Updated: Root the HTC Droid Incredible

It’s been almost 6 months since I first published my original HTC Droid Incredible Rooting Guide. This post includes updated steps and resources on rooting your HTC Droid Incredible running Android 2.2 and the Nov over-the-air update. Most of this information here can be used for rooting other phones, including the EVO, Hero, Wildfire, Aria, and Desire, although some details may be slightly different.

The instructions of this post make the assumption that the reader is on a windows computer with an HTC Droid Incredible running Android 2.2 after the Nov over the air update, but will work with 2.1 and 2.2 pre-Nov OTA. Please understand that the directions may vary for other operating systems and android phones.


If you decide to root your android phone I take no responsibility for anything going wrong. By “rooting” your android phone you are voiding your (1yr) warranty. It is possible to mess this up and “brick” your android phone. (A bricked android phone is one that is completely dead.) I offer this tutorial as an aid for people who know what they’re doing and have some level of experience with advanced technology.

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Quick Links

1. Downloads5. unrevoked Forever9. Titanium Backup13. Restoring from Backups
2. Getting ready6. ROMs and Kernels10. Going AdFree14. Tech Support
3. Installing the drivers7. Nandroid backup11. Removing bloat15. Unroot
4. unrevoked reflash tool8. Wireless Tether12. Boot animation


  1. Download the Android SDK from Google (You don’t need this to root. You only need this for manually removing bloat or manipulating files – like boot animations.)
  2. Download the unrevoked3 recovery reflash tool for windows, linux, or mac.
  3. Download the modified drivers from unrevoked.
  4. Remove HTC Sync or PDA Net form your computer. The software and drivers may interfere with the rooting process. Once you’re done you can reinstall them.
  5. Download the unrevoked Forever tool Unrevoked recovery reflash tool now sets the android phone to S-Off for you.
  6. If you have an SLCD screen you’ll need to use an alternate recovery image – you can download it from Doug Piston‘s site. Once your android phone is S-Off you can use this download to flash your recovery image. Unrevoked 3.3 works with SLCD screen incredibles.

Getting ready

  1. Unzip the Google SDK download zip file, or run the executable if you downloaded that. The zip file will created a folder called android-sdk-windows. Move that folder to the root of the c: drive, and rename it to sdk so that its location is c:sdk. If you run the executable it will install the SDK to c:program filesandroidandroid-sdk. For the rest of the guide I’ll use the path c:sdk, but your path may be different.
  2. Run c:sdkSDK Manager.exe (You may receive error messages) The application will launch. Accept the default settings and click the “Install” button. Once the application is installed you can close all windows.
  3. Extract the unrevoked drivers from the zip and save them somewhere you will remember – I recommend c:sdkusb_driver
  4. On your Incredible, from the Home screen, press the Menu button and select Settings > Applications > Development and check USB Debugging.

Installing the drivers

You’ll now need to install the drivers for the android phone, and unrevoked has a great walk through for installing them. Of course, you’ll need to remember where you saved those driver files (possibly c:sdkusb_driver).

unrevoked recovery reflash tool

Thanks to unrevoked, rooting the android phone is now easier than ever.

  1. Make sure the android phone is fully booted, connected to the computer via USB, and USB debugging is on
  2. Run the Unrevoked recovery reflash tool
  3. Watch and wait. When the program says “Done,” you’re done!

You’ll end up in the Clockworkmod recovery menu – it’s black with orange text and will say “Clockworkmod Recovery v*.*.*.*” at the top. You’ll need to return to this menu at various times throughout this tutorial.

The ClockworkMod recovery has great features, plus it allows you to easily access the android operating system. Having this kind of access to the OS allows you to do a lot more with your android phone.

The new recovery mod works differently than the original recovery. You can navigate the options with the volume key or the joystick. Rather than selecting an option, the power button turns off the screen in the main menu, otherwise, it is used to move back to a previous menu. To select an option you need to press the joystick in.

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Going S-Off

By running the Unrevoked recovery reflash tool your android phone will be automatically set to S-Off – no need to run unrevoked Forever.

unrevoked’s Forever tool allows you to set your android phone to S-Off. This means that you’ll be able to apply any patch you like without needing the file to be official. Once your android phone is S-Off, if for some reason you ever lost root, it is incredible easy to get it back.

Follow the instructions on the unrevoked Forever page.

ROMs and Kernels

Installing custom ROMs and kernels opens up doors to doing some really geeky stuff with your android phone. Thanks to Clockworkmod’s ROM Manager it’s a pretty painless process. However, it is not without risks! By making major changes to the operating system of the android phone you run a higher risk of bricking the device.

I have not yet installed a custom ROM, but I am running a different kernel. I’m happy with how the stock ROM works right now and having root is enough for me. But, the second there’s a stable Froyo ROM with working GPS, camera and SenseUI you better believe I’ll be one of the first to toss it on. (Yes, I like SenseUI. The Exchange integration is well done, and required for work. Plus, I like the Facebook contact integration.)

Installing a custom ROM

I recommend using ROM Manager. You can find it in the Android Market (buy the full version, the extra features are worth the $4). You can use it to make nandroid backups, download the most recent version of Clockworkmod and the ROM of your choice, and then flash the ROM – all from your android phone. It’s painless.

