Alright, this is a little embarrassing. A friend asked me to root, back up and put ICS on his SII. I own a ZTE Blade and am at least a seasoned observer of the MoDaCo Blade community, so I figured it wouldn't be any trouble. Rooting was easy as anything, with su and the SII variant of ROM manager working fine. Backing up took ages but was broadly successful. I then flashed the 08/04 build of HyDrOG3N, following the flash order to the letter. Launcher operated smoothly and the few functions I tried were all OK. I got a couple of bizarre force-close warnings but ignored them (Exchange services and Camera I think). Then I decided, foolishly it turned out, to flash ICS gapps and the Phenomenal 4.0 kernel Extreme kernel in recovery. This was when I also realised the phone had only 10% charge, judging by the amount of time since I'd last seen the battery meter. So when I selected 'reboot', it didn't seem to do anything apart from keep the screen on. I left it for a while, then realised it wasn't going anywhere so I took out the battery, replaced it, booted back into recovery and flashed HyDrOG3N & ICS gapps again. Everything was fine, so I restored his apps, synced contacts, restored SMSs and began customisation. Until I realised that his camera photos had disappeared (not a huge issue, backed up on PC), loads of background apps kept FCing and Messaging was broken. I was unable to read or send text messages. The main screen of the app worked, but it was impossible to navigate from there. I then flashed another HyDrOG3N build, the 08/04 Easter Egg version, wiping Dalvik before. Same issue, and same dammed Kang unicorn (yes, I'm a jerk -and proud).
My 'friend' now wants to rip my overconfident head off, while I assure him that I've got a thousand and one solutions. Er, yeah, flash different gapps (idiot, should have done that straight away) or use a different ROM. So much for 'rockstability'.
I won't have the phone until Wednesday, but am wondering if anyone has any idea what went wrong? Sorry for the novel, I just hope somewhere there's an explanation...
Thanks for any suggestions.