Good and EVO

Reader ROM Picks: VaelPak for HTC EVO

Reader ROM Picks is a regular series that showcases G&E readers’ favorite HTC EVO custom ROMs.

Vaelpak (1) This ROM pick was sent in by Eli Hayes.

My favorite HTC EVO ROM is VaelPak. It’s a “Sense-based non-Sense ROM” and probably one of the most underrated ROMs around.

The whole premise behind VaelPak is to get as close to AOSP as possible without losing things like 4G, HDMI, and camera functionality. It is by far the smoothest, fastest, and most complete ROM I’ve ever tried on my EVO.

The best features are its still-in-progress custom theme builder and Settings app, which was recently made available as a custom shortcut through a modified stock settings menu. This app lets you automatically flash a custom kernel (there are 20 to choose from; once selected, the download, first reboot, flash, and second reboot all happen automatically!), install stock apps that were either removed or replaced, flash ClockworkMod or Amon Ra recovery images, wipe the Dalvik cache, apply the 3G and SD card speed fixes previously covered on G&E, enable and customizabe notification shade toggles, change the LCD density, among other things. There are also custom lockscreen settings (sliders, rotary, gestures) and even a font changer app so that you can change the system font on the fly.

Vaelpak (2) Vaelpak (3)

Vaelpak (4) Vaelpak (5)

Other extras include some useful preinstalled apps like Titanium Backup and MIUI Music, fully functional WiFi hotspot and USB tethering, Gingerbread keyboard and Swype, audo-connect for Bluetooth A2DP, 5MB MMS limit, and more. The Sense web browser, email, music, calendar, and clock apps have been replaced by the AOSP versions in this ROM, but they can be re-installed if you want them back.

Jim Weiler (Vaelek) is the creator of the ROM and for the most part is a one-man developer team. He is surprisingly very fast when it comes to communication and helping his supporters solve any issues that may arise. Within the last few weeks, he got his forum app up and running; it’s been added to the ROM in the latest update (version 3.2 RC1 as of this writing). The forum community is fantastic and extremely helpful, and there are a lot of G&E readers there too.

Download:
http://s.vaelek.com/VaelPak-3.2-RC1.zip | http://www.multiupload.com/OZ24021LJG
(version 3.2 RC1, packaged w/Netarchy 4.3.1 BFS No-HAVS No-SBC kernel)
Discussion: http://vaelek.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=696

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Reader ROM Picks is a regular series that showcases G&E readers’ favorite HTC EVO custom ROMs.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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79 thoughts on “Reader ROM Picks: VaelPak for HTC EVO

  • Avatar of GRRemlin

    +1 for Vaelpak!
    I’ve been using it for some time and loving it every second!

    Reply
  • Avatar of ropodope

    Vaelpak is head and shoulders above any other rom on the market and makes cyanogen mod look very weak by comparison.

    Reply
  • I am using it, have never connected so easily with bluetooth devices and the whole process has been very impressive. Big fan of Myn’s 2.2 but you know, I am certainly in no hurry to go back to it. It’s Vaelpak for me..

    Reply
  • I actually just switched to this rom about 2 weeks ago and have been loving it ever since.

    Reply
  • just switched to it recently and love everything but the battery life. was running stock sense before and I can literally watch the battery drain in front of my eyes.

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    Trying it out now… or, I should say trying the loading screen after a flash (VaelPak Remastered diamond) – how long does it take initially? I’m on coffee time and need how many seconds…

    Reply
  • Chances are good it’s either kernel related or a rogue app. System monitor app can be helpful in figuring out which it is. Before I switched to the extended battery I was getting a consistent 13-14 hours of slightly heavy usage, 16 with moderate usage

    Reply
  • First flash can take 5-10 minutes to rebuild dalvik cache during boot

    Reply
  • Avatar of Curt Hibbs

    I’ll bet its some app you have or configuration that is set (meaning, with some investigation you should be able to fix this). My get better battery life with this ROM than I ave with others.

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    20 minutes into it I pulled the battery as it started looping between “the more you know” animation and the diamond. Tried signing up for an account over at his site but learned I am not human / able to enter a captcha.

