ULTIMATE GUIDE TO EVERYTING EVO 4G
In the year that I’ve been on this forum, I’ve come to learn a lot more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve tried to pass that knowledge on, in various threads, and tried to help as many people as I can. I know there are a lot of guides out there, but I decided to write what I’ll call “HipKat’s Ultimate Guide To Everything Evo 4G.” For ease, I’ve added links to as many things I can at the bottom of this.
The most important thing I can tell you is to fully read as much as you can before you attempt anything. The developers are really good at listing how to apply their mods, Flash their ROMS and listing what does and what doesn’t work.
FROM THE BEGINNING
So you have your Evo, freshly rooted, and you want to know where to go next. Well, here are some important things you need to do first. I’m assuming that you’ve already installed the HTC-EVO drivers via HTC Sync.
In the rooting process, you most likely ended up with Clockwork Mod Recovery. The first thing you’ll want to do is update that to a better recovery. Clockward Mod, or CWM is not a good recovery for the Evo. More on Recoveries below.
Download the file from the link provided below. You’ll have to rename the file so it reads PC36IMG.zip
Be sure that you are not adding a second .zip to the file name (PC36IMG.zip.zip).
Place the file on the root of your SD Card, meaning not in any folders, but on the card itself. Power down the phone and then reboot by holding Volume Down and Power at the same time, until the bootloader, or Hboot, comes up. After a few seconds, Hboot will scan your phone, find the PC36IMG.zip and ask you if you want to update. Select yes with the Volume Button, and when it’s finished, it will ask if you want to reboot. Select no, and then select Recovery. If it loads correctly, you can Reboot System.
Once your phone is fully booted, go to Market. Hit Menu>My Apps and see if anything on your phone can be updated.
As long as you’re in the Market, download some apps that you will need in certain instances, as I’ll explain later.
Astro File Manager, Titanium Backup, MSL Reader, Terminal Emulator & GPS Status & Toolbox.
*Note: You have an expensive device in your hands. Don’t afraid to buy some of the more important apps, and Titanium Backup is one I suggest paying for. I’ll be listing some of the more important Apps you’ll want, and some are not free. If you pay for Titanium Backup, make sure you keep the text file with the license number on your SD Card/Root
Once you’re done there, back out to your home screen, hit Menu>Settings, scroll down to Updates and quickly update your PRL and Your Profile. I do this before every ROM that I flash.
Open MSL Reader and get your MSL and write it down, then put it somewhere that you can always refer to it. You’ll need it for various things, like resetting your GPS Data.
Open Titanium Backup and hit Menu>Batch> Backup All user Apps and Data. Only select the apps that you may have downloaded. Never any System, Google or HTC Apps. It’s pretty simple to tell. They’ll be the ones in White Text.
The ONLY other apps I backup are my Alarms and my Voice Mail. You’ll need this if you use an AOSP ROM to restore your Voice Mail Data, which I’ll go into further below.
After those have completed, and since you have a Stock ROM without the extended Reboot Options, power down. Then repeat the steps to get to the Hboot, but this time, after the scan, since the PC36IMG.zip is still on your SD Card, select no, and then go to Recovery.
*Note: I usually keep my USB Cord connected to my Computer during any of this. You’ll see why below.
The best one to use on the evo is 126.96.36.199. This is a true touch recovery unlike the ra style. It does wipe everything correctly and has a decent user interface. Lets start with the down side of 188.8.131.52 which is it takes forever to boot up, there is no option to wipe the boot partition (but that has never been an issue for me), and there is no autoreboot option. Now to the goodies. You have the option to flash upto 10 zips at once, there is a file manager program which will allows you to move, rename, copy, delete files from all directories including the root. You are able to name your backups and for people like me who flash and nand and restore on a daily basis who can forget what backups are what. Yes you can rename in ra but only after you boot back into the os. Also twrp creates a md5 for each partition. While in the backup screen you can see the size of the data in each partition. So that way you are not trying to backup useless partitions like .android or sdext when you have nothing on them. Also there is a terminal emulation option for the advanced users. While restoring or backing up it will show you how long each operation takes.
