Oh, and because a few people have asked about what all the terms mean, I’ll try explain it all simply as well.
OK, so to Root the HTC Sensation we need to write a few new files (SuperUser executables) to the system area of the phone. The only people that are allowed to do that are HTC (and Google I suppose), and that’s protected by the use of a certificate that they sign the update with. Android uses ZIP files for updates, so it’s an unsigned ZIP we have to get installed (in our case su-18.104.22.168-efgh-signed).
We are also going to make our phones a little more safe to play with, we will put a custom version of the recovery partition onto the phone. That way if something untoward happens then we can recover a backup or install a new ROM to the device (more on that later).
Lets start then
Download the following
OK, so S-Off, it means just what you think it does, Security-Off. Essentially what we are doing is telling the phone that everyone is trusted to make changes to the System area of Android. To do this we need to change the HBoot over to one we can control. What’s a HBoot? yes, thought you might ask, think of the HBoot as the BIOS on a PC. It basically checks all the hardware is as it’s meant to be, then loads the first part of the Operating System, in this case Android. After we have switched it over from HTC’s default one, to our modified one, then we will be able to launch our own software. This allows us to run our own recovery tools, that allows unsigned code installs.
Right, lets get to changing the HBoot over then. For this we will use the well regarded and liked revolutionary
- Pop and download the tool, then fill in the form with the relevant information to get your code. (if you need to know what version of HBoot you are using then you need to switch off fastboot by going to settings, power, fastboot and making sure it’s unticked, then reboot the phone by long power, reboot. While it’s rebooting press and hold volume down until you see the White HBoot screen, the version is there)
- Download the HTC Driver above, and unpack it (you might not need it, but worth having if you haven’t installed HTC Sync, just point Windows at it if at any point it asks for a driver). Make sure HTC Sync is turned off (right click in the task tray, and exit)
- Pop the USB debugging on on the phone (settings, applications, development, USB Debugging)
- Run Revolution and it will reboot the phone into HBoot a few times, second time round you should see the word Revolutionary at the top, then will ask you to install ClockWork recovery, this is an older version that has issues, so say no, it should now say it’s complete.
Well done, your now S-Off. Simple hey. Let’s get Clockwork Recovery onto the device next.
- Copy the PGM58IMG.ZIP to the root of the phone SD Card (either use the SD card yourself, or plug the phone in and select USB Storage mode) make sure it’s in the root. And also make sure it’s called PG58IMG.ZIP.
- Power Down the phone, long press then power off.
- Hold the Down Volume button, then Power the phone back up. The white HBoot should come up on screen, then it should see the ZIP on the SD, and check it.
- Say Yes to the prompt when the check has completed (Volume up) and let it complete.
- When it say, press the power button to reboot the device.
OK then, we now have recovery installed. We are safe to do what we please now. We also now have a choice, install a complete new ROM, or just Root the ROM we have?
For new ROM’s pop over to XDA-Devs sensation dev forum, and choose yourself one.
However, some people are happier with sticking to HTC’s ROM’s. So we need to get that one Rooted.
- When Android is back up and running, plug device in and remove the PG58IMG.ZIP from the SD (or rename it)
- Copy the su-22.214.171.124-efgh-signed.zip onto the SD card.
- From market install Rom Manager to the device.
- Power the phone off, and hold Volume down while turning on again, in HBoot select Recovery using the volume keys, then press the power button.
- The device will look like it’s restarting, however it’s loading Clockwork Recovery. When in Clockwork select install ZIP from SDCard and press power.
- Select Choose Zip press power.
- Select the su-126.96.36.199-efgh-signed.zip file and press Power
- Goto the Yes Install option and press Power
- The SU binaries are now installed, and you are dropped back to the menu. Select go back, then reboot.
Device now is back in a secure state, and you have Root (perma-root) to the device. There should now be a new option in your App Drawer called Superuser, this can be used to manage apps.
Fire up Marketplace and download Superuser, this will overwrite the version we just installed (odd I know, not needed but allows for auto updating) with the latest version.
Fire up Rom Manager now, select the top option, and install the latest recovery (so it can be auto updated), select the Backup option, and make a backup. The device will reboot into Clockwork Recovery while tha backup is done. This means if anything bad should happen to your device, you can just recover (using the volume down+power, Recovery, Restore Backup), even if your device will not load Android.
NOTE – Custom Roms are installed the exact same way as we installed the SU binaries earlier. Just select the custom ROM ZIP instead.