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I really enjoy RootzWiki, but noticed a missing "General Guide." This forum is extremely helpful, but everyone is answering the same questions on every thread, so hopefully this will become a one stop shop to become familiar with what owning a rooted (and rooting a phone) means. If anything is wrong please correct me, and if this seems suitable please sticky it for everyone to enjoy :)

Rooting: follow these videos and you'll be fine (DISCLAIMER 1: all of this voids your warranty and involves a small risk of bricking your phone, but if you follow it letter for letter you should be fine; also, i assume no responsibility for any problems, and although this guide is comprehensive, read up on EVERYTHING first. AND ALWAYS CHECK MD5 SUMS). There is a one click method but you should learn the manual process to understand ADB in case you decide to do anything else in the future.

1) ADB setup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKPSe...700&feature=iv
2) Rooting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etKqz...eature=related
3) Un-root (in case you need to submit for warranty replacement or anything): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbgnZ...feature=relmfu
4) Text guide for the above including downloads and command lines: http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/03...ts-bootloader/

In case there are any errors:

-Recover from bootloop: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1161287

The only way to brick your phone is to mess up with the old radio they make you install to exploit the phone, but as long as you never reinstall that after the initial root or for some reason mess up a radio install, you can change ROMs and kernels pretty much without worry. In the event that you do mess up and get a security warning (the old factory radio checks software like a nazi and if it does not match or it doesn't like what's on the phone you get this) you can fix it via this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1172055.

DISCLAIMER 2: Now that you are done, you MUST remove any leftover PG05IMG.zip files from your sdcard, or you may end up with a bootloop, resulting in you having to go to the store to buy a microSD adapter to remove it via another computer.

After rooting is complete your phone will be stock only with superuser access, and at this point in the game an outdated radio that you can manually or OTA update (more on this later). You can verify that you are rooted using this app: https://market.android.com/details?i...=search_result. Install ROM manager from the market and open it up. There is an option to Flash Recovery. Select that and wait. After it is done, check that it is working by rebooting into recovery via the menu in ROM manager as well.

DISCLAIMER 3: Now that you have CWM (clockworkmod) recovery installed, MAKE A BACKUP. Go into recovery via the Rom manager menu, and when in CWM go to backup and restore (using the volume rocker buttons, power button to select), and backup. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BACKUP BEFORE DOING ANYTHING NEW, SUCH AS NEW ROMS, THEMES, KERNELS, ETC. You can backup before flashing radios, but that will not backup the old radio. If you ever need to restore, simply wipe data/factory reset, wipe cache, wipe dalvik cache, wipe battery stats, then go into the backup/restore menu and restore via a selected backup.

If you want to stay stock and just freeze bloatware, allowing you to receive OTA updates from verizon, merely install apps like Titanium Backup and Bloat Freezer- root from the market. These let you freeze the verizon apps that kill your phone and battery life. Whenever there is an OTA update (like the gingerbread OTA, whenever that is), simply unfreeze the bloatware and let it update OTA. This is required because the OTA install checks your phone for the bloatware apps, and if any are missing it will not update (verizon really is a bunch of crooks, and how they get away with this absurdity is beyond me). Updating OTA may or may not remove root. I would suggest against this method, but it is the simplest if you just want better battery life and phone performance.

DISCLAIMER 4: I would advise against using titanium backup for anything short of freezing apps (NEVER FREEZE SYSTEM APPS, ONLY BLOATWARE OR OTHER APPS), as it causes problems with many ROMs. The best bet is to always start fresh (even though you might have to start at the beginning of angry birds or whatever game you play).

If you want a stock ROM with all the bloatware removed, look for something that is simply the stock OS debloated or a stock ROM with tweaks, such as the GTP Eaton ROM or Bamf 1.8.6. The bonus to both of these is that the bloatware is removed, freeing space and eliminating the need for freezing apps, and the later type of ROM has system tweaks to make your phone even faster. These can all be found on rootzwiki.com under the Thunderbolt Android Development Section. Search and pick what you want. They are also available on the XDA forums, but this community is not as friendly lately (although it tends to have more options and mods). The bamf roms are best supported at their site, teambamf.net.

To install a custom ROM (find these on rootzwiki, xda, or my personal favorite, teambamf.net):
1) Go into CWM and make a backup (make sure the backup is there by going into restore and you should see the current date next to a backup, and that is what you backed up).
2) Download the ROM you want, check MD5 sums, and put the zip on your sdcard. It doesn't have to be on the root (can be in a folder). DISCLAIMER 5: Make sure you have a ROM that supports the radio you have. If not, you will install the ROM and load up to find no signal. THIS IS NOT A BIG DEAL. Simply upgrade the radio after the ROM install, and then you will be able to get signal.
3) In CWM do wipe data/factory reset, wipe cache, wipe dalvik cache, wipe battery stats.
4) After that choose the install zip from sdcard, choose zip, and select your ROM zip.
5) Install, and when it is finished, do ++go back++ and then reboot.
6) NOTE: The first time your ROM loads up, it will take a while as the phone unpacks everything and sets up the caches, so just WAIT. After it settles, do the phone setup, and then WAIT MORE AS THE PHONE SYNCS FULLY. ATTEMPTING TO USE IT TOO FAST MAY CAUSE BUGS. If 10+ minutes go by, or if you notice it keeps buzzing every 1-2 minutes, you are stuck in a bootloop. To recover, pull the battery, put it back, hold volume down and power, then press power down to recovery, and press power to select recovery. From there wipe everything again, and either reinstall the ROM or install your backup.

