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Here's a tutorial for the new users facing unanswered (at a first glance) questions while browsing through the tremendous amount of information that can be found on the Diamond Forum.
A more detailed guide, one which contains screenshots too, can be found in The Bible!

IMPORTANT!
Before you proceed, you need to understand one thing: although these upgrades work in 99% of the cases, you are doing this at your own risk!


Prerequisites:
1. make sure you backup all data on your device (that is contacts, sms, mms, settings, owner info, personalization, etc.) as the upgrade process will wipe out all the information found on the device.
2. make sure you have a working ActiveSync (Windows™ XP) or Windows Mobile Device Center (Windows Vista™) connection established, ready to sync.
3. make sure you have all power management options on your PC turned OFF (like Sleep, Standby or Hibernation).


Preface:
There may be other ways and other combinations to do this, probably I will update this thread and try to keep it up to date, but this tutorial is based on the steps I personally followed, writing this while doing the upgrade procedure.


Acronyms (excerpt from the Wiki):
  • CID lock (aka vendor lock): put on your device by the manufacturer to prevent installation of a ROM not released by them.
  • HardSPL: This modified bootloader allows a much safer flashing process to take place since it reduces the chance of permenently bricking your device. It also removes the need to CID Unlock the device since it ALWAYS reports SuperCID when flashing. See the official thread for more info.
  • Hard Reset: Similar to a soft reset, by performing a hard reset you completely wipe your device and restore it to the position it was in when you first turned the device on after it was purchased or after a new ROM is flashed.
  • Radio: The radio stack is responsible for the phone functionality of the device. This includes GPRS, GSM, UMTS, and GPS operations as well as camera functionality. The version you use depends on who your carrier is as users have reported versions working better on one carrier than the other. The wiki pages contain the latest versions available to download and install.
  • ROM: The ROM holds the Operating system and other components such as the bluetooth and wifi stacks. The ROM is accompanied by the Radio, Ext_ROM, SPL and IPL. Carriers such as T-mobile or Vodaphone taylor the ROM to their specifications and version numbers do not carry the same meaning across different carriers. IF the carrier you use supports the device well they will usually release regular ROM updates.
  • RUU - ROM Upgrade Utility: It’s the s/w used on your PC to do a ROM upgrade for your PPC;
  • IPL - Initial Program Loader: It’s the bootloader for PPC. It boots up SPL;
  • SPL - Secondary Program Loader: Loads the actual OS;
  • WWE: World Wide English Edition;
  • SSPL: SSPL is a modified bootloader which is loaded into RAM when run, this allows us to overwrite any aspect of the ROM, Radio or Bootloader far easier than using mtty.


A. Upgrading to HardSPL (Bible page)
There are several HardSPL editions available for the Diamond. While I have decided to go with the HardSPL described in this guide, the majority of Chefs indicate clearly in the ROM thread what version of HardSPL is recommended to go with their cooked ROM.

IMPORTANT!
Make sure you have the prerequisites!

1. Download OliNex Unsigned Hard-SPL (Developers Edition) from here;
2. Unzip the files from the archive to any new folder;
3. Run the executable (in most cases it is ROMUpdateUtility.exe, but it also can be ROM.exe or any other name, recognize it by the icon);
4. If you understand the caution and risks, check the box and click Next;
5. Read carefully and follow all directions;
6. If you completed all steps indicated, check the box and click Next;
7. Next screen will show current version on device and by clicking Update you will see the version to be flashed;
8. Click Next when ready;
9. Your device might ask you for confirmation on launching a program. Just tap Yes! Your device will display a completely black screen. A Progress bar will appear on your computer screen. Be patient while your device is being updated. Do not interact with device in any way, do not unplug cable, do not turn off device or computer!
10. When upgrading is finished, your device will automatically soft reset. Click the ‘Finish’ button to exit the RUU.

To verify if you indeed have correct HardSPL on your device, enter Bootloader by pushing the reset button while holding volume down key on the side.

It should display*:
* In case of another HardSPL, the version number would differ!
Code:
…
SPL-1.40.OliNex
…
If this is the case, you have successfully upgraded your device to HardSPL.


B. Upgrading Radio (Bible page)
There are several Radios for the Diamond, although 1.00.25.05 has been reported to have the best results and power management, plus it fixes the device getting hot issue.
These reports are subjective though. Radio operation depends very much on your location, carrier, etc. If one Radio version does not meet your needs, switch!

IMPORTANT!
Make sure you have the prerequisites!

IMPORTANT!!!
Make sure that before this step, your device has already been upgraded to HardSPL

1. Download Custom RUU from here;
2. Download Radio 1.00.25.05 (and others) from here;
3. Extract the downloaded Custom RUU from step 1 into a new folder on your PC.
4. Extract the downloaded Radio version from step 2 in the same folder as the Custom RUU.
5. Execute DiamondCustomRUU.exe.
6. If you understand the caution and risks, check the box and click Next;
7. Read carefully and follow all directions;
8. If you completed all steps indicated, check the box and click Next;
9. Next screen will show current version on device and by clicking Update you will see the version to be flashed;
10. Click Next when ready;
11. Your device might ask you for confirmation on launching a program. Just tap Yes! Your device will display a completely black screen. A Progress bar will appear on your computer screen. Be patient while your device is being updated. Do not interact with device in any way, do not unplug cable, do not turn off device or computer!
12. When upgrading is finished, your device will automatically soft reset. Click the ‘Finish’ button to exit the RUU.

To verify if you indeed have successfully upgraded Radio, look for the R numbers at boot as well as in Start, Settings, System, Device Information.

If the numbers are correct, you have successfully upgraded your Radio.


C. Flashing a ROM (applies to both Official and Cooked ROMs) (Bible page)

IMPORTANT!
Make sure you have the prerequisites!

IMPORTANT!!!
Make sure that before this step, your device has already been upgraded to HardSPL.

IMPORTANT!!!
Remember: there is no better ROM!
We all judge ROMs by our own subjective perception: some look for speed, others for balance, others for stability, others for applications, others for the looks! Do not ask which ROM to use, just flash it! If you don’t like it, SWITCH!

IMPORTANT!!!
READ the ROM thread! You can find useful information regarding version, contents, aspect, memory usage, bugs, fixes, patches, add-ons, benchmarks and most important, Chefs recommend you HardSPL versions to use. Also, some Chefs might have included Radio in their ROMs. That info you can find also while reading the ROM thread.

1. Download the ROM of your choice;
2. Unzip the contents to a new folder;
3. Run the RUU;
4. If you understand the caution and risks, check the box and click Next;
5. Read carefully and follow all directions;
6. If you completed all steps indicated, check the box and click Next;
7. Next screen will show current version on device and by clicking Update you will see the version to be flashed;
8. Click Next when ready;
9. Your device might ask you for confirmation on launching a program. Just tap Yes! Your device will display a completely black screen. A Progress bar will appear on your computer screen. Be patient while your device is being updated. Do not interact with device in any way, do not unplug cable, do not turn off device or computer!
10. When upgrading is finished, your device will automatically soft reset. Click the ‘Finish’ button to exit the RUU.


Thanks to:
  • jockyw2001, Olipro and Cmonex for HardSPLs;
  • tom_codon for Custom RUU and Radio collection;
  • racerx_ for another tremendous Bible;
  • HTC for our fantastic devices;
  • Chefs for their ROMs and support;
  • XDA DEVELOPERS for being a great community.

Feel free to donate to whom you want to express your appreciation to!
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