For HTC Desire S users who have wanted to try something apart from the phone they get in the box, rooting may be an option. Rooting is a process wherein third party applications, such as custom ROMs, are given access to system-level files. Such “root-level” access isn’t usually possible. But, by modifying the system files, users can enjoy the customized experience of their device. A downside, however, is that rooting voids the phone’s warranty in almost all cases.

In order to facilitate a smooth rooting process, users must back up the data available on their phone. Messages, phone contacts, music, pictures, videos and even Internet settings must be backed up so that they can be safely restored later if ever the rooting process fails.

It’s also important to have the device charged up to 60% so the phone won’t shut down in the middle of the process, which may lead to bricking the device.

That being said, here’s how to root your HTC Desire S and install custom recovery on it:

  1. Take note of your phone’s serial number. Look for it in the battery compartment. It’s usually beside the label “S/N” in the battery compartment. Copy the serial number accurately.
  2. Find out the HBoot version of your phone. To do that, reboot your phone into bootloader mode. First, turn off your phone. Then, turn it back on by pressing the Volume Down button and Power button together for a few seconds. Your phone will start in bootloader mode. The screen will show you the HBoot version. Copy the HBoot version number.
  3. Turn your phone off and turn it on again normally.
  4. Download Save it to your desktop. Do not extract the ZIP file. Copy the ZIP file to the root of your phone’s SD card.
  5. Enable USB debugging in “Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging”.
  6. Turn off the Fast boot option from “Settings > Power > Fast boot.”
  7. Download the HTC Sync drivers into your phone. Get them here. Install the drivers to your computer. These are for Windows machines only.
  8. Go to and download Revolutionary: S-OFF & Recovery Tool 0.4pre4 by clicking on the “Download for Windows” link in the Downloads section. A form will also appear below the link after you click the link.
  9. Fill out the form with your operating system (Windows), device name (HTC Desire S), HBOOT version (you copied this as instructed in a previous step), and your device’s serial number (you also copied this as instructed in a previous step).
  10. Click the Generate Key button. The page that appears will show you your beta key. Copy this key exactly as shown. It is case-sensitive.
  11. Extract the contents of into a folder on your computer.
  12. Connect your phone via the USB cable. If your phone asks you for a connection type, choose “HTC Sync” and just ignore the warnings.
  13. Launch the Revolutionary tool (revolutionary.exe). A command prompt window will open and will ask you for the beta key.
  14. Type or copy-and-paste the beta key for Revolutionary into the command prompt window. The beta key is case-sensitive. Press Enter to allow the tool to proceed.
  15. Wait a little bit for Revolutionary to enable S-OFF and unlock the rewritable NAND on your handset. If the program asks you to install ClockworkMod Recovery, choose to do so.
  16. Reboot your phone. Then, turn it off again.
  17. Boot into bootloader mode by pressing the Volume Down and Power buttons together. Enter recovery mode by selecting Recovery from the list. Use the Volume Up/Down keys to scroll through the list and use the Power button to select.
  18. In ClockworkMod Recovery, choose “install zip from sdcard,” then choose “choose zip from sdcard.”
  19. Find on the list and press the Power button to select it. Wait a little bit for the process to finish.
  20. Reboot your phone. It is now rooted and already has custom recovery installed.

Congratulations! Your HTC Desire will now have S-OFF and the phone will have been successfully rooted. The custom recovery image will also be successfully installed on the phone. You can now flash custom ROMs to your phone.

Carl Parker
We're all multi-talented and multi-faceted here, but, perhaps, Carl is the most multi-faceted in the bunch. Among Carl's many interests, Android holds a special place. He's particularly fond of reviewing Android apps and writing step-by-step guides for fellow Android fans.
  • Filsh Netstar

    fantastic guide A***** worked first time cheers

    • saga

      What your HBoot version???

  • Why there is no update on any website about HTC salsa..Even the HTC chacha got the android 2.3.5 update. which is said to have improved memory management. Really fed up of the insufficient memory thing in HTC salsa. please provide some news on htc salsa update.

    all we know is that there is suppose to be a system update, facebook and twitter for HTC salsa in December. This was same for HTC chacha too.. but HTC chacha already received it one week back

  • George Mcveigh

    HBoot 2.00.0002 NOT supported so I am out of luck ? for my Desire S

    • Abhishek Mitra

      Try downgrading your HBOOT version.

      • Damian

        How do you do this?

  • aidin

    My HTC Desire S is running on Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.0
    Revolutionary asks for HBoot version and there are only two options for Desire S (0.98.0000 and 0.98.0002) but mine is 2.00.0002!!

