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[ROOT][COMPLETE GUIDE]How To Root HTC Droid DNA

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HQRaja

Retired News Writer
Jan 27, 2008
491
433
Islamabad
hqraja.com
Here is a complete guide for anyone interested in rooting the HTC Droid DNA. The insecure boot image, TWRP recovery, CWM recovery and SuperSU files used in this guide are not my own developments, and their developers have been credited in the end of this post.
I am only writing this as a newbie-friendly guide for everyone, and am providing my own SuperSU, su and busybox installer zip file that includes everything you need for full root.

  1. Unlock the bootloader of your device by visiting the HTC bootloader unlock page. Warning: This will wipe your data.
    UPDATE: Thanks to Verizon, the official bootloader unlocking method mentioned above no longer works. Please refer to this method for unlocking the bootloader.
  2. Download ClockworkMod or TWRP recovery for the device and rename it to recovery.img (or keep the existing name and change recovery.img in the command below to that name).
  3. Download the SuperSU and busybox package and put it on your SD card.
  4. Put your phone into bootloader mode and connect it to your PC via USB.
  5. On your computer, make sure you are in the folder where you downloaded the recovery file and use this command to flash the recovery:
    Code:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  6. Finally, reboot your device into recovery, flash the SuperSU and busybox package and reboot your device.

You should now have root access.

Credits:

jcase for unlocking the bootloader after Verizon decided to lock it.
dsb9938 for sharing the CWM port and correcting me regarding my previously posted and now removed second method involving his insecure boot image
Dees_Troy for TWRP recovery.
utkanos for CWM port.
Chainfire for developing SuperSU

I have tried to credit everyone involved but if I have missed out on anyone, please do let me know.
 
Last edited:

hotmonkas

Member
Nov 14, 2012
19
8
thanks for the guide!

just one question though. when you say "Download the SuperSU and busybox package and put it on your SD card.", what do you mean exactly by SD card? doesn't the DNA not have a SD card? sorry if this is a dumb question. i've never rooted a phone before :/
 
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dsb9938

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 17, 2010
1,748
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Edison, NJ
Code:
adb shell mount -o remount,rw /system

[LIST=1]
[*] adb push su /system/bin/
adb push Superuser.apk /system/app/
adb push busybox /system/xbin/
adb shell
chmod 06755 /system/bin/su
chmod 0644 /system/app/Superuser.apk
chmod 04755 /system/xbin/busybox
cd /system/xbin
busybox --install /system/xbin/
exit
exit
[*]Reboot your device.
[/LIST]

This will not work. You cannot write to /system except in recovery.

This is why I did not publish my initial root method. Using a package and flashing in recovery is the only way to get files on /system without some really gnarly stuff.

D

.
 

HQRaja

Retired News Writer
Jan 27, 2008
491
433
Islamabad
hqraja.com
This will not work. You cannot write to /system except in recovery.

This is why I did not publish my initial root method. Using a package and flashing in recovery is the only way to get files on /system without some really gnarly stuff.

D

.

Thanks for your response. =)

Based on my understanding (and my experience with Nexus devices), once you boot using an insecure boot image, you have full root access in ADB since it is running adbd as root on the device. You can then successfully write to the /system partition and the changes persist after reboot. While I can confirm that the above will work on any Nexus device as well as any similar device with an unlocked bootloader and fastboot access, I am not 100% sure if that's how it works on HTC devices that have the S-ON flag. Are you referring to S-ON devices in particular here?
 

dsb9938

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 17, 2010
1,748
3,125
53
Edison, NJ
Thanks for your response. =)

Based on my understanding (and my experience with Nexus devices), once you boot using an insecure boot image, you have full root access in ADB since it is running adbd as root on the device. You can then successfully write to the /system partition and the changes persist after reboot. While I can confirm that the above will work on any Nexus device as well as any similar device with an unlocked bootloader and fastboot access, I am not 100% sure if that's how it works on HTC devices that have the S-ON flag. Are you referring to S-ON devices in particular here?

Normally it does work that way. And I was very disappointed that it did not on this phone, as I made the kernel just for that reason.

I think there was an error in the coding where it tells unlock which partitions to remove write protection from. That, or they just wanna make our lives hard for some reason.

Either way, you cannot write to /system while the phone is booted normally without S-Off. Even as root.

D

.
 

HQRaja

Retired News Writer
Jan 27, 2008
491
433
Islamabad
hqraja.com
Normally it does work that way. And I was very disappointed that it did not on this phone, as I made the kernel just for that reason.

I think there was an error in the coding where it tells unlock which partitions to remove write protection from. That, or they just wanna make our lives hard for some reason.

Either way, you cannot write to /system while the phone is booted normally without S-Off. Even as root.

D

.
Ah I see. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll remove the second method from my guide, since including that would be pointless if that's the case as you can now confirm.
 

suzook

Senior Member
Jan 25, 2010
4,475
1,177
So does this method work? Or not???Im confused with the last few posts. Thanks
 

Irish65

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2010
119
20
Seattle, WA
What I want to know most if anyone knows..will the DNA through verizon be unlockable....I'm actually using the RAZR Maxx hd through verizon and Motorola has restricted unlocking the bootloader because of verizon

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using xda app-developers app
 

dsb9938

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 17, 2010
1,748
3,125
53
Edison, NJ
What I want to know most if anyone knows..will the DNA through verizon be unlockable....I'm actually using the RAZR Maxx hd through verizon and Motorola has restricted unlocking the bootloader because of verizon

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using xda app-developers app

You can't do any of this stuff without unlocking.

As of right now, it is working.

D

.
 
