Friday, February 12, 2010

Android / HTC Magic 'Must-Have': Amon_RA's Recovery v1.5.2G

Google Fodder: Before I rooted my phone the fear of the unknown was powerful.

What if I wrecked it? Could I ever put it back the way it was when I bought it? Could I BRICK my phone and render it dead, useless?

I didn't know anyone locally who had done it, so I took several months and worked out what applied to my phone...and what did not. There is a lot of old information out there. There is a lot of  "almost" information out there. It's almost right. This was made even more confusing for me by the fact the HTC G1 / Dream phone most of the relevent ROMs are developed for is almost entirely compatible with the HTC Magic 32B. They are both "32B" phones - but the Dream / G1 comes with an SPL of less capability (smaller system size possible) that matches the much smaller internal storage size of the G1 (96MB vs 295MB for the Magic). These differences require special measures for a G1 owner...but I didn't have to worry about at the SPL or related radio at all an HTC Magic owner. I was already there.

As it turned out, rooting the HTC Magic I got from Vodafone NZ, with an SPL of "Hboot 1.33.0004 (SAPP10000)", was ridiculously easy. It's almost designed to be rooted and doing so takes about 20 seconds once you know what you need to do. You can check the SPL on your phone by starting it in Fastboot mode:

1. Power off
2. Hold down the BACK button
3. While holding down BACK, press the Power / Call end button and release
4. Release the back button

Your phone should boot up into Fastboot mode showing you lots of system firmware details like the version of the Secondary Program Loader (SPL -> Hboot) and the radio.

I also learned it is impossible to brick the phone if you don't flash the radio and SPL. You can always get it going again as long as you have a system ROM to flash onto it.


You can even take a backup of someone else's "Factory Reset" ROM and install it on your phone.......just like the people who made your phone did when they manufactured it. The risk of doing any serious damage is virtually NIL.

You can also UN-do the rooting of your phone in about 60 seconds....putting your phone back to the way it was when you bought it.....or the way it was when you took your last backup of the 'stock' system prior to rooting it.

The most valuable tool for both rooting and UN-rooting your phone is a recovery image packed with very useful backup / restore and other system tools.

A Belgian developer known as "Amon_RA" on XDA has put together (building on the work of others) an almost perfect recovery image in his v1.5.2G for the HTC Magic 32B. Make sure you get the "G" as the "H" is for a Magic 32A and the "R" is for a Magic 32A from Rogers in Canada. Do not use anything but the "G" with an HTC Magic 32B phone.

Using this recovery you can:

- backup the current system system
- restore an entire system (all but the sdcard) from a list of previous backups
- partition your sdcard with scripts prompting you as to size and type.
- repair a damaged partition
- Toggle USB access from a PC on or off while in recovery state: great for getting files on / off your phone if is currently without a functioning system.
...several other, more esoteric things that are useful from time to time.

The basic steps for flashing a ROM or restoring from a backup are:

1. Backup current system.
2. Wipe system / dalvik cache (and ext partition if you're using APPs to SD).
3. Go to Partition SDcard and do a "repair sdcard"
4. Then you either Flash a new from from the sdcard OR do a restore.

Repeat as required. Flash 5 ROMs by lunchtime! What I have NOT covered here is how to get the recovery onto your phone - either temporarily as a kind of 'live' boot - or permanently. My purpose here is to describe how very useful this tool is.

You can get Amon_RA's recovery here. It's 4MB. (Magnet link for a bittorrent client):

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:020fdd92160739c8adb900174ccd7d179b8bc35e&dn=Android%3A+Amon-Ra%5C%5C%5C%27s+Recovery+for+Sapphire+%2832B%29&tr=http%3A%2F%2Ftracker.prq.to%2Fannounce

Here are some screenshots (sourced from XDA) of v1.5.1G. Get 1.5.2G as it fixes a bug with the restore of any backed up ext partitions.

Main menu








11 comments:

  1. Hey Truth Seeker

    Really appreciate all the Android info you provide - and pleased to have someone in the context on NZ :)

    I too own the Magic 32B from VodafoneNZ

    The problem I face is that my SPL is protected - HBOOT-1.33.0006 (SAPP10000)

    I presume I picked up this SPL up when Donut was OTA pushed here :-/ And I'm guessing you did your easy rooting because you were before this SPL was updated..

    I can see ways to root mine still, but they involve flashing the SPL before I receive the opportunity to nandroid backup the stock ROM (which I want to do as a rollback option).. Do you have a copy of the NZ stock ROM that you can share?

    Any other tips appreciated :)

    Regards
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Matt: The update to 1.6 didn't alter my SPL. It was the same before. I think HTC just updated the SPL to a later one. It may be possible to flash the 1.33.0004 over top of the SPL you have...and then it's game on.
    Sounds like the more recent phones have the SPL you have. There is a thread on XDA-developers about getting root on so-called "perfect" SPLs. I'll have a look. I've been reluctant to flash any SPL as it may block over the air updates. But if it could be easily restored...then no worries. It's the "easily" I'd like to find out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Matt: Yes..I have a copy of the stock ROM. I've flashed it from one phone to other - just for fun - and it works fine. The only issue is the SPL you've got.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I see

    I would have imagined the OTA negotiation would happen above the SPL (and therefore not affected) and the Android OS ROM be responsible for the OTA negotiation..

    I'm reluctant to flash away from my SPL in case I need to get back to it (e.g. an unrelated fault and need to send away for repair)

    Let me know if you have any ideas :)

    Thanks
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  5. Matt: Have you tried the "checkin" procedure on your phone?

    1. Go to the homescreen.
    2. Tap on Dialer - to open the dialer screen.
    3. From the dialer type *#*#checkin#*#* (that is *#*#2432546#*#*)

    4. If the ‘checkin' is successful, the device will display "checkin result success"

    Note: Checkin results may take up to 12 hours to display!)

    5. Return to the homescreen.
    6. Press the Menu key.
    7. Select Settings.
    8. Scroll down, and select About phone.
    9. Select System updates.
    10. If an update is available, you should see the update downloading.

    That one....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Truth Seeker

    I'm planning to take the plunge and create a goldcard and flash an unprotected SPL over mine..

    Unfortunately when I do so, I expect I may miss the chance of a backup of the ROM before it's all done..

    As a rollback option, would you be able to provide a copy of that original VodafoneNZ RUU stock ROM??

    Cheers
    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there,

    Can you please have a looksie and see what version radio is installed on the stock vodafone NZ Magic.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi there Anonymous

    The radio on my VodafoneNZ stock HTC Magic was "RADIO-2.22.19.26I"

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
  9. As Matt says, the radio is:

    RADIO-2.22.19.26I

    There has been an informally available update since then, extracted from the update to a DMD64 build of Android, to v2.22.23.02.

    I flashed it on my phone on the basis I could flash the previous version back if there were any issues. There have been no issues. If anything, it works better. There some risks flashing radio spearate from SPL as it is possible to brick one's phone that way. But in this case they are compatible so it wasn't a problem. But one cannot take that for granted.

    You can find out more here:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=640535

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Truth Seeker,
    How do I make a backup of someone else's "Factory Reset" ROM and install it on my phone. can you please give me a heads up or link.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Trent.

    How you do it depends on what phone you have. What phone are you talking about? Make and model. Ta. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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