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[GUIDE] Flashing ROMs correctly, every time

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By cobraboy85, Account currently disabled on 20th October 2012, 04:51 PM
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So I was rummaging around the dev section, QA, so forth. And I have seen numerous threads, questions, posts, where people have had issues with ROMs or just general left field issues that were resolved by going back to square 1 doing a fresh clean install of "

My goal with this thread is to contribute some insight and experience with customizing android devices in the way we all do... at square one, clicking the download button.... we also do not have a thread dedicated to this one subject alone, so here it is. I feel stickying this thread would be extremely useful, as so many people could see it right from the get-go and get valuable information from it.

Just getting right into it, I will say this, I have flashed (I'm sure) damn near 1,000 ROMs to various devices. Mine. Friends. Etc. And never once have I installed a corrupt zip file to these devices. This should never happen, and among other important details to any installation of a ROM, this one is the most important...


How do you do this??? Well I will show you... it is with this handy little app called md5 checker from the play store. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE OF US.... should have this app, guys (and gals, because I know you are out there it is a free app. No excuses

What is an MD5 checksum? Trusty link to get the gist of it..

Making this simple - I will break this down into steps. Follow this meticulously and 99.9% of the time you will not have an issue or be one of the random bugs popping up when everyone else seems fine.

1. Download md5 checker.

2. Download all zip files needed for your ROM. (whether you do this from your mobile device or a desktop/laptop it doesn't matter, because you WILL verify the file AFTER you have transferred it to where it needs to be allocated - your device). Basically, download it, transfer it.

3. Open md5 checker, the app is pretty easy to use. Much like a file explorer in its layout with the obvious differences.

4. Retrieve md5 for your zip files.

5. Verify them with ROM developer, or others using that particular ROM. Any discrepancies - back to step 2.

6. All is well? Boot to recovery.

7. Wipe data 3 times (you don't need to wipe dalvik cache, that directory is found in the data partition - wiping data = wiping dalvik cache)

8. Wipe cache 3 times (this sometimes does not need to be done either depending on whether or not your recovery wipes cache with data.. most recoveries will spit out some text during the wiping phase letting you know the details of the process and you'll see see something like this when wiping data)..
"Wiping /data...
"Wiping /cache

If you see cache being wiped, you are good. No need to manually wipe cache.

9. Format your system partition through recovery 3 times

10. Install your ROM. Reboot. Let it sit for a minute or two, reboot it again. If you are not installing a custom kernel, stop here. You are done, and winning.

11. Reboot to recovery, wipe cache partition 3 times AND dalvik cache. They are both there as options, for this reason - the goodies we install after a full ROM install.

12. Flash kernel zip. Reboot. Let it sit for a minute or two, reboot it again. You are done, and winning.

Interesting fact about all the ROMs I have installed over the years, NOT ONCE, have I ever installed something corrupted, and every issue/bug I have ever had with a ROM was a known issue. This also doesn't mean your particular device is always going to be able to run for weeks on end without needing a quick reboot. Sometimes its good to do the dishes, I get that. But my disclaimer here is for all to note, if you follow these steps meticulously, you will ALWAYS be able to say to yourself with confidence "nope, did it right, there is something else going on here." And thus you will be a greater problem solver and contributor to the community as a whole every single time you pose a thought or question regarding any problems you are having.

"Do it right once, instead of doin it wrong twice before doing it right."

We are nothing useful without useful information. Useful information = posting in a thread in this tone...

"Hey, installed ROM correctly/thoroughly, verified downloads, XXX is buggy blah blah etc etc... can somebody else here verify if they are or aren't having this issue? Thanks!"

Based on people's response you'll know if it is just you or a legitimate issue, in which case, you brought it to the attention of us all, and the dev(s), and you have now been very useful.

What you don't want to do is this....

"My phone keeps rebooting!!! Haaaalp"

The reason why you shouldn't post like that is because you will ALWAYS get a sour response or people will just ignore you. Or, they will reply with questions you should have already asked yourself... "did you verify your downloads were good??? Did you do a clean and thorough install???"

Long post, but I hope somebody will find it useful and utilize it. It will increase your experience with your android device in a positive way, as it has for me. Cheers
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21st October 2012, 02:31 AM |#2  
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very nice and clear. thanks so much. I just flash LIquidsmooth rom. Very happy for a newbie like me
22nd October 2012, 04:18 AM |#3  
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Fantastic work.
This guide, albeit it simple, is very clear and concise.
Newbies (like myself) are able to follow these instructions to ensure that flashing ROMS always turn out smooth.

22nd October 2012, 04:26 AM |#4  
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Yeah I figured it will would be a useful guide. I'm just glad others feel the same. Beauty of open source - doing things because you like it and to benefit the community

Sent from garaxy
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22nd October 2012, 04:27 AM |#5  
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Great summary! Subscribed and will link to this thread when the next noob comes along and says, 'haaaaaalp!'.

Sent from my HTC Incredible 4G on Verizon's periodically blazing fast and mostly reliable 4G LTE network using xda-developers app
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22nd October 2012, 11:25 AM |#6  
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24th October 2012, 10:37 PM |#7  
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I have linked this thread to my signature, is that ok with you ?
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26th October 2012, 12:13 PM |#8  
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Originally Posted by saldebot

I have linked this thread to my signature, is that ok with you ?

Perfectly fine man

Sent from garaxy
30th October 2012, 09:22 PM |#9  
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I say just read the OP instruction
30th October 2012, 10:06 PM |#10  
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Smile thanks but
Originally Posted by cobraboy85

Perfectly fine man

Sent from garaxy

I am going to update with links thanks. Your instructions are clear but I will add the links.

thanks again
31st October 2012, 10:50 AM |#11  
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Do i have to clean data and cache 3 times?
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