However, if you’re looking for a more hands on approach, here are the steps:

  1. Download the ROM you want to use to your SD card. IncredibleROMS and Sodpit are popular sites for finding ROMs that might not be listed in ROM Manager. Jager and CyanogenMod are pretty popular ROMs. Virtuous is my favorite 2.2 ROM, and it’s very stable. (After downloading you may want to rename the ROM file to something easy to remember).
  2. Run a full Titanium backup. Titanium backups are stored on the SD card, so after you install the new ROM you’re going to be able to do a restore and have all your programs, settings, and data. Cool, huh?
  3. Boot into recovery mode and do a nandroid backup. When you want to return to the stock ROM you’ll use this backup.
  4. Wipe your android phone data (aren’t you glad you backed up?)
  5. Wipe the cache
  6. Select “install zip from sdcard”
  7. Select “choose zip from sdcard”
  8. Select the zip file you downloaded
  9. After the zip is loaded, return to the main menu and reboot the android phone. The first boot will take a while to load, this is normal.
  10. Once the android phone is up and running install Titanium backup from the market and do a full restore.

Installing a new kernel

The most popular kernel for the Incredible is hydra. You can download hydra from hydrakernel. There you’ll see the options of undervolted or overclocked kernels. The undervolted kernel saves on battery juice, the overclock makes the android phone run faster. The overclock kernel also undervolts the CPU when it is idle, which is pretty cool.

The directions for installing a new kernel are identical to the directions for installing a ROM, except you do not need to wipe the data or cache. But, do go ahead and make a new nandroid backup – you’ll want to be able to restore, should the new kernel not work. Download the kernel to the SD card, boot into recovery, install the file to the android phone, reboot.

The hydra kernel will automatically adjust the CPU speed depending on demand. Plus you get wireless N. Nifty!

If you ever want to go back to the stock kernel you can do a nandroid restore, or download the stock kernel from hydrakernel and follow the directions again – without the wipe, of course.

One last note on ROMS and Kernels

Many ROMs come with kernels specific to those ROMs. Using a different kernel may cause the system to be unstable, so either do some reading to make sure your combination works or do some testing. Having good backups is important!

FYI: CyanogenMod has its own kernel, but many users run CM6 with hydra and report that it’s stable.

Nandroid backup

From the Clockworkmod recovery screen select nandroid, then select backup. The backup will take a few minutes. The backup is stored on the SD card in the directory clockworkmod/backup/

With this backup you can safely start editing your android phone files. If you do something wrong, and want to restore it, you’ve got yourself covered. Never rename nandroid backups! Renaming the directory is known to cause problems. Keep a text file in the clockworkmod directory with notes about specific backups.

One of the best features of a nandroid backup is the ability to restore just one part of the android phone. Under Nandroid > Advanced Restore select the date of the backup you want to restore from, then select which partition you want to restore. For example, if you accidentally deleted the wrong files from /system you can restore just the system portion of the most recent nandroid backup. Brilliant!

Wireless Tether

Download and install Wireless Tether

Once installed, open it. Hit close on the donation screen. Now, hit the wireless symbol to start the tether. You’ll get a message from the program Superuser asking if you want to give the program superuser access. Check remember and click allow.

Titanium Backup

Get Titanium Backup from the market and install it like you would any other app. When you first run it you’ll get an error message about not having root, and needing BusyBox. Clear that message and click the button on the bottom called, “Problems?” then select “Yes, do it.” This will install BusyBox. Titanium Backup requires the android phone to be in USB Debugging mode (which you turned on at the beginning of this process). Allow any Superuser requests.

Run your first backup by pressing the menu button and then selecting Batch. Tap Run next to Backup all user apps + system data. Once that’s complete, schedule a weekly backup. Titanium backup will backup your apps, android system settings, app settings, and market links. It’s free – but the full version is well worth the $4!

Going AdFree

I have a bit of a philosophical dilemma with running AdFree. Many of my favorite apps are free because they use ad revenue to support their development. I like free apps (although I’m not opposed to paying for good apps), but I also dislike Ads. In any case, I wanted to include instructions about how to get AdFree working.

  1. Install AdFree from the market and run it
  2. Click Download & Install Hosts. It will try to write the hosts file to /system and fail (this is okay)
  3. The android phone will reboot (also okay)
  4. Reboot the android phone into recovery mode (from the command prompt run: adb reboot recovery. You don’t have to wait for the android phone to boot completely to run this command.)
  5. In recovery select the partitions menu and mount /system, /data, and /sdcard
  6. From the command prompts run adb shell. You’re now operating from within the android os.
  7. run cp /sdcard/hosts /data/data/hosts (This copies the AdFree hosts file from the SD Card to the Data directory)
  8. run mv /system/etc/hosts /system/etc/hosts.bak (This renames the current hosts file)
  9. run ln -s /data/data/hosts /system/etc/hosts (This creates a symbolic link. This link allows AdFree to edit the hosts file stored in /data while allowing the OS to use the file as if it were stored in /system.

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Removing bloat

Most custom ROMs remove all bloat for you, some (like Virtuous) give you a program that allow you to easily turn bloat on and off. You can also use Root Explorer or Titanium Backup to remove bloat. However, if you aren’t going to use a ROM and want to remove bloat by hand, here’s how to do it.

  1. Boot into Clockworkmod recovery by powering off the android phone and pressing and holding the volume down and power button until the screen lights up.
  2. At the menu press volume down to select Recovery, then press power.
  3. At the Clockworkmod main menu select partitions menu, then select mount /system
  4. On the computer click Start > Run, and type CMD to open a command prompt.
  5. In the command prompt type cdsdkplatform-tools
  6. At the command prompt type adb shell. Now you’re in the android OS.

