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[GUIDE] Flashing roms with S-ON and 1.27+ HBOOT

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By -Asskicker-, Senior Member on 2nd May 2012, 07:41 PM
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Being a newcomer to the Sensation myself it took me some time to figure out how to get everything how I wanted it.
I can now flash custom roms without trouble thanks to all the amazing people of this community.

This guide will be a "noob to noob" guide, I will guide you through the steps require to be able to flash custom roms.

Quote:

This guide works for hboot 1.27 and 1.29.
Also firmware 3.32 and 3.33.
And any combination of the above.

For who is this guide?
This guide is for people who are completely new to unlocking, rooting, flashing...
People who have experience in the field won't find this any useful.

Why not S-OFF?
Some people find it difficult / unnecessary to S-OFF. Specifically people with HBOOT 1.27, whom only have the Juopunutbear method which isn't as easy to do as the Revolutionary method for previous HBOOT's.
That being said, you can still S-OFF after (or before, you can skip STEP 1 then) we have completed this guide, nothing is stopping you from doing that.

Requirements:
  • Your phone
  • USB Connector
  • Backup of your phone's conent
  • A brain

1. Unlock your phone
Unlocking your phone is really easy, all you have to do is go to the HTC Dev website, select your device and follow the steps. (If your version of the HTC Sensation is not in the list you can select "All other Supported devices)
HTC has done a great job putting together guides for every device.
WARNING: This will factory reset your phone, so you will loose your applications, sms's...

After doing this you should have a folder on your C:\ drive called Android containing the following: adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll, fastboot.exe, Unlock_code.bin
If you have this folder you can move to step 2. If however you do NOT have this folder; follow the guide in this thread.



2. Flashing a recovery
We will be using 4EXT recovery for reasons I will later explain. To do the following steps you have to have your phone plugged in and have USB Debugging enabled. (Settings - Develop Option - USB debugging)
  1. Download 4EXT recovery (1.0.0.5!): https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ybcxyrpzv88uik/recovery.img
  2. Put the file (recovery.img) in C:\Android (or wherever your adb and fastboot are located)
  3. Shift right click in the white space on that folder
  4. Select "Open command window here"
    • If you can boot into your phone, do the following
      • Type in: adb
      • Type in: adb devices (This will give you a list of devices attached to your computer, so if your phone is correctly attached it should show up.)
      • Type in: adb reboot-bootloader
    • If you cannot boot your phone, do the following
      • Disconnect your phone from your pc
      • Power off your phone
      • Remove the battery
      • Insert the battery back in
      • Turn on your phone while holding BOTH the POWER ON and VOLUME DOWN button
      • Connect your phone to your pc again
  5. Your phone will (re)boot, wait until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT USB"
  6. Type in: fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  7. Wait until the flashing is finished
  8. Type in: fastboot reboot



You have now flashed the 4EXT recovery, through which you later will be flashing custom Rom's.
The newest version (1.0.0.5 and up) of 4EXT has the ability to flash the "boot.img" for you, so you don't have to do it yourself after every new kernel and rom flash!
You do have to enable it thought, which I will explain in the next step.

3. Enable 4EXT smartflash
This step is extremely important, because we are not s-off and there is a problem with creating the "boot.img". T-Macgnolia explained it nicely:

Quote:

When you use HTC Dev to unlock your bootloader it does unlock the Recovery, System, and Boot partitions to allow your device to write to those partitions and not just read those partitions. But there is a catch, if you want to flash a custom recovery you have to use ABD fastoot commands to flash it. When you flash as ROM in a .zip file via Recovery, it only flashes the System partition. You then have to open the .zip file and extract the boot.img and then use ADB fastboot commands to flash the boot.img to your boot partition. If you do not you will still have the boot.img of the ROM you was using before you flashed the New ROM.

Now let me explain the boot.img a little so you know why it is so important. The boot.img does just what thee name implies, it is what boots the Android ROM on your device. Now let me explain this a little further, the Android OS runs on top of something called a Linux kernel. This means that your bootloader boots the Linux kernel and the hardware of the device. The Linux kernel then boots the Android OS. The kernel is also the connection between the hardware and the Android OS. So you see if the kernel is not compatible with the system that is on the system partition you will have troubles like Wifi not working or other I hardware reliant functions. So when you flash a new ROM and you are HTC Dev unlocked you will have to flash the boot.img for the ROM or you will more than likely have troubles.

