Remember that if you use this guide, you do so entirely at your own risk!!
Welcome to my guide on how to root the HTC Legend!
This guide will allow you to root your HTC Legend, provided it has a bootloader version of 0.43.xxxx or below and a ROM version of 1.31.xxx.x or below. To check this, turn off your device, then turn it back on with the 'back' key held. On the second line in green text you will see HBOOT- and then a number. Provided this is 0.43 or below, this guide should work for you.
Legend rooting protection
Back in the early days of Android, rooting was easy. You had several options - you could flash stuff via the bootloader, you could flash an engineering bootloader, you could use kernel exploits - there were many ways of getting the low level access to your device that - in fairness - I think we as paying customers are entitled to. As time has progressed however, the manufacturers have made things harder and harder. The Legend is not a straightforward phone to root, for many reasons, including...
- a 'perfected bootloader' that doesn't allow flashing or booting of any images (even HTC signed ones)
- a RUU flash process that does not allow downgrading of the bootloader to earlier versions
- a kernel (that as yet does not have publicly available source) that as yet has no known exploits
- a new protection method previously seen on the HTC Tattoo that protects key partitions from having write access. Even with SU access, it is not possible to write to the boot, recovery or system partitions.
And so the root process becomes a process of methodically probing every possible point of exposure on the device, looking for the slightest chink in the armour. I found one and we're putting it to good use! The downside is that it's not as easy or as pretty as rooting a device that is actually DESIGNED to be accessible at the lowest level, such as the Nexus One.
Shame on you HTC for going to such unnecessary lengths (but that's another story for another day).
What this root process provides and does not provide
The root process will...
- flash your device with a new, generic 1.31 series based ROM that has Superuser access
- show you how to enter the recovery image in future, allowing you to flash update zips
- enable you to flash your device with a custom recovery image that can be launched easily by just holding down the volume down button when powering on
- enable you to have write access to the /system partition in normal use of the device
In order to complete this guide, you need the following...
- a HTC Legend
- a computer running Windows (32 bit recommended, some users have reported issues with x64), OSX or Linux
- a microUSB cable
- a microSD card (to be made into a 'goldcard')
- the download below
- balls of steel (actually, I just made that up)
To be ready for the guide, download the following items...
- the required files - DOWNLOAD (MediaFire Pro) - MD5: rm6154a24e21df9fb6f542834f76e0d8f9
Note: If you require the previous 'TinyCoreLinux' r3 build, you can download it here (MediaFire Pro)
Follow through these steps, one by one and at the end of it you'll have a rooted Legend with the latest ROM.
Note: This process will wipe your device and there is currently no option to backup your device ROM before you start.
- Make your microSD card into a goldcard by following these instructions (it's a good idea to back up the contents of your card first!).
- Unzip the file you downloaded to a directory, then open a command prompt / terminal window at that directory.
- Turn off your HTC Legend, then turn it back on with the 'back' button held down. You'll see 'FASTBOOT' written on the screen in a red box. Connect the phone to the computer.
- In the terminal window, enter either 'step1-windows.bat', './step1-mac.sh' or './step1-linux.sh' as appropriate.
- When this step has completed, REMOVE THE GOLDCARD and either format it and replace, or replace with a different (non goldcard) microSD.
- Navigate to the 'BOOTLOADER' and then 'RECOVERY' option on the menu, using the volume buttons to move and the power button to select.
- In the terminal window, enter either 'step2-windows.bat', './step2-mac.sh' or './step2-linux.sh' as appropriate.
- When this has completed, your device should be at the 'recovery' screen. Select the 'wipe' option, then select the option to apply an update zip from sdcard, and select 'rootedupdate.zip'. This will take a little while, so go make a nice cup of tea. When the flash has finished, reboot, and you are DONE!
If you have any issues with the root process, post below, and we'll do our best to help!
Recovery mode for future updates
Once you are rooted, you can enter recovery mode by turning your device on with the volume button held down and selecting 'RECOVERY', then running either 'recovery-windows.bat', './recovery-mac.sh' or './recovery-linux.sh' as appropriate from the root zip directory.
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Thanks to nilezon for his patched windows ADB binary and Amon_RA for the recovery image I butchered here.