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BootManager allows rooted HTC EVO 4G users to switch between five ROMS

Bootmanager I have been using Android for almost a year now. My HTC EVO 4G and I have been inseparable for almost five months. But, believe it or not, I have never purchased an app . . . until today.

BootManager is the long-awaited multi-boot solution for rooted OG EVO users. Yep, multi-boot. Not dual boot. Not Nandroid switching. This is the real deal.

BootManager keeps your favorite ROM installed on your phone for safe keeping. Then, you have up to four slots on your OG EVO's SD card that are used to load up custom ROMs. 

Not sure if you like Sense or AOSP? Always wanted to try out MIUI? What's all this hype about Synergy? Did they really make a Flyer port?

Any of these questions pop up in your head lately, but you didn't want to mess around with your OG EVO's current setup? I hear ya; it took me hours to rebuild my EVO after biting the bullet and updating to the stable version of Kushdeck's 2.3.4 Gingerbread ROM. Well, my rooted friends, you no longer have to worry.

Today, I'm not going to show you a cool lock screen replacement with a questionable method to unlock premium features. Nah, I'm going to show you how to easily switch between your favorite ROMs with BootManager.

First, you have to do the unthinkable: purchase an app from the Android Market! Just kidding.

It isn't that I don't like to support developers for their incredible dedication and hard work. No, I'm just poor! I'd rather wait for Amazon to make a neat game free than buy it. But BootManager is different.

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I sent the $2.99 to my Sprint bill and my OG EVO reluctantly booted up BootManager. I was at a screen with a "loading" circle for awhile. But the app started running and asked me to configure it with my phone. Since the HTC EVO 4G is officially supported, I was up and running in no time. This is an important step; it is setting up your "phone ROM" – the ROM saved to your internal memory that is muy importante.

Once the setup was complete, I was able to explore the main screen of BootManager. Obviously, my first task was to setup a ROM for slot 1 (although I ended up choosing slot 4). From my experiences, Sense ROMs take forever! And BootManager can hang during an install. My advice: stay in the BootManager app (don't switch to Facebook mid-install) and keep your EVO from locking during installs. 

On to the install.

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First, select the Install ROMs option from BootManager's menu. At this point, you will search your SD card for the ROM you want to install. For my first ROM, I chose the latest MIUI (1.7.22). After choosing your ROM of choice (with options to wipe if you are overwriting an old ROM), BootMangager will go through all the steps to install it to your SD card. A while later, your EVO will be nice and happy and will reboot. Finally, it will boot into the new ROM.

Multi-boot complete. 

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As you can see, I am now running MIUI and never touched Amon's Recovery. Be sure to remember to install gapps for your CyanogenMod-based ROMs! Also, make sure you go and download BootManager from the Android Market on your new ROM so you can easily boot back to your "phone ROM" or another "SD card ROM."

Now, go to the Boot Installed ROM option of BootManager's menu and select your "phone ROM" (i.e., your EVO's original setup). After a reboot, you are back to normal, free to go back to the newly installed ROM whenever you feel like it . . . no flashing required!!

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If you would like to install some more ROMs, simply repeat these steps as many times as necessary. 

"Wait Sam, you say this ROM is installed on my SD card. Will it be slower?"

Don't worry! I tested out MIUI for a bit and have to say the ROM felt good. I couldn't tell that the ROM was installed on the SD card. 

If you are running an "SD card ROM" and want to transfer files via a USB cable, simply use the new (blue) USB connection option. I'm not sure what will happen if you use the original option, but I can imagine that if your operating system is installed on the same medium you are attempting to write on, bad things will happen.

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A speed bump I hit several times was the app telling me that it was not licensed and I needed to go to the Market to pay for it (which I had obviously just done). BootManager's developers are simply trying to reduce piracy (i.e., you have to pay for this app). The check is done as the app starts up, so make sure you have an active internet connection when running it. Sometimes it may still give you this warning for no reason. Just keep opening it via the Market (I had to reinstall on MIUI to get BootManager to work), and it should be fine. The extra step is a small price to pay to finally have a multi-boot solution for our OG EVOs!

One more tip if things go wrong. At one point during my installation process, I tried to boot my phone up and it went straight to the bootloader (hello, skating Androids). It wouldn't boot into my phone! If this happens to you, don't panic. All you need to do is open Recovery (pretty self-explanatory). Then, go to flash a zip (or whatever, you know what to do – if not, check this out). Find the BootManager folder in the root of your SD card, then find the folder for the ROM you are trying to boot (probably "phone"). In that folder is a file named "update.zip" and that is what you want to flash. Select that .zip file and, after flashing and rebooting, your phone should be good as new!

