Rooting an HTC Hero (US)
When Sprint initially announced their partnership with Google and their first Android powered phone, I was super happy. This was the phone to get, this was the phone to move to! Yeah……..2 months after the release of the HTC Hero, Sprint released the 4G Evo and dropped all development on the Hero. It wasn’t until after 6 or so months that the first update for the Hero came out followed by Sprints official announcement to stop supporting it.
For anyone that has an HTC Hero, you’ll soon learn why this is the greatest phone you’ll love to hate. The more you use it, the more it eats itself up. By that I mean that it degrades the battery, the response of the OS becomes more and more sluggish, and it generally makes you want to throw it across the room. With Sprint offering no help for it other than the official statement of “Power off and back on”, what do we do?
Enter CyanogenMod….and here’s how to bring new life to your Hero.
First off, let me start with the warning that probably no one will even worry about.
DOING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WILL VOID YOUR PHONE’S WARRANTY
That being said, let’s have some fun.
Things you are going to need:
- A general knowledge of your phone and computer
- Links and Packages available to download here and included links
- USB Cable
- Power Charger (optional if you charge though USB)
- Optional New and/or Larger Size MicroSD card
- My post on cyanogenmod.com “First Time Flashing” | http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/topic/28072-first-time-flashing-sprint-hero/page__gopid__223245#entry223245
- Partitioning SD Card | http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/topic/25008-partitioning-sd-card/
- HTC Hero CDMA Full Update Guide | http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/HTC_Hero_%28CDMA%29:_Full_Update_Guide
- CyanogenMod 7 Guide | http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/topic/20126-cyanogenmod-7-for-the-htc-hero-cdma-v703-5-may-2011/
- Unroot Information | http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=804692
Packages and Applications:
- ASTRO | Available from Market
- Rom Manager | Available from Market
- Dalvik 1-Click Root tool (download: @xda-developers | @here MUST UNPACK FROM .ZIP FILE AFTER DOWNLOAD)
- CyanogenMod (download: @cyanogenmod | @here)
- GoogleApps Update Package (download: @cyanogenmod | @here)
- Unroot Tool (download: @xda-developers | @here)
Quick Overview Process:
- Install Rootkit on phone
- Apply SuperUser permissions
- Install Recovery tool
- Backup, Clean phone
- Partition SD Card
- Install Cyanogen Mod
My Phone Information:
settings >> about phone >> phone ID
Baseband version: 2.42.02.10.29
Kernel Version: 2.6.29-ba77cf03 | htc-kernel@and18-2 #1
Build number: 2.32.651.2 CL282911 release-keys
Browser: WebKit 3.1
A Note on Standby:
Whenever you are doing something on your phone, try to not allow the phone to go into standby mode by rolling the trackball.
Step 1 – Rooting Your Hero:
- Download HERO Root 1-Click Package (links above)
- Connect your phone to your PC and select Disk Drive so that you can view your phone’s SD card on your computer
- Copy the Hero Root package to your SD card – DO NOT PUT THIS FILE IN A FOLDER!!!
- Unplug your USB cable
- Download/Install ASTRO File Manager from the Android Market
- Run ASTRO, browser your SD card, find the file you just copied to the SD card and run it
- Read the disclaimer, accept the disclaimer, and reboot (power off, power on)
- Power On and load into HTC – let HTC OS load completely (about 5 mins or so should do)
- Make a phone call to make sure it’s fully loaded up
- Power off
- While holding the Volume-Down button, Press Power
- Your phone will boot to the RootKit
- Press HOME on your phone (the little house)
- From the new menu, scroll down to the option “Flash zip from SD card” and accept by pressing Home
- On complete, select to reboot system
- Wait for phone to finish booting up
- (this can be optional) Go to Settings >> Applications >> Development >> Turn ON USB debugging
- Go to market, view your installed apps, uninstall the HERO root kit application
Step 2 – Install Recovery (ClockworkMod):
- Use market to download/install ROM Manager (ClockworkMod)
- Open ROM Manager | You should not receive any errors about permissions
- There is an option to select Flash ClockworkMod Recovery
- Confirm that you are HTC Hero (CDMA)
- Grant Application Root Permission if it prompts you
- If it hangs after that and freezes up, just allow the app to Force Close, then open it back up and repeat the above steps
- ClockworkMod Recovery should now be installed on your HTC Hero (CDMA)
- After successful Clockwork install, scroll down and select “Backup Current ROM”
- Accept the current file name it gives you
- Phone reboots and begins backing up all files
- When you see generating md5 checksum message, it’s almost done
- Phone will automatically reboot
- Wait until the phone has finished booting up into the normal operating mode
- Connect to USB as Disk Drive on your computer
- COPY ALL OF YOUR FILES TO A FOLDER ON YOUR COMPUTER, ESPECIALLY CLOCKWORKMOD FOLDER, THIS CONTAINS YOUR BACKUP IMAGE
- UNPLUG YOUR PHONE FROM COMPUTER
- MAKE SURE PHONE IS CHARGED
Step 3 – Partition SD Card:
- If using the same card, make sure that everything is saved to a folder on your computer. If using a new SD Card, power off the phone, remove old card, insert new card, power on phone.
