Updated to Amon_RA's latest recovery image
First release of the guide!
This guide would not have been possible without:
TheUnlockr (great guides)
Amon_RA (recovery image)
xda-developers (need I say more?)
MoDaCo (Excellent ROM)
craig0r (first to root the Telus Hero)
pi3ch (copy from cmd)
And everyone involved in rooting the Dream, the Sapphire, the Hero, and Android in general. Many thanks to everyone involved!
0. Before we start!
If you haven't installed all the drivers for your phone already, follow the instructions on this page to do so. It also shows you the basics of ADB.
Also, a forewarning: there are reports that not all microSD cards work. If yours doesn't work, try another one. Hopefully you'll still have some dough in your wallet by the time you find one that works. Just kidding.
Also, not all microSD readers work either. I have one that just refused to write the GoldCard image to the card, but thankfully, my laptop's SD slot worked.
And, these steps have only been tested on Windows XP 32bit. If you use anything newer, it may or may not work, but most importantly, if you want any chance of it working, you'll want to run most of these apps and commands in Administrator mode.
Finally, make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection, as your data connection will be lost at some point while you need to download something from the Market.
You'll want to get all your downloads before starting this.
Amon_RA's recovery image
2. Prepare your phone!
On your phone, go to:
Settings > Applications > Development
There, check USB debugging.
3. Backup your APN settings!
Go to the Market and install APN Backup and Restore. Run it, and backup your APN settings with it. This is necessary to restore data access after rooting.
4. Get your GoldCard image!
The GoldCard bypasses some weird check on the phone and allows you to flash ROMs that are otherwise rejected, due to them being older versions, or some other reason that HTC decided it'd be so.
With the USB cable plugged in, open the notifications shade and tap HTC Sync. It doesn't matter if it can't sync, but what matters is you can enter the adb shell. If you don't know how, you haven't done step 0.
Now, go in adb shell and run this command:
Now, with that serial number written down, paste it into my lame GoldCard hex reverse. Please credit me if you use that page in your guide!
Next, do as my page says, grab the reversed serial number and get your GoldCard image with it.
5. Create your GoldCard!
So now you have your GoldCard image. Remember, this GoldCard image is valid only for the card from which you got the serial number. If you use another card, get another image.
Turn off your phone, take the microSD out and plug it into the your preferred reader. Again, not all readers work. Not all microSDs work.
Now, unplug from your computer any removable storage except for the microSD. This is to avoid confusion in the next step.
Before making the GoldCard, backup anything you need from the microSD, as it may get erased in the process. Most importantly, backup the APN settings that we got earlier, from APN Backup and Restore.
Now open up HxD. From here, you'll open two things. Your microSD in the raw, and the GoldCard image in the raw.
To open your microSD go to:
Extras > Open disk
In the pop up, under Physical disks, select the (supposedly only) Removable Storage. If there are two, I don't know which one is the right one, so unplug more stuff from your computer.
Before you click OK, be sure to uncheck Open as Readonly. We can't make a GoldCard if we can't write on it, right?
To open your GoldCard image, go to:
Extras > Open disk image
There, select your downloaded goldcard.img file, and click Open, and then OK.
Now you should have two tabs open in HxD, one being the microSD, and the other, active one being the GoldCard image.
Press Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select all, then Ctrl+C on your keyboard to copy. Switch to the microSD's tab, make sure the cursor is at the complete top-left corner, and then press Ctrl+B to paste, and then Ctrl+S to save. Accept the risk and your GoldCard should be made.
To verify, close the microSD's tab, eject it, unplug and replug it, and reopen it in HxD like we did earlier. It should still have the GoldCard image written at the beginning of it. If not, either the microSD or the reader or both don't like making GoldCards, so you'll want to try a different combination of card and reader.
Let's flash the downgraded ROM now. Plug your microSD, now a GoldCard, into the phone and turn it on. After it finishes booting, turn on HTC Sync. Again, it doesn't need to actually synchronize.
Now, run the RUU you downloaded earlier and follow the steps. If the GoldCard works, it should flash and you'll end up with a downgraded phone. If not, then you either didn't write down the microSD's serial number correctly, or the microSD doesn't like to do its job.
Set up the downgraded phone with the default settings, and turn on Wi-Fi. Get on your Wi-Fi network and install Linda File Manager.
Now, on the phone, check:
Settings > Applications > Unknown sources
Now turn on USB Storage, and copy flashrec and Amon_RA's recovery image to the microSD. Rename the recovery image to recovery.img to save a headache later. You may as well put the backed up APN files back on the microSD too, if they got erased.
Disconnect USB storage, load up Linda, go in the SD card, and install flashrec using Package Installer. Now, load up Recovery Flasher, press on backup, then type in:
7. Update the radio
The radio that came with the downgrade is quirky in North American networks. We'll update to the latest IU radio, which works with our networks here.
First, reboot into the new patched recovery. Turn off the phone, and then turn it back on while holding the Home button. Keep holding it until you see the recovery menu.
Once you're there, scroll down using the trackball to turn on USB Mass storage. Plug the phone in the computer if it wasn't plugged already. The microSD will show up on the computer. Copy the updated radio zip to the root of the microSD wait a few seconds, then turn off USB Mass storage on the phone.
Now, select Flash update image, and then Apply sdcard:choose zip. There, the radio zip should show up. Select it and flash it.
8. You're pretty much done at this point.
Follow any guide to install a Hero ROM, to partition your microSD, etc. After you install a custom ROM, be sure to reinstall APN Backup and Restore from the market, and restore your APN settings. This will restore data.