Before we being, let’s review some basic unix commands!

mkdir – make directory – This makes a directory (mkdir /system/newdirectory)
mv – move – This moves something (mv /what.i.want.moved/file.apk /where.it.is.going/file.apk)
cp – copy – This copies a file from one place to another (cp /what.i.want.copied/file.apk /where.it.is.going/file.apk)
ls – list – This lists the contents of the current directory, or the specified directory (ls, ls /system)
cd – change directory – This changes from the current directory to a new directory (cd /system)
rm – remove – This deletes! Permanently! There is not waste can to recover files. (rm /system – DON’T DO THIS)

I don’t like deleting apps. Primarily because replacement files are hard to come by if you end up needing them again. So, I recommend that you create a directory for disabled apps.

mkdir /system/app.disabled

Run the commands listed below (which are case sensitive) to disable various apps. Read carefully – some of the apps listed are probably ones you’ll actually want! Also, you need to remove any accounts you have for the following apps before you remove the app!

mv /system/app/amazonmp3.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/amazonmp3.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)

mv /system/app/AppSharing.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/AppSharing.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
App Sharing

mv /system/app/htcbookmarkwidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htcbookmarkwidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Bookmark Widget

mv /system/app/Calculator.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Calculator.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcCalculatorWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/HtcCalculatorWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
HTC Calculator

mv /system/app/Calendar.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Calendar.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htccalendarwidgets.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htccalendarwidgets.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/CalendarProvider.apk /system/app.disabled/ (Needed in 2.2)
mv /system/app/CalendarProvider.odex /system/app.disabled/ (Needed in 2.2)
mv /system/app/GoogleCalendarSyncAdapter.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/GoogleCalendarSyncAdapter.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
HTC Calendar

mv /system/app/HtcCarPanel.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/HtcCarPanel.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/HtcNaviPanel.apk /system/app.disabled/ (name changed in 2.2)
mv /system/app/HtcNaviPanel.odex /system/app.disabled/ (name changed in 2.2)
HTC Car Panel

mv /system/app/CityID.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/CityID.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/framework/com.cequint.platform.jar /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/framework/com.cequint.platform.odex /system/app.disabled/

mv /system/app/htccontactwidgets.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htccontactwidgets.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Contacts Widget

mv /system/app/Flickr.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Flickr.odex /system/app.disabled/
Flickr – this will disable Flickr integration.

mv /system/app/HtcFMRadio.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcFMRadio.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.FMRadioWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/com.htc.FMRadioWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
HTC FM Radio

mv /system/app/HtcFootprints.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcFootprints.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcFootprintsWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcFootprintsWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Footprints

mv /system/app/com.htc.FriendStreamWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.FriendStreamWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Friend Stream (If you intend to sync Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter accounts with your phone you will need to keep this, otherwise you will get a persistent sync symbol)

mv /system/app/GenieWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/GenieWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
New 2.2 widget, not sure what it does.

mv /system/app/Mail.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Mail.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htcmailwidgets.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htcmailwidgets.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Mail app – this will disable exchange integration

mv /system/app/htcmsgwidgets.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/htcmsgwidgets.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Message Widget

mv /system/app/HtcMusic.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcMusic.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.MusicWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.MusicWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Music Player

mv /system/app/NewsReader.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/NewsReader.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/com.htc.NewsReaderWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/com.htc.NewsReaderWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
HTC New Reader & Widget

mv /system/app/PDFViewer.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/PDFViewer.odex /system/app.disabled/
PDF Viewer

mv /system/app/HtcPhotoWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcPhotoWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Photo Widget

mv /system/app/Quickoffice.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Quickoffice.odex /system/app.disabled/
Quick Office

mv /system/app/RSS.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/RSS.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
RSS Reader

mv /system/app/htcsearchwidgets.apk /system/app.disabled/ (already removed in 2.2)
mv /system/app/htcsearchwidgets.odex /system/app.disabled/ (already removed in 2.2)
HTC Search Widget

mv /system/app/Stock.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/Stock.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.StockWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.StockWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
Stock app

mv /system/app/HtcSyncwidget.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/HtcSyncwidget.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
Not sure, haven’t used

mv /system/app/HtcTwitter.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/HtcTwitter.odex /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.TwitterWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.TwitterWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Peep

mv /system/app/VoiceDialer.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/VoiceDialer.odex /system/app.disabled/
Voice Dialer

mv /system/app/VVM.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/VVM.odex /system/app.disabled/
Visual Voice Mail

mv /system/app/VzNav.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/VzNav.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
Verizon Navigation (Costs $$/mo – why use this when Google Nav is free?)

mv /system/app/VZW_Skype.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/VZW_Skype.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
Verizon Skype

mv /system/app/com.htc.WeatherWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
mv /system/app/com.htc.WeatherWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
HTC Weather Widget

mv /system/app/WifiRouter.apk /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
mv /system/app/WifiRouter.odex /system/app.disabled/ (2.2) (This is for the 3G HotSpot)
This is the 3G Mobile HotSpot, which costs $$/mo. If you’re rooted you can use Wireless Tether to do the same thing for free.

mv /system/etc/CDROM.ISO /system/app.disabled/ (2.2)
(This stops the Verizon popup from coming up when you plug your android phone into your PC)

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Boot animation

Custom boot animations can range from geeky to cool and are easy to install.

  1. Download the animation you want to use. Rename the file to bootanimation.zip. The only files in the zip file should be part0 and part1 directories and a desc.txt file.
  2. Put the bootanimation.zip file into your tools directory (c:sdkplatform-tools). For Android 2.2 on the Incredible the file is called VZW_bootanimation.zip (case sensitive)
  3. Reboot the phone into recovery (adb reboot recovery)
  4. Using the clockworkmod recovery menu on the phone mount /data
  5. For Android 2.1: use the command adb push bootanimation.zip /data/local (You can also put the file on your sdcard and use the command mv /sdcard/bootanimation.zip /data/local/)
    For Android 2.2: use the command adb push VZW_bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource or if thee the file is on your SD card mv /sdcard/VZW_bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource
  6. Reboot

If you want the sound file that goes along with the “cool” boot animation, download it and us the adb push command to push it to the same location as the bootanimation.zip file. (Thanks jtcarnes.)

Next time your android phone boots you’ll get to see your new boot animation!

