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[GUIDE] Unlocking Bootloader, Rooting, and Wiretrick-Free S-OFF for Beginners

27th May 2014, 08:45 AM   |  #1  
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Hi all..I'm here with a noob/newbie friendly all-in-one (AIO) guide for HTC Sensation/SensationXE/Sensation 4G. These 3 brothers are identical in looks and in hardware so everything in this guide is a cross-device applicable procedure. When i was a noob i also used this method of rooting and now that i am more experienced in the Senny messing around and am an admin for an FB group for Sensation owners, so i also have made this guide for them and most people have tried and tested this. So you need not worry.

But, as in all guides, the standard disclaimer applies.

WARNING:
Your warranty is now void! I am not responsible for what you do to your device, for your SD cards gone wild, you getting fired by your boss coz the alarm app failed, thermonuclear wars, your device running away from you, scared of being bricked, or your gf/wife breaking up/divorcing with you coz you got obsessed with your seny. You are going to perform these operations at your own risk, as i also did these steps at my own risk as well before making this guide, and nothing bad happened to me following these steps.
PREREQUISITES:
  • Must register and sign in to htcdev.com.
  • (Optional, for those who rooted using CWM recovery.) Download 4Ext Recovery Updater.apk from here: http://4ext.net/ and place it on your SD card. For quick access, make a folder named APKs on your SD card and put all required APKs in it.
  • Backup all files on internal storage of your phone like contacts, messages as unlocking bootloader will factory reset your phone. Titanium Backup and similar programs are not recommended to use as this app requires root access, which we will be trying to obtain with this guide. backup your messages in message settings > backup, and your phonebook you can also backup locally in phonebook settings or you can sync them with your Gmail for auto retrieval after signing in back to your gmail.
  • Enable USB Debugging on your phone: Settings > Developer Options > tick USB Debugging.
  • Disable Fast Boot on your phone: Settings > Power/Battery > uncheck Fast Boot if you have it checked.
  • Take note of your phone’s Software version. If you haven’t updated your Sensation/XE/4G to ICS 4.0.3, then you should have an Hboot version of 1.18 and 1.17. Hboots 1.27 and 1.29 are on ICS 4.0.3 firmware.
  • Also take note whether you are S-ON or S-OFF. You can do so by booting into bootloader by pressing volume down while turning on your phone.
  • For S-ON devices with Gingerbread Hboot (1.17 and 1.18), you can skip the Unlocking Bootloader procedure and go over to Revolutionary.io to get your beta key and obtain S-OFF (If Revolutionary will ask you whether you want to flash recovery after obtaining S-OFF, select NO. You can flash 4ext recovery via the toolkit afterwards.
  • For S-OFF devices which are on Gingerbread, download this Universal Firmware from here: http://d-h.st/SuC. You will need to upgrade your firmware to 3.32/33 before you can flash any rom with a base higher than Gingerbread.
Part 1a: UNLOCKING THE BOOTLOADER (FOR S-ON USERS WHO ARE UPDATED TO ICS STOCK FIRMWARE)
NOTE:
  • Users who are on Gingerbread and are S-ON can skip UNLOCKING BOOTLOADER and just go over to revolutionary.io to get their beta key to obtain S-OFF then proceed to FLASH A RECOVERY on the toolkit. For those who are on GB and S-OFF by default, you can also skip this step and go on immediately to flash your recovery. (4Ext recommended).
  • Follow the steps on the toolkit in order, and obviously, install HTC Drivers via the toolkit before beginning any operation. This will ensure your phone will be detected by your computer.
  • It is not necessary to repeat the steps beginning from installing HTC drivers or anywhere. If you left off on a procedure, you can resume where you left off.

WARNING:
This method of rooting has been tried and tested! There are even YouTube video tutorials on how to use this toolkit and i have used this method as well back when i was still a noob looking for an easy and painless way of rooting. But whatever you do wrong I take no responsibility for bricked devices whatsoever. But I assure you that this is a noob proof way. Just follow the procedures and you should be rooted in less than 15 minutes if all goes well.

