Ready to flash some custom ROMs on your Android device? Here’s a little generic walkthrough to give you a better understand of the concept.
I. Root Your Device
First and foremost, you need root access. Root access is essentially getting the phone to give us permissions to change what we want.
II. Flash a Custom Recovery Image
Next thing needed after rooting is a custom recovery image. All Android devices have a recovery partition. This is essentially a section of the device’s memory devoted to a very basic recovery system that is separate from the normal operating system. This is normally used by manufacturers for recovering a broken device (as even if the operating system crashes, the recovery image has a chance of still being access and used to reflash the operating system, etc.).
Because of that function of flashing the operating system, once we have root access, we can use it to flash our own versions of the operating system. Before it’ll do that though, we need to replace the original recovery image with a custom one that has a lot more functionality.
1. After you have root access, head to the market on your device and look for ROM Manager. Download and install the free version.
2. Open ROM Manager and select Flash ClockworkMod Recovery and choose your device.
3. Select Grant when the Superuser prompt comes up.
4. Wait for it to say successfully flashed. You now have a custom recovery image.
III. Load a Custom ROM
Now that we have root access and a custom recovery image, we need to find a ROM we want to flash. Thanks to the amazing third party developers (most of which do this in their spare time), there are a bunch of ROMs to choose from. All of them have their own pros and cons and tweaks and themes, so you should try a few to decide which you’d prefer.
1. Download the .zip file for the ROM to your computer. (readily available on the internet)
2. After you download the .zip to your computer, plug in your device via USB cable.
3. Copy the .zip file to the SD Card (do NOT extract it, just copy the whole zip file).
4. Unplug your device.
5. Now, open ROM Manager again.
6. Select Reboot into Recovery and wait for the device to reboot.
7. Once in recovery mode, use the volume buttons to navigate and power button to select Backup and Recovery.
8. Then select Backup and hit yes to confirm. Wait for it to finish backing up your current system (this will save you if something goes wrong).
9. Select Wipe Data / Factory Reset.
10. Select Flash zip from sdcard.
11. Select Choose zip from sdcard.
12. Find the ROM we copied to the sdcard in .zip format and select it. Then select yes to confirm. Wait for it to finish flashing.
13. Select Reboot System Now. Once it reboots (which will take a while the first time), you’ll be running the new ROM.
To flash a different ROM, just redo all the steps in Section III here. Enjoy and don’t forget to comment on the ROMs you try in the repository so others can see what they’re all about.