Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hero/Sense UI on your HTC Magic

So last night a very interesting thing happened. Someone on xda-developers released an official HTC Hero ROM for the world to see, and instantly people started picking it up and ripping it apart for all the existing Android phones.

Including.. your very own HTC Magic.

Now there's two variants of the HTC Magic - the PVT32A model that is HTC branded and has 288MB ram and the PVT32B model that is usually Google branded (some times in partnership with a carrier) and has 192MB ram.

As mentioned previously in my blog - I have the former.

And if you too have the PVT32A model - you can follow the following instructions and install HTC's latest Hero/Sense UI interface on your own HTC Magic's ;)

Trust me.. it's worth it!

Next you need the HTC Magic ROM for your device - I used this one provided by skittleguy on xda-developers. I didn't need to change my SPL at all to apply this rom - I still have the stock one listed below in an earlier post. Applying SPL and radio updates should be done with caution - as this is where things go wrong and phones get bricked - but applying a ROM update like this should be relatively safe.

Update - 1st July 2009: the xda-dev guys have released an update to this rom called 1.1 with the wifi fix and a few other fixes for our Magic which you can grab from here. If you install this rom you will not need the Wifi fix below!

Download it and copy it to the root of your SD card and rename it update.zip

The next thing you need to do is have a recovery rom and fastboot working on your machine. I used daldroid's recovery rom which you can download directly from here.
You'll want to save this into your tools directory (unless you have the tools directory in your system path like me and then you can put it in any directory)

PLEASE NOTE: Before you take the next step - make sure you've synced all your contacts, backed up any applications from the market you want to keep, and backed up any settings or stuff that you want to keep on your phone - this will wipe it fully!

Now.. drop your phone into fastboot mode by powering it off first (hold down the power button and press Power Off), then hold the back button down when you press power to power it back on to drop it into fastboot mode.
If you see three little androids on skateboards on the screen and FASTBOOT listed then you're on the right track.
If you hook it up to your PC now via USB you it should change to Fastboot USB.
Lets check this by starting a command prompt and first check fastboot is working fine with:

C:\AndroidSDK\tools\> fastboot devices

If it lists a device then you're in business!

Now we need to boot the recovery rom - you do this by:

C:\AndroidSDK\tools\> fastboot boot daldroid-recovery.img

Your phone should start loading the recovery rom now and you should be greeted with a small menu with a handful of options. Its your last chance to do a full backup now and you can use Nandroid 2.1 to do so if you want.
Otherwise you're going to want to select Wipe first - and then once the wipe is complete you'll select Apply Update.zip

Then wait while it uncompresses the update.zip file and installs the Hero ROM.

Once it's fully installed you'll be greeted with a funny TMobile G1 splashscreen (not sure who put that there) and then a cool HTC logo with the little androids peeking out behind it. It takes a while to boot the first time, so be patient.

Now there's just one last thing you need to do to get that Magic of yours working sweet - you need to apply a Wifi fix before wireless will work:

You'll want to download this updated wlan kernel module and save it in your Android SDK tools directory like before:

Then drop into your command prompt and use:

C:\AndroidSDK\tools\> adb remount
C:\AndroidSDK\tools\> adb push wlan.ko /system/lib/modules/wlan.ko
C:\AndroidSDK\tools\> adb reboot

And that's it.. your HTC Magic should now be loaded with a fully enabled Hero ROM with Sense UI! Have fun!!!! :)

Additional Comments after a fair bit of use of this new rom:

* Initial slowness – you'll probably find it'll be slow initially for the first hour or so until it gets the caching right for your usage. Initially you'll probably be bouncing between heaps of apps configuring them and installing them so it'll throw it right out – once you get settled a bit more it'll smoothen up a bit - I've found it pretty smooth once it gets going and that's without the need for swapper/setcpu/apps2sd or any kind of tweaking! :)

* LOUD - the volume is turned up on these roms and it can be annoying at first - especially the bootup – though once it's started up I don't mind that so much really though as at least you can turn it down some. Need some way of disabling the bootup sounds!

* Wifi/3g works great for me – tho not tried bluetooth fully yet – I can turn it on but don't have any bluetooth devices around to test with.

* The new Social Integration - ie. flickr/twitter/facebook integration is awesome.

Twitter is right on the desktop with notification of new tweets, etc and is very integrated – you can even auto-post a link to your current location/lat-long/etc, attach pics automatically, etc.
Facebook/flickr seems to be simply for uploading of images it looks like – so you'll still need another app for browsing/chat/etc.

The new HTC widgets are very cool too - great to have a bit more choice than before! – though I wish the Contacts one was a bit more customisable – you can't sort or shuffle them how you want – it's just alphabetical and in my case my SO is past the bottom of the list which is annoying.

