This guide is meant to be an "All in one" guide for the Zte Blade(Sold under the names Orange San Fransisco,Dell XCD35,etc..) and I'll try my best to keep it that way.
I've used the guides and threads and also posts of various users from XDA including wbaw,Saaransh9,karthiknr,Kannibalism and various others from MoDaCo like hedgepigdaniel and kozmic to make this and so I'm giving total credit to them as well.
What is the ZTE Blade?
The ZTE Blade (aka Venus or Orange San Francisco) is a touchscreen Android smartphone manufactured by ZTE for the European market. The device has various versions, differing in aspects such as screen type (AMOLED/TFT), camera (3.2MP or 5.0MP), and RAM (256MB or 512MB), although it is now clear that all European models have 512MB, but the Greek and older Hungarian versions of the phone have been limited to 256MB by software. A custom update is available on the internet to resize the partitions in order to get back the 256MB that’s originally taken up by software.Official CyanogenMod support was added in CyanogenMod 7.
Firstly lets discuss about some terms I'm going to use and their meanings.
Basically is an Android OS for your phone. Various ROMs exist out there based on Froyo,Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich. Different versions of the ROMs can exist as well. ROMs in the form of a .zip file can be flashed(See below) via a recovery(See below).
Flashing is the procedure of installing a ROM via recovery or an app such as ROM Manager. Its the equivalent to installing an OS on a PC. Here,it refers specifically to Android ROMs.
Root is the ability to give Read/Write access and access to folders which are Read only. With root,you can browse system files and folders. It also allows you to flash custom ROMs and Recoveries. Root also gives you Superuser,an app that lets you handle root requests made by other applications.
It is to be used only in extreme circumstances if you're a newbie. Recovery is just like a Windows/Linux recovery and can be used to do a factory reset and format different partitions. Also,its used for various functions including Flashing a ROM,Backing-Up and Restoring of a ROM,etc. The most commonly used recovery is Clock Work Mod or CWM. Various stock recoveries exist but not as common as CWM. Further,a recovery has its own partition,so even if you screw up your ROM,you can always go back into the recovery(Explained in detail under Flashing a ROM).
5.ClockWorkMod or CWM Recovery.
I'm talking about CWM here in specific because its the most widely used recovery out there and doesn't have any major issues. It can be flashed onto your recovery partition after you've acquired root(Explained below under Rooting) through the app ROM Manager.
Stands for Generation. You can find out the Generation of your phone using the Ask Mr. Pigfish app here. GEN1 ROMs cannot be installed on GEN2 and vice versa.The difference is something in the memory layout and the radio images that most people don't need to understand.
Total Phone Transfer is a method that changes the phone image layout. It can be used to convert your phone's GEN to enable flashing of GEN1 ROMs on a GEN2 device and vice versa.Some TPTs contain only Recovery, whilst others are full systems. If you flash a TPT which contains only a recovery you should have a Rom ready to flash, which is for the correct gen of your phone.
A TPT image differs for Gen1 and 2. The layout/structure and the format of TPTs differs between Gen1 and Gen2.
The Blade has a partition based. internal memory unit which is divided into System,Cache and Data.
System partition is where the ROM files go. Data is where the application data gets stored and Cache is for temporary storage of apps like the Market/Play store,etc.. The phone's partitioning differs from GEN1 to GEN2 as told above.
Its a package that contains Google's main applications and files that are user friendly like Gmail,Talk,Market/Play Store,etc. They're different for different Android versions such as Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich.
All the Gapps files can be found here.
From now on,we'll be dealing with various topics one by one.
1.Rooting your Blade.
Root can be achieved through various forms and the most common way is to get it by the Z4Root application. Temporary root access gives you root ability only till you switch the phone off. Permanent root access roots your phone permanently even if you reboot your device.
1.Download the Z4root app here and install it.
2.Enable USB Debugging or Android Debugging under Settings>Applications>Development.
3.Start the app and give permanent root(Recommended).
4.Wait for it to reboot.
2.Flashing a Recovery.
Like i already said above,Clock Work Mod seems to be the most widely used recovery and it can be flashed using the ROM Manager application. For GEN1 phones,its advised to flash the CWM version 188.8.131.52 and for GEN2 phones,the latest version would do.
To flash CWM through ROM Manager,
1.Download ROM Manager here and install it.
1.*.For GEN1 phones,scroll to the bottom and go to All Recoveries and choose
*.For GEN2 phones,flash recovery by clicking the first option.
