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How to Install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on HTC Desire S

January 23, 2012

Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich is still hot and many are still waiting for this operating system to fill their phones and tablets to add more excitement and thrill to their devices. One device that is still ICS-hollow and eager for some filling is the HTC Desire S.

Unfortunately for this phone, the official ICS update is still nowhere in sight, and there are still no clues on when it will arrive–if at all.

But, thanks to programmers at XDA Developers, a beta version (BETA8R4a) of ICS for the HTC Desire S is now available  and users can finally get a taste of the latest ICS firmware. Read on to know how to install the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 in your HTC Desire S.

As far as the status of this firmware is concerned, it is important to take note that this ICS firmware for the HTC Desire S is still a beta version, which means that some features still don’t work.  Though, most features are already working, the camera still doesn’t (among other non-working features).  This can be a setback if you are going to load up your HTC Desire S with this ROM. But, if you can’t wait to have ICS on your phone, why don’t you give it a try?


Before going to the instructions for installing this firmware, there are a few requirements that you need to satisfy:

  • Root your HTC Desire S with ClockworkMod Recovery installed. (Check out our rooting tutorial for HTC Desire S.)
  • Unlock the bootloader of your phone.
  • Backup all important data in your phone ( i.e. SMS, contacts, notes, call log, Images, songs, videos, files, and APN and MMS settings).
  • Charge your phone (should have at least 50% battery power).
  • ICS ROM beta8r4a for HTC Desire S. Download the ROM using the link and save the file to your computer.
  • Google Apps (gapps) package.  Download from here and save the file to your computer.


If you are done with the requirements, you can now proceed to the instructions for installing ICS Firmware on your HTC Desire S. Follow the instructions carefully for the installation to be successful.

NOTE: We will not be held liable for any damage or loss of data on your phone as a result of following this guide. Do not continue if you do not have much experience in installing custom ROMs, in which case we recommend that you get help from those who know about these things.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Connect your phone to your PC and copy both the ICS ROM file and the Google Apps package that you have downloaded earlier to the SD card of your phone.
  2. Disconnect your phone from your PC.
  3. Enable USB debugging on your phone (Settings>Applications>Development>USB Debugging).
  4. Turn off your phone.
  5. Reboot the phone and enter into bootloader mode (press Volume Up key + OK button simultaneously and press the Power button).
  6. Select “recovery” from the bootloader menu to enter into recovery mode.
  7. In recovery mode, make a Nandroid backup.
  8. Clear your phone data.  Do a “Wipe data/factory reset,” “Wipe cache,” and “Wipe Dalvik cache.”
  9. Select ” Install zip from SD card” then choose the ICS file that you have transferred to your SD card earlier.  Install the Google Apps packaged in the same manner.
  10. The installation will take a few minutes.
  11. Once completed, select “++++Go Back++++” to return to the main menu.
  12. Reboot your phone by selecting “Reboot system now.”
  13. If the SD card doesn’t work after rebooting, try to reboot the phone again.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Ice Cream Sandwich on your HTC Desire S.