Also noticed that there's no 'Contacts' application anymore - which is a shame as I liked using this to browse my contact list - I guess you could go to the dialer directly - there's probably a htc replacement somewhere as they've revamped it internally (you can do funky stuff like click on a contact and then click on his/her address to see it in google maps and stuff like that which is cool) - can't see how to link this to the desktop directly tho!


  1. Thanks for your guide, once I looked at a quick msdos basic tutorial to find the tools directory it was easy. Thanks a lot.

  2. I think contacts is now called people, it adds more functionality the looks, just playing with now.

  3. @ Duade
    Hi i need help with the tools directory also
    can you please email me help at fcbarca17@gmail.com?

    i really appreciate it

  4. @utkarsh17 - Simply grab the SDK and extract it.
    I extracted mine into C:\AndroidSDK - See here for the latest SDK - http://developer.android.com/sdk/1.5_r2/index.html

  5. As Jesse said download the SDK and extract to a folder on C:\ drive(you will also need the recovery image in tools directory). then run cmd from start bar for dos prompt. then type cd\ which will take you to C:\> then you need to type the directory tree for example 'cd\Android_SDK\Tools'. Then follow the fastboot instructions.

  6. nothing shows! it's showing fastboot USB on the phone, but from cmd 'fastboot devices' doesn't show anything... what am I missing?

  7. ... restarted computer and tried again.. all good, going to try to flash now (i'm nervous) hahah

  8. For a newbie like me,Jesse's tutorial is simplified however after reading Duarde's post I'm able to flash my HK magic and now HERO in my Magic!Sweeeet!Over at XDA people are confused whether to hack the SPL first,all I did was as per Jesse's instruction,drop the recovery and the Fatal1ty Hero v1.2 and that's it.Thanks guys!

  9. For the newbie like me out there,like Duarde said,the cd\ command is IMPORTANT and make sure that U guys install the USB driver correctly..

  10. i did the same zul. ROM is working nicely, however i have no internet??? Can't browse, can't tweet... anything that uses data doesn't work. (i'm with 3 australia). Tried two sims now, no data. It was working perfectly on the stock rom, but now it's not =( Wifi seems to connect to our network, but the phone refuses to use it!

    any ideas?

  11. Gordon: have you restored your APN details since you installed the new ROM?
    The APN details vary from carrier to carrier and I haven't yet seen a rom that auto-detects it.
    Settings->Wireless Controls->Mobile Network Settings->Access Point Names

    If one isn't already listed in that window and it's blank then hit Menu - select New APN and enter in your carrier's APN details.

    This is probably what is missing.

  12. Jesse, you sir, are the man. Thankyou fucklots.

  13. Does it also work on the google branded magic with 192mb ram? Same procedure or not?

  14. same procedure, maybe an SPL upgrade needed, but i don't think the 192mb version would run it too well...`

  15. As Gordon mentioned, it's much the same procedure, except you need a different recovery rom and you need a different update.zip image.

    For Recovery boot image you'll want to look at:


    and for Hero ROMS you'll want to look at:


    I wouldn't mess around with SPL's and the like unless you have to as they're the biggest way to brick your phone - you do something wrong there and it can be unrecoverable.

  16. thanks. Is there any way to check if i have a PVT32A or B version? My Magic is google branded but the hotline of my carrier said it has 288mb ram....

  17. "Drop your phone into fastboot mode by powering it off first (hold down the power button and press Power Off), then hold the back button down when you press power to power it back on to drop it into fastboot mode.
    If you see three little androids on skateboards on the screen and FASTBOOT listed then you're on the right track."

    If you do this it will tell you everything you need to know about your phone, SPL version, etc at the top of the screen.

    If you have PVT32A then you have 288MB ram, PVT32B then you have 192MB ram.

  18. Ok so I'm planning to pickup a Vodafone (UK) Magic and was planning to get the Sense UI running on it. I'm still going to try this.

    Now correct me if i'm wrong but first I need to root the phone; done through this tutorial (Method 2)


    Then I need to get a HTC Rom running on it; which I'll do with the one in this thread


    And finally rounding things off by following the tutorial from this blog post to get the Sense UI running. (I'm not gonna be touching the SPL, because I don't know what that is)

    Stop me if thats wrong, and is there a way to return the original voda (rom?) in case it needs repairs?

  19. I am looking for confirmation as I gather knowledge and was hoping...Can someone please tell me/confirm:

    1) The Nandroid Backup is done after you boot into a recovery image (correct?). This recovery image is fastbooted so it is running off the computer and not actually flashed to the phone? (is this part correct?)

    2) Once you complete the backup, these files are stored on your SD Card (is this part correct?)

    3) At this point if you proceed to update to the Hero Rom (32A board) then you do not need an SPL update but you do need the daldroid recovery image flashed to the phone (is this part correct?)