    Reply
  • I’ve had my Evo for a few months now and have been pretty happy with the stock setup. I’m thinking I should finally go ahead and try something like this. This ROM sounds very good. Is there a maroon’s guide to installing onto a stock Evo? I had rooted my previous phone, a Moment, so I’m not completely new to this, but it’s been awhile. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    I’ll ask over here since I can’t get a forum account over there – anyone know what the issue with Titanium Backup and this ROM is? I made my backup, it’s in mnt/sdcard/TitaniumBackup. Flash new rom, go into Titanium, it says backup directory is mnt/sdcard/TitaniumBackup – no apps are listed though.

    Unfortunately I can’t play with this rom if I can’t get a lot of my stuff moved over to it via Titanium.

    Installed app-specific busybox, uninstalled reinstalled, checked with Astro that the directory was there.

    Reply
  • Look at me trying to give YOU advice… I’m sure you did, but make sure the dalvic cashe is clear and try to do a full system wipe/reset. I’ve flashed this rom 2x now and no issues at all. The first boot does take some time but never 20 minutes.

    Reply
  • I don’t think it’s specific to this ROM, I was having issues with Titanium while I was running Kings UNleashed.

    Reply
  • How did you root the moment??? I have an extra one that I no longer use but I want to root it and have some DEV fun. I have tried everything and can’t get it. Hit me up in a reply here or click on my name is should be red and leave a comment on my blog thanks!

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    yeah, it’s Titanium – I flashed back because I had some things I needed to access, Titanium is broken on both ROMs at the moment and I do not know why… I’m over in their support forums (which I tricked into thinking I am human) and posting questions.

    Reply
  • Well, I did it about a year ago, and don’t remember the details now, sorry. I don’t remember it being all that hard, though. Maybe this will do the trick?

    http://www.market4android.com/how-to-root-the-samsung-moment.php

    The Evo is much, much better than the Moment. Maybe mine was flawed or I screwed it up, but battery life was terrible and performance was often laggy. Maybe the right ROM will fix you up, though. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Avatar of ZenTsang

    Here’s one not asked yet… Does this ROM have the Apps2SD feature like SteelROM or the others?

    I have a 16gb Class 10 MicroSD card that almost all my apps are running from due to the limited space on the Internal Memory. Also when I say Apps2SD … I don’t mean those apps that simply move the apps (or try). I mean like DarkTremor’s Apps2SD setting via adb that tricks the phone with links to apps.

    A huge reason I pick ROMs are the ability to install/move them to the SD card. I can’t believe there are still so many apps that aren’t designed to run on SD Cards. And I don’t mean the widget apps… I get that some of those really need to be internal. But the rest should all be able to be installed to SD.

    …and so I digress.

    Reply
  • Avatar of ZenTsang

    …with all that said… this ROM looks awesome!

    Reply
  • This is the ROM that I have been watching and thinking about going to upon my first rooting. So, I am interested to get your take on it!

    Reply
  • Avatar of ropodope

    i use the netarchy 4.3.2 cfs, havs more with sbc tweaks. ever since then this thing zooms, doesn’t lag over time and last days with low use and about 15 with heavy use. that’s with the stock battery. it’s a snap to change the bootanimation and change the look of your icons. it’s just basically awesome all the way around. this guy does more by himself than any other does as a team and he responds to you right away. it’s crazy how awesome this guy is and the rom he has produced.

    ropodope

    Reply
  • BTW, do you have a website that you do this stuff on/for?

    Reply
  • What theme is the one displayed? That looks really awesome..I’ll already rooted and loaded the Vaelpak rom..Now what? Thanks

    Reply
  • I’m with James on this one. I’ve flashed this particular version twice and his previous version multiple times and only stuck on boot screen once and a battery pull solved it

    Reply
  • I previously had the moment and now my brother has it but I rooted that as well. When I get home I will post links to the method I used

    Reply
  • If I understand your question correctly I think the answer is no

    Reply
  • What parts in particular are you interested in? I can help set you up

    Reply
  • that whole theme lol..how it shows the time and date weather and city..its pretty awesome lol

    Reply
  • Avatar of mildlydisturbed

    I ended up doing a factory reset /dalvik/cache and 2 installs and it finally worked (think the factory reset did it). Ended up flashing back because I thought it was not working with Titanium – turned out Titanium is not working for me at all today. Will be going back to it later as I made a nandroid of it before flashing back.

    My guess is I had some junk in there from all my expeditions into flashing odd stuff that just didn’t like Vaelpak. First time I think I’ve ever done factory reset.

