State of the HTC EVO root world: January 2013
It’s been four months since our last State of Root, and in that time quite a bit has changed in the HTC EVO root world. Every month, the internet becomes a dumping ground for more and more outdated, obsolete, and potentially damaging information about root methods and ROMs for the EVO line of phones – this isn’t done maliciously; it’s just easier to leave up old information than it is to go back and update things.
As of today – January 23, 2013 – everything you’ll find below should work. If several months have gone by and you’re reading this, a newer State of Root entry should be online, or on the way shortly. And if something below is wrong, please let me know and I’ll update it as quickly as possible.
My goal here is to provide the basics for the OG EVO 4G, the EVO 3D (and EVO V 4G), and the EVO 4G LTE. I can’t include every tool, method, or ROM, but my hope is to have a couple of ROMs that are decent, tools that currently work, and methods that should not cause problems. Please keep in mind that I’m dealing with the basics. If your favorite ROM, tool, or team has been overlooked, drop a note and feel free to use the comments section to point them out to me and other readers.
I do not own an EVO Shift, EVO View 4G, EVO V 4G, or EVO Design 4G. As such, I do not know if any of these these will work for those devices or be at all useful. You’re welcome to post a link to guides that work for them, and I’ll incorporate them in the main post.
It bears stressing here that as of January 2013, you can root, flash custom ROMs, and have most of the root experience on all EVO devices via unlocking the bootloader at HTCDev.com, and still get warranty repairs through most carriers. S-OFF is not required to root and flash most ROMs on a phone; however, on the EVO 3D, EVO 4G LTE, and EVO V 4G, you may have to jump through one more hoop to flash a kernel or have system settings stick.
CyanogenMod 9 and higher requires conditions that generally are found only in S-OFF devices for the EVO 3D, and several barriers to simple operations disappear when you gain S-OFF on the EVO 4G LTE. So S-OFF is once again a thing you might want to achieve now, while you still can.
Note: “Old” means a working method for phones that haven’t been updated, not a dead link.
An unlocked boot.img/bootloader is required to flash a custome recovery, which allows you to install custom ROMs and patches.
OG EVO 4G: Unrevoked (old) | Revolutionary (old) | HTCDev (new)
EVO 3D: Revolutionary (old) | HTCDev (new) | 1.5 S-OFF (complex/expert) | Unlimited.IO 1.5 S-OFF with the wire trick (advanced)
EVO V 4G: HTCDev | JuopunutBear S-OFF
EVO 4G LTE: HTCDev | RegawMOD (automatic) | Non-destructive local root (old) | DirtyRacun
A recovery is used to flash ROMs and .zips, create nandroid backups, restore nandroids, and so on. It’s called a recovery because it sits at a level of the phone where if everything else breaks, you can use it to recover the phone.
OG EVO 4G: Amon Ra | TeamWin | ClockworkMOD | SmelkusMOD
EVO 3D: TeamWIN | ClockworkMOD | Amon Ra | 4EXT
EVO V 4G: TeamWin | 4EXT
EVO 4G LTE: TeamWin
Why we root our phones
Why I rooted my phone (and why you might want to root yours too)
Superuser is required on NAND-unlocked phones to give root access to programs. You will generally be required, if rooting your own stock ROM, to flash a binary file from recovery, then install the superuser app from the market or an apk.
How to unroot
OG EVO 4G: Unroot (Unrevoked/Revolutionary)
EVO 3D: Unroot (Revolutionary) | Unroot (HTCDev/return to stock)
EVO V 4G: I do not have this, although locking and RUU should work
EVO 4G LTE: Unroot
Just in case you need to update or roll back.
OG EVO 4G: Caulkin’s thread
EVO 3D: Freeza’s radios
EVO V 4G: Radios for S-OFF
EVO 4G LTE: Captain Throwback’s
It’s worth noting that the links on the EVO V 4G do not work if clicked, but do work if cut and pasted as of 1/23/13.
ROM Update Utility
A ROM update utility (RUU) is an executable program that runs on your computer and connects to your phone and is used to restore the phone to stock, or upgrade radio or firmware. These generally only run on a PC or a virtual PC under Mac.
They are the easiest way to return your phone to stock, although your bootloader may require being locked before they will run.
EVO 4G/EVO 3D/EVO 4G LTE: G&E’s ADB basics
EVO 4G/EVO 3D/EVO 4G LTE: ADB/Fastboot mini toolkit
These change so fast and are useless so quickly, it’s not worth putting in a guide that will be up for three months.
Maintained or recently updated ROMs
There are, at my last count, over 80 ROMs in active development. I’m going to link to some recent ones here. If you want to advertise another ROM, just put it in the comments section with a link where to download it.
This is a link to recently reviewed ROMs
OG EVO 4G/EVO 3D: HTC Supertool
OG EVO 4G/EVO 3D: QPST | QPST/Diag drivers for Windows
EVO 4G LTE: RegawMOD Bootloader Customizer | RegawMOD rooter
Note: Posting comments or questions in any of these guides will only been seen by people reading the guide. In other words, if you’re looking for help, post in the forums.
OG EVO/EVO 3D/EVO LTE: Create a Nandroid backup
Create and use a Live-CD for use with several rooting methods
EVO 3D: Root with HBOOT 1.58
EVO 3D: Root with HBOOT 1.50
OG EVO 4G: Unroot your EVO 4G rooted with Unrevoked
EVO 3D: Unroot your EVO 3D rooted with Revolutionary
EVO 3D: Unroot your EVO 3D rooted with HTCDev
OG EVO 4G: Root with Revolutionary
OG EVO 4G: Root with HTCDev
OG EVO 4G/EVO 3D: Join the root world if you’re on a Mac (little dated; you’ll use the HTCdev method)
EVO 3D: Recover your ROM’s kernel from the install package (if you flashed a kernel and it’s bad)
EVO 3D: How to recover your bricked rooted EVO 4G or EVO 3D
EVO 3D: Flash from recovery mode EVO 3D 1.50 / S-ON
EVO 4G LTE: How to unlock/root and still keep your stuff
EVO 4G LTE: Clear your Wallet settings when Wallet is locked down
EVO 4G LTE: Update radios/firmware on S-ON devices without losing all your stuff
Other how-to guides
If we haven’t covered it here, here’s a link to someone who has
EVO V 4G: The Complete Newbies Guide to HTC EVO V 4G rooting/flashing
HTC EVO 4G LTE: video walkthrough rooting the EVO 4G LTE
What all these things mean
Glossary of commonly used phone terms
Good places to discuss and ask questions
TheRootofAllEVOXDA-Developers – make sure you read the forum rules as they get picky where things are posted
Did I miss something?
While I keep up with as much of the HTC EVO line as I can, lots of times something can get overlooked because development on the EVOs is so fast that a two-day-old ROM or tool looks ancient compared to the slew of new things out today. There are also now seven base EVOs out there on several carriers. I lose track.
If I missed something, or you think something needs to be added, expanded, or replaced, please drop a note in the comments. I’ll either update the State of Root, or readers will see that it’s been posted and is important to you. It’ll also be reflected going forward in the next State of Root.
Check out the rest of our Android coverage, including app reviews, Nexus news, and more at pocketables.com/android.