Root your 3UK branded HTC Desire, 1.22.771.1, add custom recovery

This is a quick guide on how to root your 3 (three UK) branded HTC Desire and add a custom recovery if you wish to load custom roms.

Before we start here are some details about my phone which i did this process on:

  • HTC Desire simlock to 3 UK
  • Software version 1.22.771.1
  • HBOOT 0.80.0000
  • Did this on Windows 7

You have 3 choices on what you can do here:

  1. Put a custom recovery on it to flash any rom you like
  2. Gain root access your current Eclair 2.1 (and a custom recovery if you like)
  3. Upgrade it to offical Froyo 2.2

First we  must ‘debrand’ our phone, this is a process where we load a generic rom that shipped with the sim-free Desires. These are all version 1.21.x all of which contain ways to root the phone. If you read up on how to root these phones you notices it says ‘this only works if you have 1.21.x or below), well the goal of this to downgrade to that lower number.


Create a ‘gold card’  – A GoldCard is a special SD card which, when inserted into your device, allows you to flash RUU files with a different CID to your own device. So we own a 3UK branded device, this will allow you to flash a generic ROM.


  • Spare microSD card
  • Windows PC (recommended)
  • ADB (part of the tools folder of the SDK, available for download here
  • HxD Hex Editor, available for download here

Step by step instructions

  • Format the microSD card to FAT32 format.
  • Put the microSD card in your device and boot it.
  • Ensure you have unzipped the SDK, then open a command prompt to the extract location. Change to the ‘tools directory.
  • Enter ‘adb shell cat /sys/class/mmc_host/mmc1/mmc1:*/cid’ and press enter. You should get a very long number which looks like this: 532600bd227d9c0347329407514d5402.
  • Visit this page, paste in your number and reverse it. In our example the result would be 00544d5107943247039c7d22bd002653.
  • Visit this page, enter your reversed number and create your goldcard image, which will be e-mailed to you.
  • Open the HxD hex editor. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you must run the application as administrator.
  • Go to the ‘Extra’ menu and select ‘Open Disk’. Under physical disk, select Removable Disk (your microSD card), uncheck ‘Open as Readonly’ and click OK. Note that you should select physical disk NOT the logical disk. This is important!
  • Go to the ‘Extra’ menu again and select ‘Open Disk Image’. Open the goldcard image that you received by email.
  • You should now have two tabs – one is your removable disk, the other is your goldcard image. Press OK when prompted for ‘Sector Size’ (selecting 512 (Hard disks/Floppy disks)) and click OK.
  • Click on the goldcard image tab. Go to the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Select All’ then select the ‘Edit’ menu again and select ‘Copy’.
  • Click on the ‘Removable Disk’ tab. Highlight offset (line) 00000000 to offset (line) 00000170 (including the 00000170 line), then click on the ‘Edit’ menu and select ‘Paste Write’.
  • Click on the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Save’, accepting the warning.

Ok here the bit that differs for us 3UK branded people. If you have a branded handset other then 3UK at this point you run a gernic RUU found here. 3UK owners must go through a couple more steps.

Download the unrevoked3 rooting package from here (the one i used) or download it from This software will flash a custom recovery onto your phone. If your having driver problem ensure you follow the instructions that come with it properly. It has its own set for bootloader that it must use. If you having issues with the program finding your desire, try plugging in the desire before you load the program (even though it says not to do this). I had to do that to get it to work. Note that it loads a default recovery you can change this by clicking the file menu, i did this and used recovery-RA-desire-v1.7.0.1-R5.img found here. As i’ve rooted a Magic and Hero in the past i felt more at home with that one.


Ok now you can get into your new custom recovery by turning off the phone, hold the back button + the power. Select ‘BOOTLOADER’ then ‘RECOVERY’. It will then reboot to recovery.

Now at this point you can say the hard work is done and load a custom ROM which is Froyo 2.2 offical. I’ve currently got ‘Rooted Official HTC Android 2.2 (FroYo) ROM’ from here (look around on XDA there are loads to try out). And away you go offical 2.2 on your phone.

But you can carry on and do it the other way (i’m not sure why you would want to do that now but here goes).

Place this zip (found here for ref) on your Sd card and ‘Flash a Zip’ in recovery.

