Upgrade from 2.2 to 2.3 using CyanogenMod 7.1 – My Xperience

Step 1- Root your phone

Rooting means allowing the users to get the privileged control (admin rights in PC world) within Android sub-system. The goal is to overcome the limitations set by the carrier (CDMA) and hardware manufacturers and to replace system applications and settings.

Rooting is known as “Jailbreaking” in Apple IOS and Sony Playstation 3.

Here’s the step by step guide for rooting

Step 2- Load the custom ROM

Since Android is open-source, it has different flavors/variations from each manufacturer. One of the major reasons for smartphone users chose Android over IOS and Windows is that it allows user to customize every facet of their phone. The users can also install Custom ROM – modified versions of Android OS cooked by passionate and dedicated developers in their free time, and some of the popular one are

1) CyanogenMod – The most popular since it has support for wide variety of devices and neat features such as Lock screen gestures, browser incognito mode, theme support, DSP equalizer etc. It’s currently in version 7.1 (stable) based on Android 2.3.7.

2) MIUI – This supports plenty of devices (less than CyanogenMod) and it has distinctive look, enhanced notifications, smart dialing and enhanced apps for Music, Gallery and Camera

3) DarkyROM – Manufacturer specific one and supports latest Samsung devices (Galaxy S and SII) with stock TouchWiz UI and some new features

4) Device Specific, AOSP-Based Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs – Made for latest OS Android 4.0 and these ROMS are clean, no extra apps and will give the purest Android experience available. The current version available is quite unstable and will take some time to become stable

We choose CyanogenMod (my cousin have already tried) from the above list and installed custom ROM following the steps mentioned in below link

Wow, my HTC desire was looking FRESH – no weather widget and no BIG clock in the Home screen. Neat and Fresh Gingerbird

Thanks to my cousin, who helped to Root and Load custom ROM!!!

But my joy did not last for long, since started getting lot of issues and started spending hours in forums finding solutions. The issues faced are shown in Issues Section


Most important thing to do after loading custom ROM is to install Google Apps, which is the heart of all Android operations.

To install GAPPS or any package, I need to boot to recovery mode which was also not working. I can see only HTC white screen if I try to go to recovery mode.
Then I got a beautiful solution to download the ROM manager, copy the recovery image to SD card and write some UNIX commands in the Terminal Emulator. Here’s the link

Reboot the phone after installing Google Apps, and you can see the Google setup wizard in the Home screen (which means issues are solved) and can see Market, Maps, Navigation, and Facebook etc in the apps.

Phew!! That was awesome; finally I got my beautiful HTC Desire with custom Android 2.3

Issues faced

1) Android market was not found

Action – Browse for android market in browser and install manually 
Issue – Market did not open since Google account was not added

2) Adding Google account – This is the most important stuff for any Android Phone.

Action - Accounts & Sync – Add Account – Google User Name and Password 
Issue – Throws error saying “Cannot open connection with server”

Proposed Solution from the Forums – Install Google Apps (gapps-gb-20110828.zip)

3) Installing Google apps

Action - I was not able to boot to recovery mode for installing the ZIP file. Instead, tried to unzip the package in PC, copy to SD card and install apps one by one. Below are the major apps available in the package

1) Contacts.apk – Contact/People manager, front end GUI.
2) Facebook.apk – Facebook application. Up to date version available from Market.
3) Gmail.apk – GMail application. Also installs Mail sync provider.
4) Maps.apk – Google Maps application. Latest version also available on Market.
5) NetworkLocation.apk – Uses cell triangulation and/or wireless networks to help speed up GPS location. Toggled through Location settings.
6) Street.apk – Street View, called when zoomed in on a location on Google Maps and want street level view.
7) Vending.apk – Official Android Market.

I was able to see 18 of them in the app folder and installed one by one.  I was able to see Market, Navigation, Maps icon and add Google account successfully

Issue – The phone goes to boot loop after restarting and had to clear entire user data to see the home screen again.

4) Google Maps and Navigation could not update location

All of the above issues were solved after installing the correct google apps for the ROM.

Cyanogenmod Themes

One more best stuff about CM7 is the support for themes to look the phone unique from others. This theme works on top of other launchers; works beautifully with Go Launcher Ex. Follow the links and try the themes

12 Awesome CyanogenMod 7 Themes - http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/12-awesome-cyanogenmod-7-themes-android/

7 Awesome Themes for CyanogenMod 7 - http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/customization-roundups/7-awesome-themes-for-cyanogenmod-7/

Best CM7 themes for HTC Desire from my experience

1) Lunar UI Trans
2) Facedroid CM7
3) SynErgy(CM7+)

Also See my latest article in upgrading 2.3 to Jellybean - review about 3 ROMs - CyanogenMod 10 Alpha, Evervolv and CM 10 4.2.2