Installing custom ROM (firmware) is not new now but it can be really irritating process if not done properly. This step-by-step guide will serve the purpose for newbies and people who wanted Android 2.3 from long.
I want to clear somethings out here. Though the process is all the same but every ROM is unique and little different from other one. Each have little trick to make it work. E.g.: CyanogenMod7 framework ROMs runs more stable after rebooting twice. So, try the trick first before saying it doesn’t work.
After long development and Bootloader unlocking; now we also have custom ROMs with new Kernel. This needs to unlock Bootloader and replace Kernel. I am going with regular one as this is what 99.99% people use and trust me you don’t get much benefits weighing against risk. Why to touch Bootloader and Kernel when it can be done easy way? It is really complicated and will be explained in a separate guide.
Another thing, there are 7-8 ROMs to select from. Also, each one have many versions. I have listed some of my favorites in another article here. Every ROM will not work for all of you but 90% ROMs will not ditch you if you follow this guide. That’s a promise. Let’s start!
I am assuming from you is that you have following requirements in place;
1. Rooted X10 Mini Pro
2. ClockWorkMod Recovery installed
3. 2.1.1.A.0.6 SE stock firmware –> Check in Settings>>About Phone.
4. Baseband: M76XX-TSNCJOLYM-53404015 –> Settings>>About Phone
5. Battery at 100% – Not mandatory but just a precaution.
8. Human or equal
If you have anything missing from No. 1-4; then don’t proceed. Click the requirement above to see the guide and make your phone compatible. If you have latest SE stock firmware then you do have requirement No.3 and No.4 in place.
Don’t neglect No.7. Read these article and do it. You will need your data after flashing.
Now regarding; Which ROM? I am going ahead with MiniCM7Pro v21 by paul-xxx. This one is latest and don’t need to flash the kernel. I am currently using this. You can also download others from archive posted in here. Every ROM have little difference in user experience and so the trick to make it work.
1. Now first of all, connect phone in USB mode to a PC. Copy the firmware (ROM) file to SDCard. Don’t put it in directory; just paste it directly on memory card.
2. Disconnect phone and reboot it.
3. Press & Hold Back Button when Sony Ericsson (First White Logo) appears.
4. You will drop into CWM Recovery.
5. Now you have to take current ROM’s full backup which can be rolled back whenever you want. Go to Backup and Restore. Select backup. Navigate using UP/Down Volume Keys and to select option press Center Menu Button.
6. Now, come back to main screen by pressing back button and select ‘Wipe Data/Factory Reset‘ then ‘Wipe Cache Partition’. Select YES at every step. This will clear current ROM data. Refer screenshot. Don’t worry if your CWM looks different. This is all ROM dependent.
7. After this go to Advanced option. Look at screenshot.
8. In Advanced option; select ‘Wipe Dalvik Cache‘ and then ‘Wipe Batter Stats‘. Select YES on question. Refer screenshot (sorry for quality).
9. Now press back button and come back to first screen. Here, select ‘Install Zip from SD Card‘. Now this screen will show many options. Again select ‘Choose zip from SD Card‘.
10. Don’t panic. These are your files and Recovery is showing you a browser view of your SD Card. Use volume Up/Down to navigate and find the ROM file which you copied earlier. Select it by pressing Center button.
11. You will now see a YES/NO option. Select YES. Now, software will start installing your new ROM.
12. You will see notification when it is completed. Now select ‘Reboot System/Phone‘. Take care here and don’t select Reboot into Recovery instead of System/Phone. If you can’t see this option then press back button once to get to main screen and then select Reboot phone.
CAUTION: If you are installing MiniCM7Pro v21 ROM instead of others! This ROM have little problem with CWM recovery version. So other ROM users will get normal restart but with this one you will get error ‘Recovery Bad‘ and it will ask to repair/replace recovery. Select NO at first screen and then you will get one more screen asking Sure to Reboot? Select YES. Your phone will restart.
Now, hold your breath as your new ROM is initiating. Don’t do anything stupid like pressing back button etc. This first start always take long time. Around 4-5 minutes. If it takes more than that and you think phone hanged then pull out battery, put it back and restart the phone. It will start.
We are not done yet! Lol. Remember, unique trick for each ROM to work? This method below shall be done with all ROMs.
13. After start; let everything settle. Press power button once and select ‘Reboot‘. Don’t select Reboot Recovery. Press back button to get into CWM Recovery.
14. Here select ‘Wipe Data/Factory Reset‘ again and Reboot Phone.
15. Again phone will take little long to start. After it is all settled; again do two reboots. However this time you don’t need to go into recovery.
16. We are done! You can restore your Contacts, Apps and Data using Titanium Backup and other methods as said in this post.
So you have done it. Enjoy your phone with 2.3.+ android. I will be writing troubleshooting soon. So hang on till then.