    Any suggestions?

    Does anybody here have had a successful rooting for the device described above??

    • Smithwilliam9

      i too had 2.00.0002 and chose the 0.98.0002 option, desire s now fully rooted and s off. only problem i had was i couldnt flash the zip to memory card, took me two evenings to suss it out but is worth it.and sorry but before you ask i have already forgotten how i did it .good luck

  • Pvsrnaidu

    Hi ,

    me too also have same problem , below is the message i got

    | Revolutionary S-OFF & Recovery Tool 0.4pre4 |
    Brought to you by AlphaRev & unrEVOked.

    Waiting for device…
    Found your device: HTC Desire S (saga-2.00.0002, Android: 2.3.5, ROM version: 2.15.707.2)

    Your device: saga, with HBOOT 2.00.0002 is not supported at this time.
    Press (almost) any key to exit.

  • JJE990

    My phone wont nter bootloader mode???? Any help?

  • 34570njameseaston

    HTC Sync is incompatible with Revolutionary… Please uninstall and try again.

    And so I do. How long does clockwork mod recovery take to download/install
    A) Short time
    B) Medium
    C)Long time

    If (A), then i’m stuck

  • Mike

    Same problem, will there be a solution?

  • headhunter007

    i am getting a problem after step 17..when i select turns off and show an icon in the middle of the screen…it looks likes a phone with a red warning icon on it….any idea whats wrong???

    • Sarga03

      i have the same problem. did u find any solution for this?

  • Krishnamohan

    My HTC Desire S is running on Android 2.3.5 and Sense 3.0
    Revolutionary asks for HBoot version and there are only two options for Desire S (0.98.0000 and 0.98.0002) but mine is 2.00.0002!!

    Any suggestions?

    Does anybody here have had a successful rooting for the device described above??

    • Abhishek Mitra

      This guide will not work with HBOOT 2.00.0002, you need to downgrade your HBOOT version, then use these steps!

  • Aryabhibp

    It says the beta key given is invalid
    HTC desire HBOOT: 1.02.0001

    • Tinkerbell19900

      i had the same problem try copy and pasting the beta key it worked for me just fine after numerous attempts

  • John

    stucked in step 13. , a command promt did not appears…
    any suggestions? please help!

    HBoot 2.00.0002

  • Bergie
  • Elaine Diaz


  • Elaine Diaz

    stucked on step 13 please help! the revolutionary won’t open

  • Stuck at 18, does it take a long time to find all the data? should I leave it connected via usb?

    • Bogdan

      try to ‘select’ not pressing the Power button, but other button on your phone.

      • HepCat

        On the HTC Desire I used the ‘trackpad’ or center round button to select the options.

  • davis

    I have the same problem that Maximilian Cooper did. Stuck at 17 and didn’t help by selecting by not power button. :(

  • stuck at 8 hboot ver 2.00.0002

  • i am stuuck at step 13 it does not recognize my htc desire HBOOT 1.02.0001

    • Abhishek Mitra

      Revolutionary only works with older HBOOT versions like 0.98

  • HepCat

    If you’re stuck… this helped me.

    1) Make sure you uninstall HTC Sync from your computer and your computer’s
    antivirus & firewall is off.
    2) Make sure you install the HTC driver; If it is installed, repair it.
    3) Make sure Debug is on.
    4) Make sure Fastboot is off.
    5) Make sure your zip file is on the SD card in X:
    6) Make sure you have reset to factory(if you haven’t, do it and start over at
    step 1).
    7) Make sure you plug the phone into a different usb port on your
    8) Make sure you run revolutionary in administrator mode.
    9) Proceed through the steps.

  • owinkle

    my beta key doesnt work on my htc desire!

  • I’m using a mac, do you have an instruction fo mac users who want to root their htc desire s? Thanks.

  • jordy

    I have a HTC chacha, it is not on the list at the beta key. So it isnt posible for my phone? or is there an other way to do it?

  • dwewozere

    is there not a mirror for the first zip file or the actual name i can google

  • harsh007

    My hboot version is different
    What to do?????

  • paulr

    HTC desire S, i cant get step 2 to work, i hold the volume down button and switch on but the phone just boots normally, any ideas

  • anon

    The first link is down!

  • Joseph Addy-Afari

    my serial number is not clear due to frequent removal of battery. is there any other alternative?

  • Bimal Parahag

    Hi my htc desire s is hboot 2.02.0002 what i do to root my phone cause i dont know how to downgrade my phone help!!

  • GeorgeAbraham

    It says invalid Beta Key even though i type the exact same key. What do i do?