Now your phones thinks its an older version then it is. Download a gernic unbranded RUU found here.

Possible problems

  • When running RUU it reboots into BOOTLOADER and cant find the phone – turn on your phone as normal, plug it in with USB debugging mode on, with the SDK run on the command line ‘adb reboot oem-78′. Then it will go into the mode the RUU whats it to, then check all the drivers are ok in the ‘Hardware Devices’ in my computer.It should say ‘HTC Bootloader’. Then while in that mode run the RUU.
  • If you get while in RUU ‘Wrong CUSTOMER ID’ – you gold card is bad, do it again.
  • If you get while in RUU ‘BOOTLOADER VERSION INCORRECT’ – you haven’t flashed the properly.

Easy! you know have a downgrade phone!

Now to root it you can do the following (guide from XDA):

NOTE: for step one it depends which generic RUU you decided to put on, please check what you got by going into HBOOT (power off, back button + power).

  1. Download Tiny Core Linux Live CD
    —- For a bootloader of 0.75.* or lower AND a current ROM of 1.15.* or lower Download
    —- For a bootloader of 0.80.* or lower AND a current ROM of 1.21.* or lower Download
  2. Burn the downloaded iso on CD/DVD
  3. Boot your computer from that CD/DVD, once you booted it will ask you to press Enter or F2/F3 keys, you need to press Enter
  4. Insert the goldcard into the phone.
  5. Start the HTC Desire in bootloader by holding back and turning it on by the power button
  6. Connect the USB cable to the phone and PC
  7. Open a terminal by clicking the icon that looks like a monitor at the bottom on Tiny Core Linux and type the following commands:
    sudo mkdir /mnt/cdrom
    sudo mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
    cd /mnt/cdrom/desire
    sudo ./
  8. Wait until the phone restarts back into the white bootloader screen
  9. Turn the phone off via the bootloader menu (or pull the battery and USB cable) and remove the goldcard. Put a non-goldcard SD into the phone or reformat the goldcard and put it into the phone. Put the phone back into bootloader mode (Press Power button and Back button).
  10. In terminal type the following command:
    sudo ./
  11. Once the phone has finished, you will see a screen with a green text. Use the optical tracker to navigate the menu to select Wipe and then press Wipe data/factory reset
  12. Once complete you should be back in the main menu. Now select the option Flash zip from sdcard and than choose
  13. Once back in the main menu, choose restart the phone – the rooting process is now finished


(guide is from here)

Next you need to download the FroYo update file which you can find here [Mirror - the file has already been renamed to], once you have done this rename the file and copy it to the root of your microSD.  Turn your phone off then do the following:

  • Turn your phone on whilst holding down the volume down button to enter the HBoot menu
  • Choose the Recovery option by using the volume down button and the power button to select, your phone should then restart in recovery mode where you’ll be greeted with a red triangle and exclamation mark
  • Press and hold the volume up button and press the power button once, then choose to apply at the next menu
  • The FroYo update will now take place during which time your phone will reboot several times, the whole process takes about 10 minutes
  • Once you have booted up into FroYo and configured your settings, copy your files back onto your microSD card and you are good to go!

64 thoughts on “Root your 3UK branded HTC Desire, 1.22.771.1, add custom recovery

  1. laky

    i have the same settings but cannot root the phone at all. i need help can anyone that is responsible root the phone for me at a small cost

  2. Harry

    Dear Paul,
    Hi! I followed your approach until unrevoked. I flashed my phone with it with desire file you posted above and then simply downgraded to generic rom by running that exe directly from windows 7 and then used official OTA froyo update file in recovery mode. Now i am successfully running official froyo rom on my desire. No issues at all till now.

    I know this is off the topic to ask though, but i am desperately looking for 2 way Call Recording application for froyo on my desire. I have tried many from market but none of them is actually capable of recording both incoming and outgoing voice streams during a call. Please let me know if you have suggestion.


  3. ara

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for this guide! I had enough waiting for 3 to get their act together and give us an official 2.2 update!

