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How to gain S-OFF and then root the latest Gingerbread OTA for HTC EVO 4G


The day has finally come! Remember when we all thought the latest Gingerbread OTA for the HTC EVO 4G would never gain S-OFF?

No S-OFF meant no custom recoveries. No custom recoveries meant no custom ROMs. No custom ROMs, no root, no overclock kernels, no themes . . . no FUN!

That all changes today. As we mentioned hours ago, the HTC EVO 4G was granted S-OFF via Revolutionary, the same tool that has rooted the EVO 3D as well as the EVO View. Now that we can add the EVO 4G to this list, all EVO users can rejoice in rooted harmony!

But enough chitter chatter. Let's root the damn EVO!

First, you are going to need to grab the HTC drivers. This will help your PC (yes, this tutorial is for Windows – sorry, Mac users) communicate with your OG EVO. At this point, it is also a good idea to turn off or uninstall programs like doubleTwist and HTC Sync that like to "talk" to your EVO.

You may also want to grab your serial number now. Just pop off the back cover and lift up your battery. On the bottom of the barcodes you will see: "S/N: HT…" This will be needed later to create your beta key.

Now, head over to Revolutionary's website. Toward the bottom there's a link to download the Windows (and also the Linux) tool. This will be a .zip file.


You will notice a blue box pop up (above) that you will need later to complete the S-OFF process, so leave it open.

Back on your OG EVO, go to Settings >Applications > Development > USB Debugging. Then connect the phone to your PC.


Unzip the S-OFF tool you got from Revolutionary's website on your computer. Then run the tool: revolutionary.exe (never hurts to run files like these "as administrator"). 


This is the screen that will greet you and where you need to provide your beta key. To get it, go back to the Revolutionary webpage you left open. Enter in all of this information (include your full serial number, of course):


The webpage will then give you a beta key.


It is very important how you enter the beta key into Revolutionary! You must select the text of your beta key and hit Control+C (or right-click > Copy). Then, you must paste the beta key (right-click on icon in upper-left corner) into Command Prompt. Typing in my beta key manually caused Revolutionary to stop.

After using the correct method, Revolutionary will grant your OG EVO S-OFF (this process took about two minutes for me). 


Revolutionary will eventually give you the message: "SUCCESS – Life gave us lemons, we didn't make lemonade!" Then the program will ask you if you would like to install a custom recovery; make sure you say yes. 

At the end, the program on your PC will quit and your OG EVO will be in Fastboot. Congratulations, your OG EVO now has S-OFF, but it is still running a stock unrooted ROM. Let's fix that!

Hit the power button (you want to go to BOOTLOADER, which is selected by default). Once in BOOTLOADER, go down one option to RECOVERY and select that(via another power button press):

Now, go back to your PC and choose your fate.

  • You could go the easy route and just install SuperUser onto your stock ROM and be off and running in the rooted world.
  • Another option is to download a stock rooted ROM (this one was compiled by drmacinyasha). This will leave everything in the ROM stock, except it includes SuperUser (and the one I linked to has the Wireless-N bug fixed as well).
  • Or you can download any other custom ROM that is available. You can move these to your EVO before Revolutionary begins or in the custom recovery by going to mounts and storages > mount USB storage. 

Whatever you choose, you are going to need to make a Nandroid backup. While in recovery, go to backup and restore > backup. The process will begin immediately. If you are switching ROMs, be sure to check out our write up about how to properly make the transfer

Now you can finally make your decision. Regardless, you will be flashing a .zip file. Note that if you are installing a custom ROM, you should be wiping properly! In recovery, go to wipe data/factory reset and wipe cache partition before installing ROMs. 

< p>Whichever option you chose, you are now rooted!

At this poknt, you can go grab the Amon Ra Recovery if you want to. This is flashed by putting the file on the root of your SD card and going to the bootloader (by booting up via volume down + power button). Nandroid backups from one recovery do not work with another. It's important to remember this because Revolutionary comes with ClockworkMod by default.


All in all, the process of getting S-OFF and then flashing back to the ROM I was using before was really easy! I have to give a big thanks to unrEVOked and AlphaRev for their hard work and dedication (and a shoutout to anybody else that made this method possible).

Be sure to post any findings in the comments. And, oh yeah, welcome to the root family!

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Sam Sarsten

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

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