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?

View Res­ults

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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.