    Anyway, everything seemed to have gone well, I used the 2.2 rom you linked.
    One thing though – I cant take videos! If I try and record a video in 720p I get a loud buzzing sound. Lower resolutions don’t work either, the phone just hangs. Taking pictures works fine though.
    Do I need to update the radio or something? Any advice would be greatly apprecieated.

    Many thanks,

  4. Paul



    Yes you need to update the radio to solve this problem, i had to do the same.

    Go to and follow the guide there. Ensure you follow it carefully, its possible to brick the phone if you mess it up.

    Basically, copy it to the SD card, flash it, then reboot your phone and it will install. Make sure you have ensure battery so it wont cut out while installing. It takes about 3 mins.


  5. Ozzie

    Hi paul, Do you have a youtube video I’m not the best at following instructions and don’t want to risk it

    1. Paul

      Hi Ozzie,

      Sorry i dont have a youtube video on how to do this, but read the instructions carefully and try it. You can only really go wrong if you try to update the radio.

  6. Ozzie

    I’ve tried it, read them carefully. but for some reason the ROM won’t work it gives me a message saying


    The ROM Update Utility cannot update your Android phone.

    Please get the correct ROM Update Utility and try again.

  7. Ozzie

    I seem to have got it to work, does the evo3 program usually get stuck with it writing “waiting for 3 more seconds…..”?

    1. Paul

      Hi Ozzie,

      If I am right in thinking you are having a problem connecting your phone to evo3? I had similar problems, have you installed there own drivers? Mine didn’t work first time and to try about 10 times before the program would detect the phone. If your still having problems send me a screen shot of the error and I’ll take a look. The bootloader version error is probably because you haven’t flashed the, which you can do after the previous step.

  8. Ozzie

    It’s detecting the phone but the program won’t carry out the boot, it gets stuck on the reboot and recovery menus. How do I install their own drivers, and when should I do this?

    1. Paul

      @Ozzie i had that problem aswell. Does you computer reckonise it as a HTC phone? Look in device manager it will tell you. There’s instructions with revoke3, follow them and install the drivers it provides. You can do this by ‘updating device driver’ in Device Manager.

    1. Paul

      Plug your phone in see if you see something like ‘HTC Phone’ in device manager. Just give it another go on revoke3.

  9. Paul

    Well once you have the drivers installed, just redo my steps above. So plug it in and open the program and see if finds your phone. Then it should reboot it into recovery and again it should find it. Remember to try it a few times, I had to make it work.

  10. Pingback: My wait for Froyo is over. But not officially… | Electronic Nothingness

  11. Dave

    Hi Paul,

    How do I know if the rooting has worked there is nothing that would suggest it has no extra icons etc, when I put the desire into recovery mode it does show clockworkmod recovery?

    1. Paul

      Hi Dave,

      Just to be clear getting a custom recovery on to your phone (clockworkmod) is different from actually rooting your phone. Rooting your phone simply means you have root access to which you or certain applications can exploit. There are apps available via the market place you can download such as Titianium backup which backs up information a non rooted phone wouldn’t have access. If you followed the instrustions and applied the zip most likely you have root access, try downloading some apps – normally they say in the title ‘requires root access’. When you refer to ‘extra icons’ there are various rooted versions of desire roms (the OS) in which people have added a range of useful tools. I’m currently on this one. Using clockwork you can ‘flash’ this over your current rom. Note that doing this will wipe all your data, if your unsure how try googleing for it.

  12. Dave

    Hi Paul,

    It was rooting that was not working it just too a few time’s, I now have superuser permissions icon just need to choose a ROM the one you are using sounds good is your phone still locked to three after you flashed it

    1. Paul

      Yea it will be still locked after flashing. The sim lock of your phone is completely separate issue. I’ve never looked into doing it, if its like my previous HTC phones you can only do it with an official code.