One more word of advice: be patient. ROMs take a long time to flash and there may be hiccups. But trust me, the wait is well worth it. I can see this being one of the most popular apps for all rooted Android phones (not just the superior OG EVO) in no time. 

What are you waiting for? Save the $2.99 you would have spent on a latte and get BootManager from the Android Market now.

Bm

Links: Market (EVO) | Market (Web)

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Sam Sarsten

Sam Sarsten is a former contributing editor at Good and EVO, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

Avatar of Sam Sarsten

30 thoughts on “BootManager allows rooted HTC EVO 4G users to switch between five ROMS

  • so this looks great, as i was just going to venture into trying different ROMs this weekend. I have stock 4g, rooted with unrevoked. I basically understand the custom rom thing, but consider myself a rookie as of now.

    couple of questions
    1- is any data (messages, contacts, sms, etc etc) lost when switching roms like this ?

    2- do i need to do any kind of backups before switching or does this app do all that for me before i switch roms ?

    3- it sounds like i need to install bootmanager on every rom i set up, so i assume this change and any other changes made to the rom before i switch away are saved when switching ?

    4- what is the “blue USB connection option” and when would i need to use it ?

    thank you for the very timely review of a great looking product !

    Reply
  • Quick questions before I plunk down the dinero.

    I’m running a very stable ROM (VP GB 0.2.2) – I need to have this working and available at all times. I would really dig having this ability to try out other roms, but I need my existing rom to survive an install. Will installing this damage my currently running rom.

    2 Can I restore nandroids in selected-rom socket?

    3 Is the android_secure folder shared? If I install on ROM 1 does it see ROM 3’s programs, or do they all have their own separate android secure locations?

    4 if I set radio mode in ROM 1 and switch to ROM 2 does it carry over (always wondered if it was ROM or eeprom related)

    Reply
  • WHAT. THE. FUCK.
    Take my money.

    Reply
  • Avatar of dia mette

    All this sounds great but i cant even root my evo 4g, does anyone have any updates as to when unrooted evo 4g users using gb 2.3.3 can root. Its been 2 months since the update why is it taking so long.

    Reply
  • This is like Rom manager I have 4 ROMs I have saved,renamed,and can switch anytime and it will wipe caches,and restart the phone for you one touch

    Reply
  • As far as I know still no news. I think temp root has been achieved but not permanent or s off.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sam Sarsten

    I’ve used ROM Manager A LOT in the past. In my opinion, BootManager is an easier (and cheaper, compared to the premium version of ROM Manager) way to switch ROMs.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sam Sarsten

    No root option yet… but be patient. The root will come :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sam Sarsten

    1. Your current ROM is left alone. That’s why I have called it the “phone ROM.” It is separate from all the other ROMs you are trying out. I tried to install and reboot into MikG last night and I think I borked something in the last step… basically my phone wouldn’t boot past the “HTC EVO 4G” Screen (I always forget what that’s called… Bootscreen?). Anyway, I went into recovery and found the update.zip file in /BootManager/phone/ and my ass was saved (booted right into my default setup so I could reinstall MikG).

    2. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it. Which kinda stinks, but granted, the app came out on the 25th. I could see this feature coming in the future. You can make backups of ROMs ONCE THEY ARE INSTALLED (I’m assuming it is some form of a nandroid backup). Then you can restore those backups, but right now, no installing nandroids (to my knowledge).

    3. From what I understand (since I didn’t build the app), the android_secure folder would be on the SD card for the other four ROMs you have installed and the “phone ROM’s” android_secure folder would be left alone. (So they each have their own).

    4. I THINK the radios carry over, but I’m not 100% sure. Don’t hold me to that, but I think so.

    Let me know if there is anything else you need, Paul ;)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Sam Sarsten

    This sounds like it will be a good app for you!

    1. Unfortunately, no. Whenever you switch ROMs, there is the sad reality of data not transferring over. However, your contacts will always be synced (if they’re synced with Gmail). You can use something like Handcent to backup your texts to the cloud and restore whenever (many options for that). And you can use MyBackup Root to transfer over any app data (so you don’t have to start Angry Birds from the beginning).

    2. Nothing will be backed up (except for synced items: contacts, email, etc.). Look into MyBackup Root (it’s free in the Market and awesome). If you text like me, though, I would recommend a better system for backing up texts (it can be tedious to have to wait 15 minutes for your texts to restore… every time you switch ROMs).

