Disclaimer: This is not a fool-proof guide on rooting your HTC Desire phone, so using my guide is at your own risk. I won't be held responsible should something goes wrong and bricked your phone throughout the process. I personally did all these preparation and setup and it worked just fine on me.
Just want to share my experience as to how I rooted my HTC Desire (A8181 GSM).
Before I continue further, some key factors and reasons for rooting the phone:
- A better or functional "recovery" menu compared to the stock
- With the recovery, I could create/restore a backup image via Nandroid.
- Using a different OS image available around the net (i.e. CyanogenMod, Oxygen, etc.), but you can stick with your stock rom like I did (HTC sense lol!)
- replacing my stock Baseband version (for signal and battery performance)
- Root permissions of course
Some stuff needed to perform/download/install before rooting your phone:
- USB cable
- phone must be at least 30% charged (but don't push your luck on this, just charge it to the most you can)
- "unrevoked" application (you can search it via Google or get it here)
- RA-desire-v2.0.0 recovery image (highly suggested; Google it)
- HBoot Drivers (only for Windows users; can be downloaded on the unrevoked website)
- extreme levels of caution and patience
One main reason why I used the RA-desire-v2.0.0 image compared to the stock ClockworkMod (v3.0 at my time) recovery image that came together with the unrevoked application was that it did not support some mod images available in the web, most especially the Oxygen Gingerbread mod (for those itching to try Android 2.3).
Once you have all these stuff prepared, you have to perform the following changes in your phone...
- enable USB debugging inside "Settings" -> "Applications" -> "Development"
- enable Unknown sources inside "Settings" -> "Applications"
- set default connection type to "charge only" and uncheck "ask me" in "Settings" -> "Connect to PC"
- backup your sms messages and other stuff (your data in the SD card is safe)
- no need to remove your SIM card and SD card
These are the steps I performed for the actual rooting...
- Run the unrevoked3 application (for Linux users, it should be in "sudo")
- [For Windows only] install the HBOOT drivers, so that your PC can correctly detect your device
- On the menu, select "Custom recovery" (similar to this wording) and select the RA-desire-v2.0.0 image from the directory you saved it. There will be a "custom" indicated in the bottom center of the unrevoked application if you did this part correctly.
- with your Desire turned on, connect the phone with your data cable and onto the PC
- upon connecting the phone, the unrevoked application should detect it and prompt a message in which it will be a go or no-go confirmation. Hit the ok button or yes (or whatever)
- the unrevoked application will now commence the rooting, just watch your phone and application, and NOT touching your phone or anything
- wait for it to finish
- yes... wait a bit more... it will restart on its own and do some stuff by itself even more...
- it will probably be already at a portion testing or doing a "root"... wait for it...
- it should be then loading and replacing your recovery menu
- wait for the unrevoked application to be "Done" (literally)... just wait until there's a "Done" shown on your PC screen.
If all is good, it should have landed on your new recovery menu. Congratulations!
To resume to your normal usage, just let it "reboot" and you're good to go again.