    4) THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: If I now drop into fastboot mode and I do a Nandroid restore using the files on my SD card (but moving them to PC for the restore) will this restore everything (the recovery image, the rom, the data?) (is this part correct?)

    Basically I want to cover all bases before I do this I can't afford to ruin a warranty.

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  21. Just need the clarification, to simplify...

    If I update to the Hero Rom on my 32A board:
    1) No need to adjust Radio or SPL (brick risk noted, not interested in doing this stuff AT ALL)
    2) Step 1: Fastboot and perform Nandroid backup
    3) Step 2: Copy Backup Nandroid files to PC for extra security
    4) Step 3: Flash recovery image
    5) Step 4: Flash Hero Rom
    6) Step 5: Play with Hero rom
    7) Step 6: If I am unhappy, drop into fastboot and restore from nandroid backup using files stored on PC - does this restore make my phone the way it was when I purchased it from Rogers????? IMPORTANT!!! WARRANTY!!!

    IS ALL OF THIS CORRECT??? I'm nervous as heck!

  22. Fellow Hero'ers .... how does one mark all hotmail as read in mail?

  23. Adam:
    If I update to the Hero Rom on my 32A board:
    1) Correct - no need to update SPL at this point.
    2) Nandroid Backup is always good. If it fails and you get an error message.. keep retrying - often the SDcard hasn't mounted yet. This is why it failed for me initially.. lol
    3) Backup to PC is always good too ;)
    4) "Flash recovery image" - Actually there's no need to do this at all - just drop into fastboot and BOOT the image 'fastboot boot daldroid-recovery.img' - your pc is the one that starts the process and you do no flashing to get to the recovery rom - this is the safest way to test the recovery boot and doesn't touch your device.
    5) Once in the recovery rom - You need to WIPE first. then you can choose to apply sdcard:update.zip to install the Hero ROM
    6) Yup.. enjoy living on the edge with Hero! :)
    7) Step 6: If I am unhappy, drop into fastboot and restore from nandroid backup using files stored on PC - does this restore make my phone the way it was when I purchased it from Rogers?????
    You may also want to consider the daldroid rom - this is a stock cupcake rom, but it's been rooted so you can enjoy the power of root as well.

    Always handy to have a backup for warranty - though I'd only ever attempt to return mine if I COULDN'T install a rom ;)
    I'm lovin' my Magic too much! ;)

  24. Jesse, thanks for your answer.
    So I am still a bit unclear.
    I can fastboot into the recovery rom and perform a nandroid backup (not actually touching my phone) and without actually flashing the recovery I can just use it as a means to install the Hero Rom? Restoring the nandroid backup is the same process as installing the hero Rom? I just want to be sure I can go back if I don't enjoy Hero for the many possible reasons.


    Adam :)

  25. Adam - grab Amon_RA's latest recovery rom mention in my latest blog post - it has Nandroid Backup and Restore and should give you what you want.

    And yes, Nandroid Backup should include everything to roll back if you dont like Hero.

    There are newer hero builds too btw - check xda for the latest for your phone.

  26. Could you please do an up to date collection of what we should use? What are you currently using? Like the links. I know xda but it all is so confusing to me sometimes. Thanks.

  27. Are you using 1.4 now Jesse?

  28. LOL Sorry,

    With these new builds do we need to change our SPL? I keep reading from skittles that you need to change the SPL for this stuff.

    Also restoring through nandroid is not an update.zip. We actually have to go ahead and issue each command for the

    Right? THANKS!!

  29. Adam,

    Actually I'm still using 1.2 with the updated boot.img with the better boot logo and cpu overclocked to 528MHz.
    I need a better app for backing up my user settings before I try another rom - getting sick of replacing APN, Wifi keys, bookmarks, T9 history, etc every time.

    Also check out Nandroid Restore in Amon_RA's latest recovery rom 1.1.1 - I haven't used it, but surely this will make it a little easier to restore after a backup?

  30. What is the updated boot image and is the better boot logo just the rogers splash or the htc w/ androids?

  31. Im up and running v1.4. It's awesome. Thanks. I followed skittleguy on HOFO and XDA

  32. what do i need to do to go from 1.1 to 1.4?

  33. it's ok, i'm on 008 now =) Still need root though`

  34. hi guys.. I just installed HTC HERO ROM on my magic. it works perfect but the wireless which i tried to do it, it doesnt work. I followed exactly, I paste the wlan.ko into tools n i open cd n follow the step above but it doesnt work.. could u please guide me.. I really appreciate..

  35. Hey.. I managed everything which mentioned above but the only thing which doesnt work is the bluetooth. Need to install Obex for transfering files or reciving it.. Any idea how or what to do??? Please help thanks..

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