    3. Your changes are saved. It is truly like having 5 ROMs installed at once – just the data isn’t synced between the ROMs (think Linux/Windows dual boot, if that helps).

    4. Okay, this will make more sense once you are using BootManager. But, if you are running a ROM from your SD card (i.e. not your main ROM aka the one you started with) then this option is necessary. You don’t want to bork your OS. You would use it any time you would like to transfer files to your phone (music, pics, ROMs, kernels, etc) via USB. When you normally plug-in, there is a USB connection option. DON’T USE THAT! Use the new blue one. Your life is now saved!

    Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Kommodore Heinz

    Anyone else having issues downloading the app from the market?

    It will not move past Authorizing Purchase. This has happened with both billing to account or CC. :(

    Reply
  • I don’t really see the point of this if you still have to re-install all your apps and you lose all your data each time you switch. This just seems like an “easy button” for nandroiding.

    Reply
  • Avatar of tartan1515

    Very interesting. Which method does BM use for wiping data/cache/dalvik?

    Reply
  • Is anyone else having trouble installing roms? I am currently using a Ext3 partition for my MikeG 2.41 rom which is on the phone. When I try to install another rom like Cyanogenmod, its asks me about using an Ext2 or Ext4 partition and no matter what I choose it ends up with and error asking me if I am sure that my rom uses these types of partitions. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • His answer is plainly wrong.

    If you use a program like Titanium Backup (found in the market) you can automate backups and restore everything back in terms of programs and their associated data.

    As far as contacts gmail does this automatically if you’re using gapps.

    As for backing up text messages. GO Messaging Pro is free and does an incredible job of AGAIN scheduling backups of all your text messages to your SD card.

    Reply
  • Interesting. It doesnt sound worth it to try to actually run and use different roms since it doesnt carry over data but sounds sweet for trying out various roms. Hopefully this will work with the E3D once we get perma-Root

    Reply
  • Thanks for this post :) I have a question though. How should I flash a kernel for one of my sd-card roms? Like right now, I installed MIUI, but the screen doesn’t wake up when I press the power button so I was thinking of flashing another kernel. I’m just not sure how to do it. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Avatar of ectcettera

    Mikandi huh? No shame. Haha. I would at least try to hide it in your screen shot

    Reply
  • Unrevoked is supposed to have an announcement today…

    Reply
  • Avatar of Eighty5iv

    i am having difficulty installing Synergy RC2 into one of the slots on Bootmanager. Seems like it isn’t signed like other Roms. Anyone know of away around this?

    Reply
  • The only rom I’ve gotten to install is CM7. All the sense based roms and MIUI have given me an error asking “Does this rom support Ext2?”

    Reply
  • (While in ROM that you would like to install kernal for) Install ROMs -> find the kernel .zip you want to flash -> Install kernel

    Or (from another ROM) Install ROMs -> find kernel -> select slot for ROM you want to install ROM for, but select “Wipe Cache.”

    Either way should work fine.

    Reply
  • I’m having the same issues. I’ve been updating the thread on Mik’s site. Even wiped SD card … and trying some other things. Hoping to get somewhere soon.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark Ryan

    This is not like Rom Manager. Both ROMS are already installed on your SD. The only thing that changes is which ROM boots up. It’s like having a multi-boot OS on your laptop. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about this..

    Reply
  • Avatar of tomkins

    It will not do the “Setup Phone Rom” I keep getting a message saying “Backup of your boot.img has failed. Please try again.”
    Any suggestions, thanks.

    Reply
  • The only bad thing about this is that each ROM takes about a Gig of SD card space. On an 8gb card, that is a LOT if you load even just the phone rom and 2 custom roms. This, I am NOT happy with :(

    Reply
  • I had that problem too. Try uninstalling/re-installing. Spit, rinse, repeat until it works :/

    Reply
  • “2. Can I restore nandroids in selected-rom socket?”

    Update:Yes

    “An option that was introduced in V2.0 was the ability to restore nandroid’s to your sd slots. To do this select the button Manage Installed ROMs from the main screen and then select Restore Nandroid to SD. You will then be brought to a list of all of the items on your sdcard. Browse to the location of the nandroid you wish to install and press it. You will then be shown a dialog asking if you want to restore the nandroid, select okay. Next you will be brought to a screen listing your four slots select the slot you wish to restore to and confirm. Then select the ext you wish to use and the process will begin to run as an install does. Once finished congrats you’ve just restored a nandroid to an sd slot.”

    Reply
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