  13. Dave

    Hi Paul,

    As you can tell I am fresh to android and just have a couple more questions if you dont mind, after I have rooted my desire using unrevoked do I now flash it using a genric RUU (RUU_Bravo_HTC_WWE_1.21.405.2_Radio_32.36.00.28U_4. 06.00.02_2_release_126984) then use the custom recovery?
    To load a custom rom do you just drop the rom zip file onto the gold card go back into recovery and install the zip file? I have read so many different guides and watch different videos on youtube I feel confused I am confident in doing it as I have soft modded many nintendo wii’s in the past but I just can’t get my head around loading custom rom. The custom rom I want to use is the one you are currently using I also used the image you talked about in your guide instead of clockworkmod (recovery-RA-desire-v1.7.0.1-R5.img)so I dont know if I need to do different steps thanks in advance

    1. Paul

      Hi Dave,

      If you flash an official RUU such as the you mentioned with will ‘unroot’ your phone as it will reinstall their offical bootloader. But you may want this, so you can then use the Over the air (OTA) updater to upgrade to 2.2.

      The gold card is only for the purpose of getting a different version of a RUU to work. Yea but your right, drop the zip you downloaded on to your SD card, reboot in to recovery. At this point i highly advise you select ‘nandroid’ to back up your phone, incase it goes wrong. The go to ‘wipe’ and select every option, this will wipe/format your phone. Then select ‘Flash from SD Card’ and pick the rom you put on there. Wait while it does it, take a couple of minutes, the reboot your phone. Beware it can take about 10 mins boot the first time.

      Any more questions just ask.

  14. dave

    Hi Paul

    Thanks again for the info I am getting sick of myself asking questions! Where you have talked about de branding do I need to do this now or because I have made a goldcard and rooted the phone this is no longer needed I just flash the new custom ROM. I will remember to back it up!!

    1. Paul


      You still need to pay for paid apps, unlocking your phone has nothing to do with it. You can already install apks from alternate sources.

  15. Richard

    Hi Paul,

    I have a 3UK phone, trying to update to 2.2. I have got as far as running unrevoked. But I tried both the default recovery image and the one you mentioned, but when I reboot and go into recovery, I just get a blank screen.

    Phone still works *phew* if I pull the battery and reboot as normal

  16. Richard

    Hi Again,

    I managed to get into the recovery using the instructions at for an SLCD screen.

    But now I get an error when I try to install from the SD card. It says there is an error in the zip file.

    I don’t have time right now to get the error details, but I’ll just ask – does there need to be room on the SD card? I could only find a very small one to use as my goldcard, and it’s out of room. Does it need to unpack the zip first?

  17. Paul

    @Richard Well i’m glad you haven’t bricked your phone yet! From my memory the only reason I’ve had a flash fail if its not been properly signed by the dev how produced it. I would suggest as a test you give another go, or possibly an older version of the type you tried. Note the Roms on XDA are sometimes far from perfect despite what the dev’s claim on the post. Always a good idea if you can read some feedback on it first. You DO NOT need to unpack the zip. Its been build in a that the recovery can read, it contains separate img files for everything it overwrites. I’m not sure how much room extra is required on a SD card, I’m guessing that in theory no extra room is need. I’ve never tried with a small one as I have a 8GB (there only about 11 quid now). I would suggest trying a larger one. Also have you wiped the phone first?

  18. joanne

    Im trying to update my htc desire to 2.2 froyo but everytime i try i get this error some one please help me.It is locked to the 3 network

    E:Error in /sdcard/ (status 7)

  19. Richard

    OK, I have managed to get 2.2 using a ROM on XDA in the end:

    However, it is still network locked and there appears to be a further update (when I check for updates, there is a 25MB update available).

    – I did not wipe my phone, this did not prevent the update, and allowed me to keep all my settings. Would it be better to wipe it first, or is it a case of “if it worked, it worked”
    – I’m trying to figure out what to do for the network lock. It occurs to me I did not have a goldcard in (I found a 4GB card to upgrade with, but didn’t make it a goldcard) when I upgraded. Would that help. I’ve also heard that removing the SIM during the upgrade might help. Or would wiping it first help?

    Basically, I’m a little confused at exactly which step above removes the network lock. I thought it was running unrevoked3 which did it. Or do I have to put on a generic RUU before upgrading to 2.2?

    Note I have version 0.83 of the bootloader. I’m not sure if that makes a difference.

  20. Richard

    The more I think about it, the more I assume I need the generic RUU whatever else I do. Is the correct order:

    Goldcard (is that required? I’ve heard suggestions it’s not)
    Unrevoked (Done)
    Flash Generic RUU
    Flash Chosen ROM

  21. Paul

    @joanne I’m not really sure what your problem is, i would try formatting the card via the util in recovery. Then put the update zip back on a try again. A quick google search seems to suggest the only way of solving it is to reinstall an oringal RUU.

