How to fix data roaming in the buggy EVO 4G LTE 4.3 update

Data Roaming dead after Android 4.3 updateSo you followed the link to the HTC EVO 4G LTE Android 4.3 update the HTC VP posted, and installed the incredibly buggy Android 4.3 RUU update for the HTC EVO 4G LTE. If your phone survived, you’re now left with HBOOT 2.10 (which you can’t S-OFF), WiFi that works or doesn’t at its whim, an airplane widget that doesn’t work, phantom icons, and absolutely no data roaming if you need it.

Yup, that’s right – the base ROM that HTC released and subsequently yanked can’t roam for anything except voice, which means if you’re out of Sprint’s coverage area, you’re out of luck if you rely on anything that needs data.

Since your warranty was voided by installing software they released, HTC isn’t particularly helpful in fixing these issues and, according to some of our readers, HTC has even berated some consumers for not understanding the risks of upgrading to software that the HTC VP announced. In short, it doesn’t look like a better Android 4.3 update is getting here for a few more weeks at least, or HTC might have even abandoned it.

HTC is being its usual tight-lipped corporate self when, once again, it disappoints and fails a third time to make its deadline. It makes you wonder if these shoddy videos leaks of the New HTC One are leaks, or an attempt to say “squirrel!” and distract the customer.

For those stuck on a ROM HTC released to the general public and now left with no support who need data roaming, here are the steps required to get it working again. I’m going to point out these are not easy, and you have to learn a lot more than you probably want just to get your phone working again.

Step 1: Get root.

You’re going to need root. Sorry, there’s no fix for this otherwise unless you want to wait more for HTC to fix the mess. However, you’ve already jumped through a lot of hoops.

So,, unlock your bootloader at HTCDev, HTC’s official portal for developers and people who want root access. There are automatic programs to do this; I can’t tell you if they work currently, but hopefully one of our readers can.

Warning: Unlocking your bootloader will wipe your phone, so kiss your data goodbye unless you’ve backed it up.

After the bootloader is unlocked, you’ll need to flash a custom recovery such as the modified TWRP that’s required to work with the new partition layout, or Philz Touch CWM for the HTC EVO 4G LTE. After flashing the recovery you’re going to need to flash a superuser binary.

At this point, you’ve probably invested about an hour in the above steps if nothing went wrong and you haven’t done this before.

Step 1.5: Make a nandroid backup.

If any of the following steps mess up, spending 10 minutes or so here to make a nandroid backup will restore your phone back to the state it was before you go any further. You can see the basics of making one here. While that’s an old article, the basics are the same.

Step 1.7: Set the phone up as much as is required.

You’re going to need to install some software from Google Play, get the phone to the point where it can recognize your Google account.

Step 2: Install a terminal emulator.

You’ve got root now, and you’re going to need to be able to do something with that. There are two ways to get commands into your phone, ADB and a terminal emulator. If you’re not familiar with ADB, I recommend going the terminal emulator route.

I use Android Terminal Emulator, but you can use whatever you want. I believe I use this because it’s the first thing that comes up when you search, I’ve used others, and there’s not much difference for what I do.

Step 3: Download the roaming patched configuration file

A developer by the handle Captain_Throwback posted a configuration file that changes two items from “false” to “true” – these two items are the variables “allow_national_roaming” and “supportNationalRoaming”.

Download the default.txt from the link above, and save it somewhere on your EVO 4G LTE that you’re going to remember. I saved mine into the root of the SD card for ease of use.

Step 4: Swap out the buggy config with the patch.

Open up your terminal emulator. I’ll be making the assumption here that you’ve placed the file in the root of the internal sd card.

You first have to make your /system partition read/writable. The steps to do this are as follow:

  1. Type “su” without the quotes and press enter/submit command/whatever your terminal emulator calls it. This requests superuser access. You should get a popup asking if that’s ok. It is.
  2. Type “mount -0 rw,remount /system” – this remounts the system partition from read only to read/write.
  3. Type “cd /system/customize/ACC/” – you have to capitalize the ACC or it won’t find the directory. This command changes the directory you’re in to be the same as the buggy config file is in. Relax, you haven’t done anything yet. Now we’re going to make a backup of the buggy config file on the off chance the one you just downloaded was corrupt or you do something wrong.
  4. Type “cp default.xml default.goodone” – this simply makes a copy in the same directory of the config file in case something goes horribly wrong we can recover it in recovery without having to restore the backup from earlier.
  5. Type “cp /sdcard/default.txt default.xml” – this copies the file in your sdcard and renames it to default.xml overwriting the previously bad config file.

Step 5: Cross fingers, reboot, roam.

Reboot the device, and you should now have roaming abilities again.

If you want, you can un-root the phone, lock the bootloader, and proceed as a non-rooted user for the rest of your EVO 4G LTE days.

Wrap-up

It’s a shame that HTC doesn’t bother to test these things with the root crowd before public release. It was known and posted about in the forums that it didn’t work with roaming and had significant other bugs, but they pushed for their deadline and released another buggy product, backpedaled and said they had not released it, and in the end just made a total mess that requires you to spend hours fixing their screw ups.

