Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Unlocking HTC Wildfire S

I was wondering how people managed to install different kind of Android. I was afraid and said to my self "Is it safe?", "Will it brake my phone?". HTC Wildfire S' small memory gives me no choice but to hack my phone. After searching about "how to root", "how to install custom ROM", etc, I'm finally able to share this experience with you.


Since almost all HTC Android phones have their bootloader locked, this tutorial may also work for them. This tutorial works on Windows XP and Windows 7. It should be fine in Ubuntu Linux too. For a brief, I will tell you some basic information:
  • Internal memory is persistent memory to store both Android Operating System (ROM) and your Android applications e.g. from Android market. HTC Wildfire S has 512MB but only 100MB left for applications.
  • RAM is non persistent memory like SDRAM or DDR3 of your PC.
  • Bootloader is the starting up process of Android. It''s just like your PC BIOS.
  • Flashing means running scripts stored in zip file through bootloader.
  • The highest risk of flashing is flashing radio since it may brick your phone. Flashing other zip is relatively safe.
  • HTC locks their phones bootloader to prevent you to do flashing. By unlocking them, you are allowed to flash anything (e.g. to root using root script, to install custom recovery, etc) EXCEPT the radio. The radio is kept locked to prevent bricking. But still, unlocking will void your guarantee.

A. Unlocking

  1. First of all, you must update your ROM to the latest version through Menu > Settings > About phone > Software updates > Check now. Repeat this step until you get all updates for the ROM.
  2. After updating, check your ROM version in Menu > Settings > About phone > Software information > Software number. Write down the version.
  3. Login to http://www.htcdev.com/ (create an account if you don't have one). Go to "Unlock Bootloader"
  4. Select "HTC Wildfire S" and click "Begin Unlock Bootloader". From now on, you will follow the htcdev site instructions. I will give some notes only.
  5. Unlocking HTC Wildfire S requires HBoot update. On "choosing RUU", you may wonder which one matches your phone model. Just open the back case of your phone. You may also use AnTuTu Benchmark's Information specifiying your Brand. Mine says htc_asia_wwe which means I must use RUU "hTC Asia WWE".
  6. Now, compare the version (on previous step 2). If your ROM version is newer, you don't need RUU update. Mine is 2.26.707.2 which is newer than the listed RUU version 2.14.707.2. Therefore, no update required.
  7. If you failed to execute "fastboot oem get_identifier_token", just keep trying.
ROMs refer to the Android operating systems. Stock ROMs are ROMs which are preinstalled on your original Android phone. One of the notorious Android community is http://forum.xda-developers.com. There you can find ROMs or flashable zips which suit your phone model.

B. Installing custom recovery

Custom recovery is like management tool to flash new ROM, to nandroid backup and restore, etc. Nandroid backup means to backup the snapshot of your OS which includes internal memory state and application data stored on SD Card (not your mp3 or your documents!). Always do nandroid backup prior to flashing a new ROM or anything that may destabilize your current ROM.

ClockworkMod is one of the best custom recovery applications out there. To install it on your HTC Wildfire S, please follow this step:
  1. Download manually
    From http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager column "Download Recovery"
  2. Flash it via fastboot (Vol down + Power)
    fastboot flash recovery /path/to/recovery.img
  3. It should show
    root@vostro:~# fastboot flash recovery /home/ichsan/Downloads/recovery-clockwork-5.0.2.8-marvel.img
    sending 'recovery' (4494 KB)...
    OKAY [  1.793s]
    writing 'recovery'...
    OKAY [  2.208s]
    finished. total time: 4.002s

C. Installing custom ROM

Purpose of installing custom ROMs may vary, from simply making your internal memory bigger to tasting exotic ROMs. One of the best ROM is from user named m1ndh4x8r posted here. It uses Darktremor A2SD which makes your internal memory "bigger". To successfully installed this ROM, you need at least a 8GB, class 6 Micro SD. SanDisk class 4 is enough and the brand is recommended by many people on XDA. Once you''ve installed the ROM, uninstall Link2SD and download Darktremor A2SD from market. Using that A2SD, go to "Dalvik" tab > "Dalvik Cache on SD-EXT" and click Move and rebuild! Another ROM is created by myself. It was built by newer kitchen (December 2012) from Asia WWE ROM which is also used in Indonesia.

FYI: m1ndh4x8r's ROM is based on Europe RUU. If you updated your ROM with different RUU (e.g. Asia RUU), there is a chance that your phone restarts periodically. This is because you cannot use ROM created by other RUU. I forced Europe RUU from HTC so that I can use m1ndh4x8r's ROM which uses the same RUU as the base.

4 comments:

Kwaku Frimpong said...

If i fail doing this,will I brick my phone? Is this recommended?

Muhammad Ichsan said...

There's always probability. But, I think it's relatively safe.

kathe tarun said...

nice

kathe tarun said...

The information which you shared here is valuable.I am here to share about how i got my HTC wildfire unlocked.I tried Theunlockarena.com to unlock my phone locked to UK T mobile and i got free unlock instructions here mobileunlockguide.com