  22. Paul

    @Richard The network lock is a completly separate issue to rooting and switching the ROM. None of my instructions above will ‘unlock’ the phone. I haven’t unlocked my Desire yet so cant talk from direct experience but from researching it quickly its the same as my Hero and Magic. Basically you have to purchase an unlock code, normally about 10 quid. There is no ‘hack’ or magic way to get round this for free, you simply need the code.

    Normally you only dont wipe (before flashing) if its an upgrade from the same type of ROMS. Sometimes it will work fine, most of the times you may get weird problems or not work atall. I would suggest you always wipe first. If you use ‘Titanium Backup for Root’ it will simply save all you data and apps to save you messing about after sorting it out.

  23. Richard

    OK, thanks Paul. I’ll probably leave it for now then. I have some old phones which are unlocked that I can use when overseas and so on. I was only keen to do the unlock because Three were annoying me.

    I’m considering downloading the HTC update being pushed out OTA. If I install that, will it cover everything – or could there be problems with it like radio not flashing or something like that (which seems to be an issue with a lot of the custom ROMS), or will that fully get my phone to the latest complete build.

    (The reason I’m asking before trying is because my understanding is that once I upgrade to the official release, I won’t be able to downgrade again). I’m not fussed about having root access – I only wanted to get rid of the horrible Three software and get the real thing, I just want to be sure that I’ll be properly getting the real thing, and there won’t be some remnant that could cause a problem down the line.

    Thanks again for all your help

  24. Richard

    I might just try this method:

    SIM card is network locked

    If your handset is locked to a network the debranding process will prevent you from using it until an unlock code is entered. While codes can be purchased from various web sites for about £10-20 you may be able to avoid paying anything – according to reports from users with locked phones the trick is to update without a SIM card inserted. With version 1.21 installed power up the phone minus SIM card and initiate the Froyo OTA update. When complete you should find that your phone is fully working without the need to enter a code.

  25. Paul

    Hi there, wondered if you can help me! I am about to flash my Desire with a new ROM, it is 3 branded but only in the software, running version I have already rooted it using unrevoked, what I wanted to do is know if I can just overwrite it with the Rooted Froyo 2.2 build you mention above, or whether I will have to roll back the firmware first using a gold card? I have also unlocked the phone and am using a vodafone sim.

  26. joanne

    I reformated my card and even made it a gold card and im still getting error 7 im to to root my phone as i dont want to brick it

  27. Richard

    update on mine:

    I am now on the official and latest HTC release, but I had some issues.

    I used the RUU builds from the link on this page, but unfotunately I was left with a blank screen. (And a rather increased heart rate).

    But I found this link:
    which fixed the problem (the slightly newer RUU). I have since upgraded to the full Froyo OTA release.

    Note: I did it all with the SIM removed, but it is still network locked – but I’m not worried about that.

    As I have now used the OTA update, this will be my last post.

    Thanks for all the instructions and help.

  28. Paul

    @Richard – i’m glad you managed to get it all sorted in the end. The HTC RUU do flash the rom, HBOOT, recovery and radio, it will bring it up to all the latest versions. I have heard of the ‘trick’ sim cards but have no experience of it myself. My friends have succssfully used them on iphones and sumsungs so I guess its not out of the question that it will work.

  29. Paul

    @Paul – If you have used revoked its means you now have the custom recovery on it. This will allow to flash the update to root your phone (which i guess you’ve done) or flash a new 2.2 rom. You only need to use a gold card if you plan to use a offical RUU. Now that you have a recovery, make a backup of your phone in it, wipe it out, then flash your new selected rom. I assume you mean a dev’s rom against an offical one?

  30. Paul

    @joanna – well I would do what I suggested then and reinstall the correct RUU for your phone, ie the correct 3UK one and start again.

  31. Paul

    Hi Paul,

    Yes was planning to use one of the pre-modded ROMs which is already rooted. Do you have any suggestions on which one is closest to stock but has been modified in this way?

