Custom ROM, Android Device, Flash, Clockwork, where do I start?

posted in: TECHNO | 3

Hello World!

This is not the complete procedure on how to port to custom ROMs for your Android devices. However, this will give you a sense of the whole process of installing a Custom ROM, Rooting and other procedures involved in this fun, amazing world of flashing custom ROMs. Enjoy!


Introduction
:

Android is a open source OS built for mobile devices and handhelds. The original source code is released by Google and are modified by manufacturers to include their propitiatory applications and services. Google search for Andriod, SDK, Gingerbread to know more. ROMs are the OS (operating systems) that is running on the mobile device. Custom ROMs are modified ROMs which are built by individual developers or group of developers such as Cyanogenmod, MIUI, etc. Individual developers such as Phiremod and Group of developers such as XDA Developers.

Why install custom ROM.

The best example I can give here is IBM PC. Why? IBM PC originally comes with bloated software and programs that you can do without. What do you do then? Format your Hard drive, re-install windows and selectively install the programs you want to run. Result is cleaner, faster running PC. In the Android world this not only means faster, cleaner but also means more power, features and free apps.

How to install custom ROM on my phone?

There is no one answer and one method. As Andriod devices are manufactured by several companies, Samsung, HTC, etc and there are CDMA, GSM, Tablets, etc. you will need to look at specifics and then discuss about custom ROMs and Rooting. However in most cases the general procedures are very similar and explained below.

Procedure to install custom ROM

Okay, you bought a new android phone from your preferred carrier and you own it and want to explore your options on what kind of system its running. So you start with first understanding your phone, model numbers, current kernel information, Andriod OS version. etc. Once you are fully aware of your phone’s capabilities and specification then you are ready to ROOT you phone.

Getting Access to root of Andriod devices – Rooting

Rooting is a term used to indicate the procedure which enables access to the root of your phone’s memory. Why? Simply because your phone is a Linux Machine. Read more about Android and its hardware here and in order to replace the OS you will need full access!

Downloading the Custom ROM – ZIP file 

Next, you will now need a custom ROM that will replace the Stock ROM. You will find several developers providing this on the internet. Most of them are popular, tried and tested. The most common one’s which are popular are :

Cyanogenmod
ROMS developed by XDA
Other ROMS – Phiremod

Most of the ROMs are in ZIP format which is the ready format for installation of the custom ROM.

Installing a custom ROM – Flashing

The installation of a custom ROM also called as Flashing a ROM is performed using the Recovery mode. OOOKAY, what? The word Flashing simply means replacing the contents of a memory chip with new contents, the word Recovery mode reefers to the boot loader of the mobile device. For example, on a PC, a formatting and installing windows OS would be like Flashing which can be achieved using the DOS loaded at start up which is the same as Recover Mode.

Recovery Mode

The Recovery mode provides you with a menu to wipe Data, System, Cache to enable successful flashing of ROMs. The Recovery mode provided by the manufacturer of the mobile device might not have all the options you would need and hence you install a custom recovery, most commonly used is ClockworkRecovery which is developed by an individual. You can find more information here. He also developed ROM manger to manage all ROMs, to easily update ROMs and mostly this app is used to install clockworkrecovery.

Next what?

Now you have some idea about Rooting, Flashing, Custom ROMs and clockwork recovery and so you are now ready to read and understand those blogs, instructions provided by individuals over the internet to install custom ROMs. To give you a head start, I have created 2 step procedure for first timers. See below and have fun!
How to install Cyanogen Mod on your phone/mobile device.

Step 1:

Go to http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ and click on get cyanogenmod and select your device from the list.

Step 2:

Under this device page, you will notice Downloads  and Out Links. Before you hit the Downloads page, click on the Wiki link under Our Links and read through the complete guide. This guide will tell you how to root, install and use the custom ROM.

Remember, once you root your phone/mobile devices using any method you find on the internet, you can then try and install 100’s of different ROMs many times! Just make sure you don’t Brick you phone.

Hello Open World!

3 Responses

  1. Harsha Balagere

    Nice blog DB. Summarized Very well…

  2. Harsha Balagere

    Nice Blog DB. Summarized really well…

  3. Nice…covers all the major terms every Android Noob should know.

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