How to root and upgrade an HTC Desire HD running Gingerbread to a custom Android ROM

There are basically two methods and I tried both: You can create a “gold card” and turn S-OFF, then root manually, which will entail a lot of futzing around with your phone and an extra mini SD card, or you can do the heavy lifting by booting into a Linux Live CD (choose the latest 32-bit LTS version) and automating most of the process with a slick software package called Advanced Ace Hack Kit. I recommend using the latter technique, even if you’ve never used Linux before.

It’s not easy if you’re totally new to it, but if you’ve enough confidence to try installing a custom ROM on your phone, you can probably work it all out: Download Ubuntu, burn the .iso file to a CD, choose to try out Ubuntu from the CD instead of installing it when the option appears. Figure out how to open the Terminal application, and you’re ready to go. Follow the instructions in this handy guide, keeping a couple of things in mind: Although the guide states, “no ROM downgrade is needed prior to attempting to root,” I did in fact need to downgrade my ROM (Advanced Ace Hack Kit told me I had to) first. Also, “any 32 bit computer running Linux” probably means “any computer booted into a 32-bit version of Linux.” The important links in that document that have changed, I have linked to in this post. Lastly, I ran into a problem after downgrading the ROM, deleting the downgraded ROM, and trying to install CyanogenMod ROM with ClockworkMod Recovery: The automated installation stopped with an error, leaving me with no bootable ROM and the phone showing the white HTC loading screen in perpetuity. I solved this by holding down the Volume Down key and pressing the Power key to boot into ClockworkMod Recovery, then using it to choose the .zip file to flash (CyanogenMod 7 ROM in zip archive had already been downloaded to the mini SD card in a previous automated step). That was it.

Some other problems I encountered, such as the Hack Kit prompting for a password, were solved by RTFM (reading the effin manual for the kit).

The only backup I performed beforehand was my phone contacts, which I saved to my mini SD card (the SD card contents were not noticeably affected by any of these procedures), because I wanted to start totally fresh.

A Visit to Wat Nongwang

For the past year, we’ve been relying on a Cefiro specialist in Khon Kaen for repair of our Cefiro A33 (Infiniti I30), and we had noticed a huge pagoda just down the street several times. A few weeks ago, we took the kids along with us and decided to visit the pagoda after dropping off our car to fix leaky power steering hoses. It was a great trip to a temple truly rich in history, Wat Nongwang (aka Wat Kaen Nakorn)

Welcome home

I was greeted with the following exchange upon returning home to bring my sick kids (who choose to play hooky in unison) lunch:

MAX: Daddy, are you going to work again?
DADDY: Hello, Max. I brought you some noodles.
MAX: I want you to go make a lot of money! GO TO WORK AGAIN, PLEASE, DADDY!

The monsters have grown too powerful to control.

Culinary Constant

Larb goi (a local steak tartare) with Leo beer, breakfast of champions.


Grilled rat tail, overcooked jungle fowl, and Leo beer.


When you bring your own bottle to Kaew Kant, the most happening local live house, they mark the bottle with this sticker (it’s a bottle of Clan Gold, which I haven’t covered here yet).


I had these photos up on Facebook, but wanted them here as well.

Khon Kaen to Sarakham

We came back from KK yesterday after staying at the Rachawadee Resort near the airport for one night. We had stuff to do on Saturday (power steering line replacement) and early Sunday morning (dentist for mommy/Mina) as well, so it made sense to stay in Khon Kaen instead of coming back since the price for accommodations is cheaper than gasoline (the non-ethanol-adulterated version of which is known in Thailand as “benzine” from the German “Benzin”, not to be confused with “benzene“). Besides, we had always wanted to see the resort — it was nice with a good pool, and photos will be forthcoming pending discovery of our digicam’s charger.

Anyway, here are some shots from the way home from Khon Kaen on the same route we took, although about a month earlier, when I was playing with an old 70-200 slide zoom.

The Jesus is strong in this one. Actually, we have a Japanese Jehovah’s Witness teaching at our Thai university, so maybe raughing Jesus Fish isn’t so rare here.
KHON KAEN backwards is NEAK NOHK, which sounds like a Cambodean border town where “Auntie” Tina Turner reigns supreme in post-apocalyptic Soka Gakkaian glory.
A fish farm. There are several along this stretch, but this one has the best signage.
This buffalo head sign can be seen along highways in this region, but infrequently. It indicates sale of seed pods shaped like a buffalo’s head containing dry, flavorless seeds that must be an acquired taste, although I’ve never found anyone who says they actually like them. Possibly the most unpopular natural food item to sell in Thailand.