How to Flash Custom ROMs on Your Android Phone

August 31, 2011
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If you’ve rooted your Android phone, you’re most likely interested in a few custom ROMs. The problem is that many people interested in flashing custom ROMs are not sure how to go about getting started.

In this post, I will run you through the general steps of flashing custom ROMs. You can follow along with the instructional video I’ve included at the end.

Your phone must be rooted so that you can perform the steps in this guide.  If you have a non-rooted your phone, this guide will result in an epic fail.  Android Authority has numerous rooting guides for a lot of the most popular Android phones–so, go ahead and try searching for a rooting guide for your phone.

The process for flashing a custom ROM onto your phone might vary slightly for your specific device, however the general steps are usually the same.

DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for anything unfortunate that happens to your phone if you decide to follow this guide.

  1.  Using your Android phone, go to Xda-forums.com and try to find your device on the site.  Then, open the development thread for your particular device. Once you’re there, open up some posts and find a ROM you like and download it.  If you have trouble choosing, I highly recommend either CyanogenMod 7 or MIUI.  Both are well-known, widely used, and have support from a community of users and developers.  However, be forewarned that custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod 7 or MIUI do not work in some devices, in which case, you will have to choose a custom ROM that will work for you particular handset.
  2. Boot your handset into recovery.  There are various ways to achieve this. You might be able to hold down the Power button and select Restart > Recovery.  If that doesn’t work for you,  go to the Android Market and download ROM Manager. Once installed, open up ROM Manager and select “Reboot into Recovery.”  That ought to do the trick and let you reboot your phone into the recovery menu.  Once you’re in the recovery menu, use the Volume keys to navigate through the options and use the Power button to select an option.
  3.  On the recovery menu, select “Wipe,” then from there, wipe the following: dalvik cache, factory reset, and cache. Once you’re done, select Return.
  4. You should now be back on the main menu in recovery. From there, navigate to Flash zip from SDcard > Choose zip from SDcard > Download.  You should now see the ROM you downloaded. Select your ROM and confirm that you wish to flash this ROM.
  5. Once flashing the ROM completes, select Return> Reboot system. Your ROM will begin to load.  This will take a while, so do not be afraid if your phone is still booting after 5 minutes. If booting doesn’t complete after 20 minutes, ask for help.  (You can sound off in the comments.)
  6. After your ROM has booted, go through the set up process and enjoy your new ROM.

Here’s a video guide demonstrating the steps described above:

What rooted phone did you flash a custom ROM on? What ROM did you choose?

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