There are 2 ways to enable smartflash, one is a temporary way inside the 4EXT recovery itself (only for first time!) and the second way is permanent, through the 4EXT application.
The permanent way can only be enabled if your phone has ROOT! It's impossible to do it when you are going to flash a ROM for the first time.

Once you have flashed your ROM you have to install the 4EXT application and enable smartflash through it, which is explained in Step 5.


3A. Enable 4EXT Temporary smartflash
Enabling this is as simple is getting into the recovery and enabling it as an option.

NOTE: You only need to do this right before flashing your first ROM, so you should skip this step and come back here when the guide tells you to.
  1. Disable "Fast Boot" on your phone.
    • Settings
    • Power
    • Untick "Fast boot"
  2. Turn off your phone
  3. Hold the Power AND Volume Down button until you see a white screen which says: "Fasboot".
  4. Navigate to "RECOVERY" and select it, you should now boot into the 4EXT recovery
  5. Select "Tools"
  6. Scroll Down and select "Enable 4EXT SmartFlash"

Again, you only need to do this ONCE, once you have flashed your first custom ROM and enabled permanent smartflash, you don't need to this any more!

4. Rooting or Flashing a Custom Rom
Now you have a choice, you can either;
  • Flash Root on your phone so you can follow auggie2k amazing guide to S-OFF on HBOOT 1.27
    or have a rooted stock rom on which you can now use certain applications you couldn't use without stock Root. If you wish to do this please follow step 4A.
  • Flash a custom Rom on your phone. If you wish to do this please follow step 4B.

4A. Flashing Root
Flashing root is easy now you have 4EXT installed, I will explain in a few simple steps how to do it.
  1. Download the following zip: https://www.dropbox.com/s/enocgwvohd...nd_BusyBox.zip
  2. Put the zip on the root of your SD Card
  3. Reboot your phone into recovery (like we did in step 3)
    • Turn off fastboot and turn off your phone
    • Hold the Power AND Volume Down button until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT"
    • Navigate to RECOVERY and select it
  4. Select "Install from sdcard"
  5. Select "choose zip from sdcard"
  6. Navigate to where you previously but the zips and select the root one (Android_Revolution_HD_Root_and_BusyBox)
  7. Let it install
  8. Reboot

Your phone should now be rooted. You can now continue using your phone or follow auggie2k his amazing guide to S-OFF your device. (You can start at Step 4).

4B. Flashing A Custom Rom
Congrats, you made it. This is a step you will never forget, because you have to do this every time you flash a new ROM (which I assure you, you will do multiple times ).

First of all you need to choose your Custom ROM. Seeing as we are S-ON we only flash rom's with the same firmware as ours.
You can get to know your firmware version by going to: Settings --> About Phone --> Software Information
Generally speaking if you have HBOOT 1.27 you have firmware 3.32 - 3.34.

If you need to know exactly which Firmware (in case you are stuck in a bootloop or something alike) you follow Extra 2. (at the bottom of the page)

For this demonstration I will be using Android Revolution HD, simply because it's the most popular option. This guide also works with nearly every other ROM out there.
For Android Revolution (and every ICS based ROM) you need the 3.32 (or 3.33) firmware, which you should have if you are on Stock ICS with HBOOT 1.27.
This means that you cannot flash GB Rom's, same goes for people who are on stock GB, they cannot flash ICS roms.

