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HTC Chacha - Give it new life with CyanogenMod 10.1 under Ubuntu

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htc-chacha-cyanogen

I recently recovered an old HTC Chacha as a spare phone and I decided to give it a new birth with latest CyanogenMod 10.1.

With HTC policy toward developpers, its now possible unlock its bootloader directly with HTC procedure available on HTDDev Unlock Bootloader official site.

The procedure is not that simple, especially if you don't have any Windows OS under the hood.

In fact, you need to upgrade your phone bootloader with one of these HTC specific RUU.exe files, which is not supported under Linux. But, as always under Linux, some people made it possible ...

This guide explains how to convert your bootloader locked HTC Chacha mobile phone to a CyanogenMod 10.1 device, by using only a Linux computer, without the help of any proprietary OS.

It deals with following steps :

  • Unlock bootloader
  • Flash up-to-date ClockworkMod Recovery
  • Flash a very good CyanogenMod 10.1 ROM available from XDA

Even if the target is a HTC Chacha, you may use this procedure as a framework to unlock bootloader of many other HTC phones.

All the following steps are done on a Ubuntu workstation, but it should be easily adapted to any other Linux flavour.

As a pre-requisite, you need to have installed Android Tools (ADB, Fastboot, ...) on your computer.

1. Create Udev rule for Fastboot

To be able to detect your HTC Chacha in ADB & Fastboot mode on your Ubuntu workstation, first thing is to create the proper udev rules that will allow the system to detect the phone.

he udev rule will be declared in /etc/udev/rules.d/99-android.rules. If file already exists, just append the content at the end of it.

/etc/udev/rules.d/99-android.rules

# HTC Chacha
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0bb4", ATTR{idProduct}=="0cb2", MODE="0666", OWNER="your-login" # ADB mode
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0bb4", ATTR{idProduct}=="0ff0", MODE="0666", OWNER="your-login" # Fastboot mode

Replace your-login with your own Ubuntu login.

Once done, udev service has to be restarted.

# sudo service udev restart

2. Setup HTC Chacha

First thing to do is to enable fastboot mode and ADB mode on your HTC Chacha (they are disabled by default).

Go to menu Settings / Power and untick Fastboot. This will allow you to boot in bootloader mode (for fastboot and recovery).

Then go back to menu Settings / Application / Developpement and turn on USB Debugging. This will enable ADB commands.

Next step is to power off your Chacha and to reboot it in bootloader mode by pressing Volume - and Power at the same time for about 10 seconds.

The phone will start in bootloader mode.

If your HBOOT status is *** UNLOCKED **, your bootloader is unlock. You can jump straight to Flash ClockWorkMod Recovery.

If your HBOOT version is HBOOT-1.10.0000, you don't need to update HBOOT. You can jump to Get Unlock Code.

3. Unlock Bootloader

Go to http://www.htcdev.com/, register and follow instructions for HTC Wildfire.

At some stage you'll be directed to page http://www.htcdev.com/bootloader/ruu-downloads where you need to download a RUU corresponding to your device.

For HTC Chacha, this RUU brings HBOOT 1.002 which is needed for the boot unlocking procedure.

Download it. It should be named PH611000_Chacha....exe

As we are under Linux, we can't run this RUU as it is.

We will need to extract the embedded ROM and to convert it to a file that can be flashed straight from the SD card.

3.1. Install Unruu

To convert this RUU exe file into a flashable ROM, we will use a tool called unruu.

This tool extracts the rom.zip file embedded in the RUU exe.

A binary snapshot of unruu is available from http://psi.kennynet.co.uk/software/unruu/snapshots/.

We will download it and instal it under /usr/local/sbin.

# wget http://psi.kennynet.co.uk/software/unruu/snapshots/unruu-0.3.0-beta-44bfd31-STATIC-BINARY.gz -O - | gunzip > /tmp/unruu
# sudo mv /tmp/unruu /usr/local/sbin/unruu
# chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/unruu

3.2. Extract & Flash the ROM

We can now extract the ROM from the RUU exe file.

# unruu PH0611000*.exe
Extracting temporary files...
Extracting rom zip files...
Extracting rom.zip...done.
Cleaning up...
Done!

We you have a rom.zip file in our current directory. This ROM is directly flashable thru SD Card, but it needs to be renamed.

In fact, during its fastboot process, HTC Chacha looks for a flashable ROM named PH06IMG.zip at the root of the SD Card.
This filename is different for every HTC model.

So, you just have to rename rom.zip to PH06IMG.zip and to copy it at the root of the Chacha SD Card.

Next step is to reboot Chacha in fastboot mode :

adb reboot bootloader

The phone will reboot.

Select FASTBOOT menu with Power key. It will flash the PH06IMG.zip image.

Your phone will reboot at the end of the operation.

4. Get Unlock Code

Remove now PH06IMG.zip from the SD card and reboot in fastboot mode again.

adb reboot bootloader

Now that your HTC Wildfire is running HBOOT 1.10, you can extract the Identifier Token.

The first command will make sure that the device is detected in fastboot mode.