To install a custom kernel (kernels act as the middle-man between the hardware and the software, and different kernels support different things. Imoseyon's kernels and the dreamkernel have nice built in overclocking and undervolting options, so I use these. Most ROMs come with a custom kernel that is superior to the HTC kernels). Kernels can be found on rootzwiki or xda, BUT NOTE THAT NOT ALL ROMS SUPPORT CUSTOM KERNELS, SO CHECK THE ROM LISTING:
1) Make a backup.
2) Wipe cache and dalvik (this is optional, some do some don't).
3) Install the kernel zip from sdcard.
4) Boot up. Booting up may take some time.
5) NOTE: When booting up, let the phone sit. Just wait. Attempting to use the phone too soon will cause bugs or freezes. Let it settle in.

To install a newer radio (BE CAREFUL, RADIO FLASHING MAY CAUSE BRICKING IF YOU ARE NOT):
0) Set up ADB and make sure your phone is attached if you are using this method.
1) Find the radio you want AND CHECK MD5 SUMS WHEN DOWNLOADING AND THEN WHEN ON YOUR PHONE (via app such as HASH DROID) AS INSTALLING A FAULTY RADIO IMAGE MAY CAUSE BRICK.
2) Rename to PG05IMG.ZIP (make sure it is not PG05IMG.zip.zip or the phone won't recognize it; done via "get info" on macs or "properties" on windows) and place on the root of the sd card (not in any folders).
3) Reboot into recovery via ROM manager or your ROMs reboot menu.
4) Wipe battery stats at the very least (I also wipe cache and dalvik).
5) From there, use adb to reboot into the bootloader (adb reboot bootloader) or if you don't like adb, simply pull the battery, put it back, and press vol down + power and bootloader will come up. SEE AT THE END FOR ANOTHER, imho, BETTER OPTION.
6) Select volume up to update, and let it install. When it is done, press power again to reboot. Give the phone time to settle in, as the initial boot may take time.

To install a new radio AND a new ROM together (you can install ROM first, then radio, but you will not see signal after booting the ROM if you switch from Froyo to GB ROM or to a ROM that doesn't support your radio. ALSO MAKE SURE THE ROM YOU ARE INSTALLING SUPPORTS THE RADIO YOU ARE UPGRADING TO):
0) Set up ADB and make sure your phone is recognized as attached.
0.5) Make sure the PG05IMG.zip of the radio is on the root of your sdcard AND THAT MD5 MATCHES.
1) Follow steps to install ROM.
2) Assuming you have adb setup, reboot into bootloader. Or, pull the battery. Or, SEE OTHER METHOD AT END.
3) Let bootloader work its magic, then reboot when asked.
4) Wait a while for the phone to boot and settle, then set it up, and LET IT SYNC FULLY AFTER INITIAL SETUP. If there is no signal, you did something wrong or the ROM does not support the radio.

My personal suggestions for ROMs are:
1) Stock Froyo, a stable daily driver (great for those who need their phone for business or exchange) with bloat removed and tweaks: BAMF 1.8.6 (http://teambamf.net/showthread.php/3...Das-BAMF-1.8.6)
2) Gingerbread (based on alpha leak, not as stable as above but very close) with sense 3.0; this is fast, pretty, and the newest software: BAMF Sense 3.0 RC4.9 (http://teambamf.net/showthread.php/3...ense-3.0-RC4.9)
3) AOSP Gingerbread (built off the android open source code, is stock gingerbread similar to what is on the Nexus line of phones) that is fast and gives you incredible battery life: CM7 (http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?...-6-11-59PM-EST)

MODS and THEMES can be found on forums such as rootzwiki, xda, or teambamf.net (my favorite), and support for those can be found under respective threads.

OTHER METHOD FOR REBOOTING INTO BOOTLOADER FROM RECOVERY (if you do this, make sure the new CWM works before you continue to use it):
- this method is a flashable PG05IMG.zip that you flash in bootloader that gives you a newer CWM recovery with an addition "advanced" option to reboot directly into bootloader, which is great for installing new radios because you don't need to use adb or pull the battery.
LINK: http://rootzwiki.com/showthread.php?...otloader-patch

NOTE: I DO NOT TAKE CREDIT FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT THE GUIDE ITSELF. ALL CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO THEMSELVES MADE THE PRODUCTS/VIDEOS/ETC. AND ALL OF THIS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. I ASSUME NO RISK FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS. IF YOU NEED HELP ASK, OR JOIN THE ANDIRC AT #THUNDERBOLT.

Enjoy! And if you have any further questions or comments don't hesitate to ask myself or any other member of the forums.

[on the off chance this guide motivates you to make a donation, please donate to your favorite medical-oriented charity or volunteer at a local clinic/hospital]
 
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