If you’ve rooted your phone, then you’ve most likely heard of the MIUI ROM.  If you haven’t, then it’s about time you found out about it!

MIUI is a custom ROM built by a team of developers in China.  Unlike most other ROMs, MIUI not only gives a complete UI overhaul to Android (iOS like in some cases) but it also introduces a massive range of new features.

The newest version of MIUI is due for release on 31st December, and the video below shows a preview of what’s to come:

Feature List From the Video

  1. iPhone style homescreen, with widget support
  2. Custom themes to change the full design of the ROM
  3. Quick toggle for most settings in the notification screen
  4. Fancy animations
  5. New music player application with lyrics support
  6. Lockscreen music controls
  7. Unlimited homescreens
  8. Rearrange the application drawer
  9. Uninstall applications via the application drawer
  10. FAST
  11. iPhone style contacts app
  12. T9 Dialing
  13. Call Recording (needs loudspeaker to be turned on)
  14. Reject/Mute Calls
  15. Send text message when rejecting a call

If you’re interested in this ROM then the place to lookout for is: http://miui-dev.com

FAQs

  1. The ROM in the video is in Chinese, will the ROM be Chinese too?
    Although all official ROMs are released in Chinese, you can download language packs (including English) from http://miui-dev.com to translate the full ROM into your native language.  If you know what you’re doing, you could actually translate it yourself!
  2. What phones can I get MIUI on?
    MIUI is built for the HTC Desire, Google Nexus One and Motorola Milestone, however it has been ported to other devices such as the HTC Evo
  3. Which version of Android is this ROM based on?
    MIUI ROMs use the latest Froyo release, but I would expect it to be upgraded to Gingerbread at some point

FAQ

Here’s more FAQ’s based on reader questions over the past couple of weeks:

  1. How Can I Close An Application?
    Firstly, there’s no need to except for the rare exceptions.  Android handles multiple applications running at the same time by itself (multi-tasking).  It will stack applications in the background until it finds that it’s running low on memory.  As soon as it does it will close the oldest applications you used.  When you switch between applications, Android puts the app in a standby state where it’s using almost no system resources and therefore doing no harm in still being open.
    Some applications come with a Quit option which you can use.  Otherwise, if you really need to close an app you can use the built-in task killer, or download a dedicated Task Manager from the Market.
  2. How Can I Play Super Nintendo Games on my HTC Desire?
    There’s a great SNES emulator in the Market called Snesoid.  There’s a free version, and full-featured paid version too.
  3. When is Froyo going to be released?
    There’s no set release date.  As described earlier, firstly Google need to release Froyo, and then HTC modify it so that it has all the HTC Sense features.
    Plenty of rumours have been flying around the internet in the past weeks that I’ve mentioned on Twitter but I’ve felt no need to post on here because that’s all they are, rumours – no use getting peoples hopes up with speculation.  HTC have not mentioned any such release dates themselves, yet people tend to hold it against HTC when these rumours are proved false.  We just need to wait to hear from HTC themselves when they intend to release it.
    An additional rumour is that Google are actually working alongside HTC so that the Sense version of Froyo is available on the same day as the official Froyo release.
  4. How Can I Delete Applications?
    There’s a few ways you can achieve this:

    • Settings > Applications > Manage Applications.  There you can select an app and use the Uninstall option
    • Market > Downloads > Select the app you want to uninstall > Uninstall
    • File Managers such as FileGo and Astro have a built in application manager you can use to uninstall
    • Plenty more apps and methods which I’m sure you’ll come across in your Desire experience
  5. Will Rooting Effect My Froyo Upgrade?
    No.  Because there’s way of unrooting your phone you can always revert to stock and then get the Froyo update when it comes out.  Also remember that the dev community will no doubt release a rooted version of Froyo too, which you can install using the same recovery image you used when rooting.
  6. Can I Copy Files to My Desire via WiFi?
    Though I’ve never done this myself, I’ve heard that it’s possible to share files between computer and Desire using EStrongs File Explorer
  7. Where Should I Paste .apk Files on my Desire?
    There’s no set location.  I tend to organise all .apk files in a dedicated APKs folder on my SD card.  However, they can be kept anywhere you like
  8. Do I Need a Dedicated “Music” folder on my SD Card?
    Nope, your audio files can be anywhere on the SD card and the Music app will pick them up automatically.  If you want to prevent certain folders from being picked up have a look at this tutorial
  9. Is Rooting the Desire Safe?
    The current rooting method for the Desire is the safest yet.  There’s no risk of bricking as there used to be, and the devs have actually released a method to fix any bricking issues in case something does go wrong.  Plus it’s quite straightforward to revert your phone to an unrooted state if you want to undo the process.
  10. Will Apps From My Symbian Phone Work on the Desire?
    Unfortunately no, as they’re too completely different operating systems.  It’s like trying to play a PS3 game on a Xbox 360…