    Take it there are no issues with me having bootloader 0.83 as well? I’ve taken a full backup with Titanium Backup and all seems to be ok.

    Thanks for your help!

  32. Richard

    @Paul – if you have 0.83 you just need to make sure you use the right recovery and, if you choose, RUU. I have an SLCD screen and some of the files don’t work, leaving you with a blank screen (though it is recoverable, which I’m very glad about). If you do have an SLCD screen (I’m not exactly sure how to tell, but I had 0.83 of the bootloader, so the switch happened around then), check out my posts at #30 and #44. Otherwise all the instructions are the same as on this page – you just need slightly newer versions of things which are available in the links I’ve put up.

  33. Paul

    Hi Richard,

    I was planning to run the link above with the ‘Rooted Official HTC Android 2.2 (FroYo) ROM’. I think from the comments here it should work with no problems, and am I right in saying that the only situation I’d need to use a goldcard is if I needed to reinstall the original 1.22.771 3 UK firmware?

  34. Paul

    @Richard @Paul – you only need the goldcard if you plan on flashing firmware that isn’t intended for your device. ie trying to flash a generic (world wide english as found on sim free desires from english speaking countries) rom on to your 3uk phone or flashing a t mobile version to 3uk

  35. Paul

    Hi Paul, now I’m slightly confused! The situation is I have a desire running software version 1.22.771, 3 branded since the logo is shown at boot. I have also done the custom recovery using unrevoked to root the phone (note the 3 logo still shows on boot after this).

    What my question was is since I have rooted the phone do I still need to flash a custom rom using a goldcard, or can I just copy the rom onto the sim (the generic rooted Froyo build since there isn’t a 3 one out yet) and use something like clockworkmod to apply it from the phone?

    Thanks for persevering, it seems like everyone has a different installation experience.

  36. Paul

    @Paul – the software version 1.22.xx is the HBOOT version and wont change in this process, only the software version of the ROM will. You are correct, you do not need the goldcard to flash a custom ROM on, this is only for the official RUU from HTC. As you said just put the zip on your SD card and flash it over using the Clockworkmod. Remember to backup first and do a complete wipe for going ahead.

  37. Paul

    Thanks very much Paul, this worked without a hitch, successfully loaded the ROM you suggested above and now running Android 2.2.

  38. Raj Verma

    Correct RUU for H3G UK HTC DESIRE SLCD display
    Sorry to bother you mate
    but I hope you are the one who can help me out
    I just installed the RUU from one of your thread on my htc deisre .93 Hboot, clockworkmod recovery radio rom 32.44, and then i installed RUU for H3G UK and now my phone’s display is gone as i can feel vibration, lights working but touch screen is not working

    I am not sure if my touch screen is SLCD/AMOLED and there is not specified on RUU links if they are for SLCD/AMOLED.

    Even I can not send it back to as I am not sure if on the phone three software is installed including recovery, radio etc or some custom rom.

    I will be glad if you could reply to me and send me some link of both SLCD and AMOLED displays RUU.

    Many Thanks


  39. Paul

    @Raj i would suggest you attempt to start the process again, are you able to reinstall the original RUU or any RUU?

  40. Raj Verma

    yes i am i tried two different RUU, but on both I can not see anything on display

    plz help
    I m gonna kill myself
    m crying …lol

  41. Paul

    @Raj can you get the computer to connect to it at all? Did any error message or odd behaviour happening during the install? Can you get into boot loader or recovery?

  42. Raj Verma

    I can connect to computer not sure about bootloader/recovery as display is not working so can not see anything on the screen, only thing i can feel the vibrations of switching on the phone notification led light/ringer working, i can also receive phone call, but can not pick up the phone as no hard button to answer the phone n touch screen not working

  43. Paul

    Well the problem you have now is you have put the RUU on it over writing the Custom recovery you put on there. you didn’t really need to do this.

    I’m not sure what you have to do now, it seems you have the incorrect drivers installed for you phones screen. As you suggest as some point the desire went back to a lcd from a oled screen. I know mine was oled.

    It seems you installed a incorrect RUU for your phone possibly.

    Not really sure how i can help you from here. What i would suggest is if you can get your phone into bootloader it will still be ok as you can just re installed the RuU.

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