3.Wait for it. It will first download the recovery and then flash it.
4.After recovery has been flashed,there are 2 common ways of booting into it.
*.Booting into recovery through the ROM Manager application.
*.When the phone is switched off,boot into recovery by pressing Power and
Volume- keys simultaneously for about 5 seconds.
To flash CWM through ADB
Follow this guide here written by Matt4321.
To flash CWM recovery using a TPT,
There exist two TPT image files,GEN1 to GEN2 and GEN2 to GEN1.
Suppose you have a GEN1 device and want to flash GEN2 ROMs on it such as CyanogenMod ROM,then you will have to flash the GEN1 to GEN2 TPT. If you are GEN2 and want to flash GEN1 ROMs,then you will have to flash the GEN2 to GEN1 TPT. Keep in mind that when you flash either of the above TPTs,CWM shows up and you need to have a .zip ROM file(GEN1 or GEN2 according to what TPT you have flashed) on your SD Card to flash readily. Once done you can boot into both the ROM and CWM.
To flash a TPT image file,
1.Download the TPT of your choice from here.
GEN1toGEN2 and GEN2toGEN1
2.Extract the "image" folder to the root of your SD Card.
3.Flash TPT when phone is switched off by pressing Power,Menu and Volume+ keys simultaneously.
4.Some green text should appear and CWM should show up after a green Android logo.
5.Flash your ROM file using CWM(Explained below).
6.Be extremely careful here. If you have flashed a GEN1 to GEN2 TPT,choose a GEN2 ROM. If you have flashed a GEN2 to GEN1 TPT,choose a GEN1 ROM.
3.Flashing a ROM.
Various ROMs exist out there for you to try and experiment with. The most commonly used ROM is the CyanogenMod ROM made by the same community that consists of various developers.
To flash a ROM using CWM,
1.Boot into CWM.
Use volume keys for scrolling up/down. Home key to initiate action and Back key to go to previous menu.
2.Wipe data/factory reset.
3.Wipe cache partition.
4.Choose Install Zip from SD Card.
5.Choose the zip and flash.
6.Reboot once flashed.
There exist TPT images that already have a ROM inbuilt into them.
If you're GEN1 and want to flash a selected GEN2 ROM that exists in a complete TPT image,you can directly flash it without having to flash the ROM again through CWM.
If you're GEN2 and want to flash a selected GEN1 ROM that exists in a complete TPT image,you cab directly flash it without having to flash the ROM again through CWM.
To flash a Custom ROM+TPT image,
1.Download the ROM+TPT image zip file(Few of them are given below).
2.Extract the "image" folder to your SD Card root.
3.Flash the TPT by pressing Power,Menu and Volume+ keys simultaneously.
4.You should boot into the ROM if it was successful.
A few ROM+TPT images.
1.Swedish-Snow-RLS7-TPT.zip [GEN2 ONLY]
2.CyanogenMod RC 7.10 TPT.zip [GEN2 ONLY]
From now on,the guide is for advanced users who have certain knowledge about rooting and flashing various ROMs and mod's.
1.Various Custom ROMs.
There exist many developers who work hard to help the community in making ROMs. Such ROMs can be flashed using CWM. I've given links to threads of some of the ROMs below just in case a developer wouldn't appreciate providing just links to his/her ROMs.
ColdFusionX [ICS Based] by Tilal6991 Gen2 only.
SwedishSnow [GB Based] by Konstat Gen2 only.
CyanogenMod7 [GB Based] by CyanogenMod Gen2 only.
GingerStirFry [GB Based] by Wbaw
EliteBladeRom [GB Based] by Elitemovil
DianXin ROM [GB Based] Gen2 only.
CyanMobile ROM [CM7 Based] by squadzone Gen2 only.
Lewa OS ROM [CM7 Based] by Lewa edited by justme1998 Gen2 only.
Samsung TouchWiz port [CM7 Based] by weeo and jj_95nano Gen2 only.
LG Prada port [CM7 Based] by weeo and Spacecaker Gen2 only.
Joyos ROM [GB Based] Gen2 only.
TommieB's AOSP ROM [GB Based] Gen2 only.
2.Various Mods for Blade.
The Blade is a great device and is almost 99.99% unbrickable. Because of this various mods can be installed without ruining your device. I've provided various links to threads and downloads below.
Beats Audio & Sony Xloud
Mega Bass Beats
SRS Dolby Sound
I will keep updating the list of mod's. Do let me know about any new ones.
4.CM7 KANG Builds.
