.
Flashing recovery over fastboot...SUCCESS!

The process is over, you can then reboot your phone by :

  • moving the menu to reboot using the volume-down key
  • pressing the power-down key

Your phone will reboot as usual, by it won't be protected anymore against bootloader modification.

2. Flash the CyanogenMod ROM

You can get the latest CyanogenMod ROM from the CyanogenMod Wildfire page.

The one I've used is update-cm-7.1.0-RC1-buzz-signed.zip from the Experimental section.

Next, put your phone in USB Disk mode (main menu / PC connexion / default connexion type ).

Your phone should be seen as a mass storage on your Ubuntu desktop.

Place the update…signed.zip file at the root of the HTC mass storage.

Disconnect your phone and switch it off.

Then, boot in Maintenance Mode by holding VOLUME-DOWN and POWER buttons at the same time.

In Maintenance Mode,
navigation is done thru VOLUME-DOWN and VOLUME-UP
selection is done with POWER button.

Select recovery. Your phone will reboot in Recovery Mode.

In the Recovery Menu,
navigation & selection are done thru the small PAD.

Select install zip from card / choose zip from sdcard / update…signed.zip & confirm.

Installation of the new ROM will take place.It will take some time, but you will get some progress messages.

Once done, press the Back key.

From the menu, select wipe data/factory reset.

When done, from the menu, select wipe cache partition.

Finally, select reboot system now.

Your phone is now booting on the new CyanogenMod AOSP ROM !

The boot process will take a long time, it's normal.

You should after all get somethign like this ...

CyanogenMod Boot Screen

3. Flash the Google Apps

After flashing the CyanogenMod ROM, you will realize after boot that you don't have any Google Apps.It's normal, as they are not embedded in that ROM for some copyright reasons.

You can get them as a ZIP package from http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=Latest_Version/Google_Apps.

As previously, once downloaded, connect your phone as a mass storage and copy the ZIP file at the root of the storage.

Reboot in Recovery mode and select install zip from card / choose zip from sdcard / gapps-…-signed.zip & confirm.

When done, select reboot system now.

Your phone is now booting with the latest Google Apps !

You just need now to follow the configuration steps during the first boot.

4. Move Market cache to SD card

Because of the partitionning done on the HTC Wildfire, you may have trouble to download big applications (> 5 Mo) from the market.

The problem comes from the download cache, which is to small to handle big downloaded installation files.

To solve that issue, as we have root acces by default in the CyanogenMod ROM, the simplest and best solution is to move the Android Market cache to the SD card. So that the limits will now depend on the SD size …

To do so, from your phone application list, just open the Terminal Emulator and type the following commands :

su
cd /cache
rm -R download
mkdir /sdcard/cache-market
ln -s /sdcard/cache-market download

Your cache has now almost no limit !

You should now be the happy owner of a brand new Android Gingerbread Wildfire smartphone.

Enjoy !

Signature Technoblog

This article is published "as is", without any warranty that it will work for your specific need.
If you think this article needs some complement, or simply if you think it saved you lots of time & trouble,
just let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cheers !

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