Restoring from Backups

If you find yourself in a bind and need to do a restore, or if you just flashed your ROM and want to restore your apps from Titanium, you can follow these easy steps:

Titanium Backup

  1. Open Titanium Backup
  2. Press menu and select batch
  3. Scroll down and select run next to Restore all apps with data
  4. All apps and data will then be restored


  1. Open Titanium Backup
  2. Click Backup/Restore at the top
  3. Select the program you want to restore
  4. Select restore


  1. Reboot into recovery mode (adb reboot recovery)
  2. Select nandroid from the menu
  3. Select Restore, or if you only want to restore one specific partition, select Advanced Restore
  4. Select the backup directory you want to restore from – restore will begin immediately or
  5. If you selected Advanced Restore you will then be given the option of restoring a specific partition

Once the restore is done, reboot!

Tech Support

It’s hard for me to answer all the questions that people have, especially if I want to keep my day job. However, there are a lot of answers to common problems and plenty of good folk eager to help at AndroidForums.

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Jonathan Suh has put together a very simple and easy-to-follow post for unrooting your HTC Droid Incredible.


  1. I suddenly feel the need for a “Rooting for Dummies for Dummies.”

    I rooted my Incredible (2.1) back in June, using your previous guide, and it went quite well. However, I’m now getting a prompt about 10 times per day to push 2.2 onto my phone. I would like to remain/return to being rooted when it’s done. I may have missed it… but the only thing I see in your current guide is how to root if you’re already at 2.2. Does being rooted at 2.1 carry over all the configuration (root access, renamed bloatware/adware, etc.) that I’ve done? Or does the 2.2 push (from VZW) wipe everything out and force me to start over?

    I got bold this evening and attempted the upgrade… ie, push button to install 2.2, but I soon got a graphic on the screen that was droid standing next to a large yellow bang. When I cycled the phone power, it booted to the green menu that I think comes from the previous rooting process, and it told me there was an error in the signature on the download package. I can’t do anything about the download package… that’s Verizon’s doing. Helllp? Have you got any Rooting for Dummies for Dummies tips?

    • It used to be that you had to unroot, but leave the phone S-Off in order to accepts the 2.2 update. However, the 2.2 release is out in an RUU format, so you can simply apply that. The process will mean wiping your phone, so be sure you have a good titanium backup to restore your apps. (NOT SYSTEM APPS!)

      So, you have two options. 1. Go to Doug Piston’s site, listed in the Unroot section, and follow his instructions for unrooting your phone – just don’t go back to S-On. He tells you how to apply the 2.2 RUU.

      2. Use a custom ROM, like Virtuous – which, with the custom kernel, will give you better battery life and remove all the 2.2 bloatware for you – and you’ll have 2.2 through the Nov OTA.

      In either case you’ll have to wipe your phone first, so make sure you have that Android backup!

  2. I’m new to rooting, but I just spent quite a good amount of time trying to figure out how to go S-Off on my Droid Incredible 2.2 (SLCD Screen), when to my sneaking suspicion, I found out that Unrevoked already does that for you. (It might not have been that way on 2.1 or earlier, but it is for 2.2 currently.) You might want to clarify that on the update here. Otherwise, thanks for an awesome walk-through!

  3. Jonathan,

    First of all, thank you for this guide. It has helped me to root my Droid Incredible with 2.2 over the last few days. I was able to successfully root, tether, clock cpu, and other cool features. I haven’t been this excited about tinkering since I had a TRS-80 color computer! LOL

    The one thing I’m stuck on is the custom boot animation. I’ve followed the steps to revising the PNG files in the VZW_bootanimation.zip. I subsequently uploaded all files to my SD card, and then moved them using mv /sdcard/VZW_bootanimation.zip /system/customize/resource.

    The zip file shows up there, but it is not loading upon boot.

    A few things I noticed while trolling around other forums:

    1. As noted above, the zip file is in /system/customize/resource, not in /data/local, as some forums indicate.

    2. In some forums, it is mentioned that if one tries to unzip and then rezip the files, then that can cause the zip to not work. I kept the file zipped while it was on my machine, and merely cut and pasted images back into the zipped folder.

    3. Some forums mention that you have to rename the old VZW_bootanimation.zip file to VZW_bootanimation.old, but when I look in the …/resource directory, I only see the new zip file I created.

    The only thing I can think of is perhaps to push the files onto the phone, rather than move them from the SD card. Would that make any sort of difference?

    Thanks, and have a Happy 2011!

    • I’ve never tried to make a boot animation myself – only used ones that
      others created. I’m not sure what exactly is causing yours to not work.
      You shouldn’t need the old file called .old, that doesn’t make sense. It
      could be how the file is zipped. Did you use Window’s built-in zip
      reader? If so, you could try downloading 7-zip, which is free and
      awesome. Windows may (probably) add other stuff to a zip file because,
      like a spoilt child, “they don’t care – they do what they

      I did find this page that explains the boot animation process nicely.

      Happy New Year and good luck.

  4. Thanks for the guide, worked just as described not a single problem. Very much appreciate you taking the time to do this write up.

  5. Thank you for your guide, but I am trying to root, but keeps saying, “waiting for bootloader; make sure driver is installed!”

    Any help out there for a noob?

    Thank you

    • Make sure you follow the driver installation instructions to the letter. Also, be sure to set the phone to debug mode (settings > application > usb debugging) and remove any htc sync software.

      • Thank you!

        Unfortunately I made a mistake and I was hoping you could help.
        I fully rooted my phone, but I was having trouble with installing Kernels and ROMS so I decided to un-root. I apparently un-rooted incorrectly by following these steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwdpK400JA

        Currently I do not have a rooted phone and running 2.1-update 1. Problem is my phone is still set to S-OFF. I tired to re-root my phone with Unrevoked but I get an error towards the end stating: “Internal Error: am reported error starting service”

        Is there a way to re-root my phone or a way to install 2.2?