# fastboot devices
HT168V408897    fastboot
# fastboot oem get_identifier_token 2>/tmp/bootloader
# cat /tmp/bootloader | grep "(bootloader)" | sed 's/(bootloader) //g'

< Please cut following message >
<<<< Identifier Token Start >>>>
3EBBBE9D48808F7C6C6204AA46C41038
4FADB237007FF5D6B96A25503467C18C
9E6EA4A50A828FC7417649FB3D0403DF
BE0B17F14D02C018822BCA09AE5CF66C
59EE451868B1B5F5D1C051B9684DC7B4
794F476E02DEA24B15A73DC8759EF74F
243E69903A0917B1CFA200F9490384D5
694B58ACB0F40357D35B0D7CE9B8C48E
AEF046F8AAF9C88259A3C50F184F53A7
FEEBD0765B525E01F3E5529636198707
879389E4F224EB36BF18AE9E4C812340
46394FF705611654AE12114C357CEE12
87A054D620958AD5D0030231F02E44D8
72A493B8ACB857EDF043024E52BFB0E3
5E3418AD4ECF439D27AD36807F6885B8
F721A0D398377AC9C16377CFB3327A45
<<<<< Identifier Token End >>>>>

You can now cut & paste the Identifier token according to the instructions given on the HTC Unlock site.

You'll receive a mail with a Unlock_code.bin attachment.

We can now use this attachment to unlock the phone.

Unlocking your bootloader will erase all your data for safety reasons.
So if you go ahead, make sure you've backed-up all your important data.

# fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin
sending 'unlocktoken' (0 KB)...
OKAY [ 0.140s]
writing 'unlocktoken'...
(bootloader) unlock token check successfully
OKAY [ 0.009s]
finished. total time: 0.149s

On your phone, validate the unlocking operation.

htc-wildfire-unlock-choice

Your HTC Wildfire is now having an unlocked bootloader ...

htc-chacha-unlocked

5. Flash ClockworkMod Recovery

You are now ready to flash a custom ClockworkMod Recovery that will allow to wipe partitions, flash ROM and handle backup & restore.

Latest version ClockWorkMod v5.0.2.8 works pretty well. It is available from http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1164468.

Extract files from the ZIP file, connect your Chacha in fastboot mode and flash the recovery :

# fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
sending 'recovery' (4186 KB)...
OKAY [ 2.984s]
writing 'recovery'...
OKAY [ 3.458s]
finished. total time: 6.442s

Then :

  1. Select Reboot Bootloader
  2. Select Bootloader
  3. Select Recovery

You now enter ClockworkMod Recovery v5.0.2.8.

chacha-cwm-recovery-5028

You can navigate directly from the keyboard (arrows Up and Down to navigate and Return to select an entry).

It's now time to backup your official ROM before flashing a custon one. You can do it thru menu backup and restore / backup.

Once backup is over, just press Power to reboot.

6. Flash CyanogenMod 10.1 & Google Apps

It is now time to download :

You now need to push them on your phone memory card.

# adb push cm-10.1-20131128-UNOFFICIAL-chacha.zip /sdcard/
# adb push Slim_4.2.X_gapps_Nbsss_v1.zip /sdcard/
# adb reboot bootloader

You'll reboot in bootloader. Select Bootloader and Recovery.

You are now ready to flash CyanogenMod 10.1 and Google Apps.

From CWM Recovery, follow carefully these steps in this specific order :

  1. Wipe data / factory reset
  2. Wipe cache
  3. Advanced / Wipe Dalvik cache
  4. Mount and storage / Format System
  5. Install from sdcard / cm-10.1-20131128-UNOFFICIAL-chacha.zip
  6. Install from sdcard / Slim_4.2.X_gapps_Nbsss_v1.zip
  7. Advanced / Fix permissions

That's it !

You can now reboot your HTC Chacha into CyanogenMod 10.1 (Jelly Bean 4.2.2 based).

7. Performance Tweaks

Now that your HTC Chacha is running CyanogenMod 10.1, you may want to do few perfromance tweaks to maximize your user experience.

In fact, as HTC Chacha is a low power phone, you can do some performance tweaks that will make it much more responsive.

You first need to activate Developer mode but tapping 7 times on the entry Build Number under the menu Parameters / About phone.

This will open some new menus where you'll be able to do some very interesting tweaks :

Menu Parameters / Developer option :

  • Window animation scale : off
  • Transition animation scale : off
  • Animator duration scale : off
  • Background process limit : at most 2 processes

Menu Parameters / Performance / Memory management :

  • Kernel samepage merging : on

Menu Parameters / Performance / Processor :

  • CPU governor : ONDEMAND
  • Minimum CPU frequency : 254 MHz
  • Maximum CPU frequency : 800 MHz
  • Set on boot : on

After next reboot, your THC Chacha should be much more responsive.

8. Compulsory Applications

As HTC Chacha is a low memory phone, before installing any new application from Play Store, you must follow these steps : Extend Application Memory of your old Smartphone.

Next, to avoid all annoying ads you get with free apps from Play Store, you can also Install Adaway add blocker.

Finally, as Cyanogen 10.1 is not providing any FM player, you can install either :

 

htc-chacha-screenshot-main  htc-chacha-screenshot-fm

 

You'll now enjoy a complete new HTC Chacha experience with a rejuvenated smartphone !

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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