HTC Desire Android 2.3.5 With Sense 3.5 – Upgrade

HTC Desire Upgrade

It’s fair to say that the HTC Desire is getting old. But does this mean that it is time to throw it in the bottom drawer and grab a new expensive upgrade? Absolutely not.

I’m going to show you how to update your rooted HTC Desire with the latest RunnyMede AIO rom from Seb, making it feel like a brand spanking new phone again. The update should help put you in good stead for many more months to come.

I’m going to show you how to update your rooted HTC Desire with the latest RunnyMede AIO rom from Seb, making it feel like a brand spanking new phone again. The update should help put you in good stead for many more months to come.

Disclaimer – Please Read

Please do not attempt to root and flash your phone if you are not 100% confident in what you are doing – for starters you will be voiding your warranty. There are always risks involved when flashing any device. At worst, you can damage your Desire beyond repair.  I am no expert at flashing phones. The technique outlined below works for me and that’s all I know.  Still happy to proceed? Cool! Well let’s get started…

Why the RunnyMede AIO Rom?

RunnyMede AIO is probably the best rom I have used for the HTC Desire.  It has a rock solid performance and so much to offer in terms of customisations.

The main benefits of rooting and flashing your phone with a new rom include:

  1. Ability to add loads more apps with A2SD+
  2. Removes bloatware and phone branding
  3. Newer Android software and many additional customisations

See the full feature set of RunnyMede AIO by Seb over at the official post on the XDA forum.

10 step summary for upgrading

The process outlined below involves a complete wipe of all data from your phone, including apps, contacts, music, etc. Personally I like to do a complete wipe before flashing a new rom as it clears out any old cobwebs and gives you an uber clean phone.

Don’t forget that contacts can be saved to Google on the cloud for backup purposes. Also, I believe you can sync other data to the Google servers, including apps, although I have never actually attempted this.

  1. Charge the phone battery to 100%
  2. Root your HTC Desire (including switch S-OFF)
  3. Download and install 4Ext recovery software on to your Desire
  4. Do a Nandroid backup  (a complete backup of your phone) through 4EXT recovery
  5. Manually back up the contents of your phone SD card to your PC, either through your phone or through a card reader – I prefer a card reader as it tends to be quicker
  6. Format and Partition your SD card through 4EXT recovery – Choose 1024 Mb and EXT4  for the EXT Partition
  7. Transfer the Runnymede rom onto the newly formatted SD card from your PC
  8. Format the phone (Partition all system excluding SD card).  Note that many people simply choose the options ‘Wipe Data / Factory Reset’ & Wipe Cache + Wipe Dalvik’ which has been proven to work but is not a true wipe of the phone data
  9. Install the ROM (RunnyMede AIO ) from your sdcard
  10. Reboot and enjoy! Note that the first boot can take up to 20mins

Common Installation Q&A

Q: I can’t get into the boot loader to access 4EXT recovery.
A1: Check to see if Fastboot is enabled in Settings>Power. If it’s checked, uncheck and try again.
A2: Pull the battery out, leave for 10 seconds, place battery back and try again.
A2: Access it through 4Ext app interface

Q: I am stuck on the boot animation screen on first boot after installing the rom
A: It can take up to 20 minutes for the first install, so please be patient. Failing that, try clearing the Dalvik cache / cache again.
A2: Are you installing AD2SDX on the stock HBOOT version? Wipe and install again but leave the default value of ‘generic A2SD’ in the installer.

Q: The install went fine but my battery dies well before it reached 0%.
A: Try calibrating your battery whilst it is at 100%.

For a whole host of questions and answers, head over to the official post over at the xda-developers forum.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Desire anyone?

The above process also works for installing Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) beta rom onto the HTC Desire. I’ve tried it and it works. UPDATE: Short ‘how to’ video below.

Currently however, it still needs more development work. Keep checking it though, as updates are happening all the time, making it more stable and more fun.

Visit the official ICS tread over at xda-developers for more information

Good Luck!

Hope you found this tutorial useful and that you managed to flash your Desire successfully.

Signing off, so for now, hope enjoy your ‘new’ phone. :)

Leigh (aka laweffect)

17 thoughts on “HTC Desire Android 2.3.5 With Sense 3.5 – Upgrade

  1. mic

    please leigh…. i really love this runnymede rom but i just cant get it to work on my htc desire bravo… i am root already.. i followed all the steps to the letter… but the booting stage of the rom keeps booting forever…….i have cleared my cache etc…..i am confused….what should i do……….please i need it badly… thanks

    1. Leigh Walker Post author

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble Mic. Without having your phone in front of me, I’m not sure of a fix. Have you tried heading over to the XDA forums? Hopefully someone on their can help you.

      Good luck, Leigh.

  2. Jānis


    I was wondering… How much better is ICS with Sense 3.5 comparing to 2.3 Gingerbread with stock Sense version?
    And is it possible to update just the Sense? I am quite satisfied with 2.3 android.

  3. desire 96

    mine 4ext recovery was corrupted so when I installed zip from sd card the process was aborted
    so what can I do to get back to runnymede.
    by the way I can’t boot to android.

  4. drew B

    worked like a charm ..I also tried ICS first which i liked but missed the HTC feel felt very generic and overly blue lol …also netflix would not work on it so i was forced to go and try runnymede cant wait for an actual HTC ICS or HTC jellybean rom similar to the ONE series to grace the XDA forums :)

  5. DarkMac

    I have installed Runnymede on a HTC Desire but after the installation was completed the phone boot up and shows the RunnymedeAIO animated logo forever. Yes, i waited about 30 minutes and stil no luck. Maybe someone should make a script to light up the led letting us know if there is a problem or the rom is working (something like hdd led on a regular pc ;) ).

    1. Zakir

      Hi Mac,

      Log on Youtube and type runnumede Aio, there is a complete installation process to flash Runnymede Rom by laweffect. I flashed mine after watching this video.

  6. Zakir

    Hi Leigh,
    I downloaded 4EXT and after clicking it say Busy box is not installed on your device, any thought?
    Post this update any impact on the battery life?
    Thanks in Advance

    1. Leigh Walker Post author

      Hi Zakir,

      Sorry for late reply, away from home at the moment.

      You might have to flash a different image using Oden first with busy box already installed, after which you should be able to install 4ext – check around on the xda forums. It may be possible to install busy box some other way, although never done it myself.

      You could try clockworkmod recovery which is a similar recovery software.

      The battery life is good and nothing to worry about.

      Hope you get it sorted. Good luck with your conquests.

  7. Daniel

    Hello, I first boot fails, this slider below the logo beats the audio reaches the middle, reset and boot is first

    1. Leigh Walker Post author

      Just the one. When viewing wallpapers etc they show as a black blank image – change the view to ‘grid view’ and you will see all images.


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