Yesterday I posted how to root your HTC Desire, which was the first method made available by Paul @ Modaco.  Today he’s created a new method which is much easier.

Note:

  1. I take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong. You do this at your own risk
  2. This method will wipe your phone completely – so backup everything using either SMS Backup Restore/ Call Log Backup Restore / MyBackup Pro / Sprite Backup or any other backup apps available in the market
  3. You need a microSD card to create a goldcard as per the instructions.  At the end of it you won’t be able to use that SD card as a normal memory card.  Don’t use your primary SD card, use a spare, smaller card – even 1GB should suffice
  4. Any problems either post here, in the original Modaco thread (linked above)

Skip to the rooting method

Read this whole topic – it contains a ton of useful information as well as the instructions and downloads!


Remember that if you use this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk!

Welcome to my guide on how to root the HTC Desire!

Compatibility

This guide will allow you to root your HTC Desire, provided it has a bootloader version of 0.75 or below. To check this, turn off your device, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ key held. On the second line in green text you will see HBOOT- and then a number. Provided this is 0.75 or below, this guide should work for you.

O2 Germany devices are currently shipping with a 0.80 bootloader, and as such cannot be rooted using this guide at this time.

Desire rooting protection

Back in the early days of Android, rooting was easy. You had several options – you could flash stuff via the bootloader, you could flash an engineering bootloader, you could use kernel exploits – there were many ways of getting the low level access to your device that – in fairness – I think we as paying customers are entitled to. As time has progressed however, the manufacturers have made things harder and harder. The Desire is not a straightforward phone to root, for many reasons, including…

  • a ‘perfected bootloader’ that doesn’t allow flashing or booting of any images (even HTC signed ones)
  • a RUU flash process that does not allow downgrading of the bootloader to earlier versions
  • a kernel (that as yet does not have publicly available source) that as yet has no known exploits
  • a new protection method previously seen on the HTC Tattoo that protects key partitions from having write access. Even with SU access, it is not possible to write to the boot, recovery or system partitions.

In reality, the options for rooting a device this secure are limited. Even if a kernel exploit were found, the key partitions would still be unwritable, rendering su access useless. This was circumvented on the Tattoo very cleverly, using a specific memory address from a confidential Qualcomm datasheet, however this information is not yet available for the Snapdragon chipset used in the Desire (and indeed may never enter the public domain).

And so the root process becomes a process of methodically probing every possible point of exposure on the device, looking for the slightest chink in the armour. I found one and we’re putting it to good use! The downside is that it’s not as easy or as pretty as rooting a device that is actually DESIGNED to be accessible at the lowest level, such as the Nexus One.

Shame on you HTC for going to such unnecessary lengths (but that’s another story for another day).

What this root process provides and does not provide

The root process will…

  • flash your device with a new, generic 1.15.405.4 based ROM that has Superuser access
  • show you how to enter the recovery image in future, allowing you to flash update zips

The root process will NOT…

  • enable you to flash your device with a custom recovery image that can be launched easily by just holding down the volume down button when powering on
  • enable you to have write access to the /system partition in normal use of the device

Both of these limitations are being worked on of course.

Pre-requisites

In order to complete this guide, you need the following…

  • a HTC Desire
  • a PC
  • a microUSB cable
  • a microSD card (to be made into a ‘goldcard’)
  • the downloads below
  • balls of steel (actually, I just made that up)
Download

To be ready for the guide, download the following items…

  • the ISO image – DOWNLOAD / MIRRORS COMING SOON MD5: 854bdbb3c5898b15f92b5991204c9288

Once you have this on your machine, you’re ready to start!

The guide

Follow through these steps, one by one and at the end of it you’ll have a rooted Desire with the latest ROM.

