This guide is for Windows users who don’t feel comfortable with Method #1.  It’s still really quite easy to follow as you’ll see…
Whilst these instructions will work, I’ll try to go into a bit more detail tomorrow and hopefully get a video tutorial up too.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for anything that may go wrong by you following these instructions.  Proceed at your own risk!

What You’ll Need

  1. unrEVOked3 for Windows – download

Preparation

  1. Uninstall HTC Sync if you have it installed
  2. Install the hboot driver using these instructions (it says Evo, but works for Desire) – when complete restart your phone
  3. Reinstall HTC Sync
  4. Double-click the reflash-bundle.exe file you just downloaded
  5. It will ask you where to install it, so just pick a location on your computer you can remember

Rooting

  1. Go to where you installed Unrevoked
  2. On your Desire go to Settings > Applications > Development and make sure you have USB Debugging turned on
  3. Connect your phone to computer via USB
  4. Run reflash
  5. Wait a couple of minutes whilst your phone is rooted
  6. If all goes well you’ll have a rooted phone

Final Word

Once rooted, you can install HTC Sync again.

At the end of this guide your phone should be rooted and you’ll be in recovery mode.  At this point you can restart your phone and continue using it normally, but with the bonus of having root permissions.
You’ll be able to run apps that need root permissions like ShootMe for screenshots, and Titanium Backup which lets you make a backup of all your apps and the app data (really suggest you do this if you’re going to install a custom ROM)

You can now move on to installing custom ROMS including the leaked version of Froyo if you like 🙂

UPDATES

  1. 17 July 2010 09:29: Added “Reinstall HTC Sync” step.  This will make sure the phone is always recognised and prevent it from being reported as “disconnected”.  Still need to uninstall so that you can install the hboot driver without interruptions.
  2. 21 July 2010 19:18: Added note that phone should be restarted after installing hboot drivers

This guide shows you how to root your Desire very easily. There’s two methods to root, I prefer this one.  You just download a Linux Live CD and use it to run UnrEVOked.  Don’t be put off by the word “Linux”, this tutorial’s really easy.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for anything that may go wrong by you following these instructions.  Proceed at your own risk!

What You’ll Need

  1. HTC Desire!
  2. blank CD
  3. computer with CD/DVD writer, and some software to burn with (if you don’t have burning software try ImgBURN)
  4. A Linux LiveCD (I used Slax)
  5. If you’re on a wireless network, then download Unrevoked for Linux from their site and copy it onto a USB stick (or your phones SD card)

The Guide

  1. Burn your Linux LiveCD to your blank CD using your burning software
  2. Keep the CD in the CD drive and restart your computer
  3. You should see Slax starting to load up – if not you may have to change your boot sequence so that the CD boots before your hard drive (guide)
  4. You’ll see a Slax start screen – select “Slax Graphic Mode (KDE)” then wait for Slax to load up
  5. Once you get to the Slax desktop, open Firefox using the icon in the taskbar at the bottom, and go to: http://unrevoked.com/.  Select the Desire, click “Unrevoked3” and select “Download for Linux”.  Choose the Save option when prompted by Firefox
    If you’re on a wireless network just copy the file from your USB drive or SD card to the Desktop.
  6. Extract the file you download (instructions below if you don’t know how)
  7. On your Desire go on Settings > Applications > Development and make sure “USB Debugging” is turned on
  8. Connect your phone to your USB cable
  9. Run Unrevoked (file’s called reflash) and wait a couple of minutes whilst it roots your phone
  10. When it returns the success message you know you’ve successfully rooted your phone!
    The video below shows the rooting process:

(Optional) Detailed Instructions on How To Extract the File You Downloaded

If you don’t know how to extract the UnrEVOked file downloaded from Firefox, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Slax desktop (close any open Windows)
  2. Double-click the Home icon on the Desktop -> go into Downloads
  3. Right-click reflash.tar.gz and select Preview in Archiver
  4. Right-click the file in the window that opens, and select “Extract”
  5. When it asks you to select a location, click the Folder icon next the text box (which says root) and select Downloads
  6. Press OK

Final Word

At the end of this guide your phone should be rooted and you’ll be in recovery mode.  At this point you can restart your phone and continue using it normally, but with the bonus of having root permissions.
You’ll be able to run apps that need root permissions like ShootMe for screenshots, and Titanium Backup which lets you make a backup of all your apps and the app data (really suggest you do this if you’re going to install a custom ROM)

You can now move on to installing custom ROMS including the leaked version of Froyo if you like 🙂

Yesterday I posted how to root your HTC Desire, which was the first method made available by Paul @ Modaco.  Today he’s created a new method which is much easier.