    Reply
  • Avatar of mildlydisturbed

    This, nope – I write some stuff for goodandevo occasionally (the idea well ran dry this week). I write for a few places, but generally it’s non-techie stuff. Basically I’m an insomniac and will have a few hours to kill every night and will sit around reading something and think “wow, that’s needlessly complicated, it’s something a lot of people would enjoy, let’s simplify it” – if I’m writing over here, I then send a nearly incomprehensible write-up of the piece in and Jenn corrects my horrible grammar and atrocious sentence fragmentation and makes it look nice.

    To answer your next question – I liked the ROM, what I saw of it. Had it not been that I needed a lot of stuff that Titnium refused to transfer I would still be running it now.

    I’ve now done a MyBackup ROOT and will be swapping back to it tonight (yay nandroid) and see if I can’t get it to take my heaps of data.

    Reply
  • I’m captain safety and almost always do a nandroid and then factory wipe every time i change ROMs. God i sounded nerdy just then. Anyway, glad you got it working. Oh yeah, titanium is definitely broken all of a sudden. I saw your comment in the market and followed suit

    Reply
  • SDX Developers is a priceless resource for all samsung hacking. here is a good video that i used when i did my brother’s
    http://forum.sdx-developers.com/android-2-1/rooting-samsung-moment-di06-complete-video-tutorial-in-hd720p-tecnica/

    i followed this step by step and it works flawlessly. Everyone i know who has the moment wants me to do it to theirs too. It runs live wallpapers, wifi tethers, overclocks, etc.

    check your hardware version before as this is for DI06

    Reply
  • Avatar of ropodope

    And it does have dark tremors app2sd as well

    Reply
  • I have tried a few of the high profile roms out there and they where good roms. Then I stumbled on to VP and everything worked and the few minor issues I had the main man Vaelek was fast to help out as where other VP users. Stable, smooth and performance with respectable battery life on average 15 hrs on a heavy day and no lye on the weekend with very light use 29 hrs with stock battery. Also themeing and modding can be done from with in the rom so if your a beginner and don’t feel comfortable flashing give this rom a try you won’t be sorry.

    Reply
  • Oh where to start lol? Well first off I am using Launcher Pro (you have to with this rom). The wallpaper is from an app called Flickie HD. The dock at the bottom is the standard glass dock that comes with LP. The words on the dock are just a zip of text icons i found on xda. (i can send you the file in an email if you like)

    The word clock and date at the top are an app called Minimalist Text(https://market.android.com/details?id=de.devmil.minimaltext&feature=search_result). It takes some time to toy around and get it how you like but is well worth the trouble. It will use your system font so mine looks that way because my font is chinacat bold (set from the vaelpak font app) The city is the same app just turned vertical (you can set the widgets in pretty much any direction you want)

    The weather widget is from the Beautiful Widget app (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.levelup.beautifulwidgets&feature=search_result) it’s just a skin i dl in BW. there are dozens of them

    The word icons (favs, tools, etc.) are icons to folders that i setup. Tutorial here http://vaelek.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=443

    I have a ton of information on setting up these widgets and other custom homescreen items but don’t want to take up anymore space here. Feel free to email me for detailed info.

    Reply
  • It should also be noted that the updated theme builder now includes gingerbread and honeycomb wifi icons and a honeycomb battery icon. Pretty sweet looking

    Reply
  • Thanks! is there anyway you can just make that a custom ROM right there..i bet alot of people would want it! Thats the only reason why i rooted my evo lol…Also whats your email?

    Reply
  • Hey Eli could you create that whole ROM set up you have and send it? That would be awesome..for some reason Flickie HD isnt working..

    Reply
  • Appreciate the write-up on this ROM and have enjoyed your previous posts on goodandevo, it is the first place I bring up before heading to XDA fore freshly cooked goodies. Wish there was a similar sight for Samsung Epic too.. would help me get a grip on my wife’s phone.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mildlydisturbed

    Titanium appears to have created a ton of bad named files. See if renaming the backup folder and creating a new backup works. Doesn’t seem to recreate the badly named files

    Reply
  • Avatar of ZenTsang

    AWESOME!! Just wiped my EVO and installing now! =)

    Reply
  • Avatar of mildlydisturbed

    so far I am digging it – the titanium issue was the only reason I didn’t spend a whole day with it. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it yet as I was in an area with crappy cell phone signal all day after I got it flashed – didn’t really get a feel for speed (it seems fast)

    Loving the auto kernel download /swapping

    Love the LauncherPro, dislove the $2.99 to get back apps that my stock Sense had in them (calendar / people). However, what I’ve seen Launcher Pro do so far I’d say it’s worth it.