Most ROMS have a nice guide on how to flash their ROMS, but for this guide I'll be detailing on how to flash Android Revolution step by step.
  1. Download the latest version of Android Revolution HD XE (Audio Beats) from the Downloads section of t he Android Revolution HD thread.
    (Yes, you can flash the XE version on a normal sensation because they are the same phone but with a different case and different battery)
  2. Put the zip on your SD Card (anywhere, as long as you remember where you put it)
  3. Reboot your phone into recovery (like you can see in Step 3A)
    • Turn off fastboot and turn off your phone
    • Hold the Power AND Volume Down button until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT"
    • Navigate to RECOVERY and select it
  4. Enable Smart Flash like in Step 3A
    • Select "Tools"
    • Scroll Down and select "Enable 4EXT SmartFlash"
  5. Wipe your phone
    • Go to "wipe | format"
    • Select "wipe data/factory reset"
    • Select "format all partitions (except sdcard)"
  6. Select "Install from sdcard"
  7. Select "choose zip from sdcard"
  8. Navigate to where you previously but the zips and select the Superwipe one (Android_Revolution_HD_Super_Wipe_Sensation.zip)
  9. Let it do it's thing, you can see what it's doing
  10. Once again select "choose zip from sdcard" and browse to the location of the zips and select the Rom this time (Android_Revolution_HD-Sensation_6.6.3_XE.zip)
  11. Follow through the steps and when it asks you to install a custom kernel it would be preferable to select YES, when Installing stock Kernel it is possible you will have Wifi problems. (see Step 3)
  12. Reboot!

Hooray! You have now flashed your very first Custom Rom, please take in mind that a first boot can take quite a while, just be patient.
If during boot you are stuck on the white HTC screen, perform step Extra 1 and your problem should be resolved.

5. Enabling permanent smartflash
Like I explained in Step 3 when you want to flash roms with S-ON you need to have smartflash enabled, and now we have a rooted phone you can enable permanent smartflash! Here's how.

Installing the 4EXT Recovery Updater
  1. Go to the 4EXT website and download the free 4EXT Recovery Updater.
  2. Put the .APK file on your SD card like we did before with the ROM zip
  3. Open your File Management application of choice (IO File Manager for example)
  4. Search for the .APK file you previously put on your SD card and click "Install"
  5. Open the 4EXT Recovery application
  6. Press "Online install | upgrade"
  7. The application should ask you to connect to 4EXT.Net servers to synchronise, press yes
  8. If you don't have the newest version of the 4EXT Recovery application the application will ask you to update, if not just continue
    • If you updated the application it will close, so re-open it

Now you have installed and updated the 4EXT Recovery Updater, next we'll be enabling permanent smartflash in the application.
There are 2 ways to do this;
  • The first way is to upgrade your recovery (which is highly recommended), go to Step 5A.
  • The second way is through the settings menu, which will just enable smartflash, go to Step 5B.

5A. Enabling smartflash through updating recovery
  1. Open the 4EXT Recovery application
  2. Press "Online install | upgrade"
  3. The application should tell you your phone model (HTC Sensation /XE), if this is the case press "Yes" otherwise press "No"
  4. Now you will see a list of 4EXT recovery versions, simply press the top (should be in red) and press "Install"
  5. At the end of the installation the application should ask you: "Is your device S-ON? Answer yes if unsure.", press "Yes"

5B. Enabling smartflash through the settings menu
  1. Open the 4EXT Recovery application
  2. Press "Settings"
  3. Choose the tab "Recovery"
  4. Scroll down until you see; "S-ON: 4EXT SmartFlash, and tick the box next to it

You should now have permanent Smartflash, you no longer have to enable smartflash inside the recovery itself when you flash a new rom.

Help and Thanks!

If you have ANY problems at all, please feel free to leave a message in this topic. But please remember that I am also still a noob and I will probably not be able to answer all of your questions.
You can also ask for help in this Help Thread by Tinky1 or join this IRC channel.
There are a bunch of people in there (including me ) who are very eager to help you.

Also if you have any suggestions for my thread, if you read any mistakes I have made (be it logic or spelling) feel free to correct me.
We are all here to learn.

And last but not least, a big THANK YOU! to all the lovely people from the #helpmenow irc channel and specifically: tinky1, ganeshp, dexter93, Kohr-ah, zylith...
I couldn't have done this without you!

Extra 1: Flashing "boot.img"
This is for people who are having problems with their Wifi after flashing a new Rom. (This might get fixed in later updates of 4EXT but currently it's not working.)

To fix your Wifi problems we have to find the "boot.img" fitting with the your kernel choice and have your phone connected to your pc with usb-debugging enabled.