A patch could be issued for their buggy ROM that would fix this, but my guess is they’ll spend another month or two and re-release the RUU which will once again wipe your phone. We’ll just wait and see

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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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16 thoughts on “How to fix data roaming in the buggy EVO 4G LTE 4.3 update

  • Avatar of Samson
    March 6, 2014 at 9:39 am
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    I don’t think I’ve ever been so eager to upgrade and switch carriers. Usually it’s because I’m excited to get a new device, but now, it’s because I can’t wait to drop HTC and sprint. XD

    Reply
  • Avatar of Rell
    March 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm
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    I think I’m one of the few lucky ones who ran the update and had zero issues everything works better now than b4 i updated and battery last longer too. Feel bad for those who didn’t have a great outcome after updating however….HTC and samsung have their issues but I guess samsung is the lesser of two evils for now.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Jason
    March 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm
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    I’m with Rell; I updated, and the phone is much better after. No issues – just noticeably smoother and faster.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      March 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm
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      Any phone when wiped clean runs fast and smooth, just like your phone did when you first got it.

      Try data roaming
      Try tethering
      try transferring a couple gigs over wifi
      Try using the airplane widget
      Going into dock mode
      Check out multitasking when you’ve got persistent apps like Tasker and Twilight running in the background being killed off by an overly aggressive task manager and respawning over and over again only to drain the battery in five hours.
      Etc.

      Should you not do any of that, you’re probably not going to run into the stack of bugs they shipped and immediately realized were problematic enough to yank.

      The benchmarks seem to show the update is slower than the stock EVO 4G LTE ROm that was originally shipped, and after running it for a couple of weeks and putting my stuff back on it it’s significantly slower than the previous versions were.

      Reply
      • Avatar of zeppfloyd
        March 7, 2014 at 3:23 am
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        i must be really lucky then because i tried the data roaming , tethering , airplane and wifi transfer ..no issues to report update seems to work for me. previously unrooted from original stock. i like that HTC did not give up and at least made an attempt to send out an update even though OTA is not possible. ..and thus far works.

        Reply
        • Avatar of Paul E King
          March 7, 2014 at 5:54 am
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          exactly how did you try the WiFi transfer? How many gigs did you move, and what connection were you connected to?

          I’m pretty surprised at the data roaming as with the config set to false the OS doesn’t roam. Can you provide a copy of the default.xml lines that are showing that it’s set to true?

          Airplane mode works, but airplane widget is what the issue is.

          And finally what way are you tethering? Native/sprint/$35 a month or something else?

          Reply
          • Avatar of zeppfloyd
            March 7, 2014 at 6:32 am
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            Tethering sprint native I guess , and I guess I’m what you call a “noob” I don’t know what a default xml file is or how to get to it , I just use the phone , never rooted don’t know how, sorry I couldn’t help . But everything does seem to work at least for now .

          • Avatar of Rell
            March 8, 2014 at 7:46 am
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            Yeah tried all the above except wifi transfer. Airplane widget works normally, i data roam daily on the nyc subway on verizon and still can surf net at the slowest speed ever (1x), i tether fine and everything and funny thing is i never whiped before flashing rom. Guess I’m one of the lucky few. The update made me want to keep my lte even longer!

  • Avatar of steve gaudreau
    March 7, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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    And I have the room but held off on updating to 4.3, I’m just not that savy with this type of thing. I am pissed off though. How does a VP of a company like HTC drop an update on eager consumers knowing that it is garbage and still keep his job? I love all the the 3 evos that I have had and the One disappointed me. The One Max looked promising but I’m timid about another HTC product. I like the Note 3 but I’m invested in HTC with the media link. That is pretty slick on my hdtv. I don’t have dnla on the TV so I’m kinda screwed by sticking with the EVO. I like it so I’m not complaining there. I’ll wait for their next phone but…….. I’m Damn pissed off at HTC for their own dumb assed choices, and they were kicking iPhone ass!!

    Reply
  • Avatar of steve gaudreau
    March 7, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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    And I have the rom but held off on updating to 4.3, I’m just not that savy with this type of thing. I am pissed off though. How does a VP of a company like HTC drop an update on eager consumers knowing that it is garbage and still keep his job? I love all the the 3 evos that I have had and the One disappointed me. The One Max looked promising but I’m timid about another HTC product. I like the Note 3 but I’m invested in HTC with the media link. That is pretty slick on my hdtv. I don’t have dnla on the TV so I’m kinda screwed by sticking with the EVO. I like it so I’m not complaining there. I’ll wait for their next phone but…….. I’m Damn pissed off at HTC for their own dumb assed choices, and they were kicking iPhone ass!!

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      March 8, 2014 at 5:04 am
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      HTC’s close to becoming #4 in the US – if Huawei enters the market under their own brand I’d probably get an Ascend Mate 2 as my next phone… that thing looked EVO worthy

      Reply
  • Avatar of me
    March 9, 2014 at 8:54 am
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    Hmm, mine is giving me an invalid mount error.

    Is that a number zero or a capitol letter “O”

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      March 11, 2014 at 6:01 am
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      not at a computer at the moment, should be the lowercase letter.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Robert
    March 11, 2014 at 5:39 am
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    Should I be freshly wiped for this or can I just copy over anytime after the install? I find myself with data issues at times. I will have full or at least partial connectivity but my data will not be there.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Paul E King
      March 11, 2014 at 6:02 am
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      Can do this any time post install. Just copy it, reboot, data roaming should work again.

      Reply

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