5android logoHow to Root the HTC Desire HD & install a custom ROM

I’ve recently been asked to root a HTC Desire HD and put a custom ROM onto it.  I agreed to, despite some reluctance – hacking my own HTC Desire was quite a hassle and involved lots of research and considerable time. 

I was delighted to discover the process for the Desire HD is much simpler!  A tool called the “Advanced Ace Hack Kit” has been created which carries out a root and S-Off automatically with 1 click (but read the manual first).  The kit also installs ClockworkMod recovery and ROM Manager.  This procedure didn’t even wipe anything on the phone!  I was then able to install the ROM of choice (Virtuous Affinity 1.46 based on Sense 3.5 with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread) via ROM Manager, again with minimal hassle, and again without losing any of the installed apps or settings.  The whole process took less than 30 minutes.  The benefits are many: longer battery life, faster performance, and several nice UI customisation options.

Root the Desire HD

Download the Advanced Ace Hack Kit from the link above.  Extract it to a new folder, without interfering with the folder structure.  Remove any installations of HTC Sync or HTC drivers.  Install the HTC drivers included with the hack (from the tools\windrivers folder).  Connect the phone and make sure it is set to USB Charger mode only.  Enable USB Debugging on the phone (settings, applications, development).  Right click on the hack-ace.cmd file and select “run as administrator”.  Follow the prompts.  You will need a password which is generated each time – you can find a link to it at the bottom of the manual (the manual is included with the download and is called effen-manual.html).  Wait for about 15 minutes and several reboots and all will be done.

Update Rom

Once rooted, let the phone boot up, go to the market app, and install ROM Manager.  Run and enable ROM manager.  Download a ROM of your choice either through ROM Manager or manually on your PC.  If manually, copy the download to your phone memory card.  Use ROM manager to reboot in recovery and follow the menu options to flash zip from sd card.  Wait for 5-10 minutes (and several reboots) for the ROM to install.  All done!

The kit can also be run under Linux and OS X, although my instructions don’t cover that.

For me the new ROM is working exceptionally well, it is faster and less battery intensive than the original, official HTC ROM.  It also has nicer eye candy.

Once you’re up and running take a look at my list of recommended android apps which is updated every 6 months or so.  See the related posts section below for the latest version.

-Upd Aug-2012-

Updated links to AAHK and Affinity Rom

How did your Desire HD ROM update work out?

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I already root with win 7 ultimate 64 bit, dont know why some having problem with 64 bit..try flashing different custom rom, but most of the rom is quite same., honeybomb, smartdroid, revolution HD 7.0. but some custom rom don’t have sound selection like dobly during play music, i also have try Leedroid 5.1 when touch personalize button, it go to online like pressing explorer..may be some mistake there…etc.. Waiting ICS stable ROM cause now all still having camera problem. Anyway tq.


Ca AAHK run under win7 64bit? cause some say got problem when root with using 64bit OS. TQ


Hi Jon,
So it should be not problem at win 7 ultimate 64 bit? During root process with AAHK after press 1 & enter, it need downgrade cause my htc desire hd is 2.3.5. When perform downgrade ask y/n, so i select y, downloagrade RUU? y/n? i select y again but say “Paramater format not correct – PD98IMG-GB6.zip” where should i put this file? Insdie the AAHK already got this file. I also copy to PD98IMG folder, cause there got a txt file say that put the PD98IMG.zip over there.

I confuse is the PD98IMG inside the AAHK folder aahk-13012012\tools\dngrd why got 2 folder DN-P98IMG & PD98IMG, this 2 file around 30+mb, but got another downgrade from this link http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=905003. Get stock 1.32 PD98IMG.zip ROM is 287 mb what is the diffrent?

U got mail address..i print screen for u to look at it. Thanks

gravatarJon Scaife

The Desire HD I was updating didn’t need a downgrade so I didn’t have this error.
It sounds to me like a corrupt file (the PD98IMG-GB6.zip) – can you redownload it? I think if you delete that file before running the update it will automatically redownload the file. The copy on the server has a correct MD5 so it should work after it’s redownloaded. Let me know how it goes.