LET'S BEGIN!
  1. Extract the Sensation 4G toolkit you downloaded. Place it on your desktop temporarily (but make a copy on your local disk.)
  2. Open the toolkit. You should be greeted by this screen:





    Follow the steps starting from the left box. As you can see, it says install HTC Drivers. You need it so that your PC will recognize your phone. Obviously, you need to Install HTC Drivers first (step 1).
  3. After the installation, if you have already registered and logged on to your HTCDev account, proceed to get your Token ID in step 3. If you did things right, you should see a CMD screen like this:


  4. As shown on the picture, highlight / mark the block of text following this format.

    NOTE:
    • When copying your token ID, start with this line: <<<< Identifier Token Start >>>>
    • And end with this line: <<<<< Identifier Token End >>>>>
  5. After this, go to “Submit Token ID” on step 4 of the toolkit. You should see the submission screen and paste the token code you copied like this:



    then click 'submit'.
  6. Then go to step 5 of the toolkit to finally unlock your bootloader.
  7. After you submit your Token ID, you should receive an email containing your unlock token bin file. Go to your email account associated with your HTCDev account then download the Unlock Token bin file and place it inside the Data folder of your toolkit.
  8. Now go back to your toolkit and finally hit step 5, unlock bootloader. This is very self-explanatory and the toolkit will guide you to the final process. When you click the Unlock bootloader, your device will light up and prompt you to confirm unlock of your bootloader. Select between YES and NO using the volume keys and press power to confirm.
  9. After you confirm unlock of your bootloader, your device will be on the set up screen. Set it up and afterwards, go to your settings again to enable USB Debugging and disable Fast Boot for the rooting process.

HOORAY! YOU HAVE UNLOCKED YOUR BOOTLOADER! TIME TO ROOT YOUR DEVICE!
PART 1b:
OBTAINING S-OFF VIA REVOLUTIONARY (FOR DEVICES CURRENTLY ON GINGERBREAD FIRMWARE AND IS S-ON WITH HBOOT 1.17-18):
  1. Head over to revolutionary.io
  2. Once you are at the portal, read through all the interesting stuff and scroll down to Downloads Section.
  3. Now click on Download for Windows, Revolutionary Zip file will start downloading and a menu headed with “Beta Key” will appear, as in the picture:
  4. Now select your operating system, device and HBOOT version. To know your HBOOT version, you must boot into bootloader by holding down volume down key while turning on your phone.
  5. Once the download is complete, extract the zip file contents to a location on your PC of your choice. Make sure that all files are in the same folder.
  6. Install HTC Drivers to your PC. Easiest way to obtain it is through the Sensation 4G all in one Toolkit. There is an option there to “install HTC Drivers.” You can also install HTC Sync and setup your device and then uninstall it without uninstalling the drivers.
  7. After this, connect your phone to the computer, make sure USB debugging is ON (Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging.)
  8. Now double click to execute Revolutionary on your computer. You should be able to see a terminal window that will be in process of identifying serial key of your device.
  9. Once the serial key is displayed, copy and paste it in the Serial field on the form at Revolutionary.io.
  10. Now click on Generate Key and paste this key at the relevant position in terminal. Better type it out to avoid errors or confusions.
  11. Now sit back and relax while your phone gains S-OFF and an unlocked rewritable NAND.
  12. After the process is complete, Revolutionary will ask you if you want to flash recovery. Answer it with NO as we are going to use 4ext and you can flash it via the Sensation toolkit.
.

HOORAY! NOW YOU ARE S-OFF! TIME TO FLASH A RECOVERY.

Part 2: FLASH A CUSTOM RECOVERY AND ROOT YOUR DEVICE:
  1. Make sure your device is connected to PC and USB Debugging enabled. Also, on the Connection type when prompted, select ‘Charge Only’ mode.
  2. On the Toolkit, go to the right box labeled Flash a recovery. Use 4Ext recovery. If this will fail to flash, use ‘Your Own Recovery’. If you did right, it should open up a windows explorer. Go and find your CWM.zip folder and select it. The toolkit will then flash the CWM Touch recovery. After flashing your recovery, your phone should boot up. Do not disconnect it from your pc yet. After it has settled down, on your toolkit, go to the Extras box on the bottom right and select Perm Root. Nothing special here. It will just push/send the superuser app to your phone’s SD card which we will be flashing later.
  3. After the process is done, reboot your phone while holding the volume down button. If done correctly, when the phone turns back on, you should immediately be on a white screen like this:

    •Take note of whether your phone is S-ON or OFF by default. It matters. You should see it on the top of your bootloader screen, like in the picture above.
  4. On the bootloader menu, scroll using volume button up or down, confirm action (OK) using power. Navigate to RECOVERY and hit power. You should then be booted up to your 4Ext / CWM Recovery Touch. You should see a screen like this:

    for 4Ext



    for CWM recovery.


  5. On that menu, select ‘Install zip (from SD card)’ then navigate your way and locate the superuser.zip we pushed earlier, then select it to flash it. After flashing, go back to your recovery main menu and select Reboot Phone or Reboot Now. Once your phone has booted and settled down, open your app drawer and look for Superuser app. If it’s there, then you are finally rooted!

