Rooting HTC Detail, installing Gingerbread

I thought I would share my success this weekend rooting my HTC Detail and upgrading it from Froyo to Gingerbread.

For reasons unclear to me, Ting ships the Detail with Froyo and while there are a couple OTA updates, neither of them upgrade you to Gingerbread. The good news is, (1) the HTC Detail ships with almost no crapware, (2) the HTC Detail is easy to root when running Froyo.

Rooting Process

The HTC Detail is marketed by Sprint as the Evo Shift 4g, so I assumed the instructions for the Evo Shift on Cyanogenmod's wiki would work. They did:

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/HTC_Evo_Shift_4G:_Full_Update_Guide

For future readers, I had these software version numbers:

  • Android 2.2
  • Baseband Version: 1.08.00.0429_2
  • Kernel Version: 2.6.32.21-g93ff79e htc-kernel@and18-2 #1 (Tue Dec 6 16:09:07 CST 2011)
  • Build Number: 1.25.591.2 CL343065 release-keys

I followed the wiki's instructions right up until flashing Cyanogenmod. I've found HTC Sense to be quite enjoyable, so I wanted to stay on that. I did flash the bootloader and Clockworkmod Recovery without any problems. I'm running Linux, but nothing in the instructions is Linux-specific.

Upgrading to Gingerbread

Having unlocked my device, I downloaded the stock Sprint ROM (Gingerbread), with root, from here:

http://www.clockworkmod.com/rommanager/device/speedy/developer/SparksCo?manifest=http%3A%2F%2Fdeveloper.clockworkmod.com%2Fdeveloper%2FSparksCo%2Fmanifest&name=SparksCo&deviceName=HTC%20Evo%20Shift

Specifically, I downloaded NoA2sd_Rooted_2.77.651.3. From what I can tell, it's 100% pure Sprint Gingerbread ROM with root. Importantly, I backed up (using Clockworkmod Recovery) everything prior to installing the new ROM. You want to make sure and backup your Wimax keys in particular; if you lose them, you can't really get them back. I also wiped /system, /data, and /cache before flashing the above zip file.

Crapware Removal

The ROM included some crapware like Sprint TV, which did not work. (It said I wasn't authorized). That's a non-issue to me, because I immediately used Titanium Backup to uninstall all of Sprint's crapware, including stuff like the Nascar app and Sprint TV. I also uninstalled things you can get over the Market anyway, like the Kindle app. If you haven't used Titanium Backup for crapware removal, I highly recommend it: you can "freeze" crapware in a way that lets you reinstall it at any time.

From there, as far as I can tell everything works fine. There are some places it still says Sprint; for example, wifi tethering is moronically called "Sprint Hotspot" -- probably because Sprint is trying to justify the fact that they actually charge their own customers for that operating system level feature. But the wifi hot spot does work, as well as GPS. I'm pretty sure Wimax would work, but Wimax coverage is sparse around Denver and I haven't found a spot to test it yet. I'll post an update to confirm Wimax does work after I'm able to test it.

The only downside is that I'm pretty sure the upgraded version of Sense is using up more memory. I've noticed that sometimes when I hit the "home" button, it has to reload the launcher, presumably because the launcher was too big in memory. It's really a trade-off, because HTC Sense has some very useful features (like music buttons on the lock screen), but it's also definitely a little bloated.

HTC Sense 2.1

Anyway, that's what worked for me. Is the upgrade worth it? Eh, maybe if you need Gingerbread features, like SIP calling. Also, Sense 2.1 has a handy little "quick settings" tab on the notifications panel which you can use to toggle wifi, bluetooth, etc. A list of recently used apps also shows up on the notifications panel, which IMHO is redundant to long-pressing home and takes up too much space.

The launcher is mostly the same, though there are some new "sound themes" and skins available in Sense 2.1. It's really very debatable whether these are worth it. A lot of little things are arguably slightly more feature-rich, though I'm not sure Sense 2.1 adds a whole lot over 2.0.

Note that HTC Sense 2.5's famous "ring launcher" unlock screen is not present.

Anyway, that's all. Happy hacking.

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Comments

4 comments
  • Did you get the voicemail notification to work?

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  • I use Google Voice for voicemail, so I couldn't say.

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  • So I rooted my wifes Detail aka evo shift 4g with a program called shiftrr.rar works a lot like superoneclick. Rooted successfully and it installed clockwork recovery. I went ahead and threw a cyanogen rom for the shift 4g on and installed which got me stuck at the htc screen with a white background. I can get into recovery but it will not go past the htc white screen on any of the roms I tested, an older version of MIUI, a newer version of MIUI and of course cyanogen.

     

    I was hoping I could find the stock sprint 2.3 gingerbread rom that you mentioned but your link is no good and searching that filename comes up with nothing. Any advice?

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  • So I'm slowly but surely working on completely ruining my wifes Detail. I'm about to call Ting and see what my options are after I dump another 20 hours into what went from a fun hobby to mild stress. I wish this phone wasn't rebranded a Detail. There do not seem to be any ruu's available for this phone whatsoever.

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