How to Flash HTC Android Devices: Custom and Stock Firmware

Unlike most other android devices, HTC has specific protocols that need be adhered to to ensure successful flashing operation of any HTC and...

Unlike most other android devices, HTC has specific protocols that need be adhered to to ensure successful flashing operation of any HTC android devices.
With that said, to flash any HTC android devices, there are stages you need to check before you proceed.

Here, I discuss how to flash any HTC android devices using stock firmware/RUU or Custom ROM. Either that the HTC android is bricked (soft) or not, you shall be able to revive your HTC following these guides.


Unlike the LG android devices that can be flashed using LG Flash tool or Samsung android devices that can be flashed using ODIN, HTC android devices do not currently have a particular software that does the flashing rather, they have RUU (ROM Update Utility) that are being used to flash every HTC android devices.
RUU which is also known as ROM Update Utility are Windows executable files that are being used to flash, upgrade, or downgrade HTC Android devices. RRUs are compiled in either .exe or .zip.
Both RUU formats can be used to flash HTC android devices using slightly similar but different methods.


There are few things that should be considered when flashing HTC android devices. Below here, I highlight 4 common factors that could make flashing HTC android devices almost impossible. 
1- S-On/S-Off: "S" in the "S-On, S-Off" denotes "Security or Secure" and it is usually refereed to as Secu-flag or Secure-flag.
If an HTC android device is S-On, it would be very difficult flashing it because most HTC android devices RUU(zip) available for download on the internet no longer have valid signature or, probably; they have had the signature smeared. Meanwhile, HTC Android devices with S-On will not accept any RUU except that it is signed by HTC or authenticated third-party.
On the other hand, HTC android devices with S-Off are quiet easy to flash because they accept any RUU, either signed or not.
S-On/S-Off is a security measure put on HTC android devices. This secure token checks to make sure that any img (image files) like recovery, kernel, radio and any other partitions of the HTC android to be loaded on any particular HTC android device are actually signed by HTC. This security measure is active only when the HTC android is S-On and becomes inactive if the phone is S-Off.
2- CID: CID, also known as Carrier Identification, is a particular code, usually, alphanumeric; that is assigned to each HTC android device made for particular network provider.
CID should be considered in determining the RUU to be used for flashing your HTC android device because you cannot use an RUU made for T-Mobile to flash HTC android that is made for ATT and vice versa except that the HTC android device is SuperCID.
An HTC android device that has SuperCID is one that has 11111111 or 99999999 (1 or 9 in X-8) as its CID. These kind of HTC android device can accept any RUU and can therefore be flashed using any RUU. Thus; ATT RUU can be used to flash HTC android device made for T-Mobile provided that they are the same model and that it's having SuperCID (11111111 or 99999999).

3- Bootloader: in android, bootloader is the first partition on which other android partitions are built. In MTK android, it is called Preloader.

4- Code Name/Model ID: in some cases, there could be little hardware differences in HTC of the same model made for different carriers.
As in the case of HTC One X, one is Envita (ATT Model) and another is Endeavour_ru (International model). They are the same model with the same look and feel but little hardware differences. Though they are the same model one's RUU cannot be used to flash the other.

Having ironed this out, I would proceed to explaining the step by step process of flashing HTC android device.


1- Confirm the Status of the Phone: before you set to flash HTC android device, check to confirm the followings;
 i- Confirm its CID Number: since you are using stock RUU method, check to confirm its CID number and then, proceed here or here to download specific RUU for that particular HTC phone.

You may also write a new SuperCID on the HTC phone following the guides here.
By that, you will be able to flash any RUU on the phone.
NOTE: Not all HTC android devices display CID on the HBoot/Bootloader screen however, you may identify all HTC android bootloader following the guides for writting SuperCID on HTC just above.

ii- Confirm it Code Name or Model ID: HTC android devices code name are usually written on the HBoot/Bootloader screen thus, when you boot the phone to HBoot.
The model ID are usually written behind the battery or at the back/tip of its body. Knowing the actual codename or model ID helps you identify the right ROM or RUU to be used for flashing the phone. 

2- Download its ROM/RUU: now that you have identified the particular HTC phone you are handling, you should now download the ROM/RUU you wish to flash on it.
You may download HTC android RUU from here or here.

3- Install HTC Android Drivers on your PC: as always, android drivers are always needed when an android device is to interact and communicate with Windows PC.
You may download HTC android drivers from here.
Once downloaded, simply install it on the PC by double-clicking the downloaded file.

4- Boot your HTC Android Device to Bootloader: to boot HTC android devices to bootloader, put off the phone, press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons together until a screen comes on. Then, tap the power button once.

Pronto! You are now in bootloader screen.
i- the first screen that comes on is HBoot mode.

ii- if the device turns ON thus; boots to android (normal android in functional state) instead of HBoot mode, then you need to disable FASTBOOT option on the phone.
To disable FASTBOOT, simply put on the phone and go to Settings >> Power >> Fastboot and mark it off.
HTC Fastboot Option In Power Settings

Once done, you can now attempt booting the phone to HBoot again and then; bootloader.

5- Connect the Phone and Lunch the RUU: while the phone is still in bootloader mode, connect it to the PC, wait few seconds for Windows to install its necessary drivers, then lunch the RUU you downloaded for that particular phone by double-clicking it. Depending on the speed of your PC, it may take a while before the RUU interface comes on.
But once the RUU interface comes on, you may follow the on-screen instructions from the RUU GUI (Graphical User Interface) until the flashing operation is completed.
i- This process will erase all the contents of your phone including pictures, musics, videos and all other files. If your phone was rooted prior to this, the root access will also be lost and custom recovery will also be replaced with stock recovery, so, if you need to backup any file on the phone; do it while you still can.

ii- Your phone's battery must be at least, 70% charged otherwise; the RUU will not flash the phone, instead, you will be asked to charge the battery.