Now 2.3+ twrp. While there are a few new options in this one it is not worth the trouble to use it. Almost all the code has been rewrote to c++ but also it is based on aosp jellybean. What that means for the end user is headache after headache. Most of your zips will not flash without being reworked. You have to change the update binary and rewrite the update script.
Thanks to jlmancuso for that write up
Smelkus' Amon Ra Style Recovery
I have to give it up to Smelkus for this recovery. It's incredible, really. This makes wiping very easy. Before flashing a New ROM, wipe Caches, Factory Reset and Multi Wipe, and you're all set! It's just that easy. Plus it will work with existing Nandroids made with Amon Ra 2.3.3. This is the Recovery to use! Use the descriptions below for Amon Ra to see what everything does on Smelkus Recovery.
Smelkus Amon Ra-Supersonic-4.3
Welcome to Amon Ra
Now that you’re in Recovery, you’ll see there are a lot of options. While you may use most of them during your time with the Evo, I’m going to key on just a few.
USB-MS Toggle – This will connect your phone to your computer so you can edit/delete/modify files on your SD Card.
Backup/Restore – This is where you’ll create and restore your Nandriods. I’ll go into further depth about Nandroids below.
Flash Zip From SD Card – Obviously, this is where you flash your ROMs and Mods.
Wipe – The most important thing you can do in Amon Ra, and I will detail how to properly wipe your phone below.
Partition SD Card – With the size of the newer ROMS coming out, you will want to do this. It’s easy and will save you a ton of room on your internal memory.
Scroll down to Backup/Restore. You’re going to create your first and most important Nandroid Backup. Click here, and then click on the Backup function. I believe that if you’re making a backup, then you want it to be an exact image of your current setup. Select everything, except Cache. No need to save temp files. Then, click on Perform Backup. You’ll see a series of Dots scroll across the screen. Since we’re assuming that you are freshly rooted on a stock setup, this shouldn’t take too long, but know that with custom ROMs that you have completely setup, it could take a while. I’ve had some take almost 15 minutes.
Once it’s complete, click on Return, and then go to USB-MS Toggle. Click on it one time and wait for the pop up on your computer so you can see the files on your SD Card. Once it pops up, click on Open Folder To View Files so we can make some mods to your SD Card Files.
Scroll down to Nandroids and expand the folder. You’ll see a folder named something like HT121HL07014. Expand that folder and inside is your Nandroid Backup that you just made of your Stock/Rooted Setup. The reason I said this is your most important Nandroid is because it gives you a base to return to.
1). In case you ever have problems, this will give you a base to return to.
2). You’ll need a Sense ROM to Nandroid back to so you can update your Profile & PRL. Something you cannot do with AOSP ROMs or on the updated 3.5 ROMS.
3). If you ever need to take your phone into Sprint, and you don’t want them to see that you’re rooted, you can flash back to this Nandroid first, so all the techs will see is a Stock phone. There is no need to ever unroot, ever.
Make sure you make a Nandroid of your current setup before you restore a Nandroid.
The name of the folder that contains the images made in your Nandroid will be named something like BDEARS-20110319-0037. The numbers refer to the date and time that you made the Nandroid. In this example of my Stock/Rooted ROM, I can see I made this on March 19, 2011 and 12:37AM. To avoid confusion, you CAN rename this, however, you must preserve the original name and there can be no spaces in the name. I renamed mine to BDEARS-20110319-0037-stock. Now, I know which Nandroid is my Stock/Rooted setup.
I also do a separate Nandroid of just the Wimax and store it on my computer, in case I ever lose my RSA Keys.
On your SD Card, you may find it easier to store everything you use to modify your phone in custom Folders. On mine, I created a folder called XDA. Inside that folder, I created sub folders named Apps, Drivers, Icons, Kernels, ROMS, Root, Themes & Utilities, so I can organize everything I may use to flash, modify and update my phone. You should rename the PC356IMG.zip file on the root of your SD Card by adding Amon Ra to the end of the name (PC36IMG-Amon-Ra.zip), and moving it into the XDA\Root folder, so you’ll always have it on your SD card.
