This post is less of a “how to” and more of a record of what I did. It could be useful to people who are intending to root their phone, but I strongly recommend reading the official updated guides.
I rooted my phone using the very helpful instructions at CyanogenMod, specifically for the HTC Desire please note my HTC Desire is the GSM version. I also used this forum post, which was very helpful in telling me how to use the Data2SD scripts. Data2SD allows you to use the SD card as “internal storage” so you can have a full 2Gb for apps, rather than using the phone’s physical internal storage which is far smaller.
Rooting your phone, will invalidate any warranty you have on it. Read all the guides so you know what you are doing, as if you do it wrong, there is the possibility of bricking your phone. You must also backup everything you want to keep from your phone, as it will get completely wiped.
Enough of the warnings, lets get on with what happened.
I’m sure you know how to backup, but I thought I’d just make you aware of a couple of things. Personally I use Google for my calendar and contacts, so that is cloud based anyway. I also use Google+ with the instant upload switched on. This way all my photos and videos from my phone are already on a private album on Google+ where I can download them to a computer later. Google also has the option of backing up data from your applications, however I don’t use this, I use a third party app. Think of everything you might want, call log, SMS messages, bookmarks.
If you want to use third party applications for backing up data, I first used MyBackup Pro by Rerware, LLC (it is a paid app but I think there’s a free version). I now use Titanium Backup, but this requires you to already have root access, worth remembering for when you do have root access.
You need to prepare the SD card you will use in your phone. People have been talking about speed of the SD card affecting your phone a lot. However, I just bought an SD card from Amazon, and I haven’t noticed any lag. I used a 16Gb microSD card because I wanted plenty of space for music and pictures after installation.
Everything will be wiped from the SD card. I used GParted to do the partitioning. There are two partitions you need to use Data2SD.
Firstly you need to put a 2047Gb Ext4 partition at the end of the SD card.
Then you need to fill the rest with a Fat32 partition (from the beginning of the SD card).
Then you need to put all the required zip files directly into the Fat32 partition on the SD card. These files will be listed later.
Gaining S-off access
This was easier than I was expecting. You need to find out the HBoot version, and the serial number. The serial number should be underneath the battery. For the HBoot version, you need to power on the phone by holding the power on and volume down buttons at the same time. This will boot into the bootloader where you will find out the version of HBoot.
You need to download the Revolutionary beta, and fill in their form to get a beta key (case sensitive). Then, connect the phone to the computer via USB and run Revolutionary beta. Follow the instructions and if all goes well you should gain S-OFF access, after an automatic reboot (leave it to do this reboot). As soon as it works agree to Revolutionary beta downloading and installing Clockworkmod recovery. This program is the new bootloader for your phone, and will manage what ROMs you will be running.
Files for the SD card
These I got from the forum post I mentioned above.
You need the latest radio version (although for me installing the radio didn’t work, and I didn’t re-try, apparently it’s not essential). The radio drivers if you do want to try it, can be found on this page.
The latest stable version of CyanogenMod, I installed CyanogenMod 7, but I’d use the latest stable version that’s out.
The google apps zip (if you want), personally I did download this, but I don’t think I used it because all of the google apps are also available from the android market. This is now Google Play, I’m not sure if you need to install the Google play app from the zip, then install everything else through Google play.
The Data2SD scripts, you want to find the two files: “Data2SDInstallerX1.zip” and “Data2SDReInstallerX1.zip” the ReInstaller you don’t need the first time you use it, as the name suggests it’s only for re-installation. You will need to unzip this to find the three files inside that you need. These files are the A2SD killer, Data2SDinstallerV1.3_GB.zip (this was the version I got it may have changed by the time you download it).
Flashing your new ROM
Boot into the recovery (by holding the down volume at the same time as the power button. This will take you into ClockworkMod recovery. You navigate with the volume keys and select with the central ok button.
Wipe the data / factory reset, and clear the cache.
Install the radio (if it works and if you want to).
Install the CyanogenMod ROM.
Reboot into it, allow the phone to stabilize and enter some details, wifi, network and language (but not google account information).
Boot back into recovery, and install A2SD killer, then reboot normally and allow to stabilize.
Boot back into recovery and install Data2SD using the “DATA2SDinstallerV1.3.zip” or something similar. Reboot again and allow to stabilize.
Boot back into recovery for the last time (optional) to install google apps from the zip. Personally I’m not sure about this step as you can get all the google apps from the Marketplace (which is now Google Play).
Finally reboot back into CyanogenMod and enjoy your new ROM with lots of space for as many apps as you like (I have 50 odd and counting!)
It may be a good idea to have a look at what CyanogenMod can do and what settings you may want at their website.