Follow these steps if you flashed CWM and used it to flash Superuser (this is to change your recovery from CWM to 4Ext:
  1. Now it’s time to change your recovery to 4Ext Recovery Touch. Locate your 4Ext Recovery Updater.apk on your SDcard and install it. Make sure you have an internet connection.
  2. Open your app.
  3. On the 4Ext Recovery Updater/Control screen, select ‘Online Install / Upgrade. It will then take you to the 4Ext.net and the 4Ext Recovery download. In some point, the app will tell you that it is detecting HTC Sensation . If it is correct, tap YES. Then it will take you to a list of versions for the 4Ext Recovery Touch. Of course, select the latest version available ( version 1.0.0.6 RC1). Once selected, download will begin immediately depending on your internet speed. Once it has downloaded the recovery, it will automatically flash it for you. No worries!
  4. After flashing your new custom recovery, the app will ask you a question, “Is your device S-ON? Select Yes if unsure. If you are S-ON and you told the app that you are, it will automatically enable the 4Ext SmartFlash so when you install a custom rom, you won’t have to worry about flashing the kernel/boot image. It will do it for you like you were actually S-OFF.
  5. You are now fully rooted and using the most awesome recovery for Sensation users. Take note, most custom roms require this as a recovery so do not change! And as a reminder, do a Nandroid Backup of your Stock/Current rom before trying out other roms. also, if you want to donate to the devs of this recovery, you may want to consider buying the full version of this app (4Ext Recovery Control) at the playstore. it has additional features, like the ability to flash boot image even when not connected to PC via ADB.

TO MAKE A NANDROID BACKUP:
1.Go to your recovery, select Backup / Restore > Backup (if you want to backup or restore if you want to restore a nandroid backup

REMINDER / RULE OF THUMB:
Before flashing any rom or restoring a backed up ROM, always perform full wipe to ensure a clean install/ restore. On your recovery, go to WIPE / FORMAT and select FORMAT ALL PARTITIONS EXCEPT SD CARD.

Part 3: HTC Sensation: S-OFF with Rumrunner Method.
You Need:
  • an HTC Sensation
    o Sensation XE and Sensation 4G will work, too
     device ***LOCKED***: download the temproot package from https://www.dropbox.com/s/0xljdqkw9w...on-windows.zip
     device ***UNLOCKED***: no need to download
  • supported bootloader versions: 1.27.0000 and 1.29.0000.
    1.18.0000 and below will not work-For these cases, if you want a wiretrick-free s-off method there’s the Revolutionary S-off at revolutionary.io.
    o stock ROM will work. Some custom ROMs are fine, too (tested: ViperS 5.1.0)
    o make sure ADB works with your ROM (will always work with stock ROM, problems may occur with CyanogenMod).
    o make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • an original HTC USB cable or a similar cable which you know that ADB/fastboot works with (tested with a Samsung cable).
  • a Personal Computer with Windows 2000 or higher. Please note that problems may occur when using Windows 8.
  • the HTC driver package, downloadable from https://www.dropbox.com/s/lq5uv4xqe3rnufz/drivers.exe
  • the official HTC Universal rumrunner package, downloadable from http://rumrunner.us/downloads-2/
  • the PG58IMG.zip file containing the 3.33 Universal firmware package (including HBOOT patched by revolutionary) downloadable from http://d-h.st/SuC
Preparation
  1. Make sure HTC Sync is uninstalled on your PC. Install the HTC drivers that you downloaded before.
  2. Disable all security such as antivirus and firewall (re-enable them after the operation), auto-shutdown or auto-hibernate modes on your PC.
  3. Make sure no applications which have access to USB ports are installed on your PC, e.g. MyPhoneExplorer, ODIN, PDAnet, etc.
  4. Unzip the rumrunner and, if needed, the temproot package.
  5. Take the SIM card out of your phone. Backup all content of your SD card to your PC and then format your SD card to FAT32, or if you have a spare SD card, you can use it during the process to save you some time backing up the contents of the SD card you are currently using.
  6. Enable USB debugging in the developer options of your device.
  7. Disable the fast boot option (if you use a stock or Sense-based ROM) in the device options.
  8. Deactivate the SIM PIN prompt.
  9. Deactivate all kinds of password locks, such as FaceLock, unlock pattern etc.
  10. Reboot your phone, connect it to your PC and set “charge only” as the connection type (for stock rom users).
Let’s go for S-OFF
  1. If your phone is on STOCK ICS and ***LOCKED***, execute temp_root.bat from the extracted temproot folder. Your HTC Sensation will restart a few times and the Sense interface will not be shown anymore. Looks like a soft brick, but is not (don’t panic!). After some time, the tool will report temproot success.
    If your phone is ***UNLOCKED***, this step must not be performed.
  2. Execute soju.exe from the rumrunner folder. Confirm the security questions and let the tool operate. Your phone must be on standby/booted to your rom, as the tool will try to detect your current ROM. Do not, under any circumstances, move or even touch your phone!
  3. Your phone may reboot a few times while the operation is on going. Don't panic. pay attention to when your phone reboots. If you finally see a black screen with the green HTC Logo during booting up, that means you are S-OFF and the tool is on the final phase of the operation. Wait patiently. After the rumrunner tool has completed the operation, you can now unplug your device.