This would be a good time to download the custom ROM you want to use along with Dark Tremors Apps to SD Card (DT A2SD) and put them in the folders you created. I keep DT A2SD in the Utilities Folder. I would also suggest you download the V6 Supercharger Script and ViperMOD for AOSP Kernels (Also kept in Utilities). I would also search for the RUU for your particular phone, in case you ever need to do a complete reset back to “Out-Of-The-Box”. There are 2 types; PC36IMG.zip that you run in the bootloader (which I prefer) or an .exe that you run on your computer.
Partition Your SD Card
I think this is the first, most important thing you can do after backing up your original setup and before moving on to custom ROMs. And it’s very simple.
Create a folder on your Computer Desktop and Call it Evo Backup or something similar. Copy everything on your SD Card into this folder. When you partition, it will erase everything on your SD Card, so you must back it all up.
When it’s finished, click on USB-MS Toggle to disconnect from your computer. Scroll down to Partition SD Card and click on it.
Since the Evo doesn’t currently support SWAP, you can use 0 for the Swap Partition. If you have an 8 Gig or larger SD Card, you can use 2048 for the EXT Partition, although 1024 should be fine. The EXT Partition is where all of your Apps will be stored on your SD Card. If you’re going to move your Dalvik-Cache to the SD Card, you may want to use 2048.
While this is going on you may want to look for a ROM that the Dev has said contains Titanium Backup, or if you ADB and you know what you’re doing, you can pull the app prior to all of this, and add it to the XDA\Apps folder, if you created one, in your backup. The actual name of the app is com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup
Once the process is complete, select Upgrade EXT 2 to EXT 3. Do not use EXT 4 On Sense ROMS. DEFINITELY use EXT4 on newer AOSP ROMS. Your SD Card is now partitioned and you’re ready to restore your backup and flash your custom ROM so back out, go to USB-MS Toggle, select it and copy everything from the EVO Backup folder on your computer, back to your SD Card.
Flashing A Custom ROM
The first things you need to know are the little variations between Sense ROMS and AOSP ROMS.
Sense is the bundled software package that HTC provides on your phone out of the box. AOSP Stands for Android Open Source Project and there are plenty of differences. For starters. Some things you need to do in Sense, you cannot do in AOSP, like updating Profile and PRL, as I said above. Also, some AOSP ROMS have problems with GPS and while there are drivers you can flash to fix that, they may not always work, so you’ll have to go back to your Sense Nandroid and use what’s commonly called the Sense GPSCLRX Fix. I’ll explain that process in a bit.
AOSP will provide a cleaner ROM with a lot of options and mods built into it. While it may be plainer looking, there are a lot of theming capabilities that you can use to change the way it looks. Custom Kernels for AOSP can have SBC capabilities, which enhances the charging method for your battery and usually AOSP ROMS get better battery life than Sense ROMS do, because of the kernel options and the lack of “bloat” that you’ll find in a Sense ROM.
Sense ROMS are sleek with a lot of “Eye Candy” and really cool widgets. The ROMS themselves may be heavily themed and the 3rd party themes are usually gorgeous. A Good Sense ROM will not normally have anything that doesn’t work, ie. GPS, 4G, etc.
I prefer MIUI, an AOSP ROM with excellent stability, very few bugs and outstanding built in Theming options. It also comes with its own backup manager, which works well for saving everything, including desktop layout and current theme, and a Downloader that will download the weekly Releases automatically.
But, if you’re like many of us, you’ll end up trying everything on the menu until you find something that works for you.
Many ROMS come with the Stock HTC Kernel in them, so may want to research custom kernels and download a few, add them to your SD Card and try each out until you find something that works for you.
*Note: make sure that you only use AOSP Kernels with AOSP ROMS and Sense Kernels with Sense ROMS. Also, and I have seen this happen, make sure you are using a Custom ROM that’s built for the EVO 4G.
If you are flashing an AOSP Rom, like MIUI, you may want to clear your GPS Data first. If you’re using MIUI, I highly recommend it.
