Update your S-OFF HTC EVO 4G LTE to Sense 5 Android 4.3

Sense 5 Android 4.3I’d mentioned before that the new Sense 5 Android 4.3 update of Captain_Throwback’s that’s recently been released is a bit more of a jump through hoops than the usual, so I sat down tonight and got it done and here are the steps that I took which may work for you and alternately may not.

I will stress that you should read the development thread directions in addition to anything I write here. This is my simple method and some issues I ran into.

First off, back up your internal SD contents, this is one of the few installs of a ROM that will destroy it. The camera app sometimes saves to /sdcard/dcim, so make sure you make sure your photos are safe. The external SD card will not be touched.

Make a nandroid and final backup with Titanium. The nandroid will be useless as you can’t go back to old ROMs once you have the new firmware installed, the developers will need to update their ROMs for the new partition layout.

Also, be aware when you come back your Titanium Backup labels will be gone unless you save them somehow. My guess is they’re stored in /SDCard/TitaniumBackup. My data was fine, labels were shot.

Next, download the files listed as:

Verify using WinRAR, PKZip, whatever your zip testing tool of choice is that all of these files are valid. Don’t skip this step, I got a bad download of the firmware the first time around, that could have been disastrous.

Copy all of these to the root of your external SD card. Just for giggles, test them again once they’re on the external SD card. I had my copy stall out for some reason, so I was extra paranoid.

Rename the PJ75IMG+recovery090214.zip file to PJ75IMG.zip. If you don’t see the zip extension, don’t put it there. If you don’t know what’s going on with seeing the extension or not, it’s your operating system and how it’s set to display known file extensions.

Get into the bootloader (power off phone, power on + vol down) and it should find and updated PJ75IMG and ask you if you want to update it. Choosing yes will forever put you in a new partition state, so only go ahead if you’re ready, no turning back at this point.

The phone will reboot the bootloader once during the update, you’ll see two options 6 & 7 that will say something that it was bypassed, ignore those. After the update is complete the phone will reboot and freeze at the HTC white screen.

At this point, pop the back off the EVO 4G LTE, pop the SD card out, press and hold the power button until the phone shuts off, press and hold the power button plus volume down to get into recovery. Welcome to your new recovery, it looks exactly like your old recovery.

Put the SD card back into the phone and wait for a few seconds. I went into Mounts, selected external SD, and mounted USB storage and deleted the PJ75IMG off of the external SD card so I wouldn’t get stuck having to yank the SD card when I needed recovery.

After that, flash the Sense update zip, flash the SuperSU flashable, reboot the phone.

Walk away for a bit, it’s going to hang at the HTC screen for a good four to six minutes. I’m not exactly sure how long it was, but when I had given up hope I noticed the screen dim, the lights change, and suddenly I was booting.

Initial boot is also very long, subsequent boots are pretty quick.

After it was installed, the only issue I seemed to have was Titanium Backup didn’t want to see the ext_sd but searching the whole device for backups seemed to locate them fine. Titanium also lost all of my labels, so restore time was significantly longer than average.

I haven’t gotten a chance to test the radios out too much, but the Sense 5 seems to run slightly slower than Yankee’s Sense 5 offerings. Then again, this is also a pre-release stock kernel, and I was running Dirty MAC on that version.

Anyway, if you’re still on the fence for Sense 5, it should be out sometime soon, but judging by what I’ve read the official development version still has some bugs.

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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

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14 thoughts on “Update your S-OFF HTC EVO 4G LTE to Sense 5 Android 4.3

  • Avatar of derrick bishop
    February 12, 2014 at 4:53 am
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    I check every now and then to see any if there is at all news on the evo update from Sprint. Bought my girl the evo I have the one. Should be right around the corner.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      February 12, 2014 at 7:57 am
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      Was reading some stuff from the beta testers, looks like it’s close, but a little further away than it should be… then again I was reading this at 4am so I may have been reading a week or so back ;(

      Reply
  • Avatar of me
    February 12, 2014 at 7:16 am
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    If I flash this rom will it affect taking the official update in a any way?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      February 12, 2014 at 7:58 am
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      It could. No guarantee that the partition layout will be the same from this one to the official. It’s probable that it will be, but this is early release stuff.

      If it does, I’m sure there’ll be a thread on how to fix the partitions or downgrade the firmware… being S-OFF makes these things a bit easier…

      Reply
  • Avatar of LockeCJ
    February 12, 2014 at 8:10 am
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    Are there any details on exactly how the partition layout changed? Is it expected that this will also happen with the official release?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      February 12, 2014 at 8:38 am
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      There’s a partition map in Captain_Throwback’s thread, third post I think… may also be on the link on two of the three components up top.

      What they’ve done is move a bunch of stuff into more standard Android locations, beyond that I can’t comment too much – been awake too long to make much sense of anything about new mountpoints / block sizes.

      It will most likely be updated like this as this is the EVO 4G LTE firmware update, not a port, not that they can really port firmware. This is also from the beta / whatever you want to call it that is being worked on now to finish the bugs. Throwback’s thread has a lot of data there if you want to peruse it.

      Reply
      • Avatar of LockeCJ
        February 12, 2014 at 10:33 am
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        Based on the screenshot in that thread, it looks like it changes from the (dumb) 6GB App Storage and 10GB Phone Storage (acting like sd0) to a single 16GB Phone storage partition. That looks like it would resolve my most frequent complaint about this phone, which is that I’m always running out of app space (having to shuffle things around just to get updates sometimes) and that most applications that want to write to the SD card are completely ignoring the 32GB card I’ve got in my phone. I’ve been on the fence for awhile about flashing an alternative rom like PA or CM for a while, in part because I never saw any evidence that they resolved this. Do they, in your experience? Or would I be better served to wait for the official update, get the benefits of the improved partition layout, and then ditch sense?

        Reply
        • Avatar of Paul E King
          February 12, 2014 at 11:01 am
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          According to Titanium: System Rom: 2.24 GB (1.05 gb free)
          Internal+Media: 12.4gb (10.6gb free)

          I however have installed a bunch of stuff.

          Unless I’m missing something I believe that means the app storage is now reasonable…

          Got to run, comment on other stuff in a few

          Reply
  • Avatar of gomfam
    February 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm
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    Great job Paul, good description and yes, it looks like the phone has more storage.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Lacedaemon
    February 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm
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    With all the makeshift 4.1 and 4.2 Sense 5 ROMs, at first I thought this was one of those.

    I wish the fact that it was based off an official RUU would have been mentioned a little sooner, I would have have made no delay to switch to this…

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      February 17, 2014 at 8:47 am
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      It’s not based on an official RUU. It’s a prerelease beta for a ROM that will somewhat resemble the RUU when it’s finally done.

      Beta software from HTC, which will probably be shipped to Sprint to put their branding in, then RUUed.

      So not official, sometime soon it will be

      Reply
      • Avatar of Captain_Throwback
        February 17, 2014 at 11:34 am
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        To be fair, while this is considered a “trial” release, it was distributed by HTC in the form of an RUU. While it’s possible this doesn’t represent the final version, it is still from an official RUU.

        Reply
      • Avatar of Lacedaemon
        February 17, 2014 at 11:36 pm
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        All I care is that it’s at least close to official, beta or not, and not “makeshift” as previously stated. :P

        The radio that came with this release fixed my constant data dropping!!! I don’t have to go into Airplane Mode anymore to cycle the radio on/off to get data…

        Reply

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