    Seems to work nicely, other than force closes with Titanium, which I think were due entirely to Titanium fouling up its backup directory with a recent update, have had no issues.

    So far liking it.

    Reply
  • Thanks for the correction

    Reply
  • +1 for MyBackup ROOT. Always good to have a backup, even of a backup!

    Loading Vaelpak now. I’ve stuck with Myn’s 2.2 for a few months now, switched to CM7 last week, played around with MIUI last night, and now trying this.. It’s an addiction! I need help!

    Reply
  • I tested this ROM about quite a bit yesterday. I couldn’t get FriendStream and Footprints widgets to work. I had some other issues with flashing various apps and mods from the VaelPak app.

    It looks like lots of things are working, but not quite everything that I’m interested in. It is based on Froyo but after trying out CM, I really miss a lot of the Gingerbread features.

    Now I just need to find a fully functional Gingerbread + Sense 2.0 ROM :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    MyBackup Root is by far the easiest way to get text and call logs over. It’s also the slowest backup software I’ve ever used, definitely prefer titanium for the apps and data.

    Reply
  • This may sound like a really stupid question but how do you get the downloaded file that is on your computer to your root sd card?

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    plug the phone into a USB port on your computer (you should have a USB cable that came with the EVO, it may be plugged into your charger)
    when you plug the phone in you should see a think that pops up and gives you 4 options – charge only, mount as drive, htc sync, something else I can’t remember. Chose mount as drive.

    In a minute you should see a new drive in your my computer / mac desktop. that’s your SD card. Just move stuff on over to it

    Reply
  • Yes it works great w/ DT a2sd, I have all of my apps running from my 32GB class 10, & dalvik running on the /cache partition with no problem for over a month. However, when I tried running dalvik from the sd card it was very unstable.

    Reply
  • I’ve been using VaelPak for the past couple of weeks. Love it. You can use Launcher Pro or ADWThemes. I was enamored with Myn’s ROM forever. VaelPak 3.2 is my new crush.

    Reply
  • Avatar of jaydeeIL

    with the free edition, you have to manually do every app. With the paid version, it will install every app for you.

    Reply
  • Gonna give this one a try, flashing now! :D

    Reply
  • Titanium Backup is working fine for me. :)

    Reply
  • For the record, I followed the instructions there, and got it running without too many issues. The main problem was that I used My Backup to backup all of my apps (lots) and then tried to restore all of them with the fresh vaelpak rom installed. I rebooted and got stuck in a boot loop for some reason. I tried doing some resets and cache clearing in the recovery menu, rebooted, and still saw the apps there and misbehaving (tons of force closes), which surprised me. Maybe I didn’t reset as much as I thought I did. Another round of resets brought me back to a stock vaelpak setup, and now I’m figuring I’ll install my apps one by one. It seems pretty nice so far, though I may be having a battery issue… we’ll see how it’s doing later today. Thanks again.

    Reply
  • Where did you download that “Netarchy 4.3.2 CFS HAVS” kernel? I checked in the “VaelPak Mods” and the closest thing I saw was “Netarchy 4.3.1 CFS HAVS”

    Reply
  • Avatar of MildlyDisturbed

    Yeah, looks like one day Titanium failed for a bunch of people. For me it was by corrupting the directory it stored backups in.

    For me, deleting that directory and going on about my business fixed it.

    Reply
  • What kernel were you running to get that length of battery life? I think I’m suffering from the same issue.

    Reply
  • Thanks MildlyD! You seem to have all the answers.