Sense GPS Fix For AOSP ROMs
You must be in a Sense ROM for this
Open Maps; get a lock on your position.
Open GPS Status & Tool Box, get a lock on your Sats and then hit Menu>Tools>Manage A-GPS State>Reset.
Open Dialer and dial ##GPSCLRX#
In the popup that asks for your password, enter your MSL, then reboot.
When the phone is rebooted, Open Maps, get a lock; Open GPS Status, hit Menu>Tools>Manage A-GPS State>Download. Once you are locked onto your Sats, power down, the Reboot to Recovery.
You CAN mod your ROM before you flash it. I keep all my ringtones, notification sounds and alarms on my SD Card.
Before I put the ROM on my SD Card, I make a copy of it, I open it with WinRAR, go to System>Media>Audio Folder and I delete all the sounds in the Alarms, Notifications and Ringtones folders. No sense having them load into internal memory if I already have them on the SD Card, and when you setup your sounds, they will still appear in the menus. I also add Titanium Backup to the System\App folder because I know I’m going to need it soon after I get booted up.
On the newer Sense ROMS, Voice Mail is not always included, so I have added a link to the bottom where you can download it and add it to the ROM before you flash it. See below on how to restore Data to your Voice Mail so it works.
I use the backup from Astro File Manager to pull the Apk for Titanium Backup and add it to the ROM I’m flashing.
In Recovery, back out until you get to the main menu, then go to Wipe and select it. While many people will argue this point, it’s my experience that process I’ll outline here is critical in successfully flashing a new ROM and cutting down on a lot of problems that people come across. It may seem like overkill, but it will not hurt to be thorough, so I can’t stress enough that you do it this way.
*Note: Do not use ROM Manager to flash ROMS or Recovery. It can lead to problems. The only thing I ever use ROM Manager for is to fix permissions.
Ok, in the wipe menu, the first option is Factory Reset/User Data. Select that and when it’s done, go down the list and select and wipe each option, except SD Card: and Battery Stats (Unless you are fully charged). I wipe Cache and Dalvik-Cache twice then I hit Factory Reset/User Data once again. Now the important part: Turn your phone off for about 3 minutes. This gives the phone time to discharge any voltage and clear remaining cache files.
While you may see a lot of people use superwipe scripts, they really are not necessary when you have Amon Ra. You just did manually what those scripts do, and you can know you did it right.
When you’re finished, back out, and go to Flash Zip from SD Card, select it, go to the folder where you have the ROM you want to flash and select it. Some ROMS take longer to flash than others, but once it’s done, go back to Flash Zip from SD Card and then go to the folder where you put DT A2SD and flash that. I know most ROMS have A2SD baked in, but this will ensure that everything works and that you have the full range of A2SD commands and Options. Once it’s finished, select Reboot System.
Because you also flashed A2SD, your phone will reboot 2 or 3 times. This is normal. Also, since you wiped your caches, they need to be rebuilt so it will take longer for the phone to boot up. I would guess that if you notice a boot loop or the soft key lights haven’t come on in 15 minutes, then you’re stuck and you’ll have to pull the battery and repeat the process. I can say though, in the hundred+ ROMS I’ve flashed, I have never boot looped using that wipe process.
Once the phone is booted, don’t touch it. Let it sit until the screen turns off. This gives everything a chance to settle in and start up. Turn the screen on and go through the preliminary setup process. Once your Desktop loads Reboot to recovery, if you’re going to flash GAPPS (AOSP ROMS) or a custom Kernel, or do a normal Reboot, and again, once booted, let the phone sit until the screen shuts off. Turn it on, and setup all the basics; Display, Accounts, Sound, etc.
If you are using an AOSP ROM, you’ll need to flash the GAPPS file with VVM, which you can do when you reboot for the first time. Multiple reboots in the beginning of a new ROM help the ROM and Kernel settle in.
Whenever you flash a zip file, other than a complete ROM, make sure to wipe Cache and Dalvik-Cache.
Now Reboot to Recovery and make a Nandroid. This is your Basic Setup of your Custom ROM. In case you have problems due to mods you make, you can always come back to this point and start over. Don’t forget to rename it so you can tell which Nandroid it is.