Note:

  1. I take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong. You do this at your own risk
  2. This method will wipe your phone completely – so backup everything using either SMS Backup Restore/ Call Log Backup Restore / MyBackup Pro / Sprite Backup or any other backup apps available in the market
  3. You need a microSD card to create a goldcard as per the instructions.  At the end of it you won’t be able to use that SD card as a normal memory card.  Don’t use your primary SD card, use a spare, smaller card – even 1GB should suffice
  4. Any problems either post here, in the original Modaco thread (linked above)

Skip to the rooting method

Read this whole topic – it contains a ton of useful information as well as the instructions and downloads!


Remember that if you use this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk!

Welcome to my guide on how to root the HTC Desire!

Compatibility

This guide will allow you to root your HTC Desire, provided it has a bootloader version of 0.75 or below. To check this, turn off your device, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ key held. On the second line in green text you will see HBOOT- and then a number. Provided this is 0.75 or below, this guide should work for you.

O2 Germany devices are currently shipping with a 0.80 bootloader, and as such cannot be rooted using this guide at this time.

Desire rooting protection

Back in the early days of Android, rooting was easy. You had several options – you could flash stuff via the bootloader, you could flash an engineering bootloader, you could use kernel exploits – there were many ways of getting the low level access to your device that – in fairness – I think we as paying customers are entitled to. As time has progressed however, the manufacturers have made things harder and harder. The Desire is not a straightforward phone to root, for many reasons, including…

  • a ‘perfected bootloader’ that doesn’t allow flashing or booting of any images (even HTC signed ones)
  • a RUU flash process that does not allow downgrading of the bootloader to earlier versions
  • a kernel (that as yet does not have publicly available source) that as yet has no known exploits
  • a new protection method previously seen on the HTC Tattoo that protects key partitions from having write access. Even with SU access, it is not possible to write to the boot, recovery or system partitions.

In reality, the options for rooting a device this secure are limited. Even if a kernel exploit were found, the key partitions would still be unwritable, rendering su access useless. This was circumvented on the Tattoo very cleverly, using a specific memory address from a confidential Qualcomm datasheet, however this information is not yet available for the Snapdragon chipset used in the Desire (and indeed may never enter the public domain).

And so the root process becomes a process of methodically probing every possible point of exposure on the device, looking for the slightest chink in the armour. I found one and we’re putting it to good use! The downside is that it’s not as easy or as pretty as rooting a device that is actually DESIGNED to be accessible at the lowest level, such as the Nexus One.

Shame on you HTC for going to such unnecessary lengths (but that’s another story for another day).

What this root process provides and does not provide

The root process will…

  • flash your device with a new, generic 1.15.405.4 based ROM that has Superuser access
  • show you how to enter the recovery image in future, allowing you to flash update zips

The root process will NOT…

  • enable you to flash your device with a custom recovery image that can be launched easily by just holding down the volume down button when powering on
  • enable you to have write access to the /system partition in normal use of the device

Both of these limitations are being worked on of course.

Pre-requisites

In order to complete this guide, you need the following…

  • a HTC Desire
  • a PC
  • a microUSB cable
  • a microSD card (to be made into a ‘goldcard’)
  • the downloads below
  • balls of steel (actually, I just made that up)
Download

To be ready for the guide, download the following items…

  • the ISO image – DOWNLOAD / MIRRORS COMING SOON MD5: 854bdbb3c5898b15f92b5991204c9288

Once you have this on your machine, you’re ready to start!

The guide

Follow through these steps, one by one and at the end of it you’ll have a rooted Desire with the latest ROM.

Note: This process will wipe your device and there is currently no option to backup your device ROM before you start.