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CastleBravo

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2011
103
50
Los Angeles
How do you do the command in the folder were u downloaded to like the instructions say?

In command prompt, use the "cd" command. The easiest way to do this is to make a folder at the root of your hard drive (C:\) and place all files you need to flash in here e.g. "C:\android\" Then in command prompt, type in "cd .." and press enter until it displays "C:\". Then type (if you use the same name as the example) "cd android" and it will enter the folder "C:\android\" where you placed the files. Now you can continue with the rest of the guide.
 
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santod040

Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor
Nov 7, 2008
12,567
23,607
NorCal
In command prompt, use the "cd" command. The easiest way to do this is to make a folder at the root of your hard drive (C:\) and place all files you need to flash in here e.g. "C:\android\" Then in command prompt, type in "cd .." and press enter until it displays "C:\". Then type (if you use the same name as the example) "cd android" and it will enter the folder "C:\android\" where you placed the files. Now you can continue with the rest of the guide.

Or if on Windows, simply: Do the following in folder where files are located.
Shift+Right-Click > Open Command Window Here
 

musclehead84

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2010
4,582
967
37
Falling Waters, WV
I've never had an HTC device before but does using the HTC bootloader unlock is that making it s-off? Also I don't see the DROID dna on the list

Sent from my SCH-I535 using xda premium
 

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  • 40
    Here is a complete guide for anyone interested in rooting the HTC Droid DNA. The insecure boot image, TWRP recovery, CWM recovery and SuperSU files used in this guide are not my own developments, and their developers have been credited in the end of this post.
    I am only writing this as a newbie-friendly guide for everyone, and am providing my own SuperSU, su and busybox installer zip file that includes everything you need for full root.

    1. Unlock the bootloader of your device by visiting the HTC bootloader unlock page. Warning: This will wipe your data.
      UPDATE: Thanks to Verizon, the official bootloader unlocking method mentioned above no longer works. Please refer to this method for unlocking the bootloader.
    2. Download ClockworkMod or TWRP recovery for the device and rename it to recovery.img (or keep the existing name and change recovery.img in the command below to that name).
    3. Download the SuperSU and busybox package and put it on your SD card.
    4. Put your phone into bootloader mode and connect it to your PC via USB.
    5. On your computer, make sure you are in the folder where you downloaded the recovery file and use this command to flash the recovery:
      Code:
      fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    6. Finally, reboot your device into recovery, flash the SuperSU and busybox package and reboot your device.

    You should now have root access.

    Credits:

    jcase for unlocking the bootloader after Verizon decided to lock it.
    dsb9938 for sharing the CWM port and correcting me regarding my previously posted and now removed second method involving his insecure boot image
    Dees_Troy for TWRP recovery.
    utkanos for CWM port.
    Chainfire for developing SuperSU

    I have tried to credit everyone involved but if I have missed out on anyone, please do let me know.
    7
    Care to elaborate? I am looking into buying this phone and I am sure everyone else wants to know as well. Thanks.

    I cannot promise anything. Let's be clear on that.

    But I am 90% sure we will have an unlock method tomorrow after I get my retail device. It will not be my work, but I will be testing it and posting the results.

    Even if we do not get unlock, I am sure we will at the very least find a temp root, which is all that is required for S-Off testing to continue.

    Basically, they may have slowed us down, but they have not stopped us yet.

    D

    .
    6
    If you guys want the origional SuperSU/Busybox package mentioned in the post, then Click Here, and I've uploaded my saved copy of it to my DropBox.

    As for CWM (ClockworkMod) Click Here, and you should see a long list of many devices, find "HTC Droid DNA", and you can download the Recovery or the Touch Recovery (Far Right Columns)
    3
    Thanks for your response. =)

    Based on my understanding (and my experience with Nexus devices), once you boot using an insecure boot image, you have full root access in ADB since it is running adbd as root on the device. You can then successfully write to the /system partition and the changes persist after reboot. While I can confirm that the above will work on any Nexus device as well as any similar device with an unlocked bootloader and fastboot access, I am not 100% sure if that's how it works on HTC devices that have the S-ON flag. Are you referring to S-ON devices in particular here?

    Normally it does work that way. And I was very disappointed that it did not on this phone, as I made the kernel just for that reason.

    I think there was an error in the coding where it tells unlock which partitions to remove write protection from. That, or they just wanna make our lives hard for some reason.

    Either way, you cannot write to /system while the phone is booted normally without S-Off. Even as root.

    D

    .
    3
    I'm wondering if the supersu problems would be rectified using DSB's system writeable kernel.

    yes, that is the exact problem. the package that is supplied does work but I, along with some others, have had problems with superSU and it prompting to update the binaries. so, I assumed there was a problem with root and that I had done something wrong, when in fact without a modified kernel you cannot write to system with our phone, thus creating the errors and reboots when trying to update the binaries. so to fix the problem you can flash the zip below.

    flash this (will update binaries and install the compatible superuser app instead): http://downloads.noshufou.netdna-cdn.com/superuser/Superuser-3.1.3-arm-signed.zip

    this worked like a charm, no errors, and should also delete the original superSU app that was installed, but if for some reason it does not, delete it manually. this will allow basic root privileges. the problem is that system is unwriteable without flashing either dsb's cubed or modified stock kernels (which allow you to then write to system). once you have root I definitely recommend flashing one of these kernels so that you have full root privileges without any possible errors.

    hope that clears some things up because I for one am new to htc and had no idea why my changes would not stick in system. i immediately assumed the problem was a faulty root on my part.

    a huge thank you to all involved with the work that has been done thus far!! happy holidays all!!!