I keep 4 Nandroids on my phone; Stock/Rooted. Last known Good Setup. Current ROM Base Setup and Current ROM Complete Setup.
Make sure that any kernel you flash is built for your ROM. AOSP for AOSP Roms, Sense for Sense ROMs.
A word about SBC. While there has been a lot of talk about the safety of SBC Kernels, I have yet to see anything that substantiates it. I have used the same battery since I got my phone, a year ago, using SBC Kernels and have had no problems or shortened battery life. I highly recommend using SBC when possible
Custom CPU Governors
Once you have a custom kernel installed, you can set the Governor to another setting other than the default.
Here is a great guide on understanding CPU Governors.
CPU Governors Explained
Restoring Visual Voice Mail
Once you’re finished, reboot to system and either download Titanium Backup or if you added it to the ROM, open Titanium Backup and restore your apps with Data. Do not restore Voice Mail. If you are on a Sense ROM, it will already be good. If you are on AOSP and you flashed the GAPPS file, go back to Restore in Titanium Backup, and restore just the Data for Voice Mail. Not the App. Data only. Reboot and then go to Voice Mail, hit Menu and compose a voice mail and send it to yourself. If you receive it, your Visual Voice Mail is working. If not, search the forums at XDA for possible fixes, but this method has always worked for me.
At this point, you phone is basically setup and tweaked, but there are some other things you can use.
Below is a list of Apps and Practices I use to keep my phone working smoothly. Some of these Apps are paid Apps.
QuickPic – The very best Gallery there is. Allows you hide and password protect folders
Wimax RSA Keys – Allows you to ensure you haven’t lost your RSA Keys.
AdFree – Eliminates those annoying Ads on certain Apps.
Astro File Manager – Backs up and restores all your user apps.
Battery Monitor Widget – Shows you how your Battery is being used in detail
Busybox Installer – Installs the version of Busy Box you’ll need.
Kernel Manager – The Easiest Way to download Kernels. I still flash them in Recovery
MyBackupPro – Works like Titanium Backup and a good fall back if TB ever gives you problems.
ROM Manager – For fixing Permissions, only. The last step in my Process of flashing a new ROM.
Startup Manager – This is like msconfig in Windows. Lets you delete certain apps from loading at Start Up
System Tuner – Contains a lot of Tweaks, including setting the Governor for your Kernel
ROM Toolbox - AWESOME program that does everything from settings to Fonts to advanced settings and tweaks.
Once I have everything setup, I run Startup Manager to clean out my Start menu and then Rom Manager to fix Permissions.
Then I reboot to Recovery and make my final Nandroid of my Complete Setup
Battery life is a major concern with the Evo. There are some things you can do to extend Battery life.
Do not use Task Killers, as these actually work against the built in Memory Manager that comes with Android.
1) Turn of Data, unless you need it, and rely on WiFi whenever possible.
2) If you have your screen on a lot, turn the brightness down.
3) Calibrate your battery. There are several methods, but this is the best.
Want to thank oneoftherabble for this awesome guide on battery charging and calibration.
As soon as I can find his profile, I'll link it to this post.
You CANNOT calibrate a battery properly in an hour. Or in two hours. And you certainly CANNOT calibrate a battery properly in 30 seconds by wiping your battery stats file. It isn't going to happen. No how, no way. Flame on if you want... but I know the ACTUAL truth about it. It won't be correct.
Second.... No matter how well you calibrate your battery, after you flash a new Rom or kernel or ROM/kernel package, your calibration is no longer valid. Period. End of discussion. It ain't happening. Every ROM/kernel package is going to handle the information fed to it from the VR/Charging circuit differently.
Third.... This procedure requires that you have PATIENCE to do it right. If you don't have that patience, then don't waste your time. But.... STOP whining about how your supposed battery life is bad! What you are seeing on your battery meter is garbage and not worth looking at.
Now.... here are the steps to getting that meter and battery calibrated as a working unit... as close as we can get anyway when you figure out the actual accuracy of our meter system.