        I am sorry for the trouble. If you are unable or wish not to deal with my problem, I understand and would like to say Thank you again for your guide!


  6. Alright so.. I rooted my phone in 2.1 through your first guide, and ended up rooting 2.2 with this guide. This time around I changed a few things though: the biggest being purchasing Root Explorer once I had root.. it seriously makes so many things soooo much easier. Deleting bloat can be done with the phone on and active and without using commands from a computer, the other things it has really helped me with is being able to just see EVERYTHING I am doing. Was just saying this, because it might help if you put that disclaimer up on this guide? How much EASIER it can be with Root Explorer.. problem is, root explorer DOES cost.

    • P.S: Thank you so much for these guides! Having a rooted Incredible = amazing. Feels so much better having control of my own phone instead of leaving it up to Verizon.

      • yeah I just installed a new boot animation, new song and moved a few files from the root to SD card while the phone was on and active. Seeing everything in file / folder format (beautiful U/I design) really makes root manipulation a lot easier. (It also makes me a lot more comfortable with changing things around, because I know I can just browse through files to find anything if I ever “loose” something)

  7. What you’re seeing is completely normal. That happens every time you
    boot into HBOOT. The phone is looking for files with specific names (the
    green messages) and letting you know they aren’t found.

    The only thing you need to go into HBOOT for is to properly install the
    Once the drivers are installed you can reboot and run unrevoked.

    Once you install the drivers you can reboot the phone and run unrevoked.

  8. First off great write up, I have been researching the rooting process for some time and its nice to find one guide that contains all points of the process. My only question is I remember reading that you have to check the baseband version or reflash the radio, i can’t remember exactly what i read. Do you still have to do that? Or does the unrevoked program do this automatically?

    • If you accepted the 2.2 OTA update then your radio is up-to-date. If you
      rooted at 2.1 and never updated, then you’ll need to update, either via
      the OTA or by downloaded the official release from Google.

      The only reason you’d need to worry is if you rooted 2.1 and updated the
      radio without updating to 2.2. In that case you’d need to find the old
      radio on XDA and downgrade before upgrading to 2.2.

  9. I used unrevoke to root just 2 days ago, now my battery will only last 3-4 hours.
    Originally I had installed a few apps right after rooting. I suspected them but even after removing them and several bloatwares it still hasn’t improved the battery. Any ideas?
    Before booting I could get 16-20 hours normal use.

  10. Just a tip about the bloat removal, you had this, for example:

    mv /system/app/HtcTwitter.apk /system/app.disabled/
    mv /system/app/HtcTwitter.odex /system/app.disabled/
    mv /system/app/com.htc.TwitterWidget.apk /system/app.disabled/
    mv /system/app/com.htc.TwitterWidget.odex /system/app.disabled/
    HTC Peep

    Where you could do it in just two steps like this:

    mv /system/app/HtcTwitter.* /system/app.disabled/
    mv /system/app/com.htc.TwitterWidget.* /system/app.disabled/
    HTC Peep

    Just to make the typing in this step less tedious.

    • Great tip. I like to list all the files individually so that people know
      what they’re moving, but I’ll incorporated your suggestion into the
      guide so people know there’s a shortcut.


  11. My INC is already rooted running 2.2
    I’m selling my phone and want to return it to stock if possible.
    Can you point me to a guide or explain how to?

    I want to restore to the original recovery, wipe the user data, wipe the cache, and flash a the system image including (boot.img, recovery.img, system.img, userdata.img)…

    I know you can download system images here : http://developer.htc.com/

    I have my drivers setup adb is working and such, but I’m not sure how to go about this.

    Thanks in advance.

  12. I am trying to root my HTC Aria (2.1) on my Max OS X. Whenever I try to use reflash, it says that the application is not supported on my Mac. However, according to the website, it says my mac meets the system requirements. I’d really like to figure out how to do this, so any help would be very much appreciated!!

    • Hrm – not sure about that one. There is a Mac version of Unrevoked, but
      maybe it works on a different version of OSX than you have. I don’t see
      anything on their website about specific OSX versions. You may want to
      post this to androidforums or XDA, with your specific OSX version, and
      see if anyone else has successfully rooted with the same version.

      Or, if you have access to another computer, try there.

    • You can if you want. Just so you know, TitaniumBackup can also be
      scheduled to make regular (weekly) backups of you apps and data to SD
      card, which might be very handy should you phone break in the future,
      but you certainly don’t need to use it if you don’t want to.

  13. I have a DInc with 2.2 and November update. I have followed the instructions exactly as written. It gets to “waiting to Root” and then the phone resets and the phone functions normally. How do I get it to root?

    • Make sure you have the correct drivers installed. Uninstall any devices
      you have listed in device manage when the phone in connected to the
      computer, then reinstall the drivers. Uninstall HTC Sync if installed.
      If all else fails, try it on another computer.

      • I read that hydrakernal does not work with cyanogen mod 6.1. Do you know if that is accurate? If so, do you have another recommendation. I do not have time to mess with it a bunch and really need a great stable rom and kernel. Thanks for your advice John, I have rarely received help from pages like this! You help has been great.

        • I’ve never run cyanogen, although I hear it’s great, so I have no
          knowledge of its comparability with hydrakernel. I like to keep my phone
          very close to stock because I need it to be very stable and reliable for
          work purposes so I’m a huge fan of Virtuousrom
          (http://www.virtuousrom.com/). Virtuoursrom 3.2 + their own custom
          kernel is very stable with good battery life.

