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How to Root Your HTC EVO Shift 4G

August 8, 2011

If you have been waiting for a long time to get into the root of your HTC Evo Shift 4G and become a “superuser,” you can now temporarily root your device by following this guide.

Take note that this method only gives you temporary access to your system’s root directory. This is not a method for permanent rooting. With permanent rooting (also called “permroot”), you have full control over the destiny of your system’s files–including purging them to oblivion.

In contrast, the temproot method is very useful if your primary reason for rooting is to use root-enabled apps from the Android Market. “Root-enabled” apps are those apps requiring root access. And, being a temporary solution, your access to root will be restricted again after you hard-reset your phone (i.e., turn off phone, remove battery, insert battery, turn on phone–that’s hard reset in layperson’s terms).

In this guide, ClockworkMod Recovery is used to enable the HTC EVO Shift 4G to install custom ROMs or firmware. There are other similar applications, although we have little idea about their relative safety or reliability.

This guide also uses CyanogenMod as the example firmware to install on the handset. Again, there are other custom ROMs, mods, and firmware.

Both ClockworkMod Recovery and CyanogenMod are known to be reliable and safe, aside from having a large community of users and developers backing them up.

Before you do anything — Make a backup

Don’t forget to back up your data. If you have synced the device with a Google account, then the contacts, calendar, Gmail, and other selected Google-related data will not be lost and will come back after the next sync.

However, you should backup anything you want to keep that is not stored on the SD card:

It would also be a good idea to back up everything stored on the SD card in the rare case the SD card must be formatted to resolve any major problems.

MyBackup Root, SMS Backup & Restore, and Call Backup and Restore are all free applications that can assist with backing up your data.


  • Android Debug Bridge (ADB) shell. You will need this for issuing commands to your Android handset from your computer. You will also need ADB to flash the Engineering HBoot. ADB can be installed by following the instructions for setting up the Android Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • Fastboot. This is needed to install a custom recovery image.
  • Busybox. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Superuser package. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Temporary Root package. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Engineering HBoot. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Terminal Emulator. Install this app on your HTC EVO Shift 4G.
  • ClockworkMod Recovery image. Download the latest image file to a temporary location on your computer.
  • Latest version of CyanogenMod for the HTC EVO Shift 4G. Make sure you’re getting the version specific to this handset, otherwise it might not work.
  • Google Apps bundle. This is optional, but strongly suggested because a default installation of CyanogenMod does not include the Google Apps.

Rooting the HTC Evo Shift 4G

Rooting the HTC EVO Shift 4G essentially takes only a few general steps: gaining temporary root access, and having done so, flashing the Engineering HBoot. Then, you need to install a custom recovery image and flash CyanogenMod on to your phone to complete the process.


Gaining Temporary Root Access

Before you begin, you have to ensure that other temprooting applications are uninstalled so they won’t mess up with this method. One known temproot app that could conflict with this method is VISIONary.

  1. Go into the temporary folder where you unzipped the files for Busybox. Copy the contents of that folder into the same folder where the adb executable file is located (most often, the folder/directory named “platform-tools” inside the installation directory for the Android SDK). Do the same for Superuser package and Temporary Root package.
  2. Connect the HTC EVO Shift 4G to the computer via USB.
  3. Enable USB debugging on your HTC EVO Shift 4G by checking Settings » Applications » Development » USB debugging.
  4. On the computer, open a terminal (also known as command prompt on Windows-based systems) and run the following commands:
    adb push su /sdcard/su
    adb push Superuser.apk /sdcard/Superuser.apk
    adb push rage /data/local/tmp/rage
    adb push busybox /data/local/tmp/busybox
    adb push root /data/local/tmp/root
    adb shell chmod 0755 /data/local/tmp/*
  5. Launch the Terminal Emulator app on your handset, and run the following command:
  6. After a minute or so, you will see the following message on the phone: Forked #### childs. Press the Menu button and select Reset Term. The Terminal Emulator will exit.
  7. Launch Terminal Emulator again. It will force close. Launch it again, and you’ll now have a root shell. Run the following commands:
  8. Wait for the syncing to finish. Once done, flash the Engineering HBoot as described in the next section. Do not disconnect your handset from your computer.

Flashing the Engineering HBoot

Flashing the Engineering HBoot is needed before you can install a custom recovery image on your device.