Note: This process will wipe your device and there is currently no option to backup your device ROM before you start.

  • Make your microSD card into a goldcard by following these instructions (it’s a good idea to back up the contents of your card first!).
  • Unzip the file you downloaded to a directory, then open a command prompt / terminal window at that directory.
  • Turn off your HTC Desire, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ button held down. You’ll see ‘FASTBOOT’ written on the screen in a red box. Connect the phone to the computer.
  • In the terminal window, enter either (as appropriate, with no quotes)
    ‘step1-windows.bat’
    ‘./step1-mac.sh’
    ‘./step1-linux.sh’
  • When this step has completed, using the optical trackball, navigate to the ‘BOOTLOADER’ and then ‘RECOVERY’ option on the menu, using the volume buttons to move and the power button to select.
  • In the terminal window, enter either (as appropriate, with no quotes):
    ‘step2-windows.bat’
    ‘./step2-mac.sh’
    ‘./step2-linux.sh’
  • When this has completed, your device should be at the ‘recovery’ screen. Select the ‘wipe’ option, then select the option to apply an update zip from sdcard, and select ‘rootedupdate.zip’. This will take a little while, so go make a nice cup of tea. When the flash has finished, reboot, and you are DONE!

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the root process, post below, and we’ll do our best to help!

And finally!

If you wish to do so, you can express your appreciation by signing up to a MoDaCo Ad Free or MoDaCo Plus Account using PayPal or Google Checkout, as detailed in this post on MoDaCo
. As well as donating to support the work that goes into all the various MoDaCo activites, you get cool stuff like free software (there’s some great Android stuff coming too!), an ad free MoDaCo site and of course access to the MoDaCo Online Kitchen. All signups are very much appreciated.
Enjoy!

P

Thanks to ChainsDD for his excellent new Superuser Permissions update and Amon_RA for the recovery image I butchered here.

via Modaco.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: An easier guide is now available here!!!

The wait’s finally over, Paul OBrien over at Modaco has finally completed his guide on how to root the HTC Desire.  The instructions are available below.

Note:

  1. I take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong. You do this at your own risk
  2. This method will wipe your phone completely – so backup everything using either SMS Backup Restore/ Call Log Backup Restore / MyBackup Pro / Sprite Backup or any other backup apps available in the market
  3. You need a microSD card to create a goldcard as per the instructions.  At the end of it you won’t be able to use that SD card as a normal memory card.  Don’t use your primary SD card, use a spare, smaller card – even 1GB should suffice
  4. Any problems either post here, in the original Modaco thread (linked above)

Instructions – courtesy of [email protected]:

Read this whole topic – it contains a ton of useful information as well as the instructions and downloads!



Remember that if you use this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk!

Welcome to my guide on how to root the HTC Desire – this is a ‘first cut’ of the guide, and will be refined / improved as time progresses!

Compatibility

This guide will allow you to root your HTC Desire, provided it has a bootloader version of 0.75 or below. To check this, turn off your device, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ key held. On the second line in green text you will see HBOOT- and then a number. Provided this is 0.75 or below, this guide should work for you.

O2 Germany devices are currently shipping with a 0.80 bootloader, and as such cannot be rooted using this guide at this time.

Desire rooting protection< /b>

Back in the early days of Android, rooting was easy. You had several options – you could flash stuff via the bootloader, you could flash an engineering bootloader, you could use kernel exploits – there were many ways of getting the low level access to your device that – in fairness – I think we as paying customers are entitled to. As time has progressed however, the manufacturers have made things harder and harder. The Desire is not a straightforward phone to root, for many reasons, including…

  • a ‘perfected bootloader’ that doesn’t allow flashing or booting of any images (even HTC signed ones)
  • a RUU flash process that does not allow downgrading of the bootloader to earlier versions
  • a kernel (that as yet does not have publicly available source) that as yet has no known exploits
  • a new protection method previously seen on the HTC Tattoo that protects key partitions from having write access. Even with SU access, it is not possible to write to the boot, recovery or system partitions.

In reality, the options for rooting a device this secure are limited. Even if a kernel exploit were found, the key partitions would still be unwritable, rendering su access useless. This was circumvented on the Tattoo very cleverly, using a specific memory address from a confidential Qualcomm datasheet, however this information is not yet available for the Snapdragon chipset used in the Desire (and indeed may never enter the public domain).