Since you are going to use CUSTOM ROM to flash the HTC android device here, the most essential partition here is your CUSTOM RECOVERY however, to achieve this, certain things need be checked, too.

In this case, it does not really matter either that the phone is S-On or S-Off but the bootloader need be unlocked. Here is a guide on how to unlock your HTC Bootloader then, use the guides here to flash Custom Recovery on the HTC android device.

If you are unable to unlock the bootloader but can access the phone, simply root it and then, flash Custom Recovery on it following the guides whose link is given above.
Once you are able to flash Custom Recovery on the phone, you are good to proceed.

1- Download its ROM: there are many custom ROMs available for virtually every android device especially; android devices from popular brands like HTC.

You may check CM ROM, AOKP ROM, MIUI ROM.
If your phone's ROM is not found in any of the list, you may Goggle Search your phone's ROM. Putting "Custom ROM for HTC Desire 500 your phone's model" should bring required results for you.

2- Install HTC Android Drivers on your PC: as always, android drivers are always needed when an android device is to interact and communicate with Windows PC. You may download HTC android drivers from here. Once downloaded, simply install it on the PC by double-clicking the downloaded file.

3- Transfer the Downloaded ROM onto the Phone: if the phone uses external SD Card, transfer the downloaded ROM onto the SD Card otherwise, follow the guides here to use the phone's inbuilt memory as the SD Card.

4- Boot the Phone to Recovery: to boot your HTC android device to recovery, Put Off the phone, press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons together until the phone comes on.
It should look similar to the picture below.

Navigate to the Recovery option and then, select it. The phone should now boot to the Recovery. Remember: you should be having Custom Recovery flashed on the phone to use this method.
NOTE: Volume Up (to navigate up), Volume Down (to navigate down) & Power Button (to Select)

5- Wipe Data/Factory Reset the Phone: from the recovery option presented to you, navigate to Data Wipe/Factory Reset and select it. Confirm the action by navigating to "Yes" then; Wait few seconds for the Data Wipe/Factory Reset process to complete.

6- Install the ROM: now, choose Install ZIP from SD Card then, navigate to the ROM you have copied on the phone and select it. Confirm your selection again for the flashing operation to begin.

This may take sometimes depending on the volume of the ROM. You just have to exercise some patience while the the flashing is being done.

7- Reboot your Phone: once the flashing operation is successfully completed, you can just reboot the phone and enjoy.

1- If your phone is S-On, the phone will hang on boot (bootloop) i.e it won't boot to android rather it will remain on the bootanimation screen for hours.
To correct this error, follow the instructions given below; but first, unlock the bootloader followwing the guides whose link is given just above here; if the bootloader is still locked.

i- Extract the ROM (copy of the ROM) you flashed to the phone on your PC.

ii- Download ADB Tools on your PC from here.
iii- Extract the ADB Tools.zip you download onto a folder on your PC and rename it as ADB then, move it to the root of your PC.

iv- Lunch Command Prompt on your PC.
How to Lunch Command Prompt:
- Point your Cursor to the Windows Start button, click it and then, type "CMD" and then, click "Command Prompt" from the options.

- On Command Prompt type; "cd c:/adb and hit enter button on your PC". You should see something similar to the image below.

v- Re-flash the ROM on the phone using the CUSTOM ROM FLASHING METHOD discussed just above but this time, DO NOT reboot the phone immediately after flash rather, remove battery from the phone, re-insert the battery and boot it to Bootloader mode by pressing and holding the Power + Volume Down buttons until it boots to HBoot then, tap Power Button once.
You are now in Bootloader mode.

vi- While in Bootloader Mode, connect the phone to the PC and flash the ROM's boot.img file on it.

Remember that your Command Prompt is still open and that you have extracted the ROM's zip file on to your PC? Now, open the extracted ROM folder, in the folder you should see something similar to the image on the figure (i) of this NOTE tutorial; Simply drag the "boot" file to the Command Prompt and then, type:
"fastboot flash boot"
before the dragged boot file so that the end result will look similar to;
fastboot flash boot c:/Desktop/rom-folder-name/boot.img
then, hit enter button. See the image below;

Wait few seconds until the flashing completes and when it does complete, disconnect the phone from the PC and reboot it by any means known to you.

2- Flash GApps: although, all Custom ROMs can run independently without the GApps, you may have to flash them on the phone to complement your ROM. This should be done because without the GApps, Google apps like Chrom, GMail, Google Now, Search, Calender, Play Store and others won't be on the phone.

So, to flash GApps on the phone, you simply have to follow similar procedure you used to flash the ROM on the phone but in the case of GApps, you don't have to Wipe Data/Factory Reset the phone. Simply download appropriate GApps for the ROM from here or here, save it on the phone's SD Card or Inbuilt memory, boot to recovery and flash the GApps straight away and then, reboot.

While rebooting, you should notice a message that reads "Android is upgrading... updating apps" on the phone screen.

Simply wait until it completes and then, ENJOY!
Congratulations! You have now succeeded flashing your HTC android device.


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ArykTECH: How to Flash HTC Android Devices: Custom and Stock Firmware
How to Flash HTC Android Devices: Custom and Stock Firmware
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