AndroidGood and EVO

Make custom ROM checklists so you don’t end up stuck

2012 08 16 12.54.57 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I flash a lot of custom ROMs on my HTC EVOs, and I use my phone a lot for work. Until a recent vacation, I had managed to get by without much incident, but this week – being in an area with one bar of Sprint service and realizing I had no force-roam mod or ability to download it – and today needing the flashlight and realizing it was not in the ROM I was using – along with Bryan’s GPS woes of a few days ago, I thought I would put together a couple of checklists that might be of use to you.

Post-install

  • GPS – ensure the ROM can get a GPS lock.
  • Force roam mod – lest you be stuck dataless.
  • Flashlight/Torch application or a Quick Settings toggle.
  • WiFi – a lot of development ROMs just don’t work.
  • Camera – that once in a lifetime shot isn’t going to wait for you to download and install a different ROM that doesn’t have issues saving your picture.
  • Video recording and playback – many a ROM will do one, but not the other.
  • Barcode scanner – if the correct video drivers aren’t in the phone, your programs won’t be able to recognize objects in real time.
  • Chrome (or browser of choice) – just because everything else on the ROM looks like it’s working, doesn’t mean your favorite browser will.
  • Reasonable Quadrant score – while Quadrant scores do not a ROM make, extremely low scores can indicate that the ROM is bogged down with an errant application, an old kernel, or is just slow.
  • Ability to make a phone call – I’ve been lax of mentioning the number of custom kernels that have blocked my ability to hold a conversation due to crashing and rebooting the phone mid conversation, but this is something you do need to check.
  • Ability to get to recovery mode or shut off the phone – I had a ROM that refused to recognize that fastboot was disabled, nor would it go to recovery via the advanced power menu.

Pre-vacation

  • Download a different recently updated ROM – while very uncommon, there have been date issues in the past on ROMs that killed the ROM. A spare ROM by a different developer probably won’t have that issue
  • Make a nandroid backup – if you’re on vacation you probably just want a phone that works, so make a nandroid before you go and if something screws up it’s as simple as restoring
  • Check the coverage map of where you’re going – you might need to download a roam-only mod
  • Check that GPS still works – just because it worked on day one of install does not mean it will work on day fifty
  • Make sure your contacts are synced to Google – if your phone croaks and you get a replacement you’ll probably want those numbers

Vacation

  • Netflix/Hulu – it might rain.
  • Do not accept an OTA.
  • Do not flash a new ROM.
  • Do not update random apps.
  • Put the phone down and go enjoy your vacation.

Business travel

  • Ensure your tethering option is working – hotel WiFi is about as reliable as the weatherman.
  • Check that your calendar is actually syncing with your Exchange when you’re out of the office.
  • Check the coverage map of where you’re going – you may not have any signal whatsoever and need an IP telephony option like GrooveIP to make or receive phone calls.
  • Cache your favorite locations you plan to visit on Google Maps so you can locate them quickly, even if you have next to no data signal.

If you’ve got any more or I’m forgetting or wrong on something, drop a line in the comments!

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

Avatar of Paul E King

11 thoughts on “Make custom ROM checklists so you don’t end up stuck

  • Great article dude!! This will definitely come in handy for anyone going on vacation or even military folks going off on training or whatever :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of C.Jackson

    the rom issue with fastboot being disable and wouldn’t go into recovery, how did you go about fixing that issue? I can’t find the solution anywhere.

    Reply
    • Avatar of C.Jackson

      oh very helpful article btw, could have used this last month when i went to a wedding.

      Reply
    • Avatar of etnpnys

      Yank the battery. When you put it back in and turn it on, make sure you’re holding your 3 finger salute or whatever is needed to get you into recovery.

      Reply
      • Avatar of Paul E King

        if it’s a 4G lte you don’t have a battery to yank ;)

        Reply
        • Avatar of etnpnys

          Good call. Isn’t there a force reboot button combo or something? Like the HP TouchPad has: you hold volume up & the physical home button or something.

          Reply
          • Avatar of Paul E King

            force reboot *if* the kernel is working is up, down, power for 10 seconds. If the kernel’s locked, you either let it run down or you undo 6 screws and pull the physical battery.

    • Avatar of Paul E King

      I used a computer and flashed a new ROM/recovery using ADB

      Reply
  • Avatar of etnpnys

    Coming from a QA background, I give kudos to you for essentially writing a smoke test that should prevent a lot of heartache to those who flash ROMs. This very stuff should be smoke tested before a ROM even gets uploaded to a server.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tony Gross

    Great article, very handy and informative.

    Reply
  • Avatar of sane619

    great info, thanks!

    Reply

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