Usually the fitting boot.img can be found inside the .zip of your desired Rom.
Finding your "boot.img"
  1. Open your rom's zip file
  2. Open the "kernels" folder
  3. Open the folder of the kernel you chose during install of your rom (if there are any choices)
  4. Extract the "boot.img" to C:\Android (or wherever your adb and fastboot are located)

Example location:


If you can not find the "boot.img" you can try the following links, but there is no guarantee in it working.
Flashing the "boot.img"
  1. Put the"boot.img" in your "C:\Android" (or wherever your adb and fastboot are located)
  2. Shift right click in the white space on that folder
  3. Select "Open command window here"
    • If you can boot into your phone, do the following
      • Type in: adb
      • Type in: adb devices (This will give you a list of devices attached to your computer, so if your phone is correctly attached it should show up.)
      • Type in: adb reboot-bootloader
    • If you cannot boot your phone, do the following
      • Disconnect your phone from your pc
      • Power off your phone
      • Remove the battery
      • Insert the battery back in
      • Turn on your phone while holding BOTH the POWER ON and VOLUME DOWN button
      • Connect your phone to your pc again
  4. Your phone will (re)boot, wait until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT USB"
  5. In the command windows on your pc, type in: "fastboot flash boot boot.img"
  6. Wait until it's done flashing
  7. Type in: "fastboot reboot"

Once your phone is rebooted your problem should be fixed.

IF the problem isn't fixed, just re-flash your ROM again (without wiping!)

Extra 2: Checking your exact firmware version
This can be useful if your phone is stuck in a bootloop, people who will try to help you will need this formation. You can find out your exact firmware version by doing the following;
    • If you can boot into your phone, do the following
      • Type in: adb
      • Type in: adb devices (This will give you a list of devices attached to your computer, so if your phone is correctly attached it should show up.)
      • Type in: adb reboot-bootloader
    • If you cannot boot your phone, do the following
      • Disconnect your phone from your pc
      • Power off your phone
      • Remove the battery
      • Insert the battery back in
      • Turn on your phone while holding BOTH the POWER ON and VOLUME DOWN button
      • Connect your phone to your pc again
  1. Your phone will (re)boot, wait until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT USB"
  2. Type in the command window: fastboot getvar all
  3. From the list "version-main" represents your current firmware version

Extra 3: Putting your phone back to stock
This can be useful if you need to send your phone to HTC to fix something or you just want go back completely to stock.
WARNING: This does not guarantee that you have warranty, but like I said before, the unlock method doesn't necessary void your warranty.
This also wipes your phone, so have a backup!

First of all you need to download to the correct RUU for your phone, which you can know by the firmware version, firmware radio and CID. You can get to know those by doing step EXTRA 2.
Once you know which firmware you have you can go ahead and download it from the following list: http://www.filefactory.com/f/c87a2330449af512/

Before that you can the RUU you first need to lock your phone again, this can be done very simply:
  1. Plug in your phone and make sure USB-debugging is enabled
  2. Go to C:\Android or wherever your adb and fastboot are located
  3. Shift right click in the white space on that folder
  4. Select "Open command window here
  5. Type in: adb
  6. Type in: adb reboot-bootloader
  7. Your phone will reboot, wait until you see a white screen which says "FASTBOOT USB"
  8. Type in the command window: fastboot oem lock
  9. Wait until it's done and reboot.

Once your phone is rebooted make sure that you still have your usb cable plugged in and run the .exe file you downloaded before.
Just follow the steps in that and you should be back to your stock phone in no time!

Extra 4: Manually going into fastboot
If you are stuck in a bootloop or it another sticky situation, this can be quite helpful to get you out of it.
  1. Power off your phone
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Insert the battery back in
  4. Turn on your phone while holding BOTH the POWER ON and VOLUME DOWN button

You should now be in fastboot!