Check out Kannibalism's KANG Development thread here.
You can find the latest KANG builds and updates.
5.STOCK Builds for ZTE Blade.
Wbaw's Stock firware packages thread,here.
My Dell XCD35 Stock ROMs thread,here.
6.ICS Development for Blade.
Saaransh9's ICS Dev thread has all info about IceCreamSandwich on Blade.
7.QuantumFoam's Blade FAQ thread is the place to go if you have any issues with your Blade. Check it out here.
8.Recovering your Blade.
[Thanks to HedgePigDaniel from Modaco for this]
Fastboot is a method of flashing a recovery image to your phone from a computer (which can be running Windows, Linux, or OSX). It does not work with Blades that are running stock Gen2 firmware (i.e. upgraded to stock Gen2 via windows or upgraded to android 2.2 by an official update) unless both the recovery and boot partitions are completely unbootable.
For all platforms
1.Download and extract this file, which contains both fastboot and clockworkmod for Gen1 and Gen2.
2.Turn on your phone with volume up held and connect it to your computer. It should not progress beyond the green android. Sometimes you have to wait a few minutes for the computer to recognise it.
1.Download and install the ZTE Handset drivers. Your phone should be listed as "Fastboot Interface" under "ADB Interfaces".
2.Run windows-flash-gen1-recovery.bat to flash Gen1 clockworkmod, or windows-flash-gen2-recovery.bat to flash gen2 clockworkmod.
3.After rebooting with volume down held, you should be able to flash a ROM in clockworkmod.
1.Navigate to the extracted folder and run one of the following commands. To flash Gen1 clockworkmod:
sudo ./fastboot-linux flash recovery recovery-clockwork-184.108.40.206-blade-gen1.img
sudo ./fastboot-linux flash recovery recovery-clockwork-220.127.116.11-blade-gen2.img
TPT is a way of flashing part of the low-level firmware on your phone. After successfully flashing the files below you will regain access to clockworkmod. You need a different type of TPT depending on what variant of the Blade you have. If you have a China Unicom v880 or any other Chinese variant then you must not flash a TPT designed for European Blades, and vice versa. Be aware that flashing a modified or corrupt TPT can permanently brick your phone. Choose the appropriate file below.
European Gen1 TPT
Use this if your phone is a European GSM variant and if it is Gen1 or has been upgraded to Gen2 via TPT. This will flash stock Gen1 firmware.
European Gen2 TPT
Use this if your phone is a European GSM variant and if it was sold as Gen2 or upgraded to stock Gen2 via windows. This will flash stock Gen2 firmware.
China Unicom v880 Gen2 TPT
Use this if your phone is a China Unicom v880 (unsure, but may work on Chinese u880/x880). This will flash the stock Gen2 firmware taken from the B15 android 2.2.2 update.
Flashing a TPT
1.Download the applicable TPT file from above.
2.Unzip and put the “image” folder onto the root directory of your SD card.
3.Disconnect and reconnect your SD card and check the integrity of the TPT files. There is a file called "image.hash" in the image folder which contains all the files' md5 hashes in plain text. Make sure that the md5 of all the files match, or you may brick your phone.
4.Turn on your phone with the SD card inserted and with menu and volume up held.
5.The screen will either stay black or show green text (if you see the green android immediately then it didn't work), and will restart into clockworkmod when done. Wait at least 5 minutes for it to restart if you don’t see anything.
6.When it is finished (even if it didn't work), then remove the image directory from the SD card to prevent accidental flashing later on.
7.You can now flash a ROM using clockworkmod. If it doesn't work, then using a different SD card may help.
If you have a European variant then it is safe to try both Gen1 and Gen2 TPTs separately in case you have made a mistake.
I would anyday recommend flashing a TPT to recover it than the windows method given below. But in case you don't recover your blade using the TPT method,use the method below.
This method flashes the entire low-level firmware and maintains the correct IMEI automatically. To use this method you need to be able to boot into stock recovery. This means that when you turn your phone on with volume down held, the words “FTM” must appear on the screen. If you can access clockworkmod then you don't need to use this method - see above. This method requires windows.
For European Blades, follow this guide and flash any firmware package linked in the guide.
For Chinese Blades, you must follow the same guide but flash this firmware package instead.
Hopefully this helps all of you guys. I must've made mistakes. If you guys find any,let me know. Ill rectify them ASAP. If anyone thinks anything should be added to this,give me the source of the information to be added and ill add it.
Cheers to the XDA Community.