          • I really like cyanogen but I cannot get visual voice mail to work on it. Every time I try to install it, it says that visual voice mail came with the phone and then I can only uninstall it. Visual voice mail is a must for me. I know you do not use Cyanagen but wondered if maybe you might know how to get visual voicemail on my ROM. After messing with it for a while i finally decided to give virtuous a try but it asks if I’m using hboot .92. As I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty new at this.. how do I know if I have hboot .92, wnd what do I need to do to get it? Thanks again fro your help.

          • Shutdown the phone and then press the power button while holding
            volume-down. This will boot into HBOOT. It will say at the top what
            version you have. If you got the 2.2 update you should be all set with
            HBOOT, but still good to verify.

            I’d check android forums to see if there’s anything about visual
            voicemail and cyanogen.

    • Thank you! I had to root from a new computer and it worked fine. I noticed there are four options on the hydrakernal, im using the latest cyanogenmod, which hydrakernal should I use?

      • Glad you were able to get rooted! Start with kernel #1. If that isn’t
        stable move to #2. If that isn’t stable try #3. Each kernel has fewer
        “features” down to #4, so if #1 works and is stable, it’s the best.

  14. Ok, after messing around with several different roms I have decided to stick with the more stable virtuous rom for a while. It runs beautifully but verizon keeps pushing a data usage program widget. Any idea how I can get it to stop requesting I install it and How to stop over the air updates from verizon? Thanks!

    • I kept getting the widget messages as well – one day it stopped. I don’t
      know that I did anything – it may just be that they bug you for x days.

      You’re still going to get OTA messages from VZ. I don’t think there’s
      any way to stop that. However, right now you shouldn’t be seeing any OTA

  15. when I run the reflash.exe file I get the error Failed to Flash Recovery Image. I have follow you process step by step. I have the USB debugging mode checked. Can you help me?

    • Usually it’s a driver problem or because HTC sync is installed.

      Completely remove the device and drivers and Uninstaller sync, then follow the unrevoked driver instructions exactly.

      Or, try it on another computer.

  16. I am a noob as well, please forgive a stupid question. I have just installed the drivers and am about to run the reflash. It says make sure the phone is fully booted…into hboot or regular start-up?


    • I believe Unrevoked will work with the eris. You can check unrevoked’s website to be sure. That will get you root.

      Most of the rest of the guide is specific to the incredible, but the concepts are universal.

  17. Can you tell me where I can get the latest USB drivers. When I ran unrevoked 3 it said I might have the wrong drivers. When I check in device manager under Android Phone my devices says Android Composite ADB interface is this correct?

  18. Does anyone out there know of a set of instructions for rooting that actually work? This procedure is outdated – there is no file named android-sdk-windows

  19. Does anyone out there know of a set of instructions for rooting that actually work? This procedure is outdated – there is no file named android-sdk-windows

  20. Hey Jonathan,

    Thanks again for a wonderfully detailed How-To. I tried this several weeks ago and freaked out because it didn’t work and I was afraid of ruining my phone. I tried again tonight, only to discover that the reason it didn’t work last time is because HTC and Google have locked down the bootloader (I must be much more clear headed tonight than I was the last time I tried this) and it can’t be uninstalled–well, technically, it can but it immediately reinstalls itself, aka HTC Bootloader. It seems like this is a done deal. No more rooting for Droid Incredibles. Just wondering if you know about this and what your thoughts are because your blog is my number one go-to if I’m going to do anything wonky with my phone.

    Thanks for your great work and best wishes…

    • Hrm… I see the link. The Bootloader on the Incredible comes locked,
      but Unrevoked should unlock it. When you run Unrevoked what happens? Do
      you get errors? Does it say successful? When you boot into HBOOT does it
      say “S-Off” at the top?

      Also, make sure you have the most recent version of unrevoked.

      • I did not run Unrevoked this time since I couldn’t get the drivers to install and doing that was first on the list you made. When I tried to root several weeks ago though, I thought I already had the drivers (I didn’t) and did run Unrevoked. This is what I wrote in Droidforums (there were a couple of responses but they weren’t helpful):

        “Trying to root my Incredible using jonamerica’s instructions. Unrevoked3 appears to be getting stuck. It will run through the HBoot updates and show that everything is “ok” and then the phone will cycle through one reboot. After rebooting, it’s like my phone is stock again, including having to go through the setup screen. Also, the Superuser is not in apps. What do I do now?

        HBoot says” no image or wrong image!” and phone is still S-ON.”


        • Well, you need to get the divers installed – unrevoked won’t work
          without them. If you can’t get them working on your computer is there
          another you have access to?

          • Ok, well that explains why unrevoked was getting hung up last time. I don’t have access to another computer right now but will in about a week. I’ll try then and let you know what happens.

  21. If you’re S-Off you don’t need to run unrevoked again. Download Rom
    Manager from the market and flash clockwork recovery. It should work.

    But, if that doesn’t work try this:
    Download Clockwork Recovery here:
    Rename it to PB31IMG.ZIP and put it on the SD card.
    Reboot into bootloader. Apply the update when prompted. Reboot when asked.
    Remove the file PB31IMG.ZIP from the SD card.

    Download SU here: http://solo.dc3.com/dinc/su-
    Put the zip file on your SD card.
    Boot into recovery and use clockworkmod to “install zip from card,”
    select “choose zip from sd card” and then select the zip file and apply it.

    After that you should be all set. The Clockwork Recovery linked above is
    an old version, so you’ll want to run Rom Manager and download the latest.