    OPTIONAL;

    if you ever encounter problems, you can try flashing the universal firmware i provided in this guide to patch your Hboot version.

  4. After S-OFF has been achieved successfully, move the downloaded PG58IMG.zip to the root directory of your SD card (that means, not into any folder!).
  5. Boot into bootloader. When you’re asked if you want to flash the new firmware, confirm. After that, reboot your phone and delete the ZIP file from your SD card.
Congratulations! You have R/W permissions on all substantial partitions (including /radio, /splash1 etc.). You can now set the SuperCID or flash a new RADIO if you want. It is highly recommended to re-flash 4EXT recovery and to disable SmartFlash.


CREDITS:
• @ganeshp for being a nice person and a database of information for me. He is very helpful on my FB group for Sensation users.
• @hasoon2000 for his awesome HTC AIO toolkit. This toolkit also helped me root my device back when I was still a noob.
• @sixline for offering to help me with my guide. he volunteered to help me review these write ups.
•For the developers of the rumrunner tool. You guys rock! Now people who are not confident of the wire-trick S-OFF like me will have an alternative way.
•All other xda members I may have forgotten.
Last edited by ichigo_kurosaki; 23rd June 2014 at 11:38 AM. Reason: format editing.
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27th May 2014, 09:13 AM   |  #2  
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Hi nice guide. U should post the link to the Free 4ext recovery updater app not 4ext control as u need to pay for it
27th May 2014, 09:19 AM   |  #3  
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oh..sorry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcclue

Hi nice guide. U should post the link to the Free 4ext recovery updater app not 4ext control as u need to pay for it

oh..sorry bro. i know i have violated xda rules as apps outside playstore are considered warez here. the only reason i posted that is because as i believe, you cannot update to the latest version of the recovery if you use the free version. but ok..i will revise the link.

EDIT: i searched at the playstore. the free version of 4ext is no longer there.

EDIT 2: found it on the 4Ext site.
Last edited by ichigo_kurosaki; 27th May 2014 at 09:27 AM.
27th May 2014, 09:30 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichigo_kurosaki

oh..sorry bro. i know i have violated xda rules as apps outside playstore are considered warez here. the only reason i posted that is because as i believe, you cannot update to the latest version of the recovery if you use the free version. but ok..i will revise the link.

EDIT: i searched at the playstore. the free version of 4ext is no longer there.

EDIT 2: found it on the 4Ext site.

Haha was just gona post the link. Yh u can update to the latest recovery using the free app. Also u could just post the recovery.img here in ur op so people can just flash it via fastboot.
27th May 2014, 10:00 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcclue

Haha was just gona post the link. Yh u can update to the latest recovery using the free app. Also u could just post the recovery.img here in ur op so people can just flash it via fastboot.

Good idea. But i think i have the updated recovery image included on the hasoon toolkit. I updated the 4ext recovery there and recompressed the folder for uplnading to my drive.

Sent from my HTCSensation using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
27th May 2014, 10:22 AM   |  #6  
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awesome guide
one question
in Part 2: ROOT YOUR DEVICE why did you put a bootloader's screenshot from another device and not from sensation device?
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27th May 2014, 10:52 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzr86

awesome guide
one question
in Part 2: ROOT YOUR DEVICE why did you put a bootloader's screenshot from another device and not from sensation device?

You are right rzr86 , maybe someone will be confuzed with hboot 1.25 and other things
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27th May 2014, 10:52 AM   |  #8  
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nah..
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzr86

awesome guide
one question
in Part 2: ROOT YOUR DEVICE why did you put a bootloader's screenshot from another device and not from sensation device?

just a sample..coz i had trouble looking for seny bootloader screens on google. will try to change that.: as i said on my note, this guide still needs to be updated as i will include guide for rumrunner S-OFF. we all know there is already an existing guide for it, but i felt the need to make one for Seny users as not so many know this yet and i want to share some side notes. thanks for the feedback.
Last edited by ichigo_kurosaki; 19th June 2014 at 06:29 AM.
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27th May 2014, 08:24 PM   |  #9  
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Very well written guide, thanks al lot!
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2nd June 2014, 03:53 AM   |  #10  
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Nice guide. Thanks for giving me a lot of useful info on just a few printed pages.

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