This tutorial will guide you every single step of the way through the process of rooting your Android phone, and installing the Cyanogen ROM.
NOTE: this tutorial is no longer accurate. I’m leaving it up because steps 6-20 are still required for the new way to install CyanogenMod.
I’ve created this guide by using several other sources I found online. None were (in my opinion) as comprehensive and easy to follow as this one.
If you’re wondering why you’d want to root your Android phone, give Lifehackers Five great reasons to root your Android phone a read.
It should be noted right up front: following the steps in this tutorial may void the warranty on your phone. All of your settings and applications will be wiped out (but the data on your SD card will remain intact).
Note: the steps and screenshots in this tutorial are specific to the HTC G1. It’s my understanding that this process will work perfectly fine with the myTouch 3G, but I cannot personally confirm that, as I don’t have one.
- Start out by plugging your your phone into your PC via USB. Once it’s connected to your PC, you should see a small USB icon in the upper left corner of your phone. Drag the “menu bar” down and there will be an entry titled USB connected. Tap (or click) it.
- Now tap the Mount button.
- In your browser, visit this page and download the latest stable release of CyanogenMod. The file will be in the format of update-cm-x.x.x-signed.zip (make sure to download the zip file and not the md5sum file). At the time of this tutorial, update-cm-4.0.4-signed.zip was the latest CyanogenMod. Use the date column on the right side of the page to determine which one is the latest version.
Once you’ve downloaded the file, copy it to your Android’s SD card. The SD card can be found by going to My Computer and locating the drive that represents your SD card.
- After you’ve copied the CyanogenMod .zip file to the SD card on your phone, slide down the menu bar again and this time tap Turn off USB storage.
- You’ll be prompted with a Turn off USB storage window – tap the Turn Off button.
- Now open the browser on your Android phone. Enter the URL http://ryebrye.com/files/flashrec.apk.
- The file is just about 4MB in size, so it might take a minute or three to download.
- Once the download has completed, tap the download entry for that file.
- If you haven’t previously enabled installing 3rd party applications, a warning window will pop up. Click the Settings button on that screen. Note: if you have previously enabled installing 3rd party apps, skip down to step #12.
- The Application settings window will open. Tap the ‘grayed out’ check mark next to the Unknown sources entry (so that a green check-mark appears).
- Tap OK on the warning window.
- Use the Back button to return to the downloads list. Now tap the download entry for flashrec.apk again. This time you’ll be prompted to install it. Click the Install button.
- Once the installation has completed, tap the Open button.
- On the Recovery Flasher window, tap the Backup Recovery Image button.
- Let the recovery flasher do its thing. It’ll only take a few moments.
- Once the backup has completed, you should be presented with a screen that says Backed up. at the top. Now tap the Flash Cyanogen Recovery 1.4 button.
- Once this process has completed, you’ll be presented with a screen that says Flashed new recovery image. at the top.
- At this point you need to power your phone off. Hold down the power button and select the Power off option.
- Tap OK to shut your phone down.
- Hold down the Home button and click the power button to turn your phone back on. It’s very important that you hold down the Home button when turning your phone back on or Android will over-write the recovery image that you just installed.
When Android powers up, you’ll be presented with a new screen – the Cyanogen recovery image. Use your trackball and navigate down to nandroid v2.2 backup. Click this entry with the trackball.
- Cyanogen will now create a recovery image for you. This is very helpful if you ever need to restore your Android phone. Don’t skip this step.
- Once the backup has completed, you’ll see a screen with Backup complete! at the bottom.
- Now scroll down to the entry titled wipe data/factory reset and click it with your trackball.
- You’ll be asked to confirm this action by clicking the HOME button on your phone. Do so now.
- Cyanogen will now wipe your Android phone. Once this process has completed, scroll to the apply any zip from sd entry and click it.
- Select the .zip file that you copied to your SD card way back in step #3. Again, this file should be titled something like update-cm-x.x.x-signed.zip. Once you’ve selected that file, click it (using the trackball-button).
- Click the HOME button to confirm this action.
- The process of applying the CyanogenMod can take a couple of minutes to complete, so don’t worry if nothing seems to be happening.
- Once it says Install from sdcard complete at the bottom of your screen, scroll to the reboot system now entry and click it.
- Your phone will now restart. You’ll notice that the boot screen is slightly different now. This is a good sign.
- Once your device finishes starting up, right away you’ll notice a new background image.
- If you’d like to confirm everything installed, open your Settings, scroll down to About phone and select it. There should be a new entry in that list titled Mod version. It should say CyanogenMod-x.x.x (where x.x.x is the version you downloaded and installed).
- Once again mount your SD card in Windows (see steps #1-3 above). There should be a new file on your SD card titled recovery-backup.img. Copy this file to your PC. This is the backup that you created in step #14, and it’s very important and helpful to have if you should every decide to restore your Android phone. It’s also a good idea to copy this file elsewhere – to your online backup service, a DVD, an external drive etc. You may even want to email a copy to yourself if you use an online email service like Gmail, so that it will always be stored on the Gmail servers.
- That’s it! You’ve now rooted your phone and installed the CyanogenMod mod. Explore your Applications and phone – you’ll notice a number of new apps and features. One of which is that you now have 5 ‘home’ screens instead of 3. You should also notice that your phone is considerably faster – one of the main reasons to go through this process.