    Reply
  • Okay, I’ve run into 2 problems so far – Handcent won’t produce a LED blink notification, even when changing the color to green (update-noticed that it was working after a reboot, but it doesn’t work when plugged in/charging. I think that’s the problem.); and after loading the HTC clock for my alarms, I tested it. The alarm went off, but then I could not turn it off. I even installed the stock look-a-like lock screen as noted in the clock install instructions. Had to power down. After trying to reboot, it’s stuck on the hTC EVO screen. Battery pulling now… okay, rebooted fine. Any help on the alarms? =0)

    Reply
  • Fixed one problem only to run into another. I uninstalled Simply Lockscreen and I was able to shut off the alarm successfully, but now I don’t have PLAY/PAUSE music buttons on my lock screen, which is why I was using Simply LS to begin with, with LP+. ANY OTHER OPTIONS for music buttons on the lock screen and have alarm functionality? =0)

    Reply
  • You know what, never mind! lol, Although this is a nice ROM, I found too many nit picky things wrong with it, and restored my Sprint Lovers backup. King for a day, Mr. VaelPak. But dethroned in the pm. Looks like my first ROM (SL) is my favorite so far…

    Reply
  • actually if you were to go into VPsettings and go under device settings there is an option for music controls on there without any additional apps. It works flawlessly for me and doesnt mess with the alarm

    Reply
  • if you dont mind my asking, what other “nit picky” things did you find wrong with it? curious to know what the SL ROM has that swayed you back to it

    Reply
  • After a number of boot hangs after flashing I did manage to get this up and running. I really like some things in the ROM and the fact that it’s close to AOSP. But the graphic choices made were just not to my liking. I like clean layouts and the fonts/graphics just seemed to be a bit “young”. Performance was good although with the stock Kernel battery life wasn’t. Overall I think it was a bit smoother in performance then most of the CM7 nighties but a bit clunky in some of the implementation. I think the custom app has a great deal of potential and reminds me a bit of Fresh.

    Overall a very nice ROM but when it comes down to it I still prefer CM7 or if I want something lighter then one of the Savage-Mods.

    Reply
  • Awesome, good to know in case I go back to it. Although the rom was very nice and had a lot of options, it had things implemented that I’d never use, like the task manager. And even though it had a theme changer, which I used to change the batter, signal, and wifi icons up top, I prefer the ones on SL. I also had trouble getting the wifi tether to work, and the one that comes with SL works flawlessly with no hassle. (I installed that wifi app to the VP and it didn’t work). Also, the LED notification blink didn’t work when charging. My phone is always charging, so I had to constantly manually check it by turning on the screen. I played around in the settings and changed the font, etc. I really wanted to like this ROM, but for me, the SL works better.

    Reply
  • I’m a noob to Rooting,

    i just rooted my Evo and per the instructions above it was pretty easy.

    one question where can i find the theme used in the screen-shots above, that’s pretty slick….

    i would like my EvO to look like the one above, or at least the wall paper.

    Thanks

    Reply
  • I’ve been running VaelPak for about a week. I love it. Stable, good looking, fast, good battery, flexible indeed. The option to go get original sprint tools or kernels inside the custom app is brilliant. Definitely underrated as a ROM.

    Before VP I was running through the following, most recent to oldest
    CM7RC1,
    Myn Warm Z,
    MIUI 1.3.4,
    CM 6.12,
    Myn Warm 2.2,
    Fresh Evo 3.5,
    Stock.

    Loving VP. Only problem I’ve had is with ADB and Eclipse but that could be me and not the phone since I’m a newbie Dev.

    Can’t wait to add reports to XDA or VP forums so I can make this ROM even better.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Crippleb

    Just flashed and so far looks good. I was having a great time with (SL)until cell and wifi starting cutting out in areas where I have had no problems in the past. VP only locked up one time after a boot so far. Might be my new fav thanks for the article.

    Reply
  • Hey Elk & all just want to note you don’t -have- to use Launcher Pro with Vaelpak. I’ve been using GO Launcher for months now, and prefer it to LP and ADW both.

    It’s just more intuitive, to me. And while it was a little crashy in January or so, the GO Dev Tram are awesome and have steadily & rapidly improved it to the point that I have not had an issue with it, or had to restart it, in at least a month.

    Vaelpak is king, and GO launcher is its Queen. ;)

    Reply
  • Avatar of MasterRooter

    I appreciate this comment. +1 for you.

    Reply
  • just rooted my evo and installed vaelpak, love it so far. does anyone know though how to get that theme thats on the top? I love the icons and the clock.
    thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Screenshots with a font that looks like Comic Sans almost make me not want to use Vaelpak. There’s something wrong with someone who wants to see Comic Sans plastered all over their phone.

    Reply
  • Eli;
    Your home screen. Love it. Is that totally custom or can i load it from somewhere? Cutting my teeth a bit on this stuff. I’m rooted and installed Vaelpak. Love it. Thx
    K2

    Reply

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