  1. Go into the temporary folder where you unzipped the files for Engineering HBoot. Copy the contents of that folder into the same folder where the adb executable file is located (most often, the folder/directory named “platform-tools” inside the installation directory for the Android SDK).
  2. On your computer, open a terminal and run the following command:
    adb push hboot_eng.nb0 /data/local
  3. Launch the Terminal Emulator app on your handset. This step could severely damage the HTC EVO Shift 4G. Using the incorrect file could cause irreparable damage, making the phone nothing more than a brick. So, make sure you flash the correct file. Run the following commands in the Terminal Emulator:
    dd if=/data/local/hboot_eng.nb0 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0p18
  4. At this point, the Engineering HBoot is now installed on the HTC Evo Shift 4G. Now you are ready to install a custom recovery image as described in the next section.

Installing a Custom Recovery Image

Custom Recovery Image, otherwise known as SP recovery console, is a mode that enables you to do several stuffs with your device, including loading custom ROMs, performing full and simple back-ups/restores, running and more. Prior to doing these, it is necessary to flash the images to your device so you can make the SP recovery accessible.

  1. Locate the ClockworkMod Recovery image file that you downloaded and copy it to the same folder where the fastboot executable file is located (usually the “platform-tools” folder inside the Android SDK folder).
  2. On the computer, open a terminal or command prompt and run the following command:
    adb reboot bootloader
  3. Your handset will reboot into fastboot. Once it does, issue the following command from your terminal or command prompt:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery-clockwork-
  4. The ClockworkMod Recovery image should now be installed on the HTC EVO Shift 4G and you can now load a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod to your handset.

Flashing CyanogenMod

CyanogenMod is an aftermarket Android-based mobile operating system wherein you can enjoy lots of features not found in the original versions of Android. Try it for yourself and experience Android like never before.

You can flash CyanogenMod in two ways. One way is via recovery and the other is via ROM manager.

Method via Recovery

  1. Copy the CyanogenMod and Google Apps ZIP files to the root of your SD Card. You don’t need to extract the ZIP files.
  2. Boot into the ClockworkMod Recovery. There are several ways to do that. Choose only one of the following ways:
    • If the Android SDK is installed on your computer, you can run the following command from a terminal or command prompt:
      adb reboot recovery
    • Launch the Terminal Emulator app on your device and run the command:
      reboot recovery
    • With your phone initially turned off, press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. The handset will boot to hboot mode or straight away to recovery mode. If it boots in hboot mode, use the Volume Down button to highlight “Recovery” and press the Power button to boot into recovery mode.
  3. Once the device boots into ClockworkMod Recovery, use the side volume buttons to move around, and either the Power button or the trackball to select.
  4. Select the option to Wipe data/factory reset.
  5. Then select the option to Wipe cache partition.
  6. Select Install zip from sdcard.
  7. Select Choose zip from sdcard.
  8. Select the CyanogenMod If you are also installing the optional Google Apps bundle, redo steps 6 to 8, but this time around, select the Google Apps ZIP file instead of the one for CyanogenMod.
  9. Once the installation has finished, select +++++Go Back+++++ to get back to the main menu, and select the Reboot system now option. The HTC EVO Shift 4G should now boot into CyanogenMod.

Method via ROM Manager

  1. Launch RomManager.
  2. Optional: Choose the first option in the app, Flash ClockworkMod Recovery to update to the latest version.
  3. Select the Download ROM option from the main menu in the ROM Manager.
  4. Select the CyanogenMod option, and then choose the latest version of CyanogenMod from the menu.
  5. Optional: When you select the latest version of CyanogenMod, check the Google Apps* option.
  6. Once the ROM is finished downloading, it asks if you would like to Backup Existing ROM and Wipe Data and Cache.
  7. If SuperUser prompts for root permissions, check the Remember option and then the Allow option.
  8. The HTC Evo Shift 4G will now reboot into the recovery, wipe data and cache, and then install CyanogenMod. When it’s finished installing it will reboot into CyanogenMod.

There you have it, you have just gained temporary root access on your HTC Evo Shift 4G. Getting into the root of your Evo Shift 4G is simple as that. Now, you can enjoy exploring new variety features and enhancements in your device that are not currently found in any version of Android.