  • Make your microSD card into a goldcard by following these instructions (it’s a good idea to back up the contents of your card first!).
  • Unzip the file you downloaded to a directory, then open a command prompt / terminal window at that directory.
  • Turn off your HTC Desire, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ button held down. You’ll see ‘FASTBOOT’ written on the screen in a red box. Connect the phone to the computer.
  • In the terminal window, enter either (as appropriate, with no quotes)
    ‘step1-windows.bat’
    ‘./step1-mac.sh’
    ‘./step1-linux.sh’
  • When this step has completed, using the optical trackball, navigate to the ‘BOOTLOADER’ and then ‘RECOVERY’ option on the menu, using the volume buttons to move and the power button to select.
  • In the terminal window, enter either (as appropriate, with no quotes):
    ‘step2-windows.bat’
    ‘./step2-mac.sh’
    ‘./step2-linux.sh’
  • When this has completed, your device should be at the ‘recovery’ screen. Select the ‘wipe’ option, then select the option to apply an update zip from sdcard, and select ‘rootedupdate.zip’. This will take a little while, so go make a nice cup of tea. When the flash has finished, reboot, and you are DONE!

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the root process, post below, and we’ll do our best to help!

And finally!

If you wish to do so, you can express your appreciation by signing up to a MoDaCo Ad Free or MoDaCo Plus Account using PayPal or Google Checkout, as detailed in this post on MoDaCo
. As well as donating to support the work that goes into all the various MoDaCo activites, you get cool stuff like free software (there’s some great Android stuff coming too!), an ad free MoDaCo site and of course access to the MoDaCo Online Kitchen. All signups are very much appreciated.
Enjoy!

P

Thanks to ChainsDD for his excellent new Superuser Permissions update and Amon_RA for the recovery image I butchered here.

via Modaco.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: An easier guide is now available here!!!

The wait’s finally over, Paul OBrien over at Modaco has finally completed his guide on how to root the HTC Desire.  The instructions are available below.

Note:

  1. I take no responsibility for anything that might go wrong. You do this at your own risk
  2. This method will wipe your phone completely – so backup everything using either SMS Backup Restore/ Call Log Backup Restore / MyBackup Pro / Sprite Backup or any other backup apps available in the market
  3. You need a microSD card to create a goldcard as per the instructions.  At the end of it you won’t be able to use that SD card as a normal memory card.  Don’t use your primary SD card, use a spare, smaller card – even 1GB should suffice
  4. Any problems either post here, in the original Modaco thread (linked above)

Instructions – courtesy of [email protected]:

Read this whole topic – it contains a ton of useful information as well as the instructions and downloads!



Remember that if you use this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk!

Welcome to my guide on how to root the HTC Desire – this is a ‘first cut’ of the guide, and will be refined / improved as time progresses!

Compatibility

This guide will allow you to root your HTC Desire, provided it has a bootloader version of 0.75 or below. To check this, turn off your device, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ key held. On the second line in green text you will see HBOOT- and then a number. Provided this is 0.75 or below, this guide should work for you.

O2 Germany devices are currently shipping with a 0.80 bootloader, and as such cannot be rooted using this guide at this time.

Desire rooting protection< /b>

Back in the early days of Android, rooting was easy. You had several options – you could flash stuff via the bootloader, you could flash an engineering bootloader, you could use kernel exploits – there were many ways of getting the low level access to your device that – in fairness – I think we as paying customers are entitled to. As time has progressed however, the manufacturers have made things harder and harder. The Desire is not a straightforward phone to root, for many reasons, including…

  • a ‘perfected bootloader’ that doesn’t allow flashing or booting of any images (even HTC signed ones)
  • a RUU flash process that does not allow downgrading of the bootloader to earlier versions
  • a kernel (that as yet does not have publicly available source) that as yet has no known exploits
  • a new protection method previously seen on the HTC Tattoo that protects key partitions from having write access. Even with SU access, it is not possible to write to the boot, recovery or system partitions.

In reality, the options for rooting a device this secure are limited. Even if a kernel exploit were found, the key partitions would still be unwritable, rendering su access useless. This was circumvented on the Tattoo very cleverly, using a specific memory address from a confidential Qualcomm datasheet, however this information is not yet available for the Snapdragon chipset used in the Desire (and indeed may never enter the public domain).

