How to install CyanogenMod 7 on an HTC Desire

Quick post because I wrote most of this out for a friend and figure it was internets worthy.

Firstly, why would you want to do this?

  1. CyanogenMod gives you Apps2SD functionality which means you can store apps on your SD card regardless of whether they support being moved to SD. The Desire has some or other issue with storage space and you’re forever running out.
  2. Android 2.3.3 is slick and should almost double your battery life.
  3. CyanogenMod has hundreds of tiny tweaks that make your phone better and faster.

Warning: This should be obvious but following the steps below will essentially factory reset your phone and you will lose all apps etc. Since your contacts are probably backed up with Google and all the apps are available via Market, you shouldn’t need to stress.

From start to finish this entire process should take less than an hour.

  1. Plug your phone into a computer and copy everything off your SD card. This is only necessary if you care about your photos and movies etc.
  2. Use unrevoked to root your phone. Don’t stress if it automatically reboots once or twice. It does that… no idea why.
  3. Install Clockwork ROM manager from the Market. (the free one is fine)
  4. From inside the Rom Manager, “Flash ClockworkMod Recovery”. Takes a minute and will give you a success message when done.
  5. From inside the Rom Manager, “Partition SD Card”. This partitions and formats your SD card to give you Apps2SD functionality and also a bit of swap memory. I used a 512mb Ext partition and a 32mb swap partition. (Your phone will reboot and do the partitioning in the recovery mode)
  6. From inside the ROM manager, use “Download ROM” to get the latest Stable CyanogenMod. It’ll ask if you want the Google apps as well, tick the box to say yes.
  7. Wait for it to finish downloading (might take a while since it’s about 90mb of downloads)
  8. When done it it will ask if you want Backup Existing ROM and Wipe Data and Cache. If this is your first CyanogenMod you’ll want to tick the last two (Data and Cache). Additionally you probably also want to backup your existing rom. (it backs it up to the SD Card)
  9. Your phone will reboot into recovery and start doing stuff. It’ll do the backup first (take about 10 minutes) and then it will install the new ROM (takes about 8 minutes) and then it will reboot.
  10. The first reboot is slow. Don’t stress.
  11. Boom, you have CyanogenMod 7 with Android 2.3.3 (at time of writing)

One thought on “How to install CyanogenMod 7 on an HTC Desire

  1. I found that the recovery mode couldn’t find the ROM downloaded by the ROM manager because it’d put the rom inside some deep folder on the SDCard /sdcard/clockwork/downloads/ or something similar. The recovery console couldn’t find the ROM unless I put the ROM in the root of the SDCard. Additionally, the first boot was infinitely long so I killed the process and downloaded the stable ROM directly from and put it on the root of the SDCard. This worked flawlessly. Thanks for this great How-To!!!

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