1.) You want to put your battery on the charger and let it charge. At this point, it won't matter if the phone is on or not. We just want to get it so the phone indicates a "full charge".
2.) When the LED turns GREEN then you need to POWER DOWN the phone. Let the phone sit for a couple of seconds.
3.) Unplug the phone from the charger and WAIT until the charging LED goes out. ( If you notice.. this takes about 2 to 3 seconds. That is how long it takes the phone to discharge energy to the point that the LED goes out. That is only at 3V! Now, think about how much longer it takes for it to get all the way to ZERO!?! NOW do you see why I say POWER DOWN when you FLASH?? )
4.) Plug the charger back in. It does NOT matter if it is the wall charger or USB or a car charger. The ONLY difference is going to be a little bit of speed when using the wall charger. ( More on this if you want the information )
5.) Wait until the LED turns GREEN. Now, unplug the charger. Wait for the LED to turn off.
6.) Plug the charger back in and wait until the LED turns GREEN. Unplug the charger. Wait for the LED to turn off.
7.) We are going to REPEAT 3 through 6 until it takes LESS THAN 10 seconds for the charge LED to change from orange to green.
8.) OK... it is going green really quick now. Unplug the charger and turn on your phone. THIS is where the patience part comes in. You want to run your phone WITHOUT CHARGING IT until it shuts itself off because of a low battery. Personally, I do this by turning up the screen FULL brightness, turning off the SLEEP mode, starting up MX Video Player and playing movies until I get down around 15% or so and then letting the phone discharge down until it shuts itself off.
( INFORMATION HERE!! You CANNOT "completely discharge" a Li-ion/polymer battery to "Zero" while it is in your phone. The circuits in the phone will not allow that to happen. It will shut down when the voltage gets to a point that it cannot support the phone. In our case we get down to about an actual 30% of rated battery capacity when out phones shut down. So don't worry and hurting your battery. Well, you COULD kill it. Run the phone until it shuts off and then LEAVE the phone like that for about 10 to 12 months. The internal resistance in the battery will drag it down to about Zero in that time. )
9.) Now then.... Plug in your charger and make sure that your phone is TURNED OFF. I would suggest that you pull your battery and put it back into the phone. That makes sure that the phone will be OFF when plugged in.
10.) WAIT until the LED turns GREEN. Now THAT took a LONG time didn't it??
11.) With the charger plugged in... Start your phone INTO RECOVERY! Clear ALL CACHES and THE BATTERY STATS NOW!
12.) POWER DOWN THE PHONE. I REPEAT... POWER DOWN THE PHONE Now... let your phone SIT doing NOTHING for ONE MINUTE! This step is REALLY important. Your phone CANNOT start to re-write the battery stats file properly when it reboots from Recovery. It is still LOOKING for the OLD battery stats and WILL NOT start to re-write it until it has tried and failed several times to find the old one.
13.) Start your phone up like normal with the charger UNPLUGGED. Let the phone boot and run it like you normally would until the phone shuts itself down for low battery. DO NOT RECHARGE WHILE YOU ARE DOING THIS STEP!! And, do NOT run it like a mad fool like you did to discharge it the first time. OPERATE IT LIKE YOU NORMALLY DO. ( oh yeah... please, please, please... ignore what your "meter" is telling you right now. It is really not feeling well. )
14.) When the phone dies from low battery, plug in the charger WITH THE PHONE OFF and let it FULLY CHARGE while POWERED DOWN!
15.) When the phone is fully charged... start it up!! Congratulations! You have been patient enough to actually calibrate your battery, ROM, kernel and battery "meter" to as close to accurate as they can be!!
( round of applause here ) YOU DID IT!!!
If you have any questions or you have any ideas on other information that you would like to see on your phone, batteries and such.... based on actual facts and research, then PLEASE drop me (oneoftherabble) a PM and I'll get to work on it!
If you flash an AOSP ROM, you have to also flash GAPPS, which contains all the Google apps.
You do this is in Recovery, after wiping Cache and Dalvik Cache. This file contains the most updated Visual Voice Mail and is confirmed to be working.
GB GAPPS w-VVM 20111212