  22. First off thanks for the great guide! rooting was simple as long as you follow it step by step. But I am running into issues with the boot animation. command prompt makes it into the android system but then does not recognize any of the commands. double checked syntax and its all correct. I’m rooted 2.2 and trying to install the cyborg boot animation but if I go thru command prompt and follow it step by step I get syntax errors stating it was expecting ‘”)”)’ however double checking it I find that it is typed correctly. any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

          • Went back through it step by step figuring I missed something. Mounted /system, mounted /data, mounted /cache, mounted /sdcard. Here’s what I got:

            C:/Users/Name>adb push bootanimation.zip /data/local
            ‘adb’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>adb push VZW_bootanimation.zip /data/local
            ‘adb’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>mv /sd card/bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            ‘mv’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>mv /sdcard/bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            ‘mv’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>mv /sd card/VZW_bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            ‘mv’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>mv /sdcard/VZW_bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            ‘mv’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            C:/Users/Name>move /sdcard/bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            The system cannot find the path specified.

            C:/Users/Name>move /sd card/bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            The syntax of the command is incorrect.

            C:/Users/Name>move /sdcard/VZW_bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            The system cannot find the path specified.

            C:/Users/Name>move /sd card/VZW_bootanimation.zip /data/local/
            The syntax of the command is incorrect.

            ‘ls’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            ‘list’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            ‘LS’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.

            ‘LIST’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
            operable program or batch file.


            Figuring I’m just being a moron and missing something that’s right in my face.

          • The error, “‘adb’ is not recognized” means you’re not in the local
            directory where the program adb is located.

            Did you download and install the Android SDK from google?

            If you downloaded the zip file, where did you put the directory
            “android-sdk-windows?” If you followed the directions above you would
            have renamed it sdk and moved it to the c: drive.

            If that’s what you did you first need to type ‘cd c:sdktools’ to
            change directory (cd) to c:sdk (what you downloaded) tools (a
            subdirectory of sdk).

            If you downloded the exe file from Google and installed it, it installs
            the SDK to c:program filesandroidandroid-sdk (I think, you can browse
            through My Computer and look for either directory.)

            If that’s the case you need to run ‘cd c:program
            filesandroidandroid-sdktools’ to get to the directory where adb is

            If you’re not sure where adb is, you can do a search for adb on you
            computer and windows will tell you what it finds.

          • Jonathan thanks for taking the time to help me. I did indeed download it from google and move it to my C drive and then rename it to SDK. So after reading this morning i navigated to c:sdktools and got there with no problems. however it still could not find adb. i browsed the folder in my drive and that folder/file is not in there. should that be a file that i placed in there manually from a separate download or should it have been placed there by SDK when i unzipped it?

          • edit: immediately after posting my last, i found a notepad file in the sdktools folder stating that the adb file had been moved to another folder called ‘platform-tools’. i navigated to that folder and found the file. I then traded out ‘tools’ for ‘platform-tools’ and picked up the process where i left off. files transferred successfully when i pushed it to the /data/local/ and then to /system/customize/resource. looked like it was going to work. no dice. still had my old liquid metal animation. so i thought on it a minute and figured maybe i needed to rename the animation file. so i copied the VZW_bootanimation.zip and renamed it to bootanimation.zip and repeated the process. rebooted. BINGO! New animation. I was so flustered with double checking my syntax that I completely looked over the obvious things. making sure that the program im looking for is in the place im looking for it, and double checking my versions to make sure my naming scheme was correct. Again Jonathan, thank you very much for the one on one time and getting this solved.

          • I’m “Removing Bloat” using your directions. I feel almost embarrassed to admit this… but could you please turn off the bold on the word “type?” I typed “type adb shell” because that was in bold. I was stumped as to why it was not working. Then I actually THOUGHT about what I was doing instead of simply doing what I was told.

            Great guide! I AM ROOT. Now, after trimming the fat I just need to figure out what I want to do.

  23. Thanks for the guide. I’m trying to root with unrevoke and Yesterday I kept getting,”waiting for bootloader; make sure driver is installed!” I followed the driver installation instructions. I have the driver and I set the phone to debug mode, and removed any htc sync software. Now I have tried everything and all I get when I try use unrevoke is, “waiting for device. plug phone in now and enable usb debugging.” I have restarted computer and phone a hundred times. I tried different usb ports and even did the whole process on a different computer and I still get the same error message. Any suggestions?

    • Usually this is related to a driver issue. Try completely removing all
      drivers related to the phone and reinstalling them. If that doesn’t work
      the best advice is to try another computer.

        • I’m at a Linux computer at the moment, so I’m trying to do this from
          memory – forgive me if I miss a step.

          Disconnect any USB devices storage devices
          With your phone connected to the computer
          Open up device manager (in the control panel).
          Expand the phone (click the plus sigh, should be near the top of the
          list, called Android, but you many need to look under USB Mass Storage)
          Right-click the phone and select “remove device.”
          Disconnect the phone and follow the unrecoked driver install directions.

  24. Can you help me. My favorite nephew tried to download a ROM onto my rooted phone and now it is unusable. The rom he tried to install is cyanogens MOD 7. When my phone turn on all I see is the cyanogens Mod 7 on the screen. Can you help me restore my phone?

  25. He is no longer my favorite nephew. When I try to boot into clockwork recovery and select “wipe data/factory reset it never goes any futher that a picture of a hat with a circle around it. Am I missing something.

    • You’ll need to highlight “”wipe data/factory reset” and press the
      joystick in to select it. You’ll then see a whole bunch of “No”s and a
      single Yes. Highlight the Yes and press the joystick in to select it.

  26. I did the highlight “”wipe data/factory reset” and pressed the joystick to select it. Then I selected the Yes and it deleted everything. It went into clockworkmode recovery wiping all the data. Which option do I selet next. Do I do reboot system or back up and restore next?

  27. Thanks I got everything back. You are very helpful to everyone we appriciate it very much. I will make sure I donate to you for all your help.

  28. I keep getting an error at the end communication with phone unexpectedly terminated. I have reinstalled the drivers, removed HTC Sync and Double twist. I am really at a loss here. I have switched pc’s, switched usb ports.