And so the root process becomes a process of methodically probing every possible point of exposure on the device, looking for the slightest chink in the armour. I found one and we’re putting it to good use! The downside is that it’s not as easy or as pretty as rooting a device that is actually DESIGNED to be accessible at the lowest level, such as the Nexus One.

Shame on you HTC for going to such unnecessary lengths (but that’s another story for another day).

What this root process provides and does not provide

The root process will…

  • flash your device with a new, generic 1.15.405.4 based ROM that has Superuser access
  • show you how to enter the recovery image in future, allowing you to flash update zips

The root process will NOT…

  • enable you to flash your device with a custom recovery image that can be launched easily by just holding down the volume down button when powering on
  • enable you to have write access to the /system partition in normal use of the device

Both of these limitations are being worked on of course.

Pre-requisites

In order to complete this guide, you need the following…

  • a HTC Desire
  • a Windows machine (sorry, I am trying to remove dependencies on specific OS’)
  • a Linux (a liveCD should do) or OSX machine (sorry, I am trying to remove dependencies on specific OS’)
  • a microUSB cable
  • a microSD card (to be made into a ‘goldcard’)
  • the downloads below
  • balls of steel (actually, I just made that up)

Downloads

To be ready for the guide, download the following items…

  • the ‘test ruu’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR – MD5: f1981b26b90b97aea395d2b30909a23f
  • the ‘push files’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR– MD5: 9ee301b702078dd1842bd1c67e552f6e
  • the ‘rooted update’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR – MD5: 44f2614452ddf777cab9115e2174a91a

Once you have those on your machine, you’re ready to start!

The guide

Follow through these steps, one by one and at the end of it you’ll have a rooted Desire with the latest ROM.

Note: This process will wipe your device and there is currently no option to backup your device ROM before you start

  • Make your microSD card into a goldcard by following these instructions (it’s a good idea to back up the contents of your card first!)
  • Copy the ‘rooted update’ you downloaded above to the root of your SD card, before replacing it into your device.
  • Turn off your HTC desire, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ button held down. You’ll see ‘FASTBOOT’ written on the screen in a red box.
  • Connect the phone to your computer, then run the ‘test ruu’ that you downloaded above (it may take a short while to start). Let the update complete and turn your device off as soon as it reaches the configuration wizard. If you need USB drivers, you can find them as part of the HTC Sync install.
  • Your device should now be off. Unplug the device from your computer. Turn it on again while holding down the ‘volume down’ button this time. The screen will look similar to before, but will say ‘HBOOT’ instead of ‘FASTBOOT’. Use the volume buttons and the power button to select the ‘RECOVERY’ option. You should then see a screen with a red triangle – at this point, plug it into your Linux or OSX computer.
  • Now you need to unzip the ‘push files’ zip that you downloaded above. When you have done so, you’ll see a file called ‘recovery-linux.sh’ or ‘recovery-mac.sh’. Run the one appropriate to your operating system and the screen of your device should change to display the green recovery image menu.
  • In the recovery image (moving around using the optical trackball), select ‘Wipe -> Wipe data /factory reset’ then ‘Flash zip from sdcard’ and choose the rooted update. Confirm with the trackball and the update process will begin. It’ll take a little while, so go make a nice cup of tea.
  • When the flash has finished, reboot, and you are DONE!

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the root process, post below, and we’ll do our best to help!

And finally!

If you wish to do so, you can express your appreciation by signing up to a MoDaCo Ad Free or MoDaCo Plus Account using PayPal or Google Checkout, as detailed in this post on MoDaCo.
As well as donating to support the work that goes into all the various MoDaCo activites, you get cool stuff like free software (there’s some great Android stuff coming too!), an ad free MoDaCo site and of course access to the MoDaCo Online Kitchen. All signups are very much appreciated.

Enjoy!

P

Thanks to ChainsDD for his excellent new Superuser Permissions update!

via Modaco

The final update for rooting the Desire (except the actual release).  Paul O’Brien has just posted saying:

Guide written, files uploaded, testing now…

Hopefully within the next hour or so we’ll have the full root procedure.  If the official instructions are not suitable for beginners I’ll do my best to write up something that (almost) everyone can use.