Changelog:
  • 08/09/2013: Added information that the guide works with both HBOOT 1.27 and 1.29 and as well with firmware 3.32 and 3.33.
  • 29/01/2013: Added link to ganeshp's thread for easy S-OFF, indicated that you can still follow the rest of the guide to flash roms
  • 14/10/2012: Removed superwipe instructions and changed it to wiping through 4EXT (Because superwipe doesn't work with non-sense roms)
  • 03/10/2012: Provide better information for people who can't boot their phone
  • 30/07/2012: Added information to perform step Extra 1 when stuck on boot after flashing rom.
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2nd May 2012, 07:46 PM |#2  
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great guide...glad you did it perfectly well
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2nd May 2012, 09:22 PM |#3  
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Hi,

Great post.

I've taken the boot.img from THIS ROM

Any good?

Attached Files
File Type: zip GBSTOCKboot.zip - [Click for QR Code] (3.45 MB, 1022 views)
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2nd May 2012, 09:28 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malybru

Hi,

Great post.

I've taken the boot.img from THIS ROM

Any good?

No malybru. Newer one is needed. 2.08 is still GB, right?

I stand corrected, for GB one, yes, that should do it
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2nd May 2012, 10:23 PM |#5  
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Mate, thanks a lot for this noob to noob guide.

Poelier/ bertuz

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using XDA
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2nd May 2012, 10:24 PM |#6  
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Thumbs up Excellent guide
Great guide! i'll link it in my thread [GUIDE][MAY.01.12] How to flash ICS 3.32 firmware | flash/update ARHD 6.6.x ICS ROM.

Well done!
3rd May 2012, 02:53 AM |#7  
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Great noob to noob guide, and thanks for the quote. Sorry about all the typos in it though. I think I posted that very quickly while on my lunch break, lol. I am always making typos when typing on my phone. Please feel free to correct them if you want to.
3rd May 2012, 08:38 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganeshp

great guide...glad you did it perfectly well

You thanks for all the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malybru

Hi,

Great post.

I've taken the boot.img from THIS ROM

Any good?

Thanks, I'll add it to the guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by poelier

Mate, thanks a lot for this noob to noob guide.

Poelier/ bertuz

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using XDA

No problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joaquinf

Great guide! i'll link it in my thread [GUIDE][MAY.01.12] How to flash ICS 3.32 firmware | flash/update ARHD 6.6.x ICS ROM.

Well done!


Thanks a lot, Let's hope more people find their way with the Sensation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Macgnolia

Great noob to noob guide, and thanks for the quote. Sorry about all the typos in it though. I think I posted that very quickly while on my lunch break, lol. I am always making typos when typing on my phone. Please feel free to correct them if you want to.

No need to apologise for typo's, I'm sure I made some too. I didn't correct them because it might seem rude. I'll correct em today.
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3rd May 2012, 10:05 AM |#9  
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Great guide, was really needed for newbs that updated to ICS OTA.

Followed it easily and flashed ARHD successfully, so many thanks Asskicker2.

The only issue I encounter so far is the Wi-fi. It won't turn on and is in "error" state when I look at it through Settings.

I think that that's some kind of a common problem, but I really followed the guide by the line, and had exactly the same prerequisites. Obviously something wasn't exactly the same.

So any ideas? Help would be greatly appreciated. I have CID HTC_044, was imported from Asia.
3rd May 2012, 10:34 AM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mage3

Great guide, was really needed for newbs that updated to ICS OTA.

Followed it easily and flashed ARHD successfully, so many thanks Asskicker2.

The only issue I encounter so far is the Wi-fi. It won't turn on and is in "error" state when I look at it through Settings.

I think that that's some kind of a common problem, but I really followed the guide by the line, and had exactly the same prerequisites. Obviously something wasn't exactly the same.

So any ideas? Help would be greatly appreciated. I have CID HTC_044, was imported from Asia.

ohh for wifi problem...
repeat the "extra 1" step present in the guide

but get the boot.img from the ARHD rom zip file you've downloaded and do the steps from "extra 1"

to get the boot.img
1.open the rom zip file...and open the kernels folder..
2.extract the boot.img present in kernel folder
(if it has more than one boot.img...get the boot.img of your preferred kernel)
3.keep the boot.img in your adb folder
4.follow the steps in "extra 1" but use the boot.img you got

this should and will solve your wifi problem
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3rd May 2012, 10:39 AM |#11  
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Amy ROM recommandation for non sense?

Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using XDA
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