        • Boot into HBOOT: Turn off the phone. Then hold down the vol down button
          and press the power button, keep holding vol down until it you see the
          HTC screen.

          You’ll then be in HBOOT. It will have a version number at the top. It
          will also say either S-On or S-Off. Let me know the version number and
          whether it’s S-On of Off.

          • Boy, I am stumped. I’ve been Google-ing everything and can’t find any
            solution that doesn’t involve using a different computer/cable/usb port
            or reinstalling the drivers. I would definitely hit up androidforums and
            xda, if you haven’t already. I’m not sure what else to suggest. Sorry.

          • I had a similar problem, and it ended up being something really simple. I went to Settings>Connect to PC>Default Connection Type and changed it from mobile broadband connect to disk drive. I know this post is old, but hopefully it will save some current users hours of trying to find the problem. 🙂

  29. Follwed your directions and everything has worked great so far. I want to keep the stock ROM but change the kernel to Hydra however the link posted seems to be broken and I can’t find a new link anywhere. Any suggestions?

  30. Great guide! Just rooted last night, got rid of garbage-ware, and did wireless tethering. I am very excited to dig into my phone a bit more. Thanks for putting this all together and maintaining the site, Jonathan.

  31. Trying to root an Incredible 2 – please help! Apparently, holding volume down and power does nothing. I can’t figure out how to uninstall htc sense either. I feel like a noob right now.

    • Hi, Michelle,

      The Incredible 2 is an entirely different phone, so these directions
      probably won’t work for you. I’d check out androidforums.com to see if
      there’s any information there about rooting.

  32. When my phone finished rooting and Unrevoked said Done…my phone was not in the clockwork recovery mod screen with orange text. 

    Instead it just looked like normal…with the Sense UI.  I’m sure that I did it right and installed the drivers before running Unrevoked 3…Is this normal or what is going on?

  33. Can i use unrevoked to root my dinc2 just like i did with my first incredible?
    please let me know asap….anxiously waiting!!!
    if not what can i do?

  34. I may be making myself look like a fool with this question, but what happens to your contacts/messages/purchased apps when you do the above, or install a new MOD? 

    • Well, it’s best to store your contacts on Google rather than the phone.
      That way if you lose your phone, have to replace it, or upgrade, you
      won’t lose your contacts. However, if your contacts are stored on the
      phone, and not Google, you can back them up with Titanium Backup.

      SMS messages aren’t synced with Google, so if you wipe your phone you
      lose them, unless you back them up.

      Purchased apps can always be reinstalled via the Market and are
      independent of the phone you are using.

      If you root your phone, or switch ROMs, you will lose everything on the
      phone – so backups are very important. (Not data on the SD card, like
      pictures, MP3s, etc.)

  35. First off, thanks for the site.  Super informative and looking forward to rooting.  Since you have just rooted and have not installed a MOD, I am assuming that your phone still looks/works like a stock phone but with no restrictions.  An example (in my novice eyes) of a restriction would be the inability to erase items such as CityID, or any of the other programs that seem to be always running in the background.  Am I on track here?  Reason I ask is that I have not read about many people just rooting without the goal of installing a custom MOD.  Thanks again for any help you can provide.  Cheers!

    • Yes, if you root but don’t install a custom ROM you will have a stock
      phone on which you can remove or install any app you like. However,
      you’ll have to remove items like CityID by hand (see the bloatware
      section of this guide), whereas a ROM will remove them for you.

      As an FYI, the guide is written to show people how to root and do
      everything without using a ROM, but I am personally using Virutousrom.
      Virtuousrom is a very stable ROM and is as close to stock as you can
      get. The ROM gives you an app called Virtuous Buddy that allows you to
      turn on and off bloatware (like CityID) and enable/disable services like
      Facebook for HTC Sense. If you want to stick with stock I’d recommend
      Virtuousrom, as it makes life a whole lot easier.

  36. I don’t know how old these instructions are, but I cannot get unrevoked3 to work. It just says
    “waiting for device”.
    And the driver install instructions: I don’t get an “other devices” tab in device manager, so I can’t find android1.
    Is there another way to root besides unrevoked3?

    using windows7, 64bit and droid incredible with 2.2 update.


  37. I have the Verizon Droid Incredible running the Nov. OTA ver. 2.3.4. I cant get it to root i have tried everything I have heard of from the forums and can’t figure it out. I tried to boot into recovery and noticed that it won’t boot properly. I keep getting the red triangle with an exclamation point in the middle. Any thoughts?

    • The red triangle is normal for stock recovery. There is a button combination you can press to get a menu, but it won’t help. Unrevoked may not work yet with the recent update to 2.3.4.

      When you ran Unrevoked did you receive any errors?

      • I have the Verizon Droid Incredible running the Nov. OTA ver. 2.3.4 as well.  It’s not working for me either.  I am getting the error message in revoked3 that says Is Firmware too new?

  38. Great info! This was very helpful in getting me re-rooted. I ended up using a newer tutorial, but I wanted to post about a different method for manually removing programs using the adb shell prompt.

    Open Notepad
    Make lines (copied and pasted from above) like this:

    mkdir /system/app.disabled
    mv /system/app/VzNav.apk /system/app.disabled/
    mv /system/app/CityID.apk /system/app.disabled/

    After typing adb shell and mounting the system directory as per the instructions above, do this:

    select the lines of text you meticulously edited in notepad
    right-click and copy them
    go to your cmd window that has the adb shell open
    right-click and paste

    adb shell treats line breaks like enter commands, so when you paste it will automatically create the backup directory and perform every other task you asked it to. Pretty slick!

    I hadn’t seen this mentioned so I thought I’d share 🙂

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