HTC Phones and Cooked Roms

We recently wrote about running Googles latest Operating System FROYO on an HTC HD2 Smartphone.  Please understand that the HTC HD2 offered by Tmobile in the U.S. comes from the factory with Windows Mobile 6.5.  There initially was a buzz in the industry that HTC would offer either an Android updated version (which is basically the Sprint HTC Evo 4G) or that an “OFFICIAL” version of Froyo would be released by HTC.  There does not seem to be any truth to the rumours that HTC will offer an Android “upgrade” for the HD2.  This is primarily due to the huge amount of customization necessary for developing another operating system on one hardware platform.  As evidenced in our article:

Running Android 2.2 Froyo on HTC HD2

the HTC HD2 can run Froyo however it is NOT installed into the READ ONLY MEMORY of the device, which requires FLASHING, but actually runs right from the SD Card installed in the device.  The ideal situation would be for a FROYO Cooked Rom to appear which could be flashed to the Nand Flash of the HD2 allowing us to run Froyo fast and without bugs.  This article is dedicated to running Cooked Roms on HTC phones, and I am not just talking about the HTC HD2.

There are many many models of HTC phones in the market and they are carried across the world by different carriers.  Many of the Canadian carriers offer HTC phones such as Telus, Bell,  and Rogers to name a few.  These come in either Android or Windows Mobile flavours.  For those of you running Windows Mobile and are looking for a fresh new face on your device….LOOK NO FURTHER!!!

Lets start by hooking you up to the ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR COOKED ROMS and Flashing.  XDA-DEVELOPERS.com.  These people are the HOLY GRAIL of programmers as they do all of this hard work for FREE……they are giving of their own time to develop cutting edge ROMS which vastly improve your Windows Mobile experience.   In many ways these roms will make your phone run better than HTC or Microsoft could ever have imagined.  Lets give credit where credit is due.  Much like a good piece of Filet Mignon, you need a good chef with a GREAT RECIPE.  Thats what a Good Cooked Rom will do for your phone.  Now the key to FLASHING is that you can BRICK (make it unusable) your phone if you don’t follow some basic instructions.

Flashing a ROM is not a very difficult task and in my experience I find using the SD Card method is literally flawless provided that you have an HSPL program flashed onto your phone BEFORE you do any ROM Flashing.  SPL stands for Secondary Program Loader.  That is the program that loads the Windows Mobile program code when the phone is turned on.  What MUST be installed is something called an HSPL  Here is the description of what an HSPL is taken directly from our friends at XDA-Developers: HSPL is an user-modified SPL that you have to flash to your phone. It overwrites the existing SPL on your device with a “hacked” one so to say. It allows you to bypass the HTC certificate check and flash unsigned or CID-mismatching roms to your phone. You only have to flash it once and then you can flash roms anytime.

In short you must install an HSPL successfully before you even attempt to install a Cooked ROM.  This writer has successfully installed HSPL 3 (version 3) on his various HTC Smartphones and it works flawlessly.  On ocassion when using the SD Card method of flashing a Cooked Rom it will get to 99% and just sit there.  All I do then is remove the back cover, remove the battery and reinstall and my old rom is usually right there on bootup.  There are occasions when the phone might go to a TRI-Coloured screen but thats not the end of the world.  You can just plug your phone into a Windows Computer with the USB Cable, have the system recognize and install the necessary drivers AUTOMATICALLY and then run the Flashing software from the system instead of doing it using the SD Card.

CAUTION….This usually goes perfectly 99% of the time.  The key is to be prepared and have the necessary tools installed on your computer.  The ROM downloads contain all the files necessary to run the program from within Windows.  There are other concerns which you can investigate when you are deciding which ROMS you want to download and install on your HTC Smartphone.

My recommendations are to try using Miri’s, Dutty’s and ENERGY’s Roms and there are versions available for a large variety of HTC as well as some other Smartphones on the XDA-Developers Website.  Just type in your brand and model in the FORUMS section of their website and you will then be able to search for and read all about the selection available for your phone.

In my next article I will be focusing on individual developers Roms for various currently available Smartphones.  Keep reading UBETHECRITIC!!!!