- Open ROM Manager
- Select option to Partition SD Card
- Select your size for EXT: 128, 256, 512
- Select your size for SWAP: 0, 32, 64, 128, 256
- Accept the notice: ALL DATA ON SD CARD WILL BE WIPED CLEAN – GONE FOREVER!!!!!
- Accept Again and allow ClockworkMod Recovery to reboot your phone
- SD Card will be mounted
- ROM Manager partitions SD Card
- On finish phone will boot up automatically
- Wait until the phone has finished booting up, apps loaded, etc.
- Also, at this time, make sure that you have a good charge on your battery
- NOTE: At this point, my mini info viewer says that i have 29.2GB out of 32GB storage space available on my card…yay!
Step 4 – Installing CyanogenMod:
- Download: CM7 (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Latest_Version#HTC_Hero_.28CDMA.29)
- Download: GoogleApps (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Latest_Version#Google_Apps)
- Plug the USB cable into your phone and select disk drive option
- Open the phone’s new drive in your computer and copy the two files you just downloaded onto the memory card
- After files are copied over, Unplug USB and go to Astro File manager and make sure you see the two files on your SD card; if you do, you’re good to go
- Open ROM Manager
- Select the option to “Install ROM From SD Card”
- It will ask you to select the options you want to use
- Select Wipe Data and Cache
- Select Wipe Dalvik Cache
- No-Select Rackup Rom (we did this earlier and you copied it to your desktop, right?)
- Phone reboots to black screen and tells you what it’s doing
- When finished, you will probably see the HTC screen followed by CM7 logo w/ android riding a skateboard
- You will see a spinning arrow…let it keep spinning, may take upwards of 1.5 to 2.0 minutes or more
- Eventually you will see the CM7 desktop and default options/apps that are pre-loaded
- When done, welcome to CM and a MUCH FASTER HERO!!!
- Now, let’s tweak some things…
Step 5 – Google Apps Management:
- Click the new Applications button on your new CM Desktop
- Open the File Manager, find the GoogleApps package, run it
- DO NOT wipe or backup; uncheck the three options.
- Allow to reboot with SuperUser permissions
- Phone runs install and boots to HTC+CM7
- Watch the spinning arrow and just wait…
- Once this loads, you can set up the Google apps that you want should it prompt you, however, i cancelled this action so that I can pick and choose which “Google” apps i want.
Step 6 – Set up Apps and Make Use of SD Partition:
The reason that we created a partition earlier for the SD card is so that the apps we install will NOT use internal storage. This leaves more room to install apps, more room to be applied for streaming music and media, and generally allows the phone to run more smoothly.
- Go to settings/applications/manage applications/all….
- At this point, you can choose to move all CM included apps to your SD card OR you can leave them on internal memory; I looked at the location above, saw that I was only using about 6 or 8 megs with 155megs of internal storage free, so I decided to leave the system installed apps where they were (not move them)
- If you want to move an app to the SD card, tap on it and then tap the “move to SD card” tab… its only once so after you do this
- Go to settings/cyanogen settings/applications… then check the “allow application moving”
- Go to “install location” and put it at EXTERNAL… this will ensure that every new app you install will go to the SD card….
Sometimes when you install an app, it will not install to the SD Card. So every so often, you should check settings >> applications >> manage applications. If you find an application that you added through the market does not say it is installed on the SD card, you might try clicking it, then moving it to SD card. Most all applications will run on SD card. However, if you have an application that comes packaged with a widget (like FourSquare, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) then the application MUST be installed to the internal memory (“to phone” option). Manage your applications, tap the application, then tap the button to move it to phone.
Now, that isn’t to say if it has widgets and it is installed on the SD card, that the app wont work. For example, the Facebook for Android application is both an application and a widget. The widget allows you to have a 4×2 box on your screen that will scroll recent status updates. That’s great, but it’s a pain in the ass because since it’s always updating, when you try to scroll left and right, it wants to update on you, scrolling back to the beginning to where you already read what’s up with someone. With that happening, I don’t really care to use the widget. Instead I just tap the FB icon and load up my full FaceBook application, which gives me so much more option. Since that’s all I’m doing, I moved the FB app to my SD card and saved about 5 megs of internal storage space. That might not sound like a lot, but when you only have 150 megs total of internal storage space, it quickly adds up.
Just remember, if you long-press on your screen, select widget, and then your widget isn’t listed, 99% chance that it was automatically installed to the SD card and if you move it back to the phone, it’ll show up.
New Phone Settings:
Android Version: 2.3.3
Baseband Version: 2.42.02.10.29
Kernel Version: 126.96.36.199-CyanogenMod | wjb@android-msi #1
Selling Your Phone or Return to Factory Default
Un-Root Your Hero:
Un-Rooting your Hero will wipe it back to factory default, just like you took it out of the box.
- Download the app using the above links
- Simply rename this to HERCIMG.zip and place on the root of your SDCard.
- Power your phone completely off.
- Press and Hold VOL DOWN and POWER until your phone boots into HBoot mode.
- Wait for it to verify the zip, then click <ACTION> (Trackball) to update, or <SEND> (Green Call) to cancel.