And so the root process becomes a process of methodically probing every possible point of exposure on the device, looking for the slightest chink in the armour. I found one and we’re putting it to good use! The downside is that it’s not as easy or as pretty as rooting a device that is actually DESIGNED to be accessible at the lowest level, such as the Nexus One.

Shame on you HTC for going to such unnecessary lengths (but that’s another story for another day).

What this root process provides and does not provide

The root process will…

  • flash your device with a new, generic 1.15.405.4 based ROM that has Superuser access
  • show you how to enter the recovery image in future, allowing you to flash update zips

The root process will NOT…

  • enable you to flash your device with a custom recovery image that can be launched easily by just holding down the volume down button when powering on
  • enable you to have write access to the /system partition in normal use of the device

Both of these limitations are being worked on of course.

Pre-requisites

In order to complete this guide, you need the following…

  • a HTC Desire
  • a Windows machine (sorry, I am trying to remove dependencies on specific OS’)
  • a Linux (a liveCD should do) or OSX machine (sorry, I am trying to remove dependencies on specific OS’)
  • a microUSB cable
  • a microSD card (to be made into a ‘goldcard’)
  • the downloads below
  • balls of steel (actually, I just made that up)

Downloads

To be ready for the guide, download the following items…

  • the ‘test ruu’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR – MD5: f1981b26b90b97aea395d2b30909a23f
  • the ‘push files’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR– MD5: 9ee301b702078dd1842bd1c67e552f6e
  • the ‘rooted update’ – DOWNLOAD / MIRROR – MD5: 44f2614452ddf777cab9115e2174a91a

Once you have those on your machine, you’re ready to start!

The guide

Follow through these steps, one by one and at the end of it you’ll have a rooted Desire with the latest ROM.

Note: This process will wipe your device and there is currently no option to backup your device ROM before you start

  • Make your microSD card into a goldcard by following these instructions (it’s a good idea to back up the contents of your card first!)
  • Copy the ‘rooted update’ you downloaded above to the root of your SD card, before replacing it into your device.
  • Turn off your HTC desire, then turn it back on with the ‘back’ button held down. You’ll see ‘FASTBOOT’ written on the screen in a red box.
  • Connect the phone to your computer, then run the ‘test ruu’ that you downloaded above (it may take a short while to start). Let the update complete and turn your device off as soon as it reaches the configuration wizard. If you need USB drivers, you can find them as part of the HTC Sync install.
  • Your device should now be off. Unplug the device from your computer. Turn it on again while holding down the ‘volume down’ button this time. The screen will look similar to before, but will say ‘HBOOT’ instead of ‘FASTBOOT’. Use the volume buttons and the power button to select the ‘RECOVERY’ option. You should then see a screen with a red triangle – at this point, plug it into your Linux or OSX computer.
  • Now you need to unzip the ‘push files’ zip that you downloaded above. When you have done so, you’ll see a file called ‘recovery-linux.sh’ or ‘recovery-mac.sh’. Run the one appropriate to your operating system and the screen of your device should change to display the green recovery image menu.
  • In the recovery image (moving around using the optical trackball), select ‘Wipe -> Wipe data /factory reset’ then ‘Flash zip from sdcard’ and choose the rooted update. Confirm with the trackball and the update process will begin. It’ll take a little while, so go make a nice cup of tea.
  • When the flash has finished, reboot, and you are DONE!

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the root process, post below, and we’ll do our best to help!

And finally!

If you wish to do so, you can express your appreciation by signing up to a MoDaCo Ad Free or MoDaCo Plus Account using PayPal or Google Checkout, as detailed in this post on MoDaCo.
As well as donating to support the work that goes into all the various MoDaCo activites, you get cool stuff like free software (there’s some great Android stuff coming too!), an ad free MoDaCo site and of course access to the MoDaCo Online Kitchen. All signups are very much appreciated.

Enjoy!

P

Thanks to ChainsDD for his excellent new Superuser Permissions update!

via Modaco

The final update for rooting the Desire (except the actual release).  Paul O’Brien has just posted saying:

Guide written, files uploaded, testing now…

Hopefully within the next hour or so we’ll have the full root procedure.  If the official instructions are not